H. Jesse Arnelle
Mr. Arnelle retired in September 1997 as senior partner with the civil litigation and public finance law firm of Arnelle, Hastie, McGee, Willis and Greene of San Francisco. Identified as one of the top 12 African American law firms in America by Black Enterprise magazine, he has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court.
Mr. Arnelle served on the boards of directors of Wells Fargo and Company, parent company of Wells Fargo Bank; Waste Management, Inc.; Eastman Chemical Co., Inc.; FPL Group, Inc.; Union Pacific and Resources, Inc.; Armstrong World Industries; and Gannett Company. He presently serves on the boards of Textron Corporation; URS Corporation; and Met Life Series Fund. He served as a director of the San Francisco Opera Board and the World Centre, and on the Bay Area boards of the World Affairs Council, Commonwealth Club, Boys and Girls Club of America and the African American Historical and Cultural Society. He was a commissioner of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and served as an official attache to the 1984 Summer Olympic Games.
A life member of the Penn State Alumni Association and member of the President's Club, he is past president and co-founder of the Penn State Renaissance Fund, was a member of the Campaign Steering Committee, and served as a member of Penn State's National Development Council.
In April 1997, Mr. Arnelle received the Distinguished Service Award in Trusteeship from the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. Mr. Arnelle received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal for Outstanding Professional Service in Civil and Human Rights by George Washington University in 1995. He received the Humanitarian Award from Corporate Bay Area UNICEF in 1988; Distinguished Service Award, California Coalition Minority Bar Association, 1991; and the 1992 Distinguished American Award, National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, Westchester, NY. He was adjunct professor of law at Hastings Law School and served as a member of the San Francisco Bar Association Judicial Selection Committee.
As an undergraduate, Mr. Arnelle was elected All-University student body president, a member of Lion's Paw, an All-American in basketball and an All-American honorable mention in football.
A 1955 graduate of Penn State in political science, he received his LL.B. from The Dickinson School of Law in 1962, following service as an Air Force officer. He served on the staff of the Peace Corps in Turkey, 1963-65; India, 1965-66; and Washington D.C., 1967-68. In 1995, Mr. Arnelle received an honorary doctor of laws degree from The Dickinson School of Law, and in June of 2000 he was honored with the Lion's Paw Award from Penn State.
Mr. Arnelle was first elected to the Board of Trustees by the alumni for a three-year term beginning July 1, 1969, and has been reelected for succeeding terms until June 30, 2014. He was Vice President of the Board from 1993 through 1995 and President of the Board in 1996 and 1997.
The title of Trustee Emeritus was conferred upon Mr. Arnelle on July 1, 2014.