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Penn Staters Who Preside at Other Colleges and Universities

At least 76 living Penn State alumni or former University faculty members or administrators currently serve or have served as the top official of a college or university elsewhere in the world of higher education. In addition, more than a dozen now-deceased Penn Staters are known to have held such positions.

According to data collected by Penn State’s Office of University Relations and the Penn State Alumni Association, a not-necessairly-complete list of current and former academic leaders from among the Penn State ranks includes:

Roberto Aguero, president of Austin Community College, in Texas, starting in the summer of 2004. He earned his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State in 1981.

Robert D. Arbuckle, president of Lake Superior State University, in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., from 1992 until his retirement in 2002. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in History from Penn State in 1966 and 1972, respectively, joined the Penn State New Kensington campus faculty in 1968, and was campus executive officer at New Kensington from 1975 to 1992.

Mary-Linda Merriam Armacost, president of Wilson College, in Chambersburg, Pa., from 1981 to 1991 and of the Moore College of Art & Design, in Philadelphia, from 1991 to 1993. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in Speech Communications from Penn State between 1965 and 1970.

James Baker in March 2006 was named president-elect of Maine College of Art in Portland. Formerly executive director of the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado, he earned his baccalaureate degree from Penn State in 1973.

David Behrs was selected to be president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College near Terre Haute, Indiana, in January 2007. His prior experience included serving as admissions coordinator at Penn State.

M. James Bensen, president of Bemidji State University, in Minnesota, from 1994 to 2001 and of Dunwoody Academy, in Minneapolis, from 1989 to 1994. He earned his D.Ed. in Education from Penn State in 1967.

John E. Burris, former president of Beloit College, in Wisconsin, 2000-2008. He served on the Biology faculty at Penn State from 1976 to 1985.

William G. Cale Jr., became president of the University of North Alabama in January 2005. He had been dean and CEO of Penn State Altoona since July 2000. He earned a baccalaureate degree from Penn State in 1969.

Owen F. Cargol, president of Cleveland State Community College, in Tennessee, from 1993 to 1996, president of the University of Maine at Augusta from 1996 to 2001, and president of Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, in 2001. He earned his D.Ed. in Education from Penn State in 1981.

David G. Carter, president of Eastern Connecticut State University, in Willamantic, since 1988. He taught in the College of Education at Penn State from 1973 to 1977.

Carol A. Cartwright, president of Kent State University, in Ohio, since 1991 and the first female president of a state university in Ohio. She joined the Penn State College of Education faculty in 1967 and served as dean for undergraduate programs and vice provost between 1984 and 1988.

France A. Còrdova, formerly chancellor of the University of California-Riverside, was named president of Purdue University--becoming the first woman to hold that post--effective with the start of the 2007-08 academic year. Cordova headed Penn State's Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 1989-93.

George Cornelius, president of Bridgewater College since July 1, 2010, is a 1976 graduate of Penn State's College of Health and Human Development and a 1983 graduate of the Penn State Dickinson School of Law.

Cleve H. Cox, president of Williamsburg Technical College, in Kingstree, S.C., beginning in January 2004. He earned his master's degree in Counselor Education from Penn State in 1977.

Vernon O. Crawley, president of Moraine Valley Community College, in Palos Hills, Ill., since 1991 and president of St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, in Missouri, for 13 years before that. He earned his D.Ed. in Physical Science from Penn State in 1971.

Richard W. Durst, president of Baldwin-Wallace College effective July 10, 2006. He had been dean of Penn State's College of Arts and Architecture since 2000.

Robert J. Dillman, president of East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania since 1996 and president of Fairmont State College, in West Virginia, from 1988 to 1996. He earned his M.S. in Geography from Penn State in 1970.

Frank L. Ellsworth, president of Pitzer College, a member of the Claremont Colleges in California, from 1979 to 1991. He earned his M.Ed in Education from Penn State in 1967.

Cary F. Fraser, president of the University of Belize, Central America, since 2011. He was a faculty member in Penn State's Department of African and African-American Studies since 1996, and also served as director of the Penn State Africana Research Center.

Gregory L. Geoffroy, president of Iowa State University, in Ames, since 2001. He joined the faculty of Penn State's Department of Chemistry in 1974 and was dean of the Eberly College of Science from 1989 to 1997.

Davie Jane Gilmour, president of Pennsylvania College of Technology, an affiliate of Penn State in Williamsport, since 1998. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Health Education from Penn State in 1981 and 1993, respectively, and joined the college's faculty in 1977, when it was known as the Williamsport Area Community College.

Tim Gilmour, president of Wilkes University, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., since 2001. He worked in Penn State's Office of Budget and Planning from 1972 to 1977.

Gerald E. Gipp, first American Indian to serve as president of Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, for nine years and currently executive director for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. He earned his master's and Ph.D. degrees in Education from Penn State in 1971 and 1974, respectively.

Gregory W. Gray, chancellor of Penn State Fayette, the Eberly Campus, 1998-2006, was named chancellor of Miami Dade College Kendall Campus, effective Sept. 1, 2006. Gray earned a D.Ed. in vocational industrial education from Penn State in 1977.

Joe Gow, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin - Lacrosse since 2006, after having served as interim president of Nebraska Wesleyan University. He holds baccalaureate (Journalism 1982) and Ph.D. (Speech Communications 1989) degrees from Penn State.

Orley D. Gunderson, president of Northland Community and Technical College, in Thief River Falls, Minn. He earned his M.S. in Agriculture from Penn State in 1966.

James T. Harris III, president of Widener University, in Chester, Pa., since 2002 and president of Defiance College, in Ohio, from 1994 to 2002. He served as associate director of corporate and foundation relations and financial aid coordinator for Penn State from 1983 to 1988 and earned his D.Ed. in Education from the University in 1988.

Harry J. Hartley, Jr., president of the University of Connecticut, in Storrs, from 1990 to 1996. He earned his D.Ed. in Education from Penn State in 1964.

Jay W. Helman, president of Western State College, in Gunnison, Col., since February 2002. He earned his Ph.D. in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State in 1988.

Richard Herman, interim chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since June 2004, named chancellor May 2005. He chaired Penn State's mathematics department from 1986 to 1990.

Sharon D. Herzberger, named president of Whittier College, Whittier, Calif., effective July 1, 2005. She earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Penn State in 1971.

Mary E. Hines, president of Carlow University, Pittsburgh, since July 1, 2005. She was campus executive officer at Penn State Wilkes-Barre for eight years, beginning in 1997.

David C. Hodge, president of Miami University (in Ohio) from July 1, 2006. He earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Geography from Penn State in 1973 and 1975, respectively.

Richard Hoover, president of Hastings College, in Nebraska, from 1995 to 2000. He earned his bachelor's degree from the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State in 1965.

Frederick E. Hutchinson, president of the University of Maine, Orono, from 1992 to 1997. He earned his Ph.D. in Agronomy from Penn State in 1967.

Manuel L. Ibanez, president of Texas A&M University-Kingsville from 1989 to 1998. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Bacteriology from Penn State in 1959 and 1961, respectively.

Stanley O. Ikenberry, president of the University of Illinois, in Urbana-Champaign, from 1979 to 1995 and president of the American Council on Education from 1996 to 2001. Now back on the faculty at UI, he joined Penn State in 1969 as a professor and associate director in the Center for the Study of Higher Education, and became senior vice president for university development and relations in 1971 and senior vice president for administration in 1978.

Alex B. Johnson, chancellor of Delgado Community College, in New Orleans, La., beginning in February 2004 and president of the Metropolitan Campus of Cuyahoga Community College, in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1993 through 2003. He earned his D.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State in 1978.

Stephen B. Jones, chancellor of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks starting in the summer of 2004. He was an associate professor in Penn State's School of Forest Resources from 1988 to 1996.

Rumaldo Z. Juarez, president of Texas A&M University-Kingsville starting in 2002. He earned his Ph.D. in Rural Sociology from Penn State in 1976.

Samuel A. Kirkpatrick, who became a senior fellow with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in 2004, was president of Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti, from 2000 to 2004 and president of the University of Texas at San Antonio from 1990 to 1999. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees in Political Science from Penn State in 1966 and 1968, respectively.

Daniel C. Krezenski, president of Westmoreland County Community College, in Youngwood, Pa., retired in 1986. He earned his D.Ed. in Physical Science from Penn State in 1971.

Jill Landesberg-Boyle became president of Florida Keys Community College, Key West, June 1, 2007. Previously she was vice president for student affairs at Pennsylvania College of Technology, a Penn State affiliate.

Laurence H. Lattman, president of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, in Socorro, from 1983 to 1993. He served on the Geology and Geosciences faculty at Penn State from 1957 to 1970.

Thomas C. Leamer, president of Delaware Valley College, in Doylestown, Pa., since 1997. He earned his D.Ed. in Agricultural Education from Penn State in 1972.

Steven Leath, president of Iowa State University, effective Feb. 1, 2012. He holds a bachelor's degree in plant pathology from Penn State, 1979.

Andrea Jane Lee, president of the College of St. Catherine, in St. Paul, Minn., the nation's largest Catholic college for women, since 1999. She earned her M.Ed and Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Penn State in 1975 and 1980, respectively, and held several positions in teacher education while at the University.

John Lilley, president of the University of Nevada, Reno since 2001, named president of Baylor University effective Jan. 2, 2006. He served as provost and dean of Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, from 1980 to 2001.

Claudia A. Limbert, president of the Mississippi University for Women, in Columbus, starting in July 2002. She was campus executive officer for Penn State DuBois from 1998 to 2002, and earlier served as director of academic affairs for the campus and with the English and women's studies faculty at the Penn State Shenango campus.

Herbert E. Longenecker, president of Tulane University, in New Orleans, La., from 1960 to 1975. He earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in Agricultural Biochemistry from Penn State between 1929 and 1936.

Peter R. MacDougall, who left the presidency of Santa Barbara City College, in California, after 22 years in 2002. He earned his D.Ed. in Education from Penn State in 1969.

Allen C. Meadors, president of University of Central Arkansas, formerly chancellor of University of North Carolina at Pembroke 1999-2009. He was campus executive officer and dean of Penn State Altoona from 1995 to 1999, during which time campus enrollment increased by nearly 1,500 students.

Wilbur L. Meier, chancellor of the four-campus University of Houston System in Texas from 1986 to 1989. He was dean of Penn State's College of Engineering from 1981 to 1986.

James C. Moeser, chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 2000 and chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1996 to 2000. He was dean of Penn State's College of Arts and Architecture and executive director of University Arts Services from 1986 to 1992.

William R. Monat, president of Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb, from 1978 to 1984 and chancellor of the Illinois Board of Regents from 1984 to 1986. He served on the Political Science faculty at Penn State from 1960 to 1969.

Eddie N. Moore Jr., president emeritus of Virginia State University, Petersburg, 1993-2010. He earned his bachelor's degree in Accounting from Penn State in 1968.

John W. Moore, president of Indiana State University, in Terre Haute, from 1992 to 2000 and president of California State University, Stanislaus, from 1985 to 1992. He worked with Penn State's Office of Student Affairs and for the dean's office in the College of Education in the 1960s, and earned his D.Ed. in Education from the University in 1970.

Kenneth Mortimer, president of the University of Hawaii/chancellor of University of Hawaii-Manoa from 1993 to 2001 and president of Western Washington University, in Bellingham, from 1988 to 1993. He was a faculty member and administrator for Penn State from 1969 to 1988, including time as vice president, vice provost and director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education.

Robert W. Neff, president of Juniata College, in Huntingdon, Pa., from 1986 to 1998. He earned his bachelor's degree in Zoology and Entomology from Penn State in 1958.

Mary Norman, president of Orange County Community College in Middletown, N.Y., a unit of the State University of New York, from 1982 to 1985. She earned her D.Ed. in Education from Penn State in 1971.

Charlene R. Nunley, president of Montgomery College, in Maryland, since 1999. At Penn State, she earned her bachelor's degree in psychology in 1972 and her master's degree in higher education in 1973.

Brennan O'Donnell, president of Manhattan College, effective July 1, 2009, the first lay person to serve in that office in the 156-year history of the Catholic institution. O'Donnell earned a B.A. in English from Penn State in 1981.

Sean O'Keefe, named chancellor of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, December 17, 2004. He was professor of business administration and assistant to the senior vice president for research and dean of The Graduate School at Penn State from 1993 to 1996. O'Keefe is also former NASA Adnministrator and Secretary of the Navy.

Patti McGill Peterson, president of Wells College, in Aurora, N.Y., from 1980 to 1987, first woman president of St. Lawrence University, in Canton, N.Y., from 1987 to 1996, and currently executive director of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars and vice president of the Institute of International Education. She earned her bachelor's degree in Political Science from Penn State in 1965.

Stephen R. Portch, chancellor of the University System of Georgia’s 34 public colleges and universities from 1994 to 2001 and chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Centers from 1986 to 1991. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees in English from Penn State in 1975 and 1982, respectively.

Margaret Preska, president of Mankato State University, now Minnesota State University, Mankato, from 1979 to 1992. She earned her master's degree in Speech from Penn State in 1961.

Sister Mary M. Reap, president of Marywood University, in Scranton, Pa., 1988-2007. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State in 1979.

William C. Richardson, president of Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Md., from 1990 to 1995. He came to Penn State in 1984 and was executive vice president and provost at the time of his departure.

Donald Sargeant, chancellor emeritus of the University of Minnesota, Crookston, 1985-2003. He earned his Ph.D. in Agriculture Education from Penn State in 1970.

George Santiago Jr., president of Briarcliff College, since 2006. Santiago earned an M.Ed. (1986) and Ph.D. (1994) from Penn State.

Robert Scannell, chancellor of Peralta Community College District, which includes four colleges in Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda, Calif., from 1988 to 1995. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees in Physical Education from Penn State in 1959 and 1964, respectively, and served as the University's dean of Health, Physical Education and Recreation from 1970 to 1981.

Patrick J. Schloss, president of Northern State University in Abderdeen, S.D., beginning in the summer of 2004. He was on the Special Education faculty in the College of Education at Penn State from 1982 to 1987.

James E. Seitz, former president of Edison Community College in Piqua, Ohio. He earned his master's degree in Education from Penn State in 1952.

Sharon A. Siverts, former vice chancellor (the highest post) of the University of Botswana, in the African nation's town of Gaborone. She earned her Ph.D. in Home Economics Education from Penn State in 1974.

Dwight M. Smith, president of Hawaii Loa College (now merged with Hawaii Pacific University) from 1990 to 1992 and chancellor of the University of Denver from 1984 to 1989. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Penn State in 1957.

Samuel H. Smith, president of Washington State University, in Pullman, from 1985 to 2000. Between 1969 and 1985, he worked his way from the faculty ranks to dean in Penn State's College of Agriculture and director of the Cooperative Extension Service and Agricultural Experiment Station.

Fredrick Snow, president of Grantham University, an online university serving the educational needs of working adult students, from January 2011 to October 2011. He received an MBA from Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, in 1992.

Graham B. Spanier, president of Penn State from 1995 to 2011 and chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1991 to 1995. He previously served Penn State from 1973 to 1982 as a faculty member and in three administrative positions in what is now the College of Health and Human Development.

Stewart E. Sutin, president of the Community College of Allegheny County, with four campuses in southwestern Pennsylvania, starting in August 2003. He earned his bachelor's degree in History from Penn State in 1966.

Ronald Swanson, president of Northwest Technical College, an institution with five campuses in Minnesota, from 1999 to 2002, and former president of Coosa Valley Technical College, in Rome, Ga. He earned his D.Ed. in Education from Penn State in 1995.

Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, chancellor of the University of California, Merced, which opened in 2005. She earned her bachelor's degree in Arts and Letters from Penn State in 1964.

Candace S. Vancko, president of the State University of New York's College of Technology at Delhi since 1999. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in Speech from Penn State in 1965 and 1967, respectively.

Linda Sue Warner, named president of Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kan., effective April 2, 2007. She is a 1978 Penn State M. Ed. recipient.

Anna Weitz, president of the Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, in Johnstown, Pa., starting in 2002. She earned her D.Ed. in Counselor Education from Penn State in 1987.

Donald P. Wharton, former president of Plymouth State University, in New Hampshire, 1993-2006. He earned his master's degree in English from Penn State in 1970.

Robert E. Witt, president of the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, beginning March 2003 and president of the University of Texas at Arlington from 1995 to 2003. He earned his Ph.D. in Marketing from Penn State in 1968.

Ronald Zaccari, president of Valdosta State University, in Georgia, starting in 2002, and president of West Liberty State College, in West Virginia, for five years before that. He earned his D.Ed. in Art Education from Penn State in 1973.

Kenneth E. Zirkle, president of Becker College, with campuses in Worcester and Leicester, Mass., starting in February 2004 and president of the University of Findlay, in Ohio, from 1983 to 2003. He earned his D.Ed. in Counselor Education from Penn State in 1973.

Deceased Penn Staters

Ron Applbaum, who received a Ph.D. in speech from Penn State in 1969, served as president of Westfield State College (Massachusetts), Kean University (New Jersey), and Colorado State University-Pueblo. He died in 2006.

Myron Coulter,chancellor of Western Carolina University from 1984 to 1994. He was an associate professor of education at Penn State from 1964 to 1966, and director of Penn State's Latin American Education Project from 1962-63. He died in 2011.

Edward D. "Ted" Eddy, who died in 1998, was president of the University of Rhode Island from 1983 to 1991, Penn State's provost from 1977 to 1983, and president of Chatham College, in Pittsburgh, Pa., from 1960 to 1977.

Nelson P. Guild, who died in 2004, earned his master's and doctoral degrees in Political Science from Penn State in 1955 and 1958, respectively, and was president of Frostburg State University, in Maryland, from 1969 to 1985.

David Dodds Henry, who earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in the Liberal Arts from Penn State between 1926 and 1931, was president of the University of Illinois, in Urbana-Champaign, from 1955 to 1971.

John H. Joseph, who died in 2003, was president of the University of Maine at Machias from 2000 to 2003 and campus executive officer at the Albert A. Robin Campus of Roosevelt University, in Schaumburg, Ill., from 1997 to 2000. He earned his bachelor's degree in Broadcasting, master's degree in Speech and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State between 1965 and 1978, and spent 25 years working for the University in a wide variety of posts, mainly at Penn State Harrisburg.

Rosemary Schraer, who died in 1992, was chancellor of the University of California, Riverside (and the UC system's first woman chancellor) from 1987 to 1992, after more than 20 years on the Biochemistry faculty and in various administrative posts at Penn State.

William H. Schwab, president of Norwalk Community College, Connecticut's largest community college, from 1983 until shortly before his death 2004. He earned his bachelor's degree in Physical Education and master's degree in Counselor Education from Penn State in 1960 and 1962, respectively.

Frank Sills was president of East Stroudsburg University, 1968-71. A 1933 Penn State graduate in physical education, he died in 2007.

George D. Stoddard, who died in 1981, was president of the University of Illinois from 1946 to 1953, and held a bachelor's degree in Education from Penn State from 1920.

James E. Walker, the first African American to serve as president of the multi-campus Southern Illinois University, died in 2006. He was president of Middle Tennessee State University from 1991 until accepting the SIU presidency in 2000. He earned his D.Ed. in Education from Penn State in 1972.

James Whalen, who died in 2001, was president of Ithaca College, in New York, for 22 years, and held master's and doctoral degrees in the Liberal Arts from Penn State from 1952 and 1955, respectively.

Penn State Presidents as Presidents of Institutions

Four historic Penn State presidents who went on to lead other institutions are William H. Allen (Penn State 1864-1866/Girard College [Philadelphia] 1866-1882), John Fraser (Penn State 1866-1868/University of Kansas 1868-1874), John M. Thomas (Penn State 1921-1925/Rutgers University 1925-1930), and Milton S. Eisenhower (Penn State 1950-1956/Johns Hopkins University 1956-1967).

To make additions or corrections to this list, please contact the Department of Advancement Projects and Communications at (814) 863-4512 or e-mail Michael Bezilla.