Penn State Intercom......November 21, 2002

Penn Staters
proliferate
as presidents

By Gary W. Cramer
Public Information
3presidents

In 2002, at least seven Penn State alumni or former University faculty members or administrators became the top official of a college or university elsewhere in the world of higher education. Their names are part of a growing list of presidents and chancellors across the country with blue and white running in their veins. At least 32 other living and nine deceased individuals connected to Penn State are known to have the honor of such positions now or in the past.

"One of Penn State's less-well known contributions to higher education is the connection between an affiliation with Penn State and subsequent success as a president or chancellor of a college or university," said David H. Monk, dean of the College of Education. "For more than 30 years, Penn State has prepared leaders for higher education in its higher education graduate program. The scope and complexity of Penn State as a university provides a wealth of opportunity for those interested in the leadership of higher education."

A by-no-means complete list of current and former academic leaders from among the Penn State ranks includes:

* 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 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 communication from Penn State between 1965 and 1970.

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

* 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, chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, beginning in July 2002. She chaired the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Penn State from 1989 to 1992 and left the faculty in 1993 to become chief scientist at NASA.

* 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 master of science degree in geography from Penn State in 1970.

* Gregory L. Geoffrey, 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 since 1998. She earned her master's and doctoral degrees 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.

* Orley D. Gunderson, president of Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls, Minn. He earned his master's degree in agriculture from Penn State in 1966.

* James T. Harris, president of Defiance College in Ohio from 1994 until earlier this year and now president of Widener University in Chester. 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.

* Jay W. Helman, president of Western State College in Gunnison, Colo., starting this year. He earned his doctorate in exercise and sport science from Penn State in 1988.

* 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.

* 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, became senior vice president for University Development and Relations in 1971 and senior vice president for administration in 1978.

* John H. Joseph, president of the University of Maine at Machias since 2000 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 doctorate 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.

* Samuel A. Kirkpatrick, president of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti since 2000 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.

* 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 doctorate 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. He was campus executive officer of Penn State Erie from 1980 to 2001, during which time enrollment more than doubled and nearly $65 million was raised for endowments and physical facilities.

* Claudia A. Limbert, president of the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus starting in July. She was campus executive officer for Penn State DuBois from 1998 until earlier this year.

* Herbert E. Longenecker, president of Tulane University in New Orleans 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, president of Santa Barbara City College in California for 22 years, until he left the post earlier this year. He earned his D.Ed. in education from Penn State in 1969.

* 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.

* Eddie N. Moore Jr., president of Virginia State University, Petersburg, since 1993. 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* Mary M. Reap, president of Marywood University in Scranton. She earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Penn State in 1979.

* William C. Richardson, president of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore 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 of the University of Minnesota, Crookston, since 1985. He earned his doctorate in agriculture education from Penn State in 1970.

* 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, vice chancellor (the highest post) of the University of Botswana, in the African nation's town of Gaborone. She earned her doctorate in education from Penn State in 1994.

* 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 doctorate 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 Agricultural Sciences and director of the Cooperative Extension Service and Agricultural Experiment Station.

* Graham B. Spanier, president of Penn State since 1995 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.

* Ronald Swanson, president of Northwest Technical College, an institution with five campuses in Minnesota. He earned his D.Ed. in education from Penn State in 1995.

* Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, chancellor of the University of California, Merced, which is under development as the UC system's 10th campus, starting this fall. She earned her bachelor's degree in arts and letters from Penn State in 1964.

* Anna Weitz, president of the Cambria County Area Community College in Johnstown starting this year. She earned her D.Ed. in counselor education from Penn State in 1987.

* Donald P. Wharton, president of Plymouth State College in New Hampshire since 1993. He earned his master's degree in English from Penn State in 1970.

* Ronald Zaccari, president of Valdosta State University in Georgia starting this year. He earned his D.Ed. in art education from Penn State in 1973.

Furthermore, at least nine academicians who now are deceased went on to hold the top positions at other colleges or universities after their time with Penn State.

* Edward D. "Ted" Eddy, who died in 1998, retired as president of the University of Rhode Island in 1991 after serving as Penn State's provost from 1977 to 1983.

* 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.

* Rosemary Schraer, who died in 1992, was the first female chancellor in the University of California system, at the Riverside campus, from 1987 to 1992, after more than 20 years on the biochemistry faculty and in various administrative posts at Penn State.

* 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 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.

* Four historic Penn State presidents who went to other institutions are William H. Allen (Penn State 1864-1866/Girard College in 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).


Gary W. Cramer can be reached at gwc104@psu.edu. The Alumni Association contributed to the compilation of this list.

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