Penn State Intercom......November 1, 2001

Faculty Senate honors
its outgoing leader

By Gary W. Cramer
Public Information

Judging by the reactions of his University colleagues last week, George Bugyi's retirement from Penn State signifies not so much the loss of a longtime Faculty Senate stalwart and community volunteer as the gain of an ongoing role model for others. Bugyi_George

Having stepped down from his post in July following 18 years of service, Bugyi was honored at the Oct. 23 Faculty Senate meeting when a resolution was unanimously passed recommending executive secretary emeritus status be given to him. Among other functions, the Senate is the sole legislative body representing the University faculty as a whole, and the executive secretary manages the Senate's office.

"It's a big moment, not only for the Senate, but for the University," Senate chair John Nichols said of the designation. "If you believe, as I do, that an effective Senate is essential to shared governance, and therefore to academic quality, then George, in his service, is one of the most important and influential academicians in the past two decades of the Penn State faculty."

Bugyi joined Penn State at the Mont Alto campus in 1969. His activities there included teaching kinesiology, introducing new health and physical education courses, coaching soccer and wrestling, and serving as the campus' representative to the overall Faculty Senate. In 1983, he came to the University Park campus to take the position in the Faculty Senate that became his career focus.

While performing the myriad organizational duties of executive secretary, he continued to research and publish as a faculty member of the College of Health and Human Development; and helped launch such initiatives as the Faculty Staff Club, which he presided over at one time, and the Penn State Forum speaker series, for which he chairs the steering committee. He also has served with the University Access Committee for Affirmative Action Office and with the Senate Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics.

"As the resolution of the Faculty Senate stated, George has distinguished himself through wise decision-making and judicious counsel, and has been very generous with his time and expertise," President Graham B. Spanier said. "People throughout the entire University have benefited greatly from having such a loyal and knowledgeable friend working, both up front and behind the scenes, on their behalf for such a noteworthy stretch of time."

A letter from Spanier and a certificate of emeritus status both were presented to Bugyi on the floor of the Senate by Rod Erickson, executive vice president and provost of the University, following passage of the resolution.

"Many of the resolutions that come to the floor in the last 18 years, I wrote," said Bugyi. "But none of them were written this beautifully and meant this much to me. Thank you for letting me be your colleague for the last 32 years."

Bugyi was the 1999 recipient of the University's Barash Award for Human Service for his contributions beyond his assigned duties to human causes, public service activities and organizations for the welfare of fellow humans with such groups as the American Red Cross, Rotary, Easter Seal Society, United Way and the Marine Corps League. In 1998, he received the University's McKay Donkin Award for his contributions to economic, physical, mental and social welfare of the faculty. He also received the 1997 Faculty Associate Award from the Office of Student Affairs.

Active at the local, state and national levels with the American Red Cross, he has taught first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), as well as trained other instructors. In 1998, the organization's Centre Communities Chapter, for which he has been chairman of the board, named him Volunteer of the Year. He also has earned leadership and lifetime service awards for his efforts, and was an adviser to the Penn State Red Cross Student Service Organization.

For the United Way, Bugyi has served on the board of directors of the Centre County chapter, as a corporate solicitations volunteer and as a member of the Penn State United Way Steering Committee. Earlier this year, he received the Marine Corps League's Distinguished Service Award.

Gary Cramer can be reached at