Posts filed under ‘Alumni Association’
James Franklin, Coming Soon to a Town Near You: The Coaches Caravan returns in May, headlined by James Franklin, who will visit 17 area locales—13 in Pennsylvania, plus forays into Baltimore, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, and New York City. Among the in-state stops on the tour, which is jointly sponsored by the Alumni Association and the Nittany Lion Club: four Penn State campuses and one event at Franklin’s alma mater, East Stroudsburg. More details on tickets will be coming later this month, but you can click here for the dates and clear your schedule now.
Running strong: Fresh off winning the Big Ten indoor track championship over the weekend, sophomore Kiah Seymour has been named the conference’s Track Athlete of the Championships, and coach Beth Alford-Sullivan earned the conference’s Coach of the Year award for the indoor season. Seymour won the 400 meters and anchored the winning 4×400-meter relay, and she finished second in the 200 meters. Get the full scoop here.
ICYMI on Mike McQueary: ESPN The Magazine on Tuesday published “The Whistleblower’s Last Stand,” a story about Mike McQueary ’97, who will be a central figure in the upcoming trial of Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz ’71, ’75g, and Tim Curley ’76, ’78g. If you’ve not yet read it, it’s certainly worth the time.
RIP, EP: Ellen Perry, another of the women who spearheaded the development of Penn State women’s athletics, died Tuesday. She spent 36 years at Penn State, arriving in 1966 as the first coach of the women’s swimming team and retiring in 2002 as associate athletic director and senior woman administrator. Known by everyone as “EP,” Perry was one of those people who had boatloads of knowledge and expertise, but imparted it with a light touch. This Centre Daily Times story quotes Perry from a story about her retirement, and I particularly loved how she basically summed up her life philosophy: “Believe in the goal you’re trying to make and complete and go at it with a well-intended heart. A happy heart works much better than an angry heart.”
Get better soon, Sue: Thinking this morning of Sue Paterno ’62, who was injured in a fall Thursday. A family spokesman says she’s been hospitalized for observation and that her “attitude and resolve are great.” Here’s to SuePa being back on her feet soon.
That time of year again: Saturday is State Patty’s Day, and there’s been plenty of talk and activity leading up to the infamous annual event. The facts: many local landlords are banning parties on their properties, State College police are proactively discouraging large gatherings, and 34 of 35 downtown establishments that serve alcohol have agreed to stay dry for the day, with those businesses compensated by the university.
As for opinions, well, there is no shortage of those, including many who feel town and campus authorities are overreacting. More compelling, I’d argue, are these takes from Dennis Shea, associate dean in Health & Human Development, and an EMS worker who has worked the holiday as part of local ambulance crews. Both lay out just how ugly and dangerous State Patty’s Day has been at its worst. Here’s wishing everyone in town and on campus a fun, and safe, weekend.
Winning words: Congrats to Anna Orso on winning the 2014 Hearst Foundation sports writing award. A Penn State senior and Daily Collegian alumna currently writing for PennLive.com, Orso won for a story on college football recruiting published in the College of Communications’ in-house publication. It’s her second win in the national college journalism competition.
The stages are set: If you’re near Philly or Pittsburgh next weekend, Penn State musical theatre students are headed your way. The Alumni Association is sponsoring a traveling showcase of current Penn State theatre standouts in King of Prussia on Friday, March 7, and in Pittsburgh on Saturday, March 8. Tickets are just $10 for Alumni Association members. Should be a fun night out.
Hot hoops: The Nittany Lions swept their season series with No. 22 Ohio State on Thursday, posting a 65-63 win over the visiting Buckeyes. It was a great atmosphere for Senior Night at the BJC. And speaking of great seniors, Lady Lion star Maggie Lucas has been named a semifinalist for the Naismith National Player of the Year award.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Maggie McCormick tallied an assist last week in a 14-7 loss to No. 2 Maryland, and there probably wasn’t a Penn State player more disappointed in the outcome. It was a stiff early test for a Nittany Lion lacrosse team with national championship aspirations; for McCormick, it was also a reminder of what could have been.
Just don’t think she has any regrets.
A junior attack and returning All-American, McCormick is a Maryland native who ultimately chose Penn State over the in-state powerhouse Terps, winners of 10 national championships in women’s lax. As you might guess, her college choice wasn’t an easy one. “You grow up in Maryland as a lacrosse player, watching them, and they’ve been elite for so many years, it would’ve been the easy choice,” McCormick told us in the preseason. “The decision was, I can go to Maryland, or I can take a risk, go to what in my opinion is a much better school, and try to make a difference in the program. It’s definitely worked out.”
McCormick is the student-athlete profile in our March/April issue, which Alumni Association members should start getting this week. As a sophomore last season, she totaled a team-high 87 points (50 goals, 37 assists), the most by a Nittany Lion in 25 years. Thanks to that offensive output, McCormick earned second-team All-America honors and led Penn State to the NCAA quarterfinals. With most of the team back this spring, hopes are high for an even deeper NCAA tournament run.
In choosing Penn State, McCormick wasn’t taking that much of a leap—the Lions are traditionally one of the sport’s elite programs, with a pair of NCAA titles and three USWLA championships from the pre-NCAA era. But the most recent of those came in 1989, while the likes of Maryland, Northwestern, Princeton, and Virginia have dominated the college game since. McCormick came to Happy Valley to help Penn State reclaim its place among the national elite. She didn’t have to wait long for her chance.
As a freshman in 2012, McCormick found herself playing a huge role for second-year coach Missy Doherty, starting every game and posting a team-high 59 points. “It’s not something I expected,” McCormick says of her trial by fire. “Playing as a freshman, you realize you have a lot to learn, but Coach took a chance on me when I’m not sure many coaches would have. She put me in a position to make an immediate impact.”
That risk was rewarded, and with five goals and three assists in her first three games this season, McCormick continues to make her coach look prescient. Her own potential already realized, McCormick now is focused on making sure her team reaches its ceiling. “The Final Four—that’s the next progression for this team,” she says. “We need to make it to championship weekend, and I think we’ve all bought into that idea.”
Fresh off an 11-7 victory Tuesday over Duquesne—click here to watch the highlights, including McCormick’s three goals—the No. 8 Nittany Lions take their next step in the road to the Final Four this Saturday with a tough road game at UVA.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Calling all veterans: The College of Communications is looking for military veterans of any war to participate in an oral history project, a joint venture between the college and Penn State Libraries for the Veterans History Project. Senior lecturer Maria Cabrera-Baukus has collected more than 100 interviews already, and she and the students in her television studio production class are looking for more. They’ll be doing interviews in person in late April, and they would love if veterans would share memorabilia. Read all of the background here, and if you’re interested, contact Cabrera-Baukus by email at email@example.com, by mail at 103 Innovation Blvd., Suite 205, University Park, PA 16802, or leave a message at 814-865-3068.
Who’s our biggest rival: My affinity for the absurd Land Grant Trophy is well-documented, but even I have to admit that Michigan State isn’t a school I can work up a lot of antipathy toward. Four Onward State writers debate the identity of Penn State’s biggest rival. Pitt? Michigan? Ohio State? Um, Temple? Personally, as a Pittsburgh girl whose family is evenly split between Pitt and Penn State alumni, I’d really like to see that rivalry heat back up again.
Also in the news: Chi Omega sorority’s Penn State chapter is closing its doors 14 months after a racially insensitive photo of a sorority event surfaced. … The University Park Undergraduate Association is going to walk—in shifts—from State College to Harrisburg to bring attention to the Alumni Association’s Capital Day event and the university’s funding needs. … An event that looks pretty cool, State of State, a TED-talk like event on March 30 that will focus on Penn State issues, announced the first of its speakers, and it’s quite a lineup: sociology instructor Sam Richards, English prof Michael Bérubé, former Nittany Lion mascot Rob Nellis ’13, former Penn State quarterback Shane McGregor ’13, former trustee Mimi Barash Coppersmith ’54, and Ruth Mendum, director of the Undergraduate Fellowship Office. I just registered; you can, too, by clicking here.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
At the November meeting of the Board of Trustees’ governance and long-range planning committee, the discussion centered around how to increase participation in the alumni trustee election. At the committee meeting today, the committee made clear it wants to broaden participation even further.
The committee wants to automatically send ballots to all alumni with email addresses on file with Penn State, and it further wants to send snail-mail postcards to alumni who have only a mailing address on file. Those postcards would explain how to obtain a ballot.
In previous elections, ballots have been sent automatically only to alumni who have been members of the Penn State Alumni Association within the previous two years and alumni who donated to the university within the previous two years. Other alumni needed to request ballots.
Unlike the changes made in November, this change requires a revision of the university charter, which must be voted on by the full board. That requires a 30-day notice, so a vote will be taken at the March trustees meeting. So while this policy will not be in effect for the nomination process, which has already started, if passed it will be in place for the election, which runs April 10 through May 8.
The committee voted enthusiastically to recommend the change to the full board for a vote.
While we’re at it, this is probably a good time to define who, exactly, is an alumnus or alumna of the university—a definition that will be tweaked in the proposed charter change. Obviously anyone who’s received a degree—associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate—counts. But according to the charter, so do “former students … who have satisfactorily passed one semester’s or two terms’ work, or more,” in any program that requires at least two years of study.
The proposed changes would clarify that those programs requiring at least two years of study must end in a degree—basically, that people completing one of Penn State’s certificate programs are not eligible to vote.
More news from the committee meetings:
—Executive committee nominations: One of the governance committee’s roles is to recommend at-large members for the board’s executive committee, and the recommendations that will be put forth Friday—if board chair Keith Masser ’73 is re-elected—are Kathleen Casey ’88, appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett in 2013; Donald Cotner ’71, an ag trustee since 2012; and Richard Dandrea ’77, appointed as a business and industry trustee in 2013.
Those names were put forth by Masser and governance chair Keith Eckel; Masser said he chose Casey because she is vice chair of the human resources subcommittee and the compensation committee, Cotner because he is vice chair of the finance and business committee, and Dandrea because he’s a lawyer and because Ken Frazier ’73 (who has a law background) has decided to step down from the executive committee. (The board chair, board vice chair, immediate past chair, and standing committee chairs are automatically part of the executive committee.)
Barbara Doran ’75 noted that Casey is a lawyer, filling that need, and that none of the nominees were elected by alumni. She nominated Ryan McCombie ’70, who was elected by alumni in 2012. Because there were four nominees for three positions, the committee voted: Casey, Cotner, and Dandrea each received a majority of the vote; the totals were not released.
If Masser is not re-elected as chair, Eckel said, he will confer with the new chair before the governance committee puts forth nominees for the executive committee.
—First compensation committee meeting: The first in-person meeting, that is. The committee, which was created at the November board meeting, did meet via conference call Saturday morning to approve compensation for new football coach James Franklin, a process that committee chair Linda Brodsky Strumpf ’69 said was “interesting.”
Strumpf had served on the predecessor to the compensation committee, an ad-hoc group that was convened when circumstances warranted it, but this was the first time that details of the contract were reported during the process. The speed was potentially problematic—the bylaws stipulate that the committee must give three days public notice before meeting, but they were able to use the provision that if all committee members agreed to waive the three-day requirement, 24 hours notice would suffice.
The committee also approves compensation for nine other university employees (see below for the list), but that process is usually far from the spotlight. “People are really interested only in the football coach’s salary,” Strumpf said. “That’s the world we live in, I suppose.”
Under operating guidelines approved by the committee Thursday morning, the committee has responsibilities for four tiers of university officials. (Click here for the draft; see page 5 for the complete list.) The president is alone in Tier I as the only compensation the full board must approve.
The compensation committee approves compensation for five officials in Tier II—executive vice president and provost, senior vice president of finance and business, senior vice president for health affairs, senior vice president for development and alumni relations, and vice president and general counsel—and four intercollegiate athletics employees who are designated Tier IIA. That’s the athletic director, football coach, and men’s and women’s basketball coaches. For Tier II employees, the full board is informed, but does not vote.
That’s standard practice, said Jason Adwin, vice president of Sibson Consulting, who is working with the committee. “Executives govern,” he says. “Administrators manage.” And managing, he says, includes deciding on compensation.
The committee also voted to recommend to the full board that it approve an executive compensation strategy (click here for the draft) developed in consultation with Sibson; Strumpf said the hope is to vote on the strategy at the March meeting.
Sibson plans to conduct a study that’s sponsored by Penn State and will survey 60 institutions, 30 of which will be peers of Penn State, to compare how the university’s salaries, bonuses and incentives, retirement, and deferred compensation compare. The report is expected to be ready by May, which Strumpf said is good timing because the committee will begin reviewing salary increases in August or September.
The report will not be made public, for two reasons. First, the sensitivity of salary numbers; vice president of human resources Susan Basso says a public release would deter other institutions from participating. Second, Adwin said, because institutions pay for the data.
—Trustees retreat: The typical committee meetings ran on a different schedule today (and the student life and outreach committees did not meet) because of a retreat with Holly Gregory, a lawyer and consultant hired by the governance committee to facilitate discussion of further governance reforms. The first 40 minutes of the session were open to the public before the board went into executive session; I’ll have a piece on Gregory’s introduction later.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
We’re a little late today, sorry. Lots of meetings. Productive meetings, fortunately, but they took a lot of time. Anyway, here are some good stories you might have missed over the past few days:
BOT nominations open: It’s that time of year again, with preparations beginning to elect three alumni members to the Board of Trustees. If you’re a Penn State Alumni Association member, if you’ve donated to the university within the past two years, and/or if you requested a ballot in either of the past two years, you should be receiving today a nomination ballot for the election. You can nominate up to three candidates. If you don’t submit them right away, you can return and add names to your list; once you submit, you’re finished. Here’s our earlier piece on the process, which has instructions on how to request a ballot if you didn’t get one, and here’s today’s Centre Daily Times story on the election. Which, by the way, will run April 10 to May 8. The nomination period ends Feb. 25.
A new book on the murder at Pattee: Forty-four years after Betsy Aardsma was stabbed in the stacks at Pattee, her case is still open—that is, never solved. Journalist David DeKok is researching a book on the subject to be published in September, and he answered questions from Onward State’s Jessica Tully. It’s a fascinating interview, especially when DeKok goes beyond the case and discusses how he researched it.
Looking to lose weight? If your New Year’s resolution to do so is becoming a struggle, you might want to check out the Volumetrics diet, developed by Barbara Rolls, professor of nutritional sciences and Helen A. Guthrie Chair in Nutrition. It was just named the sixth best diet in U.S. News and World Report‘s 2014 Best Diets Overall Ranking, and it was recognized several other times in the magazine’s report. The main idea: By lowering the calorie density of your meals, you can feel more full but consume fewer calories. Rolls has written several books—with recipes—on the diet.
New pricing structure for football tickets: Starting next season, it will cost less to see the non-marquee teams on Penn State’s football schedule than it will to see top rivals like Ohio State. The university announced a variable pricing structure on Tuesday; this FAQ from the athletic department explains the details. The Nittany Lions will become the fifth Big Ten school to use such a system, The Patriot-News reports. Cheapest tickets? MAC teams Akron and UMass: There are end-zone seats available for $40. You’re going to need to shell out for the Buckeyes: The least expensive ticket is $100.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
For years and years, the election for the alumni seats on Penn State’s Board of Trustees ran smoothly and under the radar. Then the Sandusky scandal happened, and among the many changes around Penn State came an exponential increase in interest in the election—more candidates, and more alumni interested in voting.
The election process has been confusing and sometimes frustrating for alumni, and the Board of Trustees office was at times overwhelmed with requests for ballots. Which is why vice president for administration Tom Poole, whose office handles the administration of the Board of Trustees, presented suggestions at Thursday’s governance and long-range planning committee to streamline the process and make it less confusing. The goal: To increase alumni participation in the election.
The committee discussion ranged beyond Poole’s suggestions (below) to a broader discussion of who should automatically receive ballots. Currently, ballots are automatically emailed to alumni who have been an Alumni Association member in the previous two years or who have donated to the university within the previous two years. Other alumni don’t receive a ballot automatically, but can get one by making a written request to the Board of Trustees office.
The committee discussed the feasibility of amending the board’s charter so that ballots would be automatically sent to any alumnus with an email address on file with the university. Committee chair Keith Eckel summed up the discussion: “I’m hearing a desire expressed by the committee to expand this as broadly as we can.”
Poole made three suggestions to improve the alumni trustee election:
—Automatically distribute ballots to anyone who requested a ballot the previous year. This would make the process easier not only for alumni, but also for the board office, which fielded 11,000 requests for ballots in each of the past two years.
—Better publicize and explain the election and nomination processes.
—Allow candidates to include their websites and social media links on their official profiles on the Board of Trustees website, something that hadn’t previously been permitted.
The committee didn’t need to vote on the changes, but everyone appeared to be in agreement that those improvements should go forward. The biggest discussion concerned broadening the ballot distribution to alumni who are not members of the Alumni Association, which is the group currently defined by the charter.
Frank Guadagnino ’78, an outside attorney hired by the university to consult on governance issues, said the original language in the charter likely appeared because the Alumni Association maintains the database of alumni. He said the charter could be changed, but that under the Pennsylvania Non-Profit Corporation Law, the board would need to have 10 days’ notice before a vote. While that 10-day notice is possible before the board’s next meeting in January, the nomination period for the 2014 election will have already started by then.
This prompted trustee Carl Shaffer to say, “If we can’t change the charter this year, according to all of the discussion here, then I do think we should have more discussion before we attempt to change the charter.”
Barbara Doran ’75 noted that although the nomination process starts in January, the ballots for the election aren’t distributed until April; she asked if the issue of who automatically gets ballots could be decided after the nomination process has started. Guadagnino said he believes that is possible.
One other alumni election issue came up as well: the nomination process. Doran said she has heard from alumni that needing only 50 signatures to become a candidate is too few. “Because there have been so many candidates the past two years,” she said, “it’s really hard if you want to do your due diligence to get through the candidates.”
Poole said this is another area that may need attention, but he added that changing it for 2014, when anyone planning to run for the board would have spent the past year assuming he or she needed only 50 signatures, would not be fair.
This was a particularly busy governance committee meeting—it approved a recommendation to hire Holly Gregory as a governance consultant, and there was a spirited discussion about the presidential search process. I’ll have more updates later.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
This time, it hit me while I was standing on the Sunken Road. At least, that was what the old farm road, which wound through the fields near Antietam Creek, in rural Maryland, was called before Sept. 17, 1862.
That day was the bloodiest in American history. The Battle of Antietam resulted in 23,000 casualties—Americans all, from the Union and the Confederacy. Many occurred on the Sunken Road. Union soldiers advanced four times from the top of the rise, and the Confederate soldiers held them off. But the Confederate soldiers were greatly outnumbered, and as their line broke open, the Union soldiers advanced and took control. The fighting, by all accounts, was savage.
Parker Hills, one of the faculty leaders on the Alumni Association’s Civil War Study Tour, noted a fact that gave me chills: Many of the dead had been shot in the head.
The road, these days, is known as Bloody Lane.
“You can’t stand here,” said Hills, a retired brigadier general, “and not feel the horror of war.”
I felt it. I’d felt something similar last year, when I tagged along on the study tour to Gettysburg and stood at The Angle, imagining what it felt like to be a Union soldier watching the Confederates advance—or to be a Confederate soldier making that long, lonely—and doomed—advance, known as Pickett’s Charge.
That’s the amazing part of these tours, which are among the most popular trips sponsored by the Alumni Association. History comes alive.
I’d known before the tour started that more Americans died at Antietam than on any day in American history. I learned before I set foot on the battlefield, thanks to a morning lecture by the other faculty leader, Terry Winschel ’77, the actual number of Americans who were killed, wounded, mortally wounded, or captured that day.
But standing on the battlefield made those numbers feel different. More visceral. Thanks to Hills and Winschel, I better understood how those soldiers had come to be in this position; the tour encompassed Robert E. Lee’s Maryland campaign, and it had made previous stops at South Mountain and Harper’s Ferry. I got the context.
And Hills and Winschel excel at telling the stories of the men who fought there and finding the details that make listeners feel. It was chilly Saturday, chillier than the forecast had predicted, and many of us had left our heavy coats back in the hotel. But these men, the night before the battle, were shabbily clothed and unable to warm themselves with even a few swallows of hot coffee—fires were forbidden, as they would give away the troops’ position.
And rations were few. Soldiers on both sides, the faculty leaders told us, were subsisting on little more than green corn.
Additionally, neither Hills nor Winschel ever miss a chance to relate history to our current day. “In our own time period—Vietnam, there were 50,000 some killed,” Winschel said. “How many in Iraq? How many in Afghanistan? Can you imagine what we the American people would say if it was reported that on one day in Afghanistan, 23,000 Americans had fallen? We wouldn’t stand for it, would we?”
It makes you think.
This was my second time on the tour. A year ago, I attended the trip to Gettysburg as a reporter. I went through the tour just as the travelers did, and I wrote about the battle and did a magazine feature about the hold that Gettysburg has on Americans, 150 years later. This time, I tagged along to help the Alumni Association’s crack travel and education staff … and I found myself part of what is essentially an extended family.
Many of the regulars on the study tour have been coming for more than a decade. They showed up the first time because they were Civil War … well, I hate to use the word enthusiasts. They’re learning about and debating a war, one that Winschel constantly reminds us affected every family in the entire country, North and South. No one ever forgets that, even as they debate strategy and laugh over funny stories about the generals and take in the scenery. (It’s one of the things that strikes me about the battlefields: These places that saw so much death and pain are truly beautiful. It’s a little hard to reconcile.)
And they come back, yes, to keep learning about the war, to walk the battlefields and figure out what happened here. But they also come back to visit with friends, with people who have the same interest. In some ways, it’s like a big ol’ family reunion.
And now I’m part of it.
I got home late Sunday afternoon. At dinner Sunday night, I regaled my husband with tales from the battlefield, working in Hills’ and Winschel’s best lines as often as I could. (I did give credit. Promise.) I went into so much detail about the flaws in Union Gen. George McClelland’s battle plan (or lack thereof) and McClelland’s “lack of boldness,” as Hills put it, that prevented him from pressing a giant numerical advantage, that my husband stared at me across the table and said, grinning, “You’re a buff.”
I’m not sure I exactly qualify for “Civil War Buff” status. But I did bring home more Civil War books to read, and I am hoping to tag along again on next year’s tour, when home base will be Williamsburg, Va., and Winschel and Hills will lead the group through the Peninsula Campaign. That was a seven-day campaign. The study tour will do it in four. And have a great time, I know. And learn a ton.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
From news to features, your daily dose of everything Penn State.
Winning weekend: Another football bye week put the focus on the rest of Penn State’s fall teams, and they sure seemed to enjoy the attention. Where to start? The fourth-ranked women’s volleyball team posted weekend road wins at Illinois and Northwestern, the second of which gave coach Russ Rose his 1,107th career victory. That total is second-best all-time in college women’s volleyball, second only to current Hawaii coach Dave Shoji.
The field hockey team went the dramatic route for its weekend win. Trailing Michigan State 3-1 in the second half on Saturday, the Lions rallied to force overtime and then pull out a 4-3 victory over the Spartans. It was the 10th straight win for Penn State, which improved to a flawless 4-0 in Big Ten play. Oh, and the drama we mentioned:
That was senior defender Brittany Grzywacz with the game-saving dive. Grzywacz is the defending Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, and she’s won the league’s weekly defensive award three times this season. At this point, they should probably just name those awards after her and be done with it.
The men’s soccer team chose a similar script—late drama against Michigan State with its Big Ten lead on the line—in its 2-1 OT win Sunday in East Lansing. Junior forward Jordan Tyler scored the game-winner and junior goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton made a career-high nine saves for the Lions, who improved to 4-0 in the league and need just a draw in one of their final two games to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season title.
For the women’s soccer team, the weekend theme was dominance, not drama. It started with a 4-2 win Thursday over Ohio State and ended Sunday, on senior day, with a 5-0 thumping of Illinois. After the team’s final home game of the season, Coach Erica Walsh called her graduating class, which played a huge role in getting Penn State to the national title game last fall, “program changing.”
Larry Foster remembered: The Star-Ledger of New Jersey has an obituary of Garden State native Larry Foster ’48, the former Penn State trustee, Alumni Association president, and public relations industry giant who died last week. (more…)
From news to features, your daily dose of everything Penn State.
A “legend” passes: Larry Foster ’48, a giant of the public relations industry and one of Penn State’s most prominent and dedicated alumni, died Thursday. He was 88. Foster’s great impact on the PR world came in the early 1980s, when he guided Johnson & Johnson’s response to the infamous and still-unsolved Tylenol poisoning of 1982. It remains a case study in the right way to handle a corporate PR crisis. His impact on his alma mater has been similarly profound. Along with his wife, Ellen Miller ’49, Foster was a generous and far-sighted donor to Penn State, and particularly to the College of Communications, where they endowed faculty positions and scholarships and supported renovations to the Carnegie Building. A three-term member of the Board of Trustees, Foster also served as president of the Alumni Association, and was instrumental in creating the Alumni Fellows program.
Courting success: The men’s basketball team held its preseason media day Thursday, and while third-year coach Patrick Chambers wouldn’t be specific about how many wins he’s aiming for, or whether this squad has NCAA tournament potential, he made one thing clear: He likes this team. (more…)