Taliaferro, Lubrano, and McCombie Win Trustees Election

May 4, 2012 at 6:14 pm 2 comments

Anthony Lubrano speaks with alumni at the Meet the Candidates event held before the Blue White game. Photo by our editor, Tina Hay.

Exactly six months after the grand jury presentment was leaked—it was late afternoon, Nov. 4, when the charges made against Jerry Sandusky ’66, ’71g became known—the most contested Board of Trustees election in Penn State’s history ended. Adam Taliaferro ’05, Anthony Lubrano ’82, and Ryan McCombie ’70 will begin their three-year terms in July.

Everything about the election was unprecedented—the 86 candidates, the 37,579 votes cast, the hiring of KMPG to audit the results, which were announced in Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting. The university assigned PINs, allowing alumni to vote electronically, to 197,517 people, meaning that 19 percent of the eligible voters cast ballots.

Taliaferro, a lawyer and New Jersey selectman who’s best known as the football player who was paralyzed in a game against Ohio State, but beat the odds and learned to walk again, received 15,629 votes. Lubrano, a businessman who donated money for the baseball stadium, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, received 10,096. McCombie, a businessman and retired Navy SEAL, received 4,806 votes.

Karen Peetz ’77, chair of the board, said she doesn’t anticipate any problems integrating the new alumni trustees, although emotions have run high since the Sandusky scandal, especially over Joe Paterno. She said Penn State is “extremely fortunate” that so many alums cared enough about the university to run.

The agricultural societies that elect six trustees also voted this week, with incumbent Carl Shaffer, president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, and Donald Cotner ’71, president of an egg company, winning with 112 and 100 votes, respectively. Current business and industry trustees Kenneth Frazier ’75 and Edward Hintz ’59, whose terms expired in 2012, were re-elected to the board; business trustees are voted on by the board members. Gov. Tom Corbett has not yet decided on his appointees; the terms of two of his six appointees expire this year, as well.

Ryan McCombie meets alumni at an Alumni Association event in April. This photo, too, by Tina Hay.

During the meeting, Peetz noted that the board is considering changes in its structure, citing the reorganization of its standing committees in March. James Broadhurst ’65, who is chairing the governance and long-range planning committee, said the board is looking into term limits and how to better use the experience of the emeriti trustees, among other suggestions.

At this point, one of the spectators in the room asked if the board were taking questions from the public. Told that was not the case, he then said he just wanted to make a statement—that the trustees consider making it possible for students and faculty to interact directly with them.

But no aspect of the trustees has received more attention recently than the alumni vote; the Associated Press reported that it drew more attention that the Pennsylvania primary election. Eighteen other candidates received more than 1,000 votes:

Barbara L. Doran ’75: 4,040

Mark S. Connolly ’84g: 2,967

Ben Novak ’65, ’99g: 2,957

Vincent J. Tedesco Jr. ’74: 2,385

Anne Riley ’64, ’75g: 1,883

O. Richard Bundy ’93, ’96g: 1,864

John W. Diercks ’63, ’67g, ’75g: 1,761

Jayne E. Miller ’76: 1,653

Jonathan L. Wesner ’65: 1,530

George T. Henning Jr. ’63: 1,503

Joanne C. DiRinaldo ’78: 1,455

Thomas J. Sharbaugh ’73: 1,410

Darlene R. Baker ’80: 1,212

Patty Marrero ’88: 1,172

Matthew J. Lisk ’95:   1,060

Amy L. Williams ’80: 1,048

Marta Pepe Forney ’00: 1,047

William F. Oldsey ’76: 1,007

Three more alumni seats will come open next year. I’m sure I’m not alone in suspecting next year’s election will be hotly contested, too.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

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