Lions' Ambassador

Board of Trustees chairman Matt Schuyler’s commitment to the Alumni Association stretches back to his undergrad days.

head shot of Matt Schuyler, courtesy


Being a Lion Ambassador afforded Matt Schuyler the opportunity for meaningful interactions with prospective, current, and former students.

“Participating in a student alumni corps was already allowing me to pay it forward to future generations of Penn Staters and previous generations of Penn Staters,” says Schuyler ’87 Bus of being a Lion Ambassador, the organization created in 1982 and known for its backward-walking tour guides. Leading those tours was a highlight for the accounting major—and current Board of Trustees chairman—from tiny Milton, Pa. “Being able to share your experiences with a potential student was awesome,” Schuyler says. “The byproduct was a year later you’d get stopped on campus by a freshman who’d say, ‘Hey, you gave the tour to my family that convinced me to come here.’”

Today, Schuyler serves the same three groups—future, current, and forever Penn Staters—in his role on the Board of Trustees, to which he was elected as an at-large trustee in 2015. He says the board’s biggest accomplishment during his tenure has been hiring President Neeli Bendapudi, whom he calls “the best president in all of higher education.”

For Schuyler, a strategy adviser and former chief brand officer at Hilton Worldwide, volunteer service as a trustee is the continuation of a commitment to the university that has included advisory roles in multiple colleges and participation in local Alumni Association chapters where he and his wife, Anne, have lived.

One of the Schuylers’ most generous contributions has been to the Lion Ambassadors: In 2014, they committed $1 million to endow the program. “An investment in a program like that is an investment in Penn State,” says Schuyler of the gift, which remains one of the largest ever given to the Alumni Association.

“The Schuyler fund is priceless in terms of what it has done for the organization and the things we’ve been able to do because we have access to this endowment,” says Michalie Mazurkivich ’24 Eng, Lion Ambassador president for the 2023-24 academic year. One of the programs funded is an individualized assessment related to diversity, equity, and inclusion that offers each of the 120 Lion Ambassadors ways to improve their understanding and comfort levels regarding people of other cultures and identities.

“Matt Schuyler’s connection to the Alumni Association began as a student and has never wavered,” says Alumni Association CEO Paul Clifford ’20 MEd Edu. “His support of our student programs has left a lasting legacy and
has had an impact on all Lion Ambassadors that have
come since.”