The Board of Trustees had a surprise for outgoing President Rodney Erickson at today’s meeting. The Penn State Food Science building, which houses the Berkey Creamery and the Department of Food Science labs and facilities, will be renamed to the Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building.
It is customary for Penn State presidents to have buildings named after them — all 17 full-time Penn State presidents since the school’s founding either have a building or street named after them except for Graham Spanier.
The vote was unanimous, and despite even the likes of Anthony Lubrano voting for the motion, there were audible groans from some sections of the gallery. Those groans were mostly drowned out by a loud ovation from board members and part of the audience.
“I can’t think of a better way to recognize my roots in agriculture and my love for ice cream,” Erickson quipped after the vote.
It was the second notable honor for Erickson during his final Board of Trustees meeting. Earlier, he received a $50,000 bonus on top of $100,000 he was already set to receive as part of his outgoing contract. That vote was also unanimous.
The four-floor, 136,000 square foot Food Science building was dedicated on September 26, 2006. Virtually every Penn Stater since that time has visited its first floor to enjoy ice cream from Penn State’s world-renown Creamery.