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Penn State 2011 Distinguished Alumni Awards

Seven Penn State alumni were selected to receive Distinguished Alumni Awards, the highest award given by the university. In an unfortunate surprise, I did not make the cut this year, but here’s who did.

John D. Gearhart (Class of 1964, College of Agricultural Sciences)

  • A founding member of the International Society for Stem Cell Research
  • Director of Insititute for Regenerative Medicine at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • “A leader in the development and use of human reproductive technologies, embryo and germ cell manipulations and in the genetic engineering of cells” according to his UPenn profile.
  • 2007 Penn State University (Behrend Campus) Philanthropist of the Year

Edward P. Junker (Class of 1959, College of Health and Human Development)

  • Retired Chairman and CEO of PNC Bank
  • Former President of the Pennsylvania Bankers Association
  • Former chairman of the board of directors of The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (2000-2009)
  • One of the original five members of the Big Ten Network Board of Directors

George T. Richards (Class of 1954, College of Liberal Arts)

  • Managing director of Richards Associates (no, not this one)
  • Founded Vitex Packaging, formerly a leading supplier to the tea industry in the U.S.
  • Former president of the Tea Association of the U.S.A.

Sara Campbell Rockwell (Class of 1965, Eberly College of Science)

  • Professor of therapeutic radiology and pharmacology and associate dean for Scientific Affairs at the Yale University School of Medicine
  • Received her B.S. in Physics in from Penn State in 1965 and her Ph.D. in Biophysics from Stanford in 1971
  • Laboratory research focuses on studying the unphysiological microenvironments of cells within solid tumors, with the goal of improving the treatment of cancer

Richard C. J. Somerville (Class of 1961, College of Earth & Mineral Sciences)

  • Professor with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego
  • A “Coordinating Lead Author” for the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

John K. Tsui (Class of 1960, Smeal College of Business)

  • Chairman of Towne Development of Hawaii
  • Founded PACT (Pacific Americas Commerce & Technology)
  • Has also been management at Marriot Hotel Corporation, Sheraton Hotel in the Pacific, Landauer Associates and Bankers Trust Company

Ovid J. L. Tzeng (Class of 1973, College of Education)

  • Minister without Portfolio, Executive Yuan of the Republic of China (Taiwan)
  • Former Minister of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of China
  • “A leading pioneer in cognitive neuroscientific studies of the Chinese language” according to Academic Sinica News

About the Author

John Tecce

John is a senior in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Marketing. He currently serves as the President of the Paternoville Coordination Committee and as a THON Chair for Nittany Nation. He tweets a lot.


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