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2012 Grad Patrick Howley Enters Board Of Trustees Race

Looking at the list of the 39 candidates running for alumni positions on the Penn State Board of Trustees, one name sticks out — mostly because of the graduation date accompanying that name. Patrick Howley (far right) graduated from Penn State this past May, only a short 10 months ago.

Howley isn’t your average Board of Trustees candidate, not only because of his young age, although that certainly does set him apart.  Of course, student trustee Pete Khoury is just that — a student. Otherwise, the youngest alumni member of the board is 2005 graduate Adam Taliaferro.  However Howley feels that this is something that needs to change.

Howley is from Cranberry Township, Pa. and graduated from Seneca Valley High School in 2007. After graduation he started at a local community college to save some money. After a semester, he decided that community college was not the place for him and he enrolled at Penn State Behrend. He then took some time off from school to participate in the Disney Program and spend time interning with Marriot Hotels. After these experiences, he returned to Penn State Behrend in 2009 for the spring semester. Howley spent the next three years at Penn State University Park.

Howley’s unique student perspective on the past year and a half of Penn State history certainly sets him apart from the other 38 candidates. After considering the current demographics of the board, and some urging from his friends, Howley decided to embark on a campaign.

When asked why he is running Howley said “a lot of it stemmed from seeing the general reaction to the Board of Trustees and how people felt towards the Board.”

He comes from a background that he feels is very relevant to his ultimate goal of serving as a Board member. After serving as a THON committee member his junior year, a Hospitality Captain his senior year, and Supply Logistics Overall his super senior year, Howley has had plenty of leadership experience.

In addition to his work with THON, Howley also worked full time while at Penn State. Rising tuition costs are one thing that Howley feels he will be able to empathize with current students the most with. Having to work to avoid mounds of debt, he feels that this is something that many young alumni can relate to.

His focus for his campaign is based upon three pillars:

1. Put the focus back on the students and alumni in an effort to move the University forward.

2. Represent a growing number of young alumni.

3. Give the Board perspective from someone paying student loans in today’s economy in an effort to put more focus on student aid and lowering tuition costs.

Howley hopes to bring the perspective of someone who attended Penn State in the midst of the Sandusky scandal to the Board. He also hopes to encourage the Board and the Penn State community as a whole to move forward and be less backwards thinking — more proactive and less reactive.

When asked how he feels his young age will affect his running, Howley says that he can only see positive results. He has already taken advantage of various social media platforms to promote campaign. Although he admits that he doesn’t have the experience some of the long time Board members have, Howley knows that his different style and outlook will make him stand out.

“My style will be a lot different, it will be less about billboards, fundraising, or spending and more about grassroots through social media, email, and word of mouth.”

For a look at rest of the 39 total BOT candidates, read Onward State’s original story here.

About the Author

Mara Kern

Mara is a senior majoring in public relations with a minor in business. She is from Cranberry Twp., PA and enjoys blogging, cats, tweeting, and not wanting to graduate.


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