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Penn State Honors Eight With Distinguished Alumni Award

The Board of Trustees announced on Friday that eight Penn Staters will receive the university’s highest honor as Distinguished Alumni.

Among the notables were Lara Spencer, who was the Grand Marshal at Penn State’s 2014 Homecoming and is one of the “Good Morning America” hosts on ABC. She has become one of the more famous Penn State alumni in the entertainment industry over the years, and this award only adds to her list of accomplishments.

Joel Myers was another recipient; after receiving his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in meteorology from Penn State, he became the founder, president, and chairman of AccuWeather.

Jesse Arnelle is a former Penn State dual-sport athlete who led the basketball team to the 1954 Final Four, and was the school’s first black student body president He was drafted into the NFL and NBA and after retiring, joined the military before starting a law firm.

The others receiving the award from the university are Kathleen Harris, John Leone, George Santiago, Jr., Richard Silverman, and Thomas Ulmer. They have also represented their fields in an outstanding manner; Harris is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina, Leone is the president and CEO of Bonney Forge, Santiago, Jr. is the president of Briarcliffe College, Silverman is the John Evans Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Molecular Bio-Sciences at Northwestern, and Ulmer is a naval strategist and surface warfare officer for the Navy.

The Penn State Distinguished Alumni Award is given annually to a handful of living Penn State graduates or former students who passed at least one semester and have excelled in their respective fields.

Congratulations to those selected!

About the Author

Matt Coleman

Matt Coleman is a writer for Onward State. His hometown is North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, a little under an hour from Pittsburgh. He is a sophomore majoring in Natural Resource Engineering in Biological Engineering. Please e-mail questions and comments to [email protected] Also, follow him on Twitter @cole_man2.



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