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Your Guide To The 2017 Board Of Trustees Alumni Election

The Board of Trustees alumni election is officially underway as alumni can vote until May 4. This year’s race for three open alumni trustee seats includes two of the incumbents — Alice Pope and Bob Jubelirer — and two newcomers — Jay Paterno and Robert Bowsher.

Current trustee Al Lord was originally up for re-election as well, but ultimately decided to drop out of the race after he made controversial comments saying he was “running out of sympathy for 35 yr old, so-called victims with 7-digit net worth,” referring to sex abuse victims of Jerry Sandusky. He later apologized.

Jay Paterno, ’91

Jay Paterno graduated from Penn State in 1991 and currently lives in State College. The son of legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, Jay continued to run for a seat on the Board even when his mother Sue Paterno declined her own nomination. Paterno’s platform focuses on going back to Penn State’s roots — “uniquely enduring and unwavering traditions and values” — and building Penn State on new and revolutionary leadership.

Rob Bowsher, ’86

Rob Bowsher graduated from the College of Business with a B.S. in accounting and now lives in San Diego, California. There are currently no openly LGBTQA trustees and no trustees who live on the West Coast, so Bowsher promises to bring a new level of diversity to the Board. Rather than tuition hikes, he wants to maximize “other revenue sources like the Hershey Medical Center and the online World Campus.” Bowsher also hopes to return the Joe Paterno statue outside Beaver Stadium and repudiate the Freeh Report.

Alice Pope, ’79, ’83g, ’86g

Incumbent Alice Pope is a three-time Penn State alumna, with bachelors (1979), masters (1983), and doctoral (1986) degrees in psychology. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York and has served on the Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee during her tenure on the Board. Pope’s platform focuses on five main goals: Support the university’s academic mission, increase the Board’s transparency, resolve ongoing questions about the Freeh report, reduce the size of the Board, and support the mission and culture of the university.

Bob Jubelirer, ’59, ’62 JD

Incumbent Trustee Bob Jubelirer graduated from Penn State with a degree in history in 1959 and earned his law degree from The Dickinson School of Law in 1962. After serving from 1975-2006 in the Pennsylvania State Senate, Jubelirer’s biggest goal is to advocate for Penn State in the state government to prevent tuition increases for students.


All alumni are eligible to vote in the election (sorry undergrads). Those who have voted in previous alumni trustees elections should have been sent a ballot automatically. If you’re new to BoT alumni elections, you can request a ballot here. As long as you’re eligible, your ballot will be sent within 24 hours. All ballots must be submitted by Thursday, May 4 at 9 a.m.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a senior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.


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