Anthony Lubrano Strives To Make Penn State The ‘Gold Standard’ In Board Of Trustees Reelection Campaign

Anthony Lubrano is no stranger to Penn State’s Board of Trustees. Since Lubrano first took a seat on the board in 2012, he’s had a hand in Penn State’s decisions in nine of the following 11 years.

Lubrano has a long history with Penn State. He’s a member of the Class of 1982 and a former member of the Penn State baseball team. Lubrano is also half of the namesake of Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, the baseball program’s home ballpark.

After Lubrano left Penn State, he used his bachelor’s degree in accounting to land a job at Deloitte Haskins & Sells before leaving for Goldman Sachs and then First Boston Corporation. After leaving First Boston Corporation, he founded A.P. Lubrano & Company, a wealth management firm. Under Lubrano’s management, the firm serves 40,000 clients and manages more than $1.5 billion in assets.

Lubrano was consistently involved with the Penn State community after his graduation. He’s a long-time member of the Alumni Association and the Penn State Nittany Lion Club and worked with Penn State Athletics during the seven-year Grand Destiny fundraising campaign.

When Lubrano first joined the Board of Trustees 11 years ago, Penn State was dealing with the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal and the firing of former head football coach Joe Paterno. Before Penn State fired Paterno, Lubrano had little interest in getting involved in university administration. But a protest from late Penn State football player Franco Harris ultimately changed his mind.

“When I watched [Paterno’s] firing on television, I was beside myself. And shortly thereafter, I watched a gentleman who would become a dear friend, Franco Harris, stand in front of a mob of television reporters and defend the university and defend Joe Paterno,” Lubrano said. “And I thought to myself… there must be something I can do to help him and the Penn State community.”

When Lubrano joined the Board of Trustees in 2012, he took it upon himself to investigate Penn State’s actions that led to the firing of Paterno. After several years of personal investigation, Lubrano determined that the Board of Trustees had failed in its response to the Sandusky scandal. Lubrano still feels that there are issues within the group that need to be resolved.

“I sit today wanting to be reelected because I am completely convinced that among other things, our governance needs to be improved radically,” Lubrano said.

As he did more than a decade ago, Lubrano is also arguing for Penn State to better recognize the impact that Paterno had on the university. Lubrano believes it’s beyond time for Penn State to honor Paterno and his wife, Sue.

“For us as a community to heal and move forward, we need to address that which continues to ail us. And there are still a few legacy matters that we are going to address,” Lubrano said. “We need to acknowledge Sue and Joe Paterno in a meaningful way.”

However, the forefront of Lubrano’s reelection campaign isn’t based on Paterno’s legacy or problems with the board. Instead, he’s focused on issues with the price of Penn State’s tuition.

Lubrano attended Penn State because it was an affordable option for his family. He wants modern students to have the same opportunity, which he believes is disappearing with rising tuition costs.

“I have, from day one, decried the fact that we have failed in our land-grant mission to provide an accessible, affordable education for Pennsylvanians,” Lubrano said. “I have voted against every suggested increase in tuition.”

Despite Lubrano’s best attempts at keeping tuition low, his efforts are often in vain. In the time since he first joined the board, Penn State’s tuition has increased by nearly $3,000 for in-state students.

Currently, Penn State is dealing with an impressive budget deficit. In a memo sent to university leaders in February 2023, President Neeli Bendapudi said that the school is operating at a $140 million loss. Tuition increases are meant to combat the problem, though Lubrano feels that cutting the school’s budget is a better alternative to placing the school’s financial problems on students.

“My instinct has always said that there’s room for us to save money,” Lubrano said. “And I think we need to step away from that siloed approach and begin to centralize our efforts in an effort to reduce some of our overhead.”

Even Lubrano’s philosophy on managing finances trickles back to Paterno as well. Lubrano believes that giving Penn State’s former head coach the acknowledgment that he deserves could bring a lot of donors back to the school and give the university an influx of cash.

“I will tell you that if we do it, it’ll impact philanthropy. And to me, philanthropy is the lifeline through which your institutions prosper and succeed,” Lubrano said. “By recognizing the contributions of Joe and Sue [Paterno] in a meaningful way… I think it will bring a lot of folks back into the fold and it’ll help them heal. And I think that’s really what matters most.”

Lubrano recently made headlines when former Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti alleged that he and Jay Paterno were holding back Penn State’s NIL efforts from within the Board of Trustees. Mauti and fellow former Penn State linebacker Brandon Short have also endorsed Lubrano’s competition in the board races.

However, Lubrano doesn’t feel that NIL is an issue that the board could tackle, even if it wanted to. Lubrano says that he doesn’t discourage anyone from contributing to an NIL collective, but he also doesn’t feel that he can change much with his power as a board member.

“That’s not even a trustee issue… The people who are raising that are trying to muddy the waters,” Lubrano said. “It’s not anything that we will ever vote on.”

Should he be reelected to the board, Lubrano has high hopes for where Penn State should be. The university shouldn’t be following the lead of other schools, he said. It should be the leader.

Now, Lubrano feels that the school has a chance to do that. He feels that Bendapudi, along with Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Pat Kraft, is pointing the university in the right direction.

Lubrano has high hopes for the future of Penn State. He believes that it’s time for the Board of Trustees to make Penn State the best school that it can be, and the university should challenge itself to be the archetype for success in higher education.

“I want Penn State to be the gold standard,” Lubrano said. “We too often like to benchmark ourselves against other people. I’d like for us to get to a point where everybody else is benchmarking themselves against us.”

Voting for this year’s trustee election will close on May 4. Eligible alumni can request ballots through this online form.

Editor’s note: Lubrano‘s interview is one of a multi-part series that aims to feature alumni running for open seats on the Board of Trustees. Onward State does not, and will not, endorse any candidate(s) in this election. Check out our site to read more about the seven remaining candidates vying for spots on the board throughout this year’s election cycle.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a senior journalism major at Penn State and Onward State's managing editor. He writes about everything Penn State, especially its 10-2 football team. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. For dumb stuff, follow him on Twitter (iamjoelister). For serious stuff, email him ([email protected]).

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