Penn State Beaver community honors Chancellor Gary Keefer at retirement dinner

More than 160 members of the campus and community honored Penn State Beaver Chancellor Gary B. Keefer at his retirement dinner held Thursday, May 1, in the Student Union Building Lodge. Keefer will retire June 30 after 18 years of service to the University.

Keefer came to Beaver campus as director of academic affairs in 1996. He was named interim campus executive officer (CEO) in 1997 and was appointed CEO in 1998. Penn State changed the CEO title to chancellor in 2005.

The evening featured remarks delivered by Penn State President Rodney Erickson; Madlyn Hanes, vice president for Commonwealth Campuses, who also served as mistress of ceremonies; Donna Kuga, Beaver campus director of academic affairs; and John Feraco, president, Penn State Beaver Advisory Board and styrenics manufacturing and technology leader, NOVA Chemicals. Other speakers included Luke Taiclet, director of finance and business; Dan Pinchot, director of enrollment; Chris Rizzo, director of student affairs; Leo Takahashi, assistant professor of physics; Senator Elder Vogel Jr.; Representative Jim Marshall; Beaver County Commissioner Chairman Tony Amadio; Beaver County Commissioners Dennis Nichols and Joe Spanik; Roseann Simoni, Board of Directors, Beaver Valley Area Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association; and Amanda Palombo, Beaver campus senior communications major and secretary of the Student Government Association.

On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students, Kuga presented Keefer with a traditional Penn State Nittany Lion statue with an engraved inscription and a cash gift, which he donated to the Chancellor Gary B. Keefer Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship was established last fall in honor of his tenure as the longest serving chancellor in Beaver campus history.

Hanes announced that the Commonwealth Campus chancellors honored Keefer with a gift to his scholarship, and Simoni presented him with a cash gift for his scholarship as well as a plaque.

On behalf of the student body, Palombo gave Keefer a photo of the latest cover of the student newspaper, The Roar, which featured Keefer. The matting surrounding the photo was signed by hundreds of students, staff and faculty.

Gary Keefer1

Student Government Association officers Bryan Magee, left, Nick Masci, and Amanda Palombo present Chancellor Keefer with a signed print of the cover of The Roar, the campus’s student newspaper. The newspaper featured an article and editorial on Keefer’s tenure at Penn State Beaver.

Image: Cathy Benscoter

Vogel, Marshall, and the commissioners presented Keefer with proclamations from the Pennsylvania Senate, House, and Beaver County, respectively. Keefer, who presented his remarks at the close of the evening, was joined by his wife, Paula; son Brian and his fiancé, Pattie Kim; son Aaron and his wife, Tina; his brother, Ron; his parents, Jim and Jean Keefer; members of his wife’s family, and special family friends. Kuga, who was originally scheduled to retire June 30, will remain as Beaver’s interim chancellor through December 2014.

For additional photos of the event, go to

Keefer can be contacted at or 724-773-3556. Correspondence can be mailed to him at Penn State Beaver, 201 Ross Administration Building, 100 University Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2764. To make a donation to the Keefer Endowed Scholarship, contact Diana Patterson, director of development, at or 724-773-3558.

Last Updated January 10, 2015