Eight selected to receive Distinguished Alumni Awards in 2016

HERSHEY, Pa. — Eight Penn State alumni have been selected to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, the University's highest award for an individual. The Penn State Board of Trustees on Feb. 26 announced that the following individuals will be contacted regarding official notification of their selection:

  • H. Jesse Arnelle, of San Francisco, is a retired senior partner in the law firm of Arnelle, Hastie, McGee, Willis & Greene; and retired counsel of Womble, Carlye, Sandridge & Rice. He earned his bachelor's degree in political science (1955) from the College of the Liberal Arts; and his juris doctorate and honorary doctor of laws degree (1962; 1995) from Penn State Dickinson Law.
  • Kathleen Mullan Harris is the James E. Haar Distinguished Professor of Sociology and adjunct professor of public policy, Department of Sociology, and director, National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health Carolina Population Center, at the University of North Carolina. She earned her bachelor’s degree in general arts and sciences (1972) from the College of the Liberal Arts, and resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  
  • John A. Leone resides in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he is the president and CEO of Bonney Forge, a leading international manufacturer of industrial forged steel valves, cast steel valves, forged steel fittings, unions and branch connections. Leone earned his bachelor's degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering (1956) from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. 
  • Joel N. Myers resides in State College where he is the president and chairman of the board of AccuWeather, a company that provides commercial weather forecasting services and products and services to more than 175,000 customers in media, utilities, highway departments, school districts, agriculture, boaters, hotels, construction, golf tournaments and emergency management agencies. Myers earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in meteorology (1961; 1963; 1971) from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.
  • George Santiago Jr. is the president of Briarcliffe College, a higher education career school with two campuses in New York. Santiago earned both his master’s and doctoral degrees in educational administration (1986; 1994) from the College of Education, and resides in Bethpage, New York.
  • Richard B. Silverman is the John Evans Professor of Chemistry and professor of molecular bio-sciences at Northwestern University. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry (1968) from the Eberly College of Science and resides in Winnetka, Illinois. 
  • Lara Spencer, of Riverside, Connecticut, is a co-host of ABC TV’s "Good Morning America." She earned her bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism (1991) from the College of Communications.
  • Thomas A. Ulmer, is the former commanding officer of the U.S.S. Fort McHenry, and current naval strategist and surface warfare officer for the U.S. Navy at the Pentagon.  He received his bachelor's degree in administration of justice (1996) from the College of the Liberal Arts and resides in Jacksonville, Florida.
Last Updated March 14, 2016