Graduate exhibition and doctoral alumni reunion set for March 26 to 28

University Park, Pa. -- Each year, Penn State alumni who received their doctorates 25 and 50 years ago are invited to return to the University Park campus for the annual Graduate Exhibition and to be recognized at a special ceremony for achieving this noteworthy milestone. The ceremony pays tribute to these dedicated and accomplished individuals and takes place in the lobby of Kern Graduate Building, where, on a wall of honor, the names of more than 1,000 Penn State alumni who have reached the 50-year mark of receiving their doctorates are displayed.

This year, the names of the doctoral class of 1960 will be added and the wall of honor ceremony will take place at noon in the lobby of Kern Building on Saturday, March 27. Speaking at the ceremony will be Penn State President Graham Spanier; president of the Penn State Alumni Association, Barry M. Simpson; and the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school, Henry C. Foley.

The Penn State Alumni Association is proud to co-sponsor this special ceremony.

“The wall of honor is especially moving to alumni celebrating their 25th and 50th milestones since receiving their doctorates from Penn State. To be recognized by your alma mater and have your name displayed on campus is especially moving. Beyond the individual meaning, the wall is also a visual reminder and inspiration to today’s students, both undergraduate and graduate, that they are part of a long line of Penn Staters who have come before them and gone on to achieve great recognition in their chosen fields,” said Roger Williams, executive director of the Penn State Alumni Association.

The wall of honor ceremony is just one of the many events planned for the weekend. The graduate exhibition, a showcase of musical and theatrical performances, cutting-edge research and visual arts presented by Penn State's graduate students, will open on Friday, March 26, with the performances at 7 p.m. in The State Theatre, located in downtown State College. The event, co-sponsored by the Graduate Student Association, is free and open to the public.

On Sunday, March 28, nearly 250 graduate students will present their research in the Alumni and Heritage Halls at the HUB-Robeson Center and 11 students, for whom creating studio work is a required part of their degree program, will present their art in the HUB Gallery. All students will be speaking about their scholarly work in terms familiar to a general audience.

Also on Sunday, Terry Engelder, professor of geosciences at Penn State and leading expert on the Marcellus shale, will present “A Brief History of the Marcellus Shale Gas: A 1940 Blowout, a 1959 Sputnik-era Science Fair, and the Jan. 17, 2008 Penn State Press Release.” The presentation will take place at 3 p.m. in the HUB-Robeson Center auditorium. Sunday’s events are open to the public starting at noon.

Other notable events include:

  • A special Research Unplugged conversation on “The Art and Science of Glass” with Carlo G. Pantano, distinguished professor of materials science and engineering and director of Penn State's Materials Research Institute;
  • A presentation on the “Smart Spaces Center: Holistic Research for Successful Aging in the Community" by Richard A. Behr, Charles and Elinor Matts professor of architectural engineering and founding director of the Penn State Smart Spaces Center; and
  • A presentation and demonstration on ethanol production, a glassblowing demonstration, and a tour of the human electrophysiology and the MRI facilities.

For more information about the doctoral alumni reunion contact Simon Corby, director of development in research and the graduate school at 814-863-6311 or, or Marilyn Engle, director of the graduate school's Office of Alumni and Public Relations, at (814) 863-8117 or

For more information about the graduate exhibition, visit or call (814) 865-2516.

Last Updated March 18, 2010