Ben Kline elected president of Penn State’s Uplifting Athletes Chapter

November 21, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Redshirt sophomore linebacker Ben Kline (Seven Valleys) has been elected president of Penn State's Uplifting Athletes chapter and will lead Nittany Lion football student-athletes in 2014.

With a senior-laden group of officers departing after this season, Kline will step in to take the reins of one of the nation’s most successful and recognized student-athlete fundraisers, the Penn State Lift For Life. In his third season at Penn State, Kline has had the opportunity to watch and learn from out-going president Eric Shrive – the 2013 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion.

A two-time Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, Kline was a productive member of the linebacker rotation in 2013 before suffering a season-ending injury (chest) in the Nittany Lions’ contest at Minnesota Nov. 9. Kline was among the squad’s fundraisers for the 2013 Lift For Life, which raised a record total of more than $140,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association last July.

Penn State football teammates joining Kline as 2014 Uplifting Athletes officers are vice president – sophomore running back Deron Thompson (Lititz); secretary – freshman tight end Adam Breneman (Mechanicsburg); director of marketing – sophomore tight end Jesse James (Glassport); compliance manager – sophomore running back Akeel Lynch (Toronto) and director of fundraising – freshman tight end Brent Wilkerson (Clinton, Md.). Former football squad members and current Penn State students Joe Marvin (treasurer) and Bryce Wilson (director of operations) also are among the new officers.

During the 11 years of the Penn State Lift For Life, members of the Nittany Lion football team have raised in excess of $825,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association, including record totals exceeding $100,000 in each of the past three years.

Led by coach Bill O'Brien – the 2012 Bear Bryant, Maxwell Football Club and ESPN Coach of the Year – the Nittany Lions host Nebraska at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on Senior Day. Seventeen Penn State seniors will be introduced to the Beaver Stadium faithful in a pre-game ceremony. The fifth-year seniors have helped Penn State earn 41 on-field wins during their careers.

Tickets for the Nebraska game are available using the Beaver Stadium Interactive Seat Map at, by calling 800-NITTANY (weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.), or by visiting the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The Beaver Stadium ticket office near Gate E will open Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

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Uplifting Athletes is a full-service national nonprofit organization aligning college football with rare diseases and raising them as a national priority through research, outreach, education and advocacy. What makes Uplifting Athletes unique is that the university chapters are run by current football student-athletes, providing them with an opportunity to gain management and leadership skills while learning how to leverage their assets and abilities to make a positive and lasting impact.

Chapters are active at Penn State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Kent State, North Carolina State, Fordham, St. Francis, Notre Dame, Maryland, Illinois, Northwestern, Princeton and Colgate. Each chapter adopts one out of approximately 7,000 rare diseases (such as ALS, aplastic anemia, CMT, cystic fibrosis, Ehlers-Danlos, Ewing's sarcoma, kidney cancer, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Neimann pick type-C, neuroblastoma and pancreatic cancer).

(Media Contacts)

Jeff Nelson

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Last Updated November 21, 2013