Committee advances three former trustees for emeritus status

September 17, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Three former members of the Penn State Board of Trustees were recommended for emeritus status at a meeting of the Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning on Sept. 17. The recommendations require the approval of the full board at its Sept. 18 meeting.

The three former trustees — Marianne E. Alexander, Carl T. Shaffer and Linda B. Strumpf — are the first to be considered for the honor since the board voted in July to amend the Standing Orders for granting emeritus status and its associated rights and privileges.

Under the new rules, a trustee must serve for six or more years with distinction to be considered for emeritus status, and the Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning then reviews the service records of eligible trustees and recommends them to the full board for this honor. As was the case under the prior rules, all chairs of the board are automatically named trustee emeritus upon retirement or resignation.

Marianne E. Alexander

Alexander, president emerita of the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) and a 1962 Penn State alumna, was elected to the board by the alumni in 2005 and served until 2014.

Among her many assignments, Alexander served on the Executive Committee of the board, the Trustee Presidential Selection Coouncil, and also chaired the Committee on Campus Environment during her time on the board. She is a past president of the Penn State Alumni Association and served on the Penn State Alumni Council from 1996-2007. Alexander was the founding president of the Penn State Professional Women’s Network in Washington, D.C., and through her work with PLEN, has been instrumental in helping to prepare college women for leadership roles in the public policy arena. In 2005, she was awarded the Liberal Arts Alumni Society’s Service to Penn State Award.

Carl T. Shaffer

Shaffer served on the board for 18 years after being elected by delegates from agricultural societies in 1997. He is the owner and operator of Carl T. Shaffer Farms in Columbia County, and is a past president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, serving in that capacity from 2004-2014.

In addition to his many years of service on the Committee on Finance and Physical Plant, Shaffer was a member of the Executive Committee of the board and served as chair and vice chair of the Committee on Compensation and the Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning, respectively. Active in the agricultural community, Shaffer is a past president of the Columbia County Farm Bureau and the Columbia County Extension Board. He also has served on the Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation.   

Linda B. Strumpf

Strumpf served on the board for 11 years, filling an unexpired term as a representative of industrial societies in 2003 before being elected to the board as a business and industry trustee in 2005.

Strumpf served on both the Executive Committee and the Trustee Presidential Selection Council and her many committee assignments included chairing the Committee on Finance and Physical Plant, and the Subcommittee on Finance. She also has been a member of the Penn State Investment Council and the College of the Liberal Arts Development Council. A 1969 Penn State graduate, Strumpf is the former chief investment officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust and the former vice president and chief investment officer for the Ford Foundation. Strumpf was honored by Penn State as an Alumni Fellow in 1997 and a Distinguished Alumna, the highest honor the University can bestow on its graduates, in 1999. In 2010, Strumpf and her husband, Jonathan, gave $1 million to support initiatives in the College of the Liberal Arts.

Emeritus status is an honorary position granted to former board members. Emeriti trustees draw on their prior experience as trustees to provide counsel as needed, and are invited to participate in University events and activities. Emeriti trustees are invited to attend public meetings of the board and the chair of the board can appoint emeriti trustees to serve as non-voting members on certain standing committees.

Trustee emeritus status lasts for six years, at which time the member retains the title but relinquishes all other rights and privileges of the honor. 

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 18, 2015