Eight will receive Distinguished Alumni Awards in 2020

December 09, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Eight Penn State alumni selected by the Penn State Board of Trustees will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, which is the University's highest honor presented to its alumni. The following individuals have been officially notified of their selection by the Board and are invited to accept the award from the University in 2020.

  • Deborah Birx, M.D. is the U.S. global AIDS coordinator and U.S. special representative for Global Health Diplomacy. She earned her M.D. from the Penn State College of Medicine (1980).
  • James P. Bradley, M.D., is an orthopaedic surgeon with Burke and Bradley Orthopaedic Associates, UPMC Health System; and the director of Sports Medicine for UPMC—St. Margaret Memorial Hospital. He earned his B.S. in science from the Eberly College of Science in 1975.
  • Jerome S. Griffith is the CEO of Lands’ End. He earned his B.S. in marketing from the Smeal College of Business in 1979.
  • The Honorable Tanya R. Kennedy is a New York State Supreme Justice.  She earned her B.A. in advertising from the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications in 1989.
  • Sen. Thomas H. Killion represents the 9th District (Chester and Delaware Counties) in the Pennsylvania Senate. He earned his B.S. in administration of justice from the College of the Liberal Arts in 1979.
  • The Honorable Paul W. Semmel is the owner of Excelsior Dairy Farm and is a retired legislator for the 187th District of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  He earned his B.S. in agricultural education from the College of Agricultural Sciences in 1961.
  • Richard S. Sokolov is the director and vice chairman for Simon Property Group, Inc., and the campaign chair for A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.  He earned his B.A. in psychology from the College of the Liberal Arts in 1971.
  • Linda Yaccarino is the chairman of advertising and partnerships for NBCUniversal. She earned her B.A. in telecommunications from the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications in 1985.
Last Updated December 19, 2019