37,500 Penn State alumni vote for board members

Posted: May 05, 2012

More than 37,500 Pennsylvania State University alumni — by far a record — voted in the election for three open alumni seats on the board of trustees, with the winners scheduled to be announced at a trustees meeting Friday afternoon.

The race was so contentious and closely monitored that the board hired an independent auditing firm, KPMG, to handle the election and its results.

Online voting closed Thursday morning, with about 20 percent of the more than 190,000 eligible alumni taking part. Penn State officials were mum on the winners, and candidates contacted said they had not heard.

More than 80 candidates, from near and far and in a variety of professions, vied for the seats in an election that had everything from news conferences to television ads and billboards. Competition soared as a consequence of the child sex-abuse scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. His indictment last year led to the university’s subsequent firing of iconic football coach Joe Paterno and the forced resignation of university president Graham B. Spanier.

Anthony P. Lubrano, a 1982 graduate, is considered a front-runner in the election and spent an unheard-of $25,000 on a TV ad campaign that aired in central Pennsylvania. A wealthy donor from Glenmoore, Chester County, he has been outspoken against the coach’s firing.

Only one of three incumbents, Anne Riley, a retired State College high school English teacher, sought reelection.

Winners will take their seats on the 32-member board by July 1.

Selections for the six other open seats also will be released at the meeting.

The governor will appoint two — the seats now held by Michael DiBerardinis, a deputy mayor in Philadelphia, and Alvin H. Clemens, chief executive officer of Provident American, a health insurance company based in Norristown, are up for appointment.

State agricultural groups got to elect two. They reappointed Carl T. Shaffer of Mifflinville, and elected Donald Cotner of Danville.

Two others will be from business and industry and are selected by a panel of trustees. The seats of Kenneth Frazier, president and CEO of Merck & Co., and Edward R. Hintz Jr., president of Hintz Capital Management, are up for election.

Contact Susan Snyder at 215-854-4693 or ssnyder@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @ssnyderinq.

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