College of Education > News and Publications > 2016: 07-09 news > Cornell educator to present annual Nicely Lecture

Cornell educator to present annual Nicely Lecture

Susan H. Murphy, vice president emerita for student and academic services at Cornell University, will deliver the Robert F. Nicely Jr. and Donna C. Nicely Distinguished Scholar in Education Lecture on Friday, Nov. 18. She will present “Creating a Healthy Campus Environment for Students: It takes a Village,” at 4 p.m. in the alumni lounge of the Nittany Lion Inn.

Susan Murphy
Susan H. Murphy, vice president emerita for student and academic services at Cornell University, will present the 2016 Nicely Lecture.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Susan H. Murphy, vice president emerita for student and academic services at Cornell University, will deliver the Robert F. Nicely Jr. and Donna C. Nicely Distinguished Scholar in Education Lecture on Friday, Nov. 18. She will present “Creating a Healthy Campus Environment for Students: It takes a Village,” at 4 p.m. in the alumni lounge of the Nittany Lion Inn.

A lifelong educator, Murphy started her career as a high school guidance counselor before joining the Cornell staff in 1978. Throughout her 37-year tenure with the university, she spent 16 years in admissions and financial aid, including nine years as the dean. In 1994, she was named vice president for student and academic services, a position she held until June 2015.

Under Murphy’s leadership, Cornell saw significant changes in first-year programming and residential and Greek life. It also expanded support programs for racial, ethnic, religious and LGBT communities and saw an increase in civic engagement among students and faculty. As vice president, Murphy oversaw virtually all aspects of student life outside of the classroom, placing a strong emphasis on student health and well-being.

An alumna of Cornell, she received her bachelor’s degree in history in 1973. She went on to obtain two master’s degrees — one from Stanford University and one from Montclair State University — before earning her doctorate in educational administration from Cornell in 1994.

Murphy continues to support students as a member of the Visiting Committee for the Dean of Student Life at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a trustee for Adelphi University. She is a member of the board of directors for Acme United Inc., a publicly traded company, and Kendal at Ithaca, a senior living community located in the Finger Lakes region of New York. She also is an emerita director of the United Way of Tompkins County, New York.

Sponsored by Penn State’s College of Education, the Nicely Lecture is funded by the Robert F. Nicely Jr. and Donna C. Nicely Distinguished Scholar in Education endowment. Established by Robert and Donna Nicely, the endowment enables the College of Education to bring prominent educational scholars and speakers to the University Park campus to give speeches, meet with faculty and lead seminars for students.

Robert Nicely is an associate dean emeritus and professor emeritus in the College of Education. He served on the Dean's Development Council for the Investing in People initiative from 2003 to 2007, and is a past member of the College of Education Alumni Society Board. Donna Nicely also retired from the College of Education, where she was the contracts and proposals specialist.

For more information about the Nicely Lecture, contact Christi Daniels, administrative support coordinator, at cym8@psu.edu.

By Jessica Buterbaugh (Septermber 2016)