College of Education > News and Publications > 2019: 04-06 news > Success through the years: Alumni distinguish themselves in their fields

Success through the years: Alumni distinguish themselves in their fields

The College of Education boasts 35 Distinguished Alumni — outstanding alumni whose “personal lives, professional achievements and community service exemplify the objectives of their alma mater.” The Distinguished Alumni Award, authorized by the Penn State Board of Trustees in 1951, is the highest honor bestowed by Penn State. Following are introductions to some of our Distinguished Alumni.

Portraits of 12 Distinguished Alumni: top row, from left: T.J. Anderson, Harold Cheatham, Jim Harris, Darlene Large. Second row, from left: Eda Machado de Souza, Bonnie Newman, Allan Ostar, George Santiago. Bottom row, from left: Ovid Tzeng, Barbara Weisberger, Roger Williams, Helen Dickerson Wise.The College of Education boasts 35 Distinguished Alumni — outstanding alumni whose “personal lives, professional achievements and community service exemplify the objectives of their alma mater.” The Distinguished Alumni Award, authorized by the Penn State Board of Trustees in 1951, is the highest honor bestowed by Penn State. Following are introductions to some of our Distinguished Alumni.

Thomas J. Anderson Jr. graduated in 1951 with an M.Ed. in music education. He was chairman of the Department of Music at Tufts University, retired in 1990 from Tufts as Austin Fletcher professor of music emeritus, and now composes music full-time. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 1990.

Harold E. Cheatham graduated in 1961 with a B.S. in psychology and history. He is a recognized pioneer in multicultural counseling, a discipline he served greater than four decades throughout society and in education, including Penn State’s College of Education. In 1996, he was named Founding Dean of Clemson’s current College of Social, Behavioral and Health Sciences. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 2012.

James T. Harris graduated in 1988 with a D.Ed. in higher education. Currently president of the University of San Diego, he is nationally recognized for his work in civic engagement. Throughout his academic career, he has worked closely with cross-discipline teams to spearhead new civic and community engagements. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 2013.

Darlene Dintino Large graduated in 1959 with a degree in art education. She founded HOINA in 1971, helping Native American children, Mexican tribal women, leprosy patients, and more than 4,000 East Indian orphaned, abused, abandoned and handicapped children, providing homes, medical care and education. She was named a Distinguished Alumna in 1982.

Eda C.B. Machado de Souza graduated in 1973 (master’s) and 1975 (doctorate). She is founder of IESB University, which has become one of the most respected institutions of higher learning in Brazil. She was named a Distinguished Alumna in 2004.

J. Bonnie Newman graduated in 1969 with an M.Ed. in higher education. She had a prolific career that spans the public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors, retiring as executive dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University. After retirement, she served as interim president of the University of New Hampshire and interim chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire. She was named a Distinguished Alumna in 2008.

Allan W. Ostar graduated in 1948 with a B.A. in psychology. He devoted a long career to advancing higher education, directing the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) from 1965 to 1991. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 1989.

George Santiago Jr. graduated in 1986 with an M.Ed. in education administration, and in 1994 with a Ph.D. in education administration. He has built a successful career in higher education. From his early days in student affairs to the president’s office, his focus has remained on at-risk populations. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 2016.

Ovid J.L. Tzeng graduated in 1973 with a Ph.D. in educational psychology. He is the first Penn Stater to be an elected academician of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan. He also was elected an academician of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and also of The World Academy of Science. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 2011.

Barbara Weisberger graduated in 1945 with a B.S. in education. She began dancing at age 3 and was George Balanchine’s first child student at the School of American Ballet. She founded the Wilkes-Barre Theatre and the Pennsylvania Ballet, and has served as Artistic Adviser for Peabody Preparatory Dance since 2001. She was named a Distinguished Alumna in 1973.

Roger Williams graduated in 1973 with a B.A. in history, in 1975 with an M.A. in journalism and in 1988 with a D.Ed. in higher education. He spent the bulk of his career with Penn State, and retired in 2015 as associate vice president and executive director of the Penn State Alumni Association. He authored “Evan Pugh’s Penn State: America’s Model Agricultural College” (2018) and “The Origins of Federal Support for Higher Education: George W. Atherton and the Land-Grant College Movement” (1991). He was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 2018.

Helen Dickerson Wise graduated in 1949 with a B.A. in education; in 1969 with an M.Ed. in education; and in 1968 with a D.Ed. in secondary education. After a long teaching career she became president of the Pennsylvania and National Education associations. She was a member of the House of Representatives, deputy chief of staff to the governor of Pennsylvania, and a member of the Penn State Board of Trustees. She was named a Distinguished Alumna in 2008.

College of Education Distinguished Alumni

2018 Roger L. Williams, ‘88g
2016 George Santiago Jr., ‘86, ‘94
2013 James T. Harris, ‘88
2012 Harold Cheatham, ‘61
2011 Ovid J.L. Tzeng, ‘73
2009 J. Bonnie Newman, ‘69
2008 *Harry Landis Eberly, ‘45
2004 Eda C.B. Machado de Souza, ‘73, ‘75
2003 C. Kirby Yung, ‘78
2001 John W. Moore, ‘70
2001 Suzie McConnell-Serio, ‘88
1998 *Donald M. Cook, Jr., ‘60g
1997 *Richard E. Grubb ‘71g
1991 Helen Dickerson Wise, ‘49, ‘52, ‘68
1990 T. J. Anderson, Jr., ‘59
1989 Allan W. Ostar, ‘48
1983 *Harriet Wenner McGeehan, ‘30
1982 Darlene Dintino Large, ‘59
1981 Ruth H. Johnson, ‘59
1976 *Gertrude A. Barber, ‘40, ‘45, ‘57
1975 *Gardner E. Lindzey, ‘43, ‘45
1974 *Martha M. Dohner, ‘37
1974 *Lucetta Parker Kennedy, ‘33
1973 Barbara Linshes Weisberger, ‘45
1972 *John Thomas Biggers, ‘48, ‘48, ‘54
1972 *Margaret Bittner Parke, ‘27
1970 *Richard S. Schweiker, ‘50
1968 *Gilbert Nurick, ‘28
1966 *Amos E. Neyhart, ‘34g
1964 *Margaret Mary Mercer, ‘29, ‘34, ‘38
1962 *Barbara M. Troxell, ‘37, ‘39g
1961 *Clara Cockerille, ‘41, ‘51g
1959 *Mary Frear Keeler, ‘24
1957 *John R. Richards, ‘31g
1951 *George D. Stoddard, ‘20
* indicates the alum is deceased