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Brock, Byerly, Erickson, McKinney Named Honorary Alumni

Brock, Byerly, Erickson, McKinney Named Honorary Alumni

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (June 4, 2010)—Four longtime Penn State champions and benefactors were recognized by the Penn State Alumni Association and named honorary alumni at a ceremony today at The Nittany Lion Inn.

Officially recognized for their significant contributions to Penn State’s welfare, reputation and prestige were: J. Charles Brock of Erie, Pa.; James C. Byerly of Camp Hill, Pa.; Rodney A. Erickson of State College, Pa.; and J. Bruce McKinney of Hershey, Pa. These four new Penn State alumni were also inducted into the Penn State Alumni Association at today’s ceremony, which also featured the presentation of the 2010 Distinguished Alumni and Philanthropist of the Year Awards.

“Because of their strong commitment and dedication to Penn State, people often assume these four men must be graduates of the University,” said Alumni Association President Barry M. Simpson ’69. “Today, it is my privilege to officially welcome them to our ranks as very deserving honorary alumni.”

The Penn State Alumni Association has given the Honorary Alumni Award since 1973 to recognize individuals who, while not graduates of Penn State, have significantly worked toward bettering the University. Since the award was established, nearly 100 individuals have been given Honorary Alumni status. Honorary Alumni receive a life membership in the Penn State Alumni Association, as well as a commemorative award. More information about the Honorary Alumni Award is at

This year's honorees are:

J. Charles Brock
After 35 years at Oxford University in England, Rev. J. Charles Brock returned home to Erie, Pa., where he’s made his mark at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College and beyond. Brock founded the Institute on The American Dream at Penn State Behrend in 2001 and continues to serve as the Institute’s director. The Institute’s mission is to organize academic and community programs examining The American Dream through literature, sociology, race and economics while trying to establish a vision for the future. He also teaches religion courses on campus and is a founding board member of the Young People’s Chorus of Erie.

James C. Byerly
For more than 20 years Jim Byerly has given generously of his time and talents to help Penn State students and administrators. As a new member of Penn State Harrisburg’s Board of Advisors in 1999, he led the effort to endow the Board of Advisor’s Scholarship, which has helped more than 30 students to date. Byerly remains active on the advisory board, having served as vice president and president and chair of the college affairs standing committee. Byerly was also instrumental in providing the new baseball facility at the Harrisburg campus.

Rodney A. Erickson
Since 1999, Rod Erickson has served as executive vice president and provost of Penn State. He serves as the University’s chief executive officer in the president’s absence and oversees resident instruction, research, outreach education and the general welfare of the faculty and students. With 17 deans, five vice provosts, two vice presidents, and various directors and staff reporting directly to him, Erickson’s responsibilities are broadly based and never without challenges. Quality and excellence have been consistent themes during Erickson’s tenure and improving the academic stature of the university and enhancing the success of students has been his overriding “cause” as provost.

J. Bruce McKinney
For nearly a decade, J. Bruce McKinney has contributed his considerable business acumen and leadership to the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Board of Directors. Since joining the board in 2001, McKinney has served on the finance committee and chaired the committee on compensation for eight years, a post he just recently relinquished. He also served on the Penn State Children’s Hospital Campaign Committee. McKinney graduated from the Milton S. Hershey School and spent most of his career with Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, rising to president, CEO, and chairman of the board before retiring in 2000.

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