Four to receive Honorary Alumni Award from Penn State Alumni Association

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Four longtime Penn State champions and benefactors will be recognized by the Penn State Alumni Association and receive the Honorary Alumni Award on June 1.

The ceremony also will feature the presentation of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni and Philanthropist of the Year awards.

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.

For more information about the Honorary Alumni Award, visit the Alumni Association's website

M. Elaine Eyster, distinguished professor of medicine and pathology for the Penn State College of Medicine, has spent more than 40 years conducting research, compassionately caring for patients, advocating for research funding, and mentoring peers and trainees. A generation ago, a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS was a grim proposition. Today, the prognosis for those infected with HIV has improved dramatically, and the groundbreaking clinical and research studies conducted by Eyster are one of the reasons why. Eyster joined the faculty at the College of Medicine in 1970 in hematology as one of the first female faculty members. Three years later, she founded the Hemophilia Program, which she still leads today.

Donald C. Graham, chairman of the Graham Group, founded his first company, Graham Engineering, in a farmhouse basement in central Pennsylvania in 1960 with one employee. Graham Engineering grew into The Graham Group, a diversified group of advanced manufacturing companies with leading international positions in packaging machinery, plastics packaging, and architectural window systems, and now also includes the Graham Capital Company, Graham Partners, Inverness Graham Investments, Striker Partners, and Graham Software Development. Graham and his wife, Ingrid, have established The Graham Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies at Penn State York. They are currently funding the construction of a new building on campus. Graham’s engagement with the center’s students is a critical component of The Graham Center’s success.

Peter Hudson is the Verne M. Willaman Professor of Biology and director of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences at Penn State. He also is an adjunct professor at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology in Tanzania. As director, Hudson builds research teams here at Penn State that examine pressing issues of the day. He has worked to make Penn State a leader in infectious disease, genomics, metabolomics, and plant biology. He has brought cutting-edge technology to the University that has allowed faculty and students to take their research to higher levels, and he has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles, three books, three edited books, and 50 popular science articles.

Rosalind E. Sky, a former elementary school teacher and reading specialist, dedicates her life to her community as a volunteer and philanthropist for numerous meaningful organizations. Included are Big Brothers Big Sisters of Blair County, the American Cancer Society, Agudath Achim Congregation, Greater Altoona Jewish Federation, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, and the Blair County Arts Foundation, among others. Sky married her husband, the late Phil Sky, a Penn State alumnus, in 1963. The couple moved to Altoona in 1971, when Phil joined his family’s business, Sky Brothers Inc. Food Distributors. Sky has more than 20 years of experience developing award-winning trade shows for her family’s business, which was sold to the Sara Lee Corp. in 1986.