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, less than 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.
Rev. Charles Brock, '10H
Director and founder of the Institute on the American Dream at Penn State Behrend and senior research associate in religious studies in the college’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Rev. Charles Brock received the Penn State Alumni Association’s Honorary Alumnus Award on June 4, 2010.
Before joining Penn State Behrend in 1999, Brock spent 35 years as a teacher and chaplain at Mansfield College, Oxford University in England, and currently is an emeritus fellow at Oxford.
Within the Penn State Behrend community, Brock lectures on religion in a variety of courses, including Comparative Religion, Religion in American Life and Thought, and Introduction to Islam. In 2000, he founded the college’s Institute on the American Dream at Penn State Behrend 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.
In addition, Brock is an advisory board member of CORE, The Susan Hirt Hagen Youth Research Center and co-vice chair and founding board member of the Young People’s Chorus of Erie. CORE and YPC Erie are major outreach initiatives of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Kay Hardesty Logan ’99H
Philanthropist and arts advocate Kay Logan received the Honorary Alumna degree in 1999 from Penn State. Logan established Music at Noon: The Logan Series, an innovative program that provides world-class chamber music in an informal, intimate atmosphere to diverse audiences. Logan, formerly of Warren, founded the noontime chamber concert series at the college in 1989.
Logan was principal flutist with the Columbus Symphony for 20 years. Her desire to present world-class chamber music in an informal, non-intimidating setting honors her late husband, Harry A. Logan Jr. Harry was an ardent advocate for bringing arts and other cultural enrichments to northwestern Pennsylvania when the couple resided in Warren, where he was CEO of United Refining Co. Kay Logan is affiliated with several national arts education projects and is a former trustee of Chautauqua Institution.
Logan also purchased and refurbished the Logan House in 1991 to be used for programming and events centered on the college’s students, including etiquette dinners, guest speakers, and student organization meetings and inductions. The 6,700-square-foot house was built in 1928 for Elisha Mack Jr., founder of the Erie Dry Goods Company, which later became the Boston Store.
The Logan Series’ unique musical outreach has been honored with an Adventurous Programming Award by Chamber Music America and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. After initial funding from the Harry A. Logan Foundation in 1990, Kay Logan has been funding the series. In addition, it receives funding from the Penn State Behrend Student Activity Fee, Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts and the Erie Arts Endowment of ArtsErie.
Paul C. “Hoop” Roche ’96H
Hoop Roche received the Honorary Alumnus honor in 1996 because of his philanthropy and leadership in all areas of Penn State Behrend, including the Plastics Engineering Technology Program, the Engineering Lab Complex, and scholarship support for our students. Roche served as vice chair of the Penn State Behrend Grand Destiny Campaign. In addition to fundraising, he volunteered countless hours of his time on Behrend advisory boards and serving as the Chair of Behrend’s Council of Fellows and on the Council’s Board of Directors. Roche’s generosity has been overwhelming and his leadership has been extraordinary.
Roche co-chaired the Penn State Behrend Plastics Program fund drive in 1984, helping to create our Plastics Engineering Technology Program. This program has grown into one of four nationally accredited plastics program, with more than 500 graduates.
After the Plastics Engineering Technology Program was created, in 1992 Roche again volunteered his leadership as the chair of the Penn State Behrend Plastics Lab Complex fund drive. He and his former company, Erie Plastics, were major contributors. The former Engineering Complex has been used by engineering majors regardless of their major and now housing our School of Science and Nursing Program. By leading the engineering complex campaign, Roche created a whole related capability at Behrend.