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Penn College Board Chair Retires, New Member Welcomed

Robert E. Dunham, chairman of the Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors since 1997, has retired. Dunham, who oversaw a significant expansion of the college campus and the institution’s continued rise as a leader in public education, handed over the reins Thursday to his successor, Robert A. Secor.

The board also welcomed a new member, Thomas G. Poole, who serves as vice president for administration at The Pennsylvania State University.

From left, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour; Thomas G. Poole, new board member; Robert E. Dunham, retiring board chairman; and Robert A. Secor, new board chairman.
From left, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour; Thomas G. Poole, new board member; Robert E. Dunham, retiring board chairman; and Robert A. Secor, new board chairman.

“Bob Dunham has been a remarkable leader and excellent chairman,” said Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour. “He is fair, open and very knowledgeable. He left his mark on the college and on me personally. Penn College is better for his leadership. He will be missed.”Dunham retired in 1998 after a career of more than 38 years at Penn State, where he rose to the position of senior vice president and dean of the Commonwealth Education System.

During his tenure as board chairman at Penn College, he provided leadership for the design and construction of many new campus facilities including the Student and Administrative Services Center, College Avenue Labs, the Madigan Library, the Center for Business & Workforce Development, Rose Street Commons student housing complex, the Construction Masonry Building, and a new main entrance.

Renovation of many campus facilities, including extensive work at the historic Klump Academic Center, also was completed during his chairmanship.

In April, the Children’s Learning Center at Penn College was named for Dunham and his wife, Maureen, a retired elementary public school teacher who also helped found and administer a nontuition Friendship Tutoring Program for elementary school students in the State College area.

Secor retired as vice provost for academic affairs at Penn State in 2004 after 35 years of service to the university. During his career, he also served as an English professor, literary scholar, chair of the University Faculty Senate and department head. He was honored in 1995 with the McKay Donkin Award for his contributions to the welfare of the faculty at Penn State.

Secor holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Arts from Brown University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Syracuse University.

Poole, who took his seat on the board at today’s meeting, has served as vice president for administration at Penn State since 2009. Previously, he served as associate to the president for administration, associate vice provost for educational equity, director of Penn State’s Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs, director of student activities, and acting director of student unions. He has taught in religious studies and African and African American studies.

He holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Penn State, a Master of Divinity in theology and ethics from Colgate Rochester Divinity School/Crozer Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts in religion and philosophy from Roberts Wesleyan College.

For more about Penn College, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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