Honorary Board Members
- The Honorable Thomas J. Ridge
The Honorable Tom Ridge is the president and CEO of Ridge Global LLC. As the company's chief executive, he leads a team of international experts who help businesses and governments meet a range of strategic and operational needs, including risk management and global trade security, strategic business generation, technology integration, event security, crisis management, campus security and other issues that encompass a diverse portfolio.
Following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Tom Ridge became the first Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and, on January 24, 2003, he became the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. During his tenure, Secretary Ridge worked with more than 180,000-plus employees from a combined 22 agencies to create an agency that facilitated the flow of people and goods, instituted layered security at air, land and seaports, developed a unified national response and recovery plan, protected critical infrastructure, integrated new technology and improved information sharing worldwide. Tom Ridge served as Secretary of this historic and critical endeavor until February 1, 2005.
Before the events of September 11th, Tom Ridge was twice elected Governor of Pennsylvania. He served as the state’s 43rd governor from 1995 to 2001. Governor Ridge's aggressive technology strategy helped fuel the state's advances in economic development, education, health care and the environment.
Born August 26, 1945, Ridge earned a scholarship to Harvard, graduating with honors in 1967. After his first year at The Dickinson School of Law, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as an infantry staff sergeant in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star for Valor, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. After returning to Pennsylvania and to Dickinson, he earned his law degree and, later, became one of the first Vietnam combat veterans elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served six terms.
An engaging and dynamic speaker, Secretary Ridge regularly addresses audiences throughout the world on issues such as security, terrorism, global engagement, leadership, technology and more. Additionally, he serves on public and private boards, including the Institute for Defense Analyses and the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, and is currently the chairman of the National Organization on Disability and national co-chairman of the Flight 93 Memorial Fundraising Campaign.
- Suzanne Pohland Paterno
Sue Paterno has not had a paying job since 1963. Yet despite leaving a teaching career to raise her family, she has not stopped working. A 1962 Arts & Letters graduate of Penn State, Sue has dedicated herself to her family, her University, and her community.
At Penn State, Sue helped establish the Liberal Arts Alumni Society and the Summer Institute for Academic Achievement, a program that offers underrepresented students additional preparation for college-level work. She served as a member of the University's National Development Council, chaired the Libraries Advisory Board, and was a volunteer for the Grand Destiny Campaign for both the College of the Liberal Arts and the University Libraries. In addition, she was the honorary co-chair of the Alumni Association's first-ever National Service Week, the largest community service effort ever undertaken by an alumni association. In 1995, the University recognized her service to Penn State by awarding her with the Lion's Paw. And in 1996, it named her the Renaissance Woman of the Year.
She currently sits on the University's Leadership Gifts Committee and the National Council for Penn State Philanthropy.
Sue's commitment to public service extends beyond her alma mater. In 1989, she began working with the Pennsylvania Special Olympics, co-chairing the opening and closing ceremonies of the summer games and joining its board in 1991. Sue remains involved with the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games, held each June on the University Park campus. She also helps organize a 5k run held at Penn State's Beaver Stadium each spring. In 2008, Sue and her late-husband, former Penn State football head coach Joe Paterno, were inducted into the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.
She has also served as chair of the United Way and honorary co-chair for its "Day of Caring." Sue ia an active member of the Penn State Catholic Community. In 2009, the Paternos were honored for their support of the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association with a Lifetime of Achievement recognition.
In addition to her time, Sue joined her husband in committing resources to the University. In 1998, they pledged $3.5 million to endow faculty positions and scholarships as well as to support two building projects - a new interfaith spiritual center and the Penn State All-Sports Museum. Additionally, a $6.5 million catholic student faith center opened in 2012 bears her name.
She and her husband have raised five children, all Penn State graduates and have 17 grandchildren.
- Joseph Paterno (1926 - 2012)
A local and national icon, legendary Penn State football head coach Joe Paterno spent his life dedicated to enriching the lives of those around him. Paterno served as Penn State's head coach from 1966 to 2011, amassing a record 409 victories prior to NCAA sanctions placed on the program. Paterno passionately served the Penn State football program and university with principle, distinction and success with honor. On the gridiron, he led Penn State to a pair of national championships, five undefeated seasons and coached the program's lone Heisman Trophy winner. He was honored for his success with five AFCA Coach of the Year awards, Sports Illustrated's 1986 Sportsman of the Year designation and induction into the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
In an exception display of generosity and affection for Penn State, Paterno, his wife, Sue, and their five children have contributed more than $4 million to the University. In 1998 the family announced a $3.5 million contribution to endow faculty positions and scholarships as well as to support two building projects. At the time, Penn State Vice President for Development Rod Kirsch called it "the most generous donation ever made by a collegiate coach and his family to a university." Paterno also played a key role in raising funds for the expansion of the university library, which now bears the family's name.
Paterno was also heavily involved with the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games, held each June on the University Park campus. In May 2008, Joe and his wife were inducted into the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his wife, five children and 17 grandchildren.
- John Riley
Mr. John Riley was honored by the Wildlife For Everyone Foundation as its first Lifetime Honorary Board Member on Thursday, September 25, 2014. A resident of Scotrun, PA, he is the founder of Riley and Company, Inc. Riley is a graduate of Eastern University with over 40 years of experience as a certified public accountant. He opened the first offices of Riley and Company, Inc. in 1969 in Mount Pocono, PA and later added a second office in Stroudsburg, PA. Riley used his financial background to help found the Wildlife For Everyone Foundation in 2004 and served as the organization's treasurer during its early years and proudly served on the board of directors since its inception.
Riley has spent much of his life dedicated to helping others, including wildlife and its habitat. He was honored in 1990 by PICPA with its distinguished public service award for the state of Pennsylvania. He is also a past citizen of the year of both the Mount Pocono and Monroe County Chambers of Commerce. In addition to Wildlife For Everyone Foundation, Riley served as president of the state Federation of Sportsmen Clubs and Pennsylvania Game Commission, treasurer of the Eastern Monroe Public Library and on the board of directors of the Kettle Creek Endowment Foundation and the Affordable Housing Board. He was honored by the Boy Scouts of America, Minsi Trails Council with its executive award.