Greater Allegheny hosted 2nd annual Scholarship & Distinguished Alumni Awards

men and women standing holding trophy smiling

Penn State Greater Allegheny Distinguished Alumni and Volunteer honorees accepted their awards at the second celebration of scholarship and distinguished alumni awards, held in the Duquesne Club in downtown Pittsburgh. From left are James E. Minarik, Megan Minarik, John Traina, Nancy Traina, Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Jacqueline Edmondson, Wade T. Lipscomb II and Regis W. Becker.  

Credit: Penn State

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Penn State Greater Allegheny hosted its second celebration of Scholarship and Distinguished Alumni Awards on March 23, at the Duquesne Club in downtown Pittsburgh. Penn State Greater Allegheny presented three awards (Distinguished Alumni, Distinguished GOLD Alumni and the Traina Award) which are the highest honors given to Penn State Greater Allegheny alumni and volunteers. 

“We’re here to celebrate philanthropy and to celebrate the distinguished works of Regis Becker, Wade Lipscomb, James Minarik, and Nancy and John Traina,” said Jacqueline Edmondson, chancellor and chief academic officer at Greater Allegheny. 

As the awards ceremony began, distinguished guests watched as Nancy and John Traina received the newest award: the Traina Award for distinguished service to Penn State Greater Allegheny. The award represents the Trainas’ unwavering support and strong leadership, which has enabled Penn State and the Greater Allegheny campus to exceed goals and accomplish objectives that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. 

“It is both gratifying and humbling for John and me to be the first recipients of the Traina Award,” said Nancy Traina. “We are inspired by the leadership of Dr. Edmondson and excited to see the campus flourish under her direction.”

Wade T. Lipscomb II, operations engineer at Range Resources and a very active volunteer with the Pittsburgh Promise, was awarded the Distinguished GOLD (Graduate of the Last Decade) Alumni Award. This award recognizes an individual who graduated within the last 10 years and stands out as a leader both professionally, and within their community.

“It was an absolute honor to be awarded the Penn State Greater Allegheny GOLD alumni award,” said Lipscomb. “It was a very exciting moment for my family and me. I never would have imagined being nominated for such a prestigious award. I am extremely grateful to be recognized by this wonderful campus and great university. Thank you!"

Greater Allegheny then recognized two individuals who were awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award. These recipients demonstrate a strong commitment to building relationships in their communities.  Both have used their Penn State education in meaningful ways.

Regis W. Becker and Jim E. Minarik received the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Becker, the first director of university ethics and compliance, and former chief ethics and compliance officer at Penn State, who retired in 2018, shared how the 52-acre campus accepted him on a probationary status.

Becker maximized the opportunity for a world-class education by working hard. He has had a successful career in many different positions, including working as an FBI special agent and leading PPG industries’ global ethics and compliance program.

"Barbara and I were extremely honored by this recognition and humbled to be included with the other generous benefactors,” said Becker. “The event was simply first rate all the way around and the students we got to spend time with are amazing! It really reinforced for us the wonderful value that the Greater Allegheny campus brings to the community and encouraged us to continue our support."

Minarik defines success as “doing something you love and doing it with passion and commitment.” Minarik has had an exceptionally successful career. He spent 25 years as a chief executive officer, laser focused on growing, managing and ultimately realizing value from U.S. and foreign public, private and private equity owned consumer technology businesses -­‐ including DEI Holdings Inc. Minarik left guests with a saying he learned from his wife, “we have a responsibility to Learn It, Earn It, and Return It.”

“It was an honor and thrill to receive a Penn State Greater Allegheny’s Distinguished Alumni Award,” said Minarik. “My wife Megan and I were also very grateful to be able to spend a day on campus. We saw the tremendous impact the work Dr. Edmondson and her team are doing both on campus and in the community.”

Many of the guests in attendance have endowed scholarships and programs that benefit what it means to be greater. These scholarship benefactors were acknowledged at the event for their generous philanthropic support.

“This event was a true celebration of the award recipients and those who have invested in our students with their philanthropic support,” said Laura King, director of alumni relations and stewardship at Greater Allegheny. “These alumni and friends continue to inspire our students to be greater.”

For more information on the Scholarship and Distinguished Alumni Awards event, and to keep up with alumni events and activities, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at Penn State Greater Allegheny at 412-675-9047.