Shenango to announce reinstatement of athletic program at alumni fundraiser

Penn State Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour to be guest speaker

SHARON, Pa. — Penn State Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour will be the guest speaker at the Penn State Shenango 2017 Meet and Greet Tailgate Party on Wednesday, April 12. The event, which is open to the public, is sponsored by the Penn State Shenango Alumni Society.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.; tailgate, including food, 50/50 raffle, sports memorabilia auction and cash bar, will begin at 6 p.m.; and the program will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person. Tickets are limited, so please call today at 724-983-2905 or email [email protected]. Proceeds from this event will benefit Penn State Shenango athletics.

In addition to Barbour, Jo Anne Carrick, campus director and chief academic officer at Penn State Shenango, will speak and publicly announce the reinstatement of the campus’ athletic program, which will commence with men’s basketball and women’s volleyball teams.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have Sandy Barbour as our guest speaker as we officially announce the reinstatement of our athletic program at this year’s Alumni Society event,” said Carrick. “Hundreds of students attended the Shenango campus back in the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s to get a quality education locally and also to continue playing collegiate sports. Our athletic program was well-known and well-respected among students, the public and the sports community, and we are so happy to have Penn State’s Director of Athletics be here to talk about how Penn State athletics has grown over the years and what an important part it plays in molding our future young adults.”

In addition to Barbour, Paul Clifford, chief executive officer of the Penn State Alumni Association and associate vice president for alumni relations for Penn State, will speak on behalf of the Penn State Alumni Association as well as introduce Barbour.

Barbour was recently selected by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) as one of four Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Athletic Directors, to receive this year’s prestigious Under Armour AD of the Year Award.

She, along with Boo Coorigan (Army West Point), Jay Jacobs (Auburn), and Black James (Miami, Florida), will be honored at the James J. Corbett Memorial Award Luncheon on June 13, during the 52nd Annual NACDA Convention in Orlando, Fla.

Barbour began her leadership of the Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics program on August 18, 2014, and has quickly made a strong impression on one of the nation’s most successful and comprehensive athletic departments. University President Eric J. Barron named Barbour the Nittany Lions’ ninth director of athletics after she served 10 years as director of athletics at the University of California.

A native of Annapolis, Maryland, Barbour brought to Penn State more than 30 years of varied experiences as a collegiate administrator and coach, with a demonstrated record of championships, academic success, innovation, facility modernization and revenue growth.

Leader of premier athletic department in academic, athletic and community achievement

Barbour directs one of the nation’s most comprehensive and successful athletic programs that boasts an NCAA graduation success rate of 89 percent, winning 76 national championships and 102 Big Ten titles all-time. She oversees broad-based program that supports approximately 800 student-athletes in 31 sports (16 men’s/15 women’s) and an Intercollegiate Athletics staff of nearly 300 whose daily mission is preparing students for a lifetime of impact. Penn State’s 31 programs are tied for fourth-highest among all 128 FBS institutions.

During the 2016 fall semester, a school record 24 Penn State squads, powered by 498 student-athletes, earned at least a 3.0 grade-point average. A total of 223 Nittany Lion students posted at least a 3.5 GPA last fall to garner Dean’s List honors. Under Barbour’s leadership, 13 Penn State squads earned perfect NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores of 1,000 in 2014-15, up from 10 the previous year. A school record 299 Penn State student-athletes garnered Academic All-Big Ten accolades in 2015-16 and nine Nittany Lion student-athletes have earned CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades during her tenure.

Penn State was ranked No. 7 in the Learfield Directors’ Cup fall 2016 standings. The Nittany Lions have won a conference-leading five Big Ten championships or tournament titles thus far in 2016-17 in field hockey, football, women’s indoor track and field, women’s soccer and wrestling (regular season). During Barbour’s initial two-plus years of leading Penn State Athletics, the Nittany Lions have captured NCAA championships in women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and wrestling and won 16 conference championships and tournament titles (13 Big Ten, 3 EIVA).

In addition to their academic and athletic achievements, Penn State student-athletes also combined to spend more than 8,000 hours involved in community engagement in 2015-16.

Recognized twice by Forbes for intercollegiate athletics’ leadership

In December, 2015, Forbes recognized Barbour among its Top 25 Most Powerful People in College Sports. Barbour, who was ranked No. 24, was among six athletic directors on the list and joined Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman as the female executives who were recognized by Forbes. Forbes also selected Barbour No. 11 among the Most Powerful Women in Sports. She was among four executives listed who work primarily in intercollegiate athletics and was the highest ranked athletic director; No. 2 overall in college sports.

Barbour graduated cum laude in 1981 with a B.S. degree in physical education from Wake Forest, where she was a four-year letterwinner and served as captain of the field hockey team. She also played two varsity seasons of women's basketball. She earned advanced degrees at Massachusetts (M.S. in sports management in 1983) and Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management (MBA in 1991).

For more information on Barbour, visit

For more information on this year’s Tailgate event or Penn State Shenango’s upcoming Athletic Program, please contact Allison Engstrom, director of Development and Alumni Relations, at 724-983-2907, or Bill Dungee, director of Business and Finance, at 724-983-2813.