This past month has been eventful, to say the least, between ESPN’s College GameDay on the HUB lawn and Penn State’s climb to #5 in the AP Poll. Many Penn State alumni came back to their roots for some of the recent games. Some were more famous than others, but they are all Nittany Lions, nonetheless. This got us thinking about the backstories of the most successful PSU graduates.
Spencer was featured as the Guest Picker for College GameDay earlier this month. She, of course, chose her beloved alma mater — which ended up being the right move! While at Penn State in the late 80s, Spencer was a part of the College of Communications, studying journalism. Although she is most accredited now for her success in broadcast journalism, while at college, she was on a full scholarship for springboard and platform diving. She was a nationally ranked diver, and in 1991 she was named an All-American athlete. Her hard work as a student and an athlete shone through as her career’s success catapulted at CBS and Good Morning America.
Although many people believe that he attended Penn State as an undergraduate student, Key actually went to University of Detroit Mercy for his first round of school, earning a BA in theatre. He then went on to study here at Penn State in 1996, earning a Master of Fine Arts in theatre. Many people discovered Key and his comedy partner, Jordan Peele, with their special on Comedy Central, called “Key and Peele.” This was the first step to getting them to where they are now. In 2018, Key was named an honorary coach for the annual Blue-White game. Funny enough, he looks like he could be Coach James Franklin’s twin, so the two did a bit of a skit acknowledging that fact during the second half of the game. Since then, Key has integrated himself into the Penn State Football family.
Donald P. Bellisario
Bellisario is special because he graduated from Penn State College of Communications in 1961, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. In 2017, he donated $30 million to the very college from which he attended almost 60 years prior. Since then, the school has been renamed after him as the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. It is an honor for these students to graduate under his name because of his success in the field of communications. He has worked in advertising and as a producer for many well-known television series, such as “Quantum Leap,” “Magnum P.I.” and “JAG.”
These are only three of the most successful PSU alumni and each of them have shown their proud allegiance to their alma mater. We can only hope that in the future, we will have just as many, if not more fruitful graduates.