Philip Burlingame, a 1978 Lock Haven State College (LHSC) graduate and featured alumni speaker at Lock Haven's 2008 commencement ceremony, has been elected to the Lock Haven University (LHU) Alumni Association board of directors.
Throughout his more than 35-year career in higher education, Burlingame dedicated his work to collaborating with students, faculty, and alumni at public universities in Pennsylvania and New York, retiring from Penn State University (PSU), in 2017.
"I would like to congratulate Philip on his appointment to the LHU Alumni Association board of directors," said Bashar W. Hanna, Commonwealth University president. "I thank him for his volunteerism, and I'm excited for the ways in which his wealth of higher education experience will benefit students at The Haven."
Burlingame served for 20 years as the associate vice president for student affairs working with thousands of service leaders through an organization he helped found called the Council of LionHearts. The organization enables students to provide countless hours of community service to people in need throughout Central Pennsylvania.
Prior to his tenure at PSU, Burlingame was the vice president for student affairs at the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute and associate dean of students at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.
Burlingame also helped create the non-profit, Pennsylvania Mental Health Initiative, through which he conducted workshops in rural high schools to help teachers cope with the mental health issues of their students.
Burlingame hopes his significant experience in building alumni career networks and opportunities for student engagement in community service and pre-professional experiences will help Lock Haven alumni stay powerfully connected to The Haven, while increasing opportunities for alumni to help students achieve their professional goals.
After earning his bachelor's degree in secondary education from LHSC, Burlingame went on to earn a master's in criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate in higher education from the University of Pittsburgh.
"I gained a fine undergraduate education from Lock Haven that served as a great foundation for my graduate studies and subsequent career," Burlingame said. "At Lock Haven, I truly learned critical thinking, the importance of preserving free speech rights, how to enjoy the 'Life of the Mind,' and how to not take myself too seriously.
"Lock Haven's faculty really understand how to work with students who may have previously had limited educational opportunities," he added. "The administrative and student life staff are also experts at building a student experience that will help students grow intellectually and culturally."
Along with his volunteerism, Burlingame is passionate about supporting the arts at Lock Haven. He believes music, theatre, dance, and fine arts are the cornerstone of a quality undergraduate experience, and he hopes that other alumni and donors will also consider supporting the arts.
"The best parts of my out-of-class experiences at Lock Haven included the performing arts, student newspaper, the University Jazz Ensemble, the Kappa Kappa Psi music fraternity, and student government," he said. "Technologies and student interests change over time, but my hope is that donors will continue to see value in these kinds of experiences for current students."
"Lock Haven is serving communities in Central Pennsylvania with thousands of rural students who have limited opportunities to pursue higher education," he added. "Our alumni can play a critical role in financially supporting student scholarships, offering career and pre-professional assistance to current students, and finding ways to give back to our alma mater so that it may continue to provide the highest quality education to our students."
Burlingame attended his first board meeting in September and was impressed with the breadth of professional experience of the other board members and their shared passion for the success of Lock Haven and its students.
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