Penn State Fayette Advisory Board awards 2024 Outstanding Alumnus and Fellow

Charles Evans Hunnell and Jeffrey Allen Landy named award recipients
W. Charles Patrick, Charles Hunnell, Kelsey Beckas, and Tiffany Guittap posing in front of framed artwork of the Nittany Lion.

Pictured left to right: W. Charles Patrick, Charles Hunnell, Kelsey Beckas, and Tiffany Guittap.

Credit: Penn State

LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — The Advisory Board of Penn State Fayette has named Jeffrey Allen Landy and Charles Evans Hunnell, respectively, as the 2024 recipients of the Outstanding Alumnus and Outstanding Fellow awards, presented at the board’s annual meeting on May 16 at the campus Community Center in honor of their professional achievements.

Representing a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise, the Advisory Board provides guidance and support to the campus administration. Each year, its members come together to honor and celebrate the professional achievements of former students of the University whose subsequent professional achievements warrant special recognition by their alma mater.

2024 Outstanding Alumnus Recipient: Jeffrey Allen Landy

The board bestowed the Outstanding Alumnus Award posthumously to Jeffrey Allen Landy. Born in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, Landy graduated from Penn State in 1980 with a bachelor of science in business and marketing. He owned Amusement World and co-founded the Mount Pleasant Glass & Ethnic Festival, a celebrated local event.

Landy managed dental offices and worked in accounting and sales before becoming the Mount Pleasant Borough manager in 2006, where he served for 18 years. He was involved in numerous community planning and improvement committees, including Reimagine Westmoreland County and the YMCA Board. Landy also co-hosted the “Jeff and Jerry” show on Armstrong Cable, which won state recognition. Landy passed away on May 4, 2023, leaving a legacy of community service and dedication to lifelong learning. He cherished his family, especially his daughter Kelsey, who accepted the award in his honor.

“My dad was the greatest person of all time. When aware that you’re going to pass away, having a legacy is important because you want to imagine a future without you. Having this award and being able to share it with my children is one of the ways his legacy will live on. There is nothing he would be prouder of than having this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said Kelsey Beckas.

2024 Outstanding Fellow Award Recipient: Charles Evans Hunnell

The board bestowed the Outstanding Fellow Award to Charles Evans Hunnell. Hunnell graduated from Penn State’s College of Education in 1965. He was a member of the Navy ROTC and was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He served on the USS Beale DD-471, participating in deployments to Vietnam and the western Mediterranean, and retired as a lieutenant commander in 1977.

After his military service, Hunnell taught United States history and economics at Upper St. Clair High School from 1968 to 1997. He also officiated college football for 21 seasons, primarily as a referee in the Division I AA level, including the Ivy League, Patriot League and Yankee Conference.

In retirement, Hunnell’s property became part of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, where he serves on its board of trustees. He is involved with the Izaak Walton League, the Center for Coalfield Justice, and the National Battlefield Trust. Hunnell established two scholarship endowments at Penn State Fayette: the Charles E. Hunnell Open Doors Scholarship and the Florence Vernon Hunnell Scholarship.

At 81, Hunnell lives on a 136-acre family farm in Greene County, which he has developed into a wildlife sanctuary.

“I was a first-generation college student from a relatively average family from western Green County,” said Hunnell. “Only a youngster with dreams who, thanks to a Penn State degree, was able to live his dreams to the fullest. I was able to influence the lives of sailors, high school students, football athletes, and even Penn Staters. It has been my honor to serve with you, and I believe that higher education is a major key to success. We all believe in Penn State’s mission. We believe that this campus should play an increasingly important role in our region. One of our greatest resources are the citizens, and we should serve as many of them as possible. Our communities cannot afford to lose the potential that exists among us. One year ago, I was given the most significant honor in my life: the opportunity to deliver the commencement address at Penn State Fayette. Now this, another unbelievable and unanticipated honor. Thank you, everyone.”