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College alumnus Samuel Hayes Jr. selected as a 2017 Penn State Distinguished Alumnus

Posted: May 23, 2017

A resident of Warriors Mark, Pennsylvania, Hayes is a former secretary of agriculture for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a retired state representative. He earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural science and industry in 1964 from the College of Agricultural Sciences and his master’s degree in earth sciences in 1965 from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor presented by the University to its alumni.

Hayes held senior leadership positions in both the Legislative and Executive Branches of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  As a lawmaker and legislative leader in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, he served as the Majority Leader and Whip.

As a legislative leader, Hayes advocated for basic and higher education, authored Pennsylvania’s school subsidy formula; authored legislation to fund Pennsylvania’s highway program; and increased appropriations for Penn State extension and agricultural research.  As Secretary, he provided the leadership to establish the model protocols to eradicate avian influenza in poultry flocks and the plum pox virus in fruit orchards; established Pennsylvania as a national leader in farmland preservation; and expanded the Pennsylvania Farm Show complex to the largest exposition facility in the United States.

Hayes has served as a member of copious boards and commissions, to include the Pennsylvania State Board of Education.  He has chaired the Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Board, the Pennsylvania Farm Show Commission, the State Conservation Commission, and Pennsylvania Animal Health Commission as well as served as the President of the Pennsylvania FFA Foundation.  Hayes served as a member of the Board of Trustees at The Pennsylvania State University from 1997-2014 and is currently a Trustee Emeritus.

Hayes has received numerous accolades and awards from a diverse group of Pennsylvania, National, and International organizations. To mention just a few, Hayes, a Vietnam Veteran was selected for the inaugural class of the National Army ROTC Hall of Fame; Alumni Fellow Award, The Pennsylvania State University; Honorary Doctor of Laws, Juniata College; the highest award bestowed by the University of Guanajuato on a person living outside the Republic of Mexico; and, the Distinguished Service Award from both the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Penn Ag Industries.