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Dent to receive Friend of Penn State award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — U.S. Rep. Charles W. Dent, R-15th District, Pennsylvania, will receive the eleventh annual “Friend of Penn State” legislative award this year for the significant role he has played in the continued improvement of Penn State. 


Dent is a 1982 Penn State graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in foreign service and international politics. He also holds a 1993 master of public administration degree from Lehigh University.


The award luncheon will be held June 27 in the Hintz Family Alumni Center, at Penn State’s University Park campus. Dent was nominated for the award by Neil Sharkey, Penn State’s vice president for research.


The nomination included letters of support from Brad Simpson, a member of the Legislative Education and Advocacy Committee of Alumni Council, the governing body of the Penn State, and A. Craig Hillemeier, M.D., dean of the Penn State College of Medicine, CEO of Penn State Health, and senior vice president for health affairs at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.


“I am deeply honored and personally touched to receive this recognition from Penn State,” said Dent. “The amount of cutting-edge research occurring at Penn State is breathtaking; from material sciences to social sciences, archeology to astronomy, I’m proud to support the outstanding faculty and students of Penn State as they advance the boundaries of science and learning.”


Since 2006, the award has been presented annually by the Penn State Alumni Association. Dent was named the 2016 award recipient by Alumni Council’s Legislative Education and Advocacy Committee of Alumni Council.


In choosing Dent to receive the award, Committee members noted his consistent support for Penn State’s research efforts, access for students, and student achievements. “Congressman Dent is a proud Penn State alumnus who has demonstrated and encouraged bipartisan support for Penn State research funding,” said Committee Chair Kathleen Hume. “We are grateful for his strong backing over the years, both as a member of Congress and previously as a Pennsylvania state legislator.”


Last year, when the House considered cutting National Science Foundation funding that supported Penn State research, Dent “crossed the aisle” to cast a vote in support of Penn State, Hume noted.


Dent was first elected to Pennsylvania’s 15th District congressional seat in 2004. The 15th District comprises all of Lehigh County and parts of Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon and Northampton counties.


Before being elected to Congress, Dent served eight years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1991–98) and six years in the State Senate District (1999–2004).


Currently, in Congress, Dent chairs both the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and the House Ethics Committee. He co-chairs the Tuesday Group, a caucus of center-right Republican members focused on fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense and individual liberty.


Dent has served on the House Appropriations Committee since 2011. He also serves on the committee’s Labor, Health & Human Services and State & Foreign Operations subcommittees, and previously served on the House Homeland Security and Transportation committees.


Dent lives in Allentown with his wife, Pamela, and their children, Kathryn, William and Jack.  Kathryn graduated from Penn State this month in the College of Agricultural Sciences, majoring in immunology and infectious disease. William, a rising junior, also attends Penn State and is majoring in industrial engineering. 

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