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Soccer star Ali Krieger was elected to Penn State board of trustees

U.S. soccer star Ali Krieger received the most votes of alumni candidates for three open seats on Penn State's board of trustees. She will join the board this summer.

U.S. soccer player Ali Krieger waves to fans on a float while being honored with a ticker tape parade along the Canyon of Heroes in New York in 2019. The U.S. national team had beaten the Netherlands 2-0 to capture a record fourth Women's World Cup title.
U.S. soccer player Ali Krieger waves to fans on a float while being honored with a ticker tape parade along the Canyon of Heroes in New York in 2019. The U.S. national team had beaten the Netherlands 2-0 to capture a record fourth Women's World Cup title.Read moreSteve Luciano / AP

Two-time world soccer champion Ali Krieger has scored another win, this time garnering a seat on Pennsylvania State University’s board of trustees.

Krieger, a 2007 alumna who won two World Cups as a member of the U.S. women’s soccer team, got the most votes of eight alumni vying for three open alumni seats on the 36-member board. The election results were announced at the board of trustees meeting Friday.

Krieger was running as part of a slate supported by Penn State Forward, a group of Penn State students and alumni who have been trying to get younger, more diverse members on the board. The group got one of its candidates, Christa Hasenkopf, an atmospheric scientist, elected to the board last year; Krieger will be their second.

» READ MORE: Ali Krieger went to her third World Cup in 2019 — and first with now-wife Ashlyn Harris as fiancée

“I cant wait to get started,” said Krieger, 38, a native of Northern Virginia who currently lives in Montclair, N.J. “I really want to create the change that’s very much needed at the university to really elevate it to another level.”

Also at the meeting, the board approved the first phase of a four-year $700 million renovation for Beaver Stadium. That phase totals $70 million.

Krieger said racial justice and LGBTQI+ are issues that she believes in and intends to fight for, including pushing to fund a Center for Racial Justice at Penn State. Former president Eric Barron had committed to opening a $3.5 million center, but then current president Neeli Bendapudi changed course and said there are better ways for Penn State to make progress on diversity and inclusion.

She pledged to work to close the graduation rate gap among students of different backgrounds, improve the hiring and promotion of diverse faculty and staff, offer professional development to staff members of color so they can advance to higher-level jobs, and create a better “sense of belonging.”

Krieger said she also wants to see the university’s general educational requirements changed to include education on racism and racial violence, as well as develop a curriculum that is focused on justice and equity.

» READ MORE: The Penn State group that campaigned for change on its trustees board gets one elected, as board bids goodbye to outgoing president

“I worked within a team my entire life, built people up daily to reach a common goal,” she said, and she hopes to do the same at Penn State when she joins the board in July.

Krieger garnered 12,141 votes. Meanwhile, Jay Paterno, son of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, and Anthony Lubrano, founder of A.P Lubrano & Co. Inc., a financial services and wealth management firm based in Paoli, were reelected to the other two open alumni seats. Paterno, with 11,745 votes, and Lubrano, 10,281.

The board also appointed two new business and industry trustees, Robert F. Beard, chief operations officer of UGI Corporation, and Karen L. Quintos, an alumna who is retired from Dell where she served in several executive positions and currently leads Penn State’s Smeal College of Business Board of Visitors. The board also reappointed its chair, Matthew W. Schuyler, chief brand officer at Hilton, to another three-year term as an at-large trustee.

Delegates of the agricultural societies reelected trustees Randall E. Black and Lynn A. Dietrich. Kevin F. Schuyler was elected to serve as a student trustee for the next two years. And Kelley M. Lynch will begin serving a two-year term as the immediate past president of the Penn State Alumni Association.

Krieger currently plays soccer for the NWSL’s Gotham FC in northern New Jersey, but she said she plans to retire in November, which will give her more time to devote to the university.

She played soccer in the Olympics in 2016 and went to the World Cup three times, her team winning in 2015 and 2019.

Krieger, who as a student was a captain and cocaptain of the Penn State women’s soccer team, continues to return to campus to support athletics. She said she goes to see the women’s soccer team play as often as she can.

She also serves as an Athlete Ally Ambassador, fostering LGBTQI+ equality.

“We need to set our students up for success,” she said. “I think marginalized and lesser represented groups want to be heard, listened to and believed. We have to assure people that progress can and will be made.”