Centre County Historical Society Board of Governors Elects New President, Vice President for 2022-23

DATE: November 29, 2021

The Board of Governors of the Centre County Historical Society has recently elected Roger L. Williams of State College as president and Robert B. Hazelton of Port Matilda as vice president.

Williams has served on the CCHS Board since 2017, chairing the membership committee and serving on the development committee. Professionally, he retired in 2015 after serving 12 years as executive director of the Penn State Alumni Association and as affiliate associate professor of higher education at Penn State. Prior to that, he served as the chief communications and university relations officer at Penn State, Georgetown, and the University of Arkansas, as well as consulting with Dick Jones Communications.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in history, master’s in journalism, and doctorate in higher education, all from Penn State. He is the author of three books, all published by Penn State University Press: Frederick Watts and the Founding of Penn State (2021), Evan Pugh’s Penn State: America’s Model Agricultural College (2018), and The Origins of Federal Support for Higher Education: George W. Atherton and the Land-Grant College Movement (1991).

Hazelton has served on the CCHS Board since 2004, serving as vice president from 2010 to 2020 and as president from 2020-21. His term as president has seen a four-fold increase in membership as well as increased revenue to the non-profit organization. Especially significant was the Centre Furnace Mansion Restoration Campaign in 2020-21, which raised more than $375,000 for phase 1 of the project.

He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Penn State. He began working in 1971 as an engineer for Locus in State College, which went through a series of ownership changes culminating in Excelis, from which he retired in 2006. He continues to consult professionally.

His historical interests have included archeological work in Ferguson Township at the Erbtown site and the iron ore mining/furnace operation at Pennsylvania Furnace. His projects also have included research and restoration work at the Cedar Creek Cemetery in Harris Township and 10 years (and counting) of work at Andrew Carnegie’s iron mining operation at Scotia, in Patton Township. In addition, he has done several archeological and historical assessments for Clearwater Conservancy.   



   Roger L. Williams                                     Robert B. Hazelton