Graham Spanier is president of Pennsylvania State University, one of the country's largest and most comprehensive universities. He has been described as an unconventional university president. He loves spending time with students. He is a magician, and has performed with the Penn State Performing Magicians, the Glee Club, and the Chamber Orchestra. He often substitutes for the Nittany Lion mascot, he has a commercial pilot's license, and he plays the washboard in various Dixieland bands. He also hosts "To the Best of My Knowledge," a live, call-in program on public television and radio.
Since Dr. Spanier's appointment in 1995 he has been the guiding force behind several historic academic initiatives, including the creation of The Schreyer Honors College, the Penn State World Campus, and the School of Information Sciences and Technology. A national leader in higher education, Dr. Spanier was recently appointed as chair of the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board and has served as chair of the board of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. Dr. Spanier is also a family sociologist, demographer, and marriage and family therapist, and founding editor of the Journal of Family Issues. A distinguished researcher and scholar, he has more than 100 scholarly publication, including 10 books.