Penn State

Governor-appointed trustees take seats on Penn State board

The Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning meets for a session Thursday. The Penn State board of trustees held a work session at The Penn Stater.
The Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning meets for a session Thursday. The Penn State board of trustees held a work session at The Penn Stater. CDT photo

Two new appointees of Gov. Tom Corbett officially joined the Penn State board of trustees Thursday, in time for daylong committee meetings.

Cliff Benson, chief development officer for the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, and Todd Rucci, a former Penn State letterman who played eight seasons in the NFL, are the newest members of the board.

They replace Ira Lubert and Alvin Clemens, whose terms expired.

According to Penn State, Benson was instrumental in Terry Pegula’s purchase of the Sabres and the team’s minor league hockey affiliate in Rochester, N.Y.

Benson also played an important role in facilitating Pegula’s $88 million donation for the Pegula Ice Arena. The 2011 gift helped launch the university’s Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey programs, the university said.

Benson graduated from Penn State and earned a law degree from Brooklyn Law School. He worked at Deloitte Tax LLP for 37 years, including 10 years as lead client service partner, before retiring in May 2010.

He will serve until July 2016.

Rucci is a government and community relations officer with PAP Technologies.

He recently served as executive director of the Pennsylvania Lottery. Before that, he was assistant vice president at Susquehanna Bank’s private banking/sports division, working to help professional athletes with banking services, investment management and estate planning and trusts, Penn State said in a statement.

Rucci was a right tackle on Penn State’s football team from 1989 to 1992 and he went on to play for the New England Patriots.

He will serve until July 2015.

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