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George R. Kemp

B.S. Forestry, 1953 - posthumous award

George R. Kemp earned a B.S. degree in forestry in 1953 and was employed by the U.S. Forest Service before he was inducted into the Army’s Signal Corps in 1954. While working for Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel in the 1960s, he pursued a civil engineering degree at Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University.

After completing the civil engineering degree in 1963, Kemp went to work for Allegheny County Department of Parks. There he was on the Friends of County Parks Committee and his achievements included the design of White Oak Park, among others.

In 1967, Kemp founded George R. Kemp and Associates, Inc., a land planning, civil engineering, and landscape design company in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. The company was later renamed The Kemp Group. For four decades Kemp designed, built, and updated parks and secular and Christian camps. He was active in the Christian community and supported many Christian organizations including missionary work in Puerto Rico, Korea, and Japan where he used his design expertise. He served on the boards of the Salvation Army, Mental Health, Junior Achievement, Chamber of Commerce, and Allegheny Trails Alliance.

George and his wife Ann opened The Fishers of Men Religious Store in McKeesport in 1972 and operated it for 28 years. Kemp was one of the founders of Cornerstone TV (WPCB), a station that went on the air in 1979.

Kemp served four years as vice chairman and then chairman of the Allegheny Section of the Society of American Foresters.

In 1997, Kemp was elected to the board of directors of the School of Forest Resources Alumni Group and served as its president, 1999-2001. He served on the SFR Grand Destiny Campaign for the new Forest Resources Building. Kemp was on the advisory board of the Penn State Greater Allegheny Campus for six years and was a strong advocate of the agricultural opportunities in this urban academic setting. He was also a strong supporter of Penn State Mont Alto. He and his wife have a life membership in the Penn State Alumni Association.

Kemp served as an associate director and elected director of the College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society (CAAS) and served as its president, 2005-2007. During his tenure as president, he initiated the Student Enrollment Committee to assist the College of Ag Sciences in student recruitment and retention. He served on a number of CAAS committees including Development and Advocacy, Student Enrollment, Executive, and Nominating. He also chaired the Armsby Honor Society Committee.

In January 2007, Kemp and his wife pledged funds to create two undergraduate student scholarships. One is a Trustee scholarship that will support students at Penn State Greater Allegheny (formerly McKeesport) who have financial need. The other scholarship will support academically promising undergraduates, with first preference given to students college-wide who were home-schooled.

Kemp’s awards include the Regional Business Alliance, Chamber of Commerce All-Star Award (2003), Penn State McKeesport Alumni Society’s 2003 Outstanding Alumni Award, and Penn State Mont Alto Centennial Fellow award (2003).

George Kemp died October 15, 2007, at his home.

April 2008