Ivy Leaf - Fall 2001

Port Earns Alumni Fellow Honors


As a recipient of the 2001 Alumni Fellow Award, Neil Port has joined a distinguished group of Penn State alumni who have been recognized as leaders in their fields and notable contributors to society and their communities. Established in 1973, the Alumni Fellow Award is the most prestigious award given by the Penn State Alumni Association.

During a special ceremony on campus, the entire Penn State Altoona community joined in congratulating Port on his selection as a Penn State Alumni Fellow and in thanking him for the considerable contributions he has made to the advancement of the College as he was presented with a drawing by local artist Joe Servello. During his remarks, Port acknowledged the important role his undergraduate experience at Penn State Altoona played in propelling him toward a successful career.

"I got a great head start here and gained a lot of confidence," Port stated. "I owe an awful lot to my experience at Penn State Altoona."

Port is retired Chief Executive Officer Advisor of Siemens Health Services, Home Health Solutions, one of the world's largest home health information organizations. Formerly named Delta Health Systems, Siemens Health Services is the industry leader, serving more than 450 home health agencies in 47 states. Port served as President/Chief Executive Officer of Delta Health Systems from 1993 to 1998.

After graduating from Penn State and following two years as an officer in the U.S. Army Artillery, Port joined Sky Brothers, Inc., a food service distributor in Altoona, serving as a sales representative, sales manager, controller and President. The organization, which expanded rapidly and became one of the most prominent food service distributors in the country, was sold to the Sara Lee Corporation in 1986.

In 1969, Port engineered the spin-off of the Sky Brothers, Inc. data processing department to create Delta Computer Systems, Inc. Delta ultimately became one of the largest software development companies in the world serving the home health care industry, and was sold to Shared Medical Systems (now Siemens) in 1998.

Port earned a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from Penn State in 1961. His distinguished record of service to Penn State Altoona includes his 16-year tenure as a member of the College's Advisory Board. Over the years, Port and his wife, Marilyn J. (Mickey), have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to Penn State through a philanthropic vision that has benefited Penn State Altoona and a host of University programs and initiatives.

The Ports' generous gifts have established the "Penn State Altoona Scholarship", the "Scholarship at Penn State Altoona", and led to the naming of Port-Sky Café, the dining commons on the Penn State Altoona campus. Both need-based scholarships benefit outstanding undergraduate students. The Ports currently fill important roles as members of Penn State Altoona's Steering Committee for the Grand Destiny Campaign.

The Penn State Alumni Fellow program honors prominent alumni who provide a dimension to the academic curriculum not otherwise available in the traditional college classroom. Recipients are invited to return to Penn State campuses to share their expertise and experience with students, faculty, staff, and administrators. The Alumni Fellow Award is administered in cooperation with each of Penn State's colleges and has achieved high academic prestige and visibility within the Penn State community.