1992: Luanne Lawrence

1992 Luanne Lawrence Appointed Director of Community Relations

Penn State Harrisburg hired Luanne Lawrence as the assistant to the director of community relations. A week after her hire date, the director resigned, pushing her into the role of acting director of community relations. Two years later, the university promoted her to director.

Lawrence attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania on a full academic scholarship then transferred to Millersville University to earn her B.A. in speech communications. Later, she completed Penn State Harrisburg’s M.S. in training and development.

At age 14, Lawrence started freelance writing for the York Dispatch and then earned a full-time position there after graduation. Eventually this turned into a sports writing position in which she faced some gender discrimination. The coaches she interviewed didn’t take her seriously, often calling her “honey” or “sweetie.”

The sports writing position interested her because of her sports background. She had played on the York Barbell softball team after a six-week tryout. Later, she picked up powerlifting as a hobby.

“I’ve always been interested by opportunities that typically don’t involve women’s participation,” Lawrence told a student reporter.

In addition to her sports and sports writing careers, she also spent her time as a disc jockey; at the time, she was the only female in the company for which she DJ’d.

Lawrence’s career goal, she said, was to work in Russian affairs, and she went on Penn State Harrisburg’s Russian tour when it was offered.

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