Penn State Names Thorndike Senior VP for Finance

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Sara Thorndike, vice chancellor for administration and finance and chief financial officer at East Carolina University, has been named Penn State University’s senior vice president for finance and business/treasurer, effective Jan. 18.

Thorndike’s appointment follows a national search. She succeeds David Gray who is retiring after eight years of service to the university. 

Thorndike will oversee Penn State’s financial performance under an operating budget totaling $7 billion for the 2020-21 fiscal year, as well as leading financial, endowment, business and administrative activities for all Penn State campuses.

Thorndike has been vice chancellor for administration and finance and chief financial officer at East Carolina University since March 2018. She previously served as senior associate vice chancellor for business affairs, chief financial officer and controller at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

She holds a B.S. in accounting from Franklin University in Columbus, an MBA from Ohio State University and a doctoral degree in higher education leadership from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

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