Lawrence J. Perez Memorial Student Advocate Award

Award Purpose

The Lawrence J. Perez Memorial Student Advocate Award recognizes a College of Engineering faculty member who contributes to the welfare of students and enriches the College by his or her willingness to devote significant time and effort to assist students with academic and/or personal problems.

Award Eligibility

All full-time College of Engineering Faculty members may receive this award no more than once every four years. Go to past recipients to view a list of previous winners of the Perez Award. This award is funded through the Lawrence J. Perez Memorial Student Advocate Award Endowment.


Nominations for this award may be made by individual students, the Engineering Student Council, student engineering honor societies, or student engineering professional societies. A call for nominations for the Perez Award is issued annually via E-News, an email to students, and is posted on the monitors within the engineering buildings.

To nominate a student must submit an essay between 500 and 1500 words describing how their teacher and advisor meets the criteria for the award.


A committee appointed by the Dean of Engineering will make selection. The committee will consist of PSEAS representatives, recent past award recipient, Senior Associate Dean, and Dean of Engineering.


Lawrence J. Perez came to Penn State as an associate professor of civil engineering and became a full professor in 1947. In 1957, he was appointed assistant dean of the College of Engineering and Architecture. He retired as professor emeritus of civil engineering in 1970. Perez oversaw various upgrades to land owned by the federal government, which was the home of Penn State’s civil engineering summer camp. In 1954, the land was ceded to the University, and by 1961, Perez’s plan for the site, a 72-acre artificial lake as the centerpiece of a 700-acre Stone Valley Recreational Facility, was complete. In 1995, the Penn State Board of Trustees unanimously approved naming the Stone Valley Recreational Area’s lake as Lake Perez, in his honor. Perez was president of the State College Borough Council from 1960 to 1973 and served as acting mayor of State College in 1967 and 1968. He died in 1988 at the age of 81.