Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award

This award honors alumni who have achieved exceptional success in their profession and/or have contributed significantly to the advancement and leadership of noteworthy civic, philanthropic, or service organizations for many years. Their lifelong achievements have brought them significant professional and volunteer recognition and has set a standard of excellence to which others may aspire. 

Congratulations to Arlene A. McLean, Ph.D. ’62
Recipient of the 2024 Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award.

Arlene A. McLean, Ph.D., '62 When Arlene McLean Ph.D., Class of 1962, enrolled at Ursinus at the age of 16, she was already ahead of the curve. Her remarkable journey has taken her from a one-room schoolhouse to a career as a top scientist in the biomedical field and has put her in a position to pave the way for future generations.

At Ursinus, McLean majored first in physics and then switched to biology, which would provide an academic foundation for future success. But it’s the liberal arts experience at Ursinus, which exposed her to a wide range of subjects and people from diverse backgrounds, that McLean credits with opening her world to a broader perspective and honing her enthusiasm for the next challenge. Of her Ursinus education, she says, “It served as the basis for all of the things I wanted to explore and learn for the rest of my life.”

After graduating Ursinus in 1962, McLean went to work, embarking on a decades-long illustrious career. She was a statistician and research analyst with Merck; held various leadership positions with Centocor, and has published over 62 peer-reviewed articles that appeared in journals. Her proudest contributions came through her efforts in the development of vaccines for early childhood diseases like the measles, mumps, hepatitis B, and pneumococcal pneumonia, to name a few.

McLean is still serving future generations, recently endowing the Andrews Family Fellows program, which supports advanced-degree seeking STEM students at Ursinus.