(Posted April 26, 2021)

Howard Nathan '75

Howard Nathan '75

HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Howard Nathan, President and CEO of Gift of Life Donor Program and 1975 graduate of Juniata College, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree and deliver the commencement address at Juniata’s 143rd Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 15, on campus. 

Nathan’s career at Gift of Life began in 1978.  He has served as President and CEO since 1984, and under his leadership, the donor program has grown to be the nation’s largest organ procurement organization (OPO). The federally designated OPO has been responsible for coordinating the most life-saving organ donations every year for the past 13 years. 

Today, Gift of Life serves 11.3 million people across the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware, with a network of 15 transplant centers and 128 acute care donor hospitals. Gift of Life has coordinated more than 52,500 life-saving organs for transplantation and approximately 1.75 million life-enhancing tissue transplants. 

In 2011, Nathan founded Gift of Life Family House, which provides affordable lodging, meals, and supportive services for transplant patients and their families who travel to Philadelphia for transplant-related medical care.

Nathan is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on organ donation and has published more than 400 scientific papers and abstracts on organ and tissue donation. He has traveled to more than 30 countries to share best practices. Nathan serves on numerous national and international leadership boards and is frequently featured in the media.  

He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Juniata College and completed post-graduate coursework in clinical microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Nathan has received numerous awards for his outstanding organizational leadership and his four decades of professional accomplishments. These awards include Main Line Today Healthcare Heroes Award in 2019, Association of Organ Procurement Organization’s (AOPO) President’s Award in 2018, Transplant Recipients International Organization, Inc. (TRIO) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, Donate Life America Nicholas Green Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017, and Philadelphia Smart CEO Circle of Excellence Award in 2016.  All are exclusively reserved for the select few individuals whose contributions to the public and healthcare communities leave an important mark on multiple generations.

Nathan’s dedication to Juniata includes volunteering at regional alumni events, serving as a Juniata Admissions Ambassador, and supporting Juniata job-shadowing programs for health professions students. He was awarded a Juniata Alumni Achievement Award in 2017. Nathan and his wife, Liz, also established a summer internship for Juniata students at Gift of Life. Juniata’s 143rd

Commencement will be viewable by live stream at www.juniata.edu/commencement

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.