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Alvernia names 2009 McGowan Scholar

Date: 4/25/2009

Justine Fronheiser

The Alvernia University business department has selected Justine Fronheiser, of Barto, Pennsylvania, as the 2009 William G. McGowan Scholar. Fronheiser, who is majoring in accounting receives a full scholarship for her senior year at Alvernia.

Established in 1995 by MCI Communications' founding Chairman, William G. McGowan, the Charitable Fund provides select colleges and universities with a program to identify and support outstanding students who are pursuing degrees in business and who contribute to their communities. Students are selected based on excellent academic performance, community service, leadership, exemplary character, and entrepreneurial potential.

This year’s McGowan recipient, Justine Fronheiser maintains a 3.9 GPA, and is continuously involved in several different clubs, honor societies, and service projects through the University. Fronheiser chose accounting as a major after Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) competitions and shadowing opportunities captured her attention in high school. Since joining Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) at Alvernia, Fronheiser has been a major participant in chapter conferences, dinners, and competitions. Earlier this month, she was awarded a “Who’s Who in PA PBL,” after hard work as Alvernia’s PBL President. “This position has taught me many lessons about leadership, delegating tasks, and working with other people,” she explains.

Though she has been very active in PBL, IMA, and most recently, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Fronheiser maintains a very high level of involvement in community service, devoting at least 20 hours of time each semester though both Alvernia and her hometown parish. Additionally, she works as the only accounting tutor in Alvernia’s popular Learning Center and has completed two internships at Herbein and Company (completing tax returns as a sophomore and returning on the company’s request the following year). “My college courses, clubs, and community service involvement have taught me valuable lessons and skills that can be utilized in the business world,” she says. “Upon graduation, I plan to obtain the CPA certification to show my commitment to the profession.”

The McGowan scholarship awards up to $18,000 for the senior academic year of an Alvernia University student. The maximum scholarship received is equal to tuition less institutional, federal, state or private grants and/or scholarships.

Founder of MCI Communications, William G. McGowan led the company until his death in 1992. As a student, McGowan built upon a working class upbringing in Pennsylvania coal country, worked his way through an undergraduate degree at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and attended Harvard Business School, where his second year was funded by a Baker Scholarship. His experience led him to establish the McGowan Scholars Program. More information on McGowan is available on the foundation’s web site at www.mcgowanfund.org.  


  • History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
  • Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
  • Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
  • Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
  • Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
  • Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
  • Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.