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Alvernia University pairs with Leadership Berks

Date: 6/2/2009


Announced during an on-campus press conference June 2, 2009, Leadership Berks and its impressive program will become a part of Alvernia University through the completion of an asset purchase agreement recently approved by the University and the Leadership Berks board. The change will become effective July 1, 2009.

According to Alvernia’s President, Dr. Thomas Flynn, “Coupled with earning University status last September, and selection by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation as one of 119 colleges and universities in the country held up as models of community leadership, community partnerships, and community service, not to mention the recently concluded 50th anniversary celebration, this development is yet another significant accomplishment for Alvernia over the past year.”

The Leadership Berks program will continue to offer the same quality programming that has been its strength for almost 25 years. Toni Eckert, Executive Director of Leadership Berks said, “We will continue our annual tradition of engaging over 75 key leaders, field experts, and elected officials, who serve as program instructors, and will continue to offer experiential learning opportunities for participants through our fieldwork projects. We believe this agreement will serve to enhance our overall capacity to respond to community and business needs, enhance the role we play in keeping talent local; and allow us to demonstrate how our programs can help market Greater Reading and Berks County from an economic development standpoint.”

Joan Lewis, Alvernia Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies said, “Alvernia is a place where leadership is taught and promoted. The partnership with Leadership Berks gives the university yet another avenue to address this critical issue for our community.” Leadership Berks will work closely with the Graduate and Continuing Studies division of Alvernia.

Though the decision was well planned, the process has been smooth because of similarities between the groups’ missions. “Merging Leaderships Berks and its tradition of connecting emerging leaders to community organizations, further enriches Alvernia’s Franciscan tradition and provides an unparalleled synergy in mission for both organizations with terrific benefits to Greater Reading and Berks County,” said Dr. Flynn.

Click here to visit the website of Leadership Berks.

  • 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.