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Holleran Center Names New Director

Date: 6/30/2011

Following a national search that attracted a field of highly qualified candidates, Alvernia has announced that Jay Worrall has been named the university’s Director of the Holleran Center for Community Engagement. He will assume his new post in early August.

Currently executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Berks County, Worrall is well-known throughout the Berks region for his leadership on issues related to supporting disadvantaged individuals, and deep commitment to community service. He replaces Ginny Hand who is retiring in July after helping establish the center as a nationally recognized leader in community service and civic engagement.

Worrall is no stranger to Alvernia’s campus. He earned his Master’s degree in business administration from the university in 2009 (receiving the Outstanding MBA Graduate award) and has taught a number of Master’s level classes at Alvernia, including Moral Leadership and Cross-Cultural Conflicts. Worrall earned a Master of Arts in religion from Temple University and a Bachelor’s degree in religion studies from Virginia Commonwealth University.

“This is truly an exciting step for the Holleran Center and I believe we have an outstanding leader in Jay who will move the center into the next stage of its growth.” said Dr. Shirley Williams, Alvernia’s provost. “He is a great addition to our campus community.”

 “It is an honor to be chosen to help direct the substantial resources that Alvernia students, staff and faculty have to offer towards the challenges faced in our community,” said Worrall. “I truly look forward to becoming a part of the excellent work being done by the Holleran Center of Community Engagement at this great university.”
In addition to his work with Habitat for Humanity, where he substantially increased support for those in need of affordable housing, Worrall has held positions of increasing responsibility with Neighborhood Housing Services of Reading, Schuylkill Community Action, Pottstown Family YMCA, and the Lessig-Booth Emergency Family Residence in Pottstown.

Alvernia University’s Holleran Center for Community Engagement identifies, cultivates and sustains partnerships that enhance campus and community life at the institution. Through service-learning classes and programs like the South Reading Youth Initiative, Ethics, Leadership, & Community Lecture Series, the Non-Profit CEO Roundtable and university-wide Days of Service, the center is focused on fostering the core value of service at Alvernia. The center also seeks to  improve the quality of life in our communities by developing students with a lifelong commitment to serve as ethical leaders and engaged citizens.

  • 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.