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2011 President's Dinner

Date: 10/14/2011

President Thomas F. Flynn, Ph.D., bestows four awards at annual dinner

Alvernia University hosted its annual President’s Dinner, on Thursday, Oct. 13, to honor organizations and individuals who have made a significant impact on Alvernia and its surrounding community. This year, alumni awards were also given at the event. Awards are recipients include:

Distinguished Alumni AwardPH: Murphy Sisters

Sisters: Michele and Patricia Murphy (both Class of 1973) 

For 38 years, the Murphy sisters have been educating students in mathematics.
Michele began her career in 1973 at St. Pius X High School in Pottstown, and is still a teacher Pope John Paul II High School (created from a merger of St. Pius X High School and Kennedy-Kenrick High School in 2010). Students have been inspired by Michele’s teaching, creating the “Math is Fun: Ms. Michele Murphy Appreciation Group” on Facebook, honoring the woman the students consider a teacher, a legacy, and a hero.

Patricia Murphy has also been educating students in the Catholic school system for 38 years beginning at Holy Name High School in Reading (now named Berks Catholic). She currently teaches Honors Pre-Calculus, Honors Algebra II and Algebra II.

PH: McCormackEllen Frei Gruber Award

Theresa McCormack (Class of 1983)

Inspired by the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters and Alvernia University, Theresa McCormack has dedicated her life to God, her family, and serving her community. Over the course of her career, she has been employed as a social worker at the Children’s Home of Reading, Reading School District and the A. Michael St. Peter Center. Additionally, she served the Lewisburg Area School District as a Social Service Support Specialist and Girls Tennis Coach, and was the Physical Education Teacher at St. Monica School. Her support of the community is extensive, serving as a Bernardine Franciscan Sisters Associate, volunteering at the Geisinger PrayerNet, Sacred Heart Caring Community, and Shepherds Table Soup Kitchen.

Pro Urbe Award

Berks Catholic High School

Pro Urbe (which translates to “for the city,”) Award recognizes an organization for its commitment to the community. This year, it will be given to Berks Catholic High School, and its predecessors Reading Central Catholic High School and Holy Name High School, for providing opportunities for Berks County young people to experience a challenging curriculum and extra-curricular activities that promote spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social and physical growth, all rooted in the Catholic tradition.

PH: MillersFranciscan Award

Marlin and Ginger Miller
The Franciscan Award honors individuals who selflessly give of their time, talents, and resources for the betterment of others. Marlin and Ginger Miller’s commitment to Berks County and beyond has been significant and everlasting. The Millers have great passion and interest in both the arts and education, and have supported both areas locally with their time, talent and treasure. Their philanthropy includes major gifts to Reading Public Museum, Carnegie Mellon University, Kutztown University, and Reading Area Community College. Alvernia University has also been the recipient of the Miller’s generosity, contributing the resources for the University to create the first ever art gallery on campus, The Miller Gallery. This dynamic exhibition space in Francis Hall acknowledges and celebrates the Millers’ dedicated support of the arts.

  • 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.