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Bishop Barres and Dr. Michael Baxter to be honored

Date: 5/9/2012

Alvernia University will bestow Honorary Degrees of Humane Letters on The Most Reverend John O. Barres, D.D, S.T.D., J.C.L., fourth Bishop of Allentown and D. Michael Baxter, M.D., chair of the department of family and community medicine at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center, during commencement ceremonies at the Sovereign Center, May 12, 2012, at 2 p.m. Dr. Baxter will also address students as the commencement speaker.

Bishop Barres was ordained a Bishop and installed as the fourth Bishop of Allentown by His Eminence, Justin Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia at the Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena in Allentown on July 30, 2009.

Dr. Michael Baxter joined the Reading Hospital and Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program in 1990, serving as Director for 20 years. He currently serves as Chair of the Family and Community Medicine Department. In addition to his responsibilities as Department Chair, Dr. Baxter teaches residents and medical students in the in-patient and ambulatory settings.

Allison Toczylowski (Mantua, N.J.) will be taking the stage as this year's student speaker before graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training. 


  • 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.