Four awards given during 2012 President's Dinner

Celebrating his eighth year as President of Alvernia, Dr. Thomas F. Flynn expressed his appreciation for graduates and community members who have made him proud to call the university home. 

This year’s annual President’s Dinner brought several such people to the forefront. 

Receiving awards at the 2012 President’s Dinner were: Deborah Geiger ’83, Distinguished Alumni Award, Carl & Kathleen ’95 Herbein, Franciscan Award, The Reading Symphony Orchestra, Pro Urbe Award, and Deanna (Wetherhold) Reuben ’79, Ellen Frei Gruber Award. 

GeigerColonel Deborah Geiger ’83 — Distinguished Alumni Award

This award recognizes the valuable contributions the Alumni of Alvernia University make to their professions, their communities, and their nation. 

The University’s mission statement reads, in part, that Alvernia graduates broadly educated, life-long learners, reflective professionals and engaged citizens, and ethical leaders with moral courage. Colonel Deborah Geiger embodies these traits. 

She is currently on active duty in the Military Police Corps and serves as an instructor at the US Army War College at Carlisle Barracks. In this position, she serves as a course author for Strategic Leadership and teaches courses in Strategic Leadership in a Global Environment, Critical Thinking, National Security Policy, and International Strategic Crisis Negotiation.

“Colonel Geiger, your professional and personal leadership as well your dedicated service to our country make you a worthy recipient of Alvernia’s Distinguished Alumni Award,” said Flynn. 

>> Read more about Colonel Deborah Geiger ’83

HerbeinsCarl & Kathleen ’95 Herbein — Franciscan Award

The Franciscan Award honors individuals who selflessly give of their time, talents, and resources for the betterment of others and is presented for exceptional service to the University, the community, and the individuals’ professions.  

Carl Herbein and Kathy (Driscoll) Herbein ’95 are natives of Berks County devoted to their shared community. 

Carl often says “you’re not able to truly receive until you give,” and this has been a hallmark of Herbein and Company and the Herbein family. Carl has served in numerous community leadership capacities including as Chair and Treasurer of the Berks County Chamber of Commerce, Berks County Convention Center Authority, and the Greater Berks Development Fund and as Chair of the Reading Redevelopment Authority. He has served as a trustee at Elizabethtown College and has been a leader in Pennsylvania and nationally in Accounting and Management Associations. Kathy has also served in many leadership positions for The United Way of Berks County, the Reading Public Museum, and the Berks County Community Foundation, to name a few. Among their awards, Carl is a former Eugene L. Shirk Award winner presented by BCTV, and Kathy has been recognized by the Girl Scouts with a Take the Lead Award.   

A 1995 graduate of Alvernia, Kathy has also been a devoted servant-leader for her beloved alma mater. She was the founding chair of the Alumni Council and, along with Carl, co-chairs Alvernia’s current Values and Vision Campaign. Most notably, she served as vice chair and then chair of the Alvernia Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2011, the first graduate of the University to hold the latter position and one of the key trustees who have guided Alvernia’s progress from college to university. Not to be outdone, Carl has just begun his service as an Alvernia trustee where his business acumen and community-mindedness will be invaluable. The Herbeins have been generous supporters of Alvernia and many other charities in our community with their time, talent and treasure.  

RSOReading Symphony Orchestra —Pro Urbe Award

Alvernia University’s Pro Urbe award, literally meaning “for the city,” was established in 2003 to recognize a business or other organization for significant service to the community and for contribution to the betterment of lives in Reading and Berks County through the very mission of the organization or because of its commitment to outreach and community-mindedness.

For nearly 100 years, the Reading Symphony Orchestra has filled the air of Reading with beautiful music from around the world and throughout the ages. Generations of Berks Countians have been enriched by its constant presence.  

Very influential in expanding appreciation for music, the Reading Symphony Youth Orchestra has inspired young people to fill their lives with music. The RSO’s mission also includes education, and it has joined with symphonies across the country in support of Orchestras Feeding America to collect food at its Star Spangled spectacular for the Greater Berks Food Bank. More than just a fine performing ensemble, the RSO is an essential community resource and partner. For nearly 100 years the men and women of the RSO — the musicians, dedicated staff, and devoted volunteers — have enriched the lives of the citizens of Berks County.

ReubenDeanna Reuben ’79 — The Ellen Frei Gruber Award

Ellen Frei Gruber was a well-respected educator who served on the faculty of Alvernia from 1967 to 1977. It honors an alumnus who embraces Alvernia’s core values of service, humility, peacemaking, contemplation, and collegiality and demonstrates exceptional commitment to her or his alma mater.  

Deanna Reuben ’79 is one of these graduates. Deanna was attending Alvernia as a working adult, with two children, when her mother passed away. During this difficult time her life, she found compassion and support from the Bernardine Sisters whose caring approach to education embodied the Franciscan ideal of “knowledge joined with love.” The Sisters allowed her to bring her children to campus, where they would color quietly in the back of the room, while she attended class. 

Following graduation, she became involved in numerous non-profit agencies as well as with her alma mater. Her service to the community is extensive and includes working with The Family Services Agency, Berks Classical Children’s Chorus now the Berks Youth Chorus, Friends of the Reading Hospital and Medical Center, and the Reading Symphony Orchestra. She has also organized, produced and was the primary performer for fundraising concerts supporting the ALS Association of Philadelphia and Berks Women in Crisis. 

A current member of Alvernia’s Board of Trustees, Deanna is a consummate musical performer and vocalist and passionate supporter of the arts in our community. She chaired the Alvernia Arts Committee, which has brought an array of appealing performers to Alvernia. She, along with husband Dr. Mark Reuben, have been generous supporters of the University and made a gift to name the green room supporting the Francis Hall Theater and Recital Hall as part of Alvernia’s Values and Vision Campaign.

“Again and again, we hear from employers of all types that Alvernia graduates stand out for their integrity and commitment to service. Tonight we honor three such alumni and a respected business leader serving as a trustee,” said Dr. Flynn.

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