Alvernia bestows four major awards at annual President’s Dinner

At its annual Presidents Dinner, Alvernia University honors organizations and individuals who have made a significant impact on the university and its surrounding community. This year’s awardees include the Honorable Linda Ludgate ’77 (Franciscan Award), Olivet Boys & Girls Club (Pro Urbe Award), Sharon Danks ’03, M’04 (Ellen Frei Gruber Alumni Award), and George Rice ’85 (Distinguished Alumni Award).

Franciscan Award: Linda Ludgate (Class of 1977)
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.  

Ludgate served for 23 years as a trial judge in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas and as an active member of the International Association of Women Judges since 1991. She recently retired but continues to serve as a senior judge. >> Read more

Ellen Frei Gruber Award: Sharon Danks (Class of 2003, M 2004)
The Ellen Frei Gruber Award 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.

Sharon Danks is a Principal and Vice President of Reading, Pa., based Tweed-Weber, Inc., where she facilitates the strategic planning process and designs and implements market research projects for a wide range of clients across the county. >> Read more

Distinguished Alumni Award: George Rice (Class of 1985)
As Executive Director of Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCert), George Rice is working to ensure first responders have up-to-date, in-the-moment knowledge when they arrive on the scene at a crisis. >> Read more

Pro Urbe Award: Olivet Boys & Girls Club
The Pro Urbe award, literally meaning “for the city,” was established by Alvernia 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 mission of the organization or because of its commitment to outreach and community-mindedness.  

Since first opening its doors in Reading in 1898, the Olivet Boys & Girls Club has served thousands of children and provided them with opportunities to dream and grow in a safe environment. >> Read more

Also announced at the dinner, Alvernia University and the Olivet Boys & Girls Club has entered into a new partnership to work with at-risk youth in a more robust high school and college program — designed to help students prepare for and succeed in college. The Reading Collegiate Scholarship Program involves a $10 million commitment from Alvernia University over the first four years, as well as new programming to help kids from poverty-stricken neighborhoods succeed in life. >> Read more

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