Shippensburg University presents awards at Alumni Weekend


AlumniAwardsArticleFour individuals are recipients of the 2017 Jesse S. Heiges Distinguished Alumnus Award, one of four awards presented during Alumni Weekend 2017 at Shippensburg University.

Recipients of the Heiges Award are Michele (Gross) Buck ’82; Sujata (Narielwala) Chaudhry ’88; David Leon Myers ’90‘94M; and Richard Troxell ’83.

The Exceptional Service Award was presented to John and Sandy Gates and Sam ’59 and Virginia (Weills) ’60 Schucht.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Ronald Gipe ‘71, and Maj. General Carl McNair Jr. (Ret.) ‘71M.

The Humanitarian Award was presented to Samuel Benbow ’89- ‘96M.

Heiges Award

The Heiges Award, established in 1959, is the university’s highest award. The award recognizes the recipients’ distinguished achievements in their field of endeavor to benefit community and society. Recipients have also, through their work and service, contributed immensely to society.

Michele (Gross) Buck received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1982. Buck is the first female president and CEO for the Hershey Company and serves on the company’s Board of Directors. Prior to joining the company in 2005, Michele served for 17 years at Kraft/Nabisco in numerous senior positions and at Frito Lay division of PepsiCo.

Sujata Chaudhry received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1988. She is founder and CEO of Tangible Development, LLC., a consulting business that specializes in corporate cross-cultural sensitivity and awareness training. It is the first of its kind in the Capital Region.

David Myers received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in 1989 and his Master of Science in Administration of Justice in 1994. He currently serves as a professor and director of the Ph.D. program for the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice & Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

Richard Troxell graduated in 1983 with a bacholor’s degree in Theater, beginning his lifelong opera career. He has performed leading roles at opera houses and concert halls around the world, among them Los Angeles Opera, Washington Opera, Sydney Opera, Beijing, Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, and L’ Opera Comique in Paris, Monte Carlo, and Toulouse. He is a Frederick County Hall of Fame Inductee and a New England Emmy Award Nominee.

Exceptional Service Award

The Exceptional Service Award is given to recognize and thank outstanding persons who have given unselfishly of their time and efforts for the betterment of Shippensburg University.

John Gates has served the SU Foundation as a campaign volunteer, and both he and his wife, Sandy, volunteered with the Festival Chamber Orchestra Association. Sandy was also a member of the Luhrs Performing Arts Center’s Regional Advisory Council. They were members of the Steering Committee for the Charting the Course, Lighting the Way Campaign.

Sam and Ginny (Weills) Schucht are both graduates of Shippensburg University from the classes of 1959 and 1960 respectively. Together they head the York Thankathon for the SU Foundation, serve on the Alumni Days Planning Committee and participate in class reunion events.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a recipient in recognition of life-long career achievement and personal commitment in his/her field of endeavor for the benefit of the community and society.

Ronald Gipe graduated in 1971 with his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Gipe was a nontraditional student who was married with two children when he attended Shippensburg. He retired in 2012 as the executive vice president and vice president of finance and administration at Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc. in Chambersburg.

Gipe continues to stay involved in many civic and community activities including serving on the Advisory Board for the John L. Grove School of Business. Along with his wife, Arlene, he has endowed a scholarship for business students.


Major General Carl H. McNair Jr. (Ret.) is a graduate of the US Army War College. During his time there, he also attended Shippensburg University as a graduate student in the Public Administration program. He received his Master of Science in Public Administration from Ship in 1971. Major General McNair retired from his most recent position at Air Methods Corporation in 2016.

Humanitarian Award

The Alumni Humanitarian Award is presented to honor an alumnus and/or a member of the campus community in recognition of his/her direct impact on diversity and cultural experiences of students on campus.

Dr. Sam Benbow received his Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Shippensburg in 1989 and his Master of Science in College Student Personnel in 1996. In 2007, Dr. Benbow received his Ph.D. in Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and has been a faculty member at Shippensburg University since 1996 in the Social Work and Gerontology Department.

Along with his activities at Shippensburg University, Dr. Benbow is board secretary and member of the scholarship committee for the Arc of Franklin and Fulton Counties. In the past, Dr. Benbow served as a member of the Chambersburg Area School District Minority Student Retention Task Force, member of the Chambersburg Community Improvement Association member, and a member of the Project Homeless Connect Steering Committee.

(Appearing in photo, left to right: Samuel Benbow, Ronald Gipe, Richard Trowel, Sam Schucht, Ginny Schucht, David Leon Myers, Maj. Gen. Carl H. McNair Jr (Ret.), Sujata Chaudhry, John Gates, Sandy Gates, Dr. Barbara Lyman, interim president of Shippensburg University)

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