2015 Award

Dr. Jody Harpster, president, (left) presented alumni awards to (l to r) Jeffrey Lee, Dr. Graig D. Shaak, Jerome Mark Dean, Joel Zullinger (accepting for Grace B. Luhrs), Charles H. Diller Jr , Patrick W. O’Donnell, and Nathan C. Douty.

Shippensburg University presents awards at Alumni Weekend

Three individuals are recipients of the 2015 Jesse S. Heiges Distinguished Alumnus Award, one of four awards presented during Alumni Weekend 2015 at Shippensburg University.

Recipients of the Heiges Award are Jeffrey Lee, Class of 1979 (John L. Grove College of Business Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter Honoree); Patrick W. O’Donnell, Class of 1981 (John L. Grove College of Business); and Allan J. Calarco, Class of 1980M.

The Exceptional Service Award was Charles H. “Chuck” Diller, Jr. (John L. Grove College of Business Advisory Board Member), and Grace Barnhart Luhrs, Class of 1970M.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Nathan C. Douty, Class of 1978 and Class of 2013M, and Dr. Graig Shaak, Class of 1968.

The Humanitarian Award was presented to Jerome Dean, Class of 1982 (John L. Grove College of Business).

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.

Lee of Kissimme, Fla., is an executive with over 32 years of success in corporate America with various fortune 500 companies including Time Inc., Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, and Campbell Soup. Currently, Lee is a principal in two startup companies, Cecil Street Investment Group and J. Lee & Associates, specializing in business consulting and real estate investment. Additionally, Lee has served on the SU Foundation Board of Directors since 1993, is a member of the SU Foundation Honor Society and is a longtime supporter of the John L. Grove College of Business. In 2003 Jeff was named Chapter Honoree of the SU Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, the honor society for AACSB International. Also, Lee and his wife Sharon have established the Jeff and Sharon Lee Scholarship for minority students demonstrating financial need with a preference for graduates of the Philadelphia school system. In 2005, Lee presented SU’s winter commencement address.

O’Donnell of Chambersburg, earned his BSBA in accounting from SU in 1981 and went on to receive his MBA in 1991 from Frostburg State University. He is currently the president and CEO of Summit Health. During his career at Summit Health he has provided leadership and oversight for over $250 million in debt financing and has helped Summit Health obtain an A+ rating from Fitch. Throughout his career, he has earned numerous awards including the Dwight M. Edwards Youth Builder Award from the Chambersburg YMCA in 2011 and the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year Award in 2005.

Calarco, of Greensboro, N.C., received his master’s degree in counseling from SU in 1980, and has worked in the field of higher education for more than 25 years. For the past 14 years, Calarco has worked in training and development for the Center for Creative Leadership in Brussels, Belgium: which is a top-ranked global provider of leadership and development. He has designed and delivered programs and workshops in over 20 countries around the world, most recently a three-month appointment in the center’s regional office in Singapore. He also coached an executive team from a large power and energy company in India. Calarco has sailed around the world twice with the Semester at Sea program, and has been recently appointed to the Staff/Faculty Advisory Council for this program.

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.

Diller of Mechanicsburg, earned an associate's degree from Chaffey College in 1966 and a BSBA from California State Polytechnic University in 1968. After graduation Diller served his country here and overseas as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal with Combat “V” and a certificate of commendations for exceptional performance of duty. From 1971 to 1977 he was an audit manager and computer audit specialist for KPMG Peat Marwick in Baltimore. For many years, Diller has been an ardent supporter of SU through his outstanding philanthropy and his service as a member of the John L. Grove College Advisory Board. Also, Diller is a member of the SU Foundation’s Honor Society and an executive campaign committee member for the current Charting the Course, Lighting the Way campaign. Additionally, Diller chairs the College of Business Campaign Committee.

Luhrs of Boynton Beach, Fla., received her master of education from SU in 1970. For 23 years she taught in the public school system in Pennsylvania with a six-month assignment in Maryland. For more than 17 years, she taught in the Shippensburg School District retiring after a successful career in 1981. Since 2005, Luhrs has been a member of the SU Foundation’s Board of Directors. She currently serves as the honorary chair of the current Charting the Course, Lighting the Way campaign. She is also a member of the SU Foundations Honor Society. Grace and her late husband, H. Ric Luhrs, have supported SU through their outstanding gifts to the SU Foundation to the extent that the Grace B. Luhrs Elementary School on campus and the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center are named in their honor.

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.

Douty of Mechanicsburg, is the retired vice president of human resources for the Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company. Throughout his career, Douty has assembled a world-class human resources team, which included five other SU alumni; opened an Employee Resource Center of Excellence; built a leadership and learning team; assembled a talent acquisition team; and many other notable achievements in the field of human resources management over the last 35 years. Douty received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from SU in 1978 and his master’s degree in organizational development and leadership in 2013. Douty is currently working as an independent HR/leadership consultant and adjunct faculty member at Elizabethtown College and also serves on SU’s College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board.

Shaak of Gainsville, Fla., is currently the associate director emeritus of the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida. Shaak began his education at SU, receiving his bachelor of science degree in 1968. From there he went on to receive his master of arts in teaching degree in 1969 from Indiana University of Pa. and later his Ph.D. in 1972 from the University of Pittsburgh. Shaak has received many awards throughout his career, most recently the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Florida Association of Museums as well as the James R. Short Award of Lifetime Achievement for the Southeastern Museums Conference, both in 2007.

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.

Dean of Philadelphia, is a retired federal agent from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Throughout his career with the federal government, he has had additional roles working on the U.S. Department of Justice’s British Petroleum Civil Investigative Team, as a Certified Fraud Examiner and as Diversity Facilitator for the entire EPA-OIG. After Dean graduated from SU in 1982, he stayed involved with the university, serving on the alumni board for seven years and as the Shippensburg University Alumni Association (SUAA) president. While serving as the SUAA president, he initiated the Freshman Welcome for alums to host incoming freshman at their residences, and the Homecoming service project at Kitchen Kettle. He currently works as an alumni admissions representative, recruiting high school students from the Philadelphia area to attend SU.

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