Gettysburg College honors outstanding alumni

In recent weeks Gettysburg College recognized ten of its alumni for their extraordinary personal accomplishments, professional achievements, or humanitarian service. Each exemplifies the College’s promise to prepare graduates to be leaders and active citizens in their professions, communities, nation, and the world.

At the Spring Honors Day program on May 19, four Gettysburgians were presented the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor given by the Alumni Association.

Brig. Gen. Flora D. Darpino ’83, Richard L. Erdman ’68, and Charlotte Wilcox ‘68 were on campus to accept their awards and Pamela Hemenway Simpson ’68 was honored posthumously.

Brig. Gen. Flora D. Darpino ’83Flora Darpino
Commanding General, U.S. Army Legal Services Agency
Chief Judge, U.S. Army Court of Appeals

Economics major Flora D. Darpino graduated from Gettysburg in 1983 and earned her juris doctor degree from the School of Law on the Camden campus of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She received a direct commission into the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps and pursued a highly challenging career that included two deployments in Iraq, numerous commendations, and the rank of Brigadier General. Darpino is Commanding General of the U.S. Legal Services Agency and Chief Judge of the U.S. Army Court of Appeals. She oversees more than 20 offices, divisions, and activities worldwide and 500 personnel.

Richard ErdmannRichard L. Erdmann ’68
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
The Conservation Fund

A political science major while at Gettysburg, Erdmann is vice president and general counsel of The Conservation Fund, launched in 1985 by Erdmann’s classmate and fellow Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Patrick Noonan ’68. Erdmann has been recognized for his significant contributions to land conservation and green space preservation and has negotiated land deals in each of the 50 states, conserving millions of acres of land for communities and the nation. The interest he and Noonan shared in the Battle of Gettysburg from their College years led to the creation of The Conservation Fund’s Civil War Battlefield Campaign and the return of the historic Harman Farm, a “Day 1” battle site, to the National Park Service in 2011.

Pamela Hemenway Simpson ’68 (awarded posthumously)Pamela H. Simpson
Ernest Williams Professor of Art History
Washington & Lee University

Simpson led an exemplary academic career as a teacher, scholar, and administrator. During her 38 years at Washington and Lee University, Simpson forged a path for women faculty. In the mid-1980s, she chaired the institution’s Coeducation Steering Committee, which implemented the university’s decision to admit women. A prolific author and a speaker on art and architecture, Simpson was the recipient of several major teaching awards, including the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Virginia State Council on Higher Education. She held leadership positions in numerous professional and community organizations, as well as in her department and university. Following her death in 2011, Washington & Lee announced the establishment of the Pamela H. Simpson Professorship, “which will be held by a member of the undergraduate faculty who, like her, exemplifies the highest standards of teaching, scholarship, and service.”

Charlotte Wilcox ’69Charlotte Wilcox
Theatrical General Manager
Charlotte Wilcox Company

Classical studies and an interest in acting and the theater led Charlotte Wilcox ’69 to New York City after her graduation. The exciting and creative opportunities that theater management and production offered were a good match for her leadership abilities. After working with Theatre Now and the National Theater Company, she established her own firm. The Charlotte Wilcox Company has managed more than 70 extraordinary productions, including some of the most recognized and beloved on Broadway, as well as many touring productions. Wilcox serves on the Board of Governors of the Broadway League, is active with the League of Professional Theater, and has been a voter for the Tony Awards.

More than 1,500 Gettysburg College alumni returned to campus for Reunion Weekend festivities May 31-June 3. Six alumni were recognized at the annual awards ceremony on Saturday, June 2.

Receiving the Meritorious Service Award for service to the College:

I. Charles Widger ’67I. Charles Widger
Chairman and CEO, Brinker Capital, Inc.

Upon completing his history major at Gettysburg College, Chuck Widger entered the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School. Widger earned his law degree from Villanova University and his master’s degree in tax law from Boston University. With his legal training and an interest in finance, he expanded into real estate and investment operations and founded Brinker Capital, Inc., where he now serves as chairman and CEO. Widger has worked to strengthen alumni connections to the College and helped bring the Unfinished Work Campaign to its successful conclusion by serving on several key committees. He served on the Commission on the Future and on the Board of Trustees, leading the Endowment Committee and serving as chair of the Board. For his extraordinary philanthropy he is recognized as a Visionary Gettysburgian and a lifetime member of the Cupola Society.

Suzanne Hermann Williams ’62Suzanne Hermann Williams
Reading Specialist, Gettysburg Area School District (Retired)

Susan Hermann Williams studied French at Gettysburg College and was a member of Gamma Phi Beta. She earned her master’s degree in higher education from Indiana University in Bloomington and became assistant dean of students and Residence Hall Director at Bucknell University. In 1970 Lafayette College made the decision to admit women and tapped Williams as their first woman dean for coeducation. Marriage to Gettysburg College’s Dean of Student Life Frank B. Williams brought Susan back to her alma mater. Their shared commitment to student affairs is commemorated in the annual Dean Frank B. Williams Memorial Prize that she established in his honor. Williams has served Gettysburg College as a class agent, Cupola Society Development Committee Volunteer, and reunion committee member. She was chair of the committee for her 50th class reunion.

Receiving the Young Alumni Achievement Award for Service to the College:

Meredith Bowne Bove ’97Meredith Bowne Bove
Consultant, Suntiva

As a volunteer for Gettysburg College Meredith Bowne Bove has helped to build strong alumni relationships and provided students career advice and professional development. Bove has served as a lead facilitator for the Alumni Mentor Retreat for seven years and offers students support as part of Gettysburg Career Connections. She is a member of the board of advisers of the Garthwait Leadership Center and a mentor to students in the Young Alumni Leadership Program. Bove was recognized among the College’s Women of Distinction in 1999. She is a member of the reunion committee for the class of 1997. The history and women’s studies major earned her MBA at Johns Hopkins University and holds certifications in coaching and leadership. Bove is senior executive consultant and executive coach with Suntiva Consulting in Falls Church, Virginia. She and her husband Paul live in Potomac, Maryland.

Carolyn Holmes Lee ’97Carolyn Holmes Lee
Senior director, tax policy, National Association of Manufacturers

Carolyn Holmes Lee is a three-time letter winner in Bullets field hockey and four-time letter winner in lacrosse. She majored in political science and was a member of Chi Omega. Following graduation from Gettysburg she headed to Capitol Hill to work in legislative and government affairs. As a volunteer she has served in many capacities to advance the College's alumni programs. A member of the Orange & Blue Advisory Council, Lee also works with Gettysburg Career Connections to assist current students interested in careers in government relations.

Receiving the Young Alumni Achievement Award for Professional Development:

James P. D. Fleet II ’02Jamie Fleet
Minority staff director, U.S. House of Representatives

As the Democratic staff director for the Committee on House Administration, James P. D. “Jamie” Fleet II is responsible for administrative and operational functions for the U. S. House of Representatives, including areas human resources, finance, technology, and security. The committee’s oversight extends to the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, Government Printing Office, federal elections, and other crucial areas. While studying political science at the College, Fleet mounted a write-in campaign and was elected to the Gettysburg Borough Council. He served on the Student Senate and was a member of the College Democrats group and Amnesty International. Fleet is a Key Alumni Resource Effort (KARE) volunteer, member of the College Community Affairs Committee, and a Young Alumni Leadership Program mentor. He chairs the board of the Gettysburg Festival and is a member of the House Chiefs of Staff Association board and the Union League of Philadelphia.

Michael C. Manzo ’97Michael Manzo
Atlantic Physical Therapy Center

Michael C. Manzo is a physical therapist and owner/operator of the Atlantic Physical Therapy Center, providing services in six locations along the New Jersey shore. A health & exercise sciences major, Manzo was a student athletic trainer and competitor in both basketball and baseball and participated in the Pre-Health Professions Society, Student Senate, Student Alumni Association, and Sigma Chi. He received the prestigious Linnaean Award and was inducted into Omicron Delta Epsilon and Omicron Delta Kappa, graduating cum laude in 1996. Manzo earned his master’s degree in physical therapy from MCP Hahnemann University Hospital. He specializes in treating orthopedic injuries and in surgical rehabilitation, dealing with complex shoulder, lumbar spine, and lower extremities injuries and surgeries. An avid CrossFitter, he is a guest lecturer for Temple University and member of the New Jersey Society of Independent Physical Therapists, American Physical Therapy Association, and Toms River (N.J.) Chamber of Commerce.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Sue Baldwin-Way, director of development communications

Posted: Mon, 4 Jun 2012

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