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his past June, Lycoming

College joined with the First

Community Foundation

Partnership of Pennsylvania

and the Lycoming County

United Way to honor the

generous spirit of their greatest collective

champion. On the first anniversary of his passing

— and, coincidentally, what would have been

his 83rd birthday — friends and former protégés

joined leaders of the organizations to which he had

dedicated, in the words of Trustee Don Failor ’68, “his

time, talent and treasure.”

Robert Shangraw ’58, H’04 was one of Lycoming

College’s all-time most ardent and energetic advocates.

He worked tirelessly to advance the College, and was a

generous benefactor as well. Shangraw was possessed of

many remarkable qualities, though no list of adjectives could

paint a full picture of the man, or of the influence he had on

Lycoming College and the community where he lived and

worked.

In his remarks, President Kent Trachte referenced the

American spirit of philanthropy and volunteerism that French

writer Alexis de Tocqueville famously observed in his mid-19th

century writings: “I’m pretty sure that de Tocqueville did not

meet Bob Shangraw in 1831, but Bob certainly epitomized this

quintessential American spirt of volunteerism and philanthropy that

de Tocqueville discerned. He understood as did de Tocqueville, that

this habit of forming associations to solve problems and create public

goods is one foundation of a healthy, vibrant community. He was a man

that devoted his time, energy and resources to the public good and it is

that spirit of Bob that we honor today.”

Born in Jersey Shore, Pa., Shangraw was the youngest of four children

in a family of modest means. He loved sports growing up and excelled at

football especially, and played on the 1949 Jersey Shore High School team

that was its last to go undefeated.

Shangraw lived in Williamsport for most of his adult life. After attending

Lycoming College, he began his professional career with Bell Telephone of

Pennsylvania, and in 1961 joined Merrill Lynch, eventually rising to the rank of

First Vice President of Investments, a post he held until his retirement in 2001.

Shangraw was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by Lycoming College

in 2004.

In 1985, Shangraw was invited to join the board of trustees of Lycoming College,

where he began three decades of service to the school, and was appointed chair in 1989.

He was the first person from Williamsport in seven decades to serve as chair of the

board, and he remained chair until 2005, later serving as a chair emeritus.

Robert

Shangraw

T

LYCOMING

COLLEGE’S

ALL-TIME MOST

ARDENT

AND ENERGETIC

ADVOCATE

by

Chris

Quirk

22

LYCOMING COLLEGE 2016 SUMMER MAGAZINE

F E AT U R E