Page 21 - 2012 Lycoming Summer Magazine

Richard Wienecke ’66 lives on a
large plot of land tucked away in the
middle of the Pennsylvania State Game
Lands in Sullivan County. It’s the perfect
location for the outdoor enthusiast and
avid fisherman. Until he retired in May,
he would leave the peace and serenity
of the renovated hunting cabin he shares
with his wife, Kay, and make the daily
40-
minute commute to Lycoming
College.
Professor Wienecke began teaching at
his alma mater in 1982.
The most gratifying experience has
been seeing the success of the accounting
graduates,” Wienecke said. “There
have been so many graduates over the
years who come back to visit that we
recently setup an annual reception at
homecoming just for accounting alumni.
It’s great to see that, by and large, they
are all very successful.”
For Wienecke, the success of the
accounting department was surprisingly
frustrating at times because he and his
colleagues often had trouble meeting the
needs of accounting alumni who wanted
to hire new graduates. The 150 credit-
hour program is demanding and students
must successfully complete the outcome
assessment exam before graduating, says
Wienecke. “Our accounting majors have
nearly a 100 percent job placement rate.
They participate in internships between
their junior and senior years and usually
come back with a job offer at the start of
their senior year.”
Wienecke feels strongly about the
overall competency of Lycoming’s
accounting graduates, so much so that
he has hired several of them to work
for him. Come February, five of the 13
employees at Wienecke and Verrastro
PC, a thriving, full-service tax and
accounting firm he founded in the
mid-1980s that now handles more than
800
clients, are Lycoming graduates.
Unfortunately, his daily commutes to
the area will not cease any time soon
because the business is located just a few
miles from campus.
Wienecke has experienced a lot
during his three-plus decades at
Lycoming. He says there have been
tremendous improvements during the
last 15 years in the physical facilities, and
the College as a whole is now financially
very stable. “There also are a lot of very
high-quality programs and departments
on campus. The Office of Student
Affairs is one example. They do a lot of
really good things for the students. We
are developing the whole person here, not
just teaching them in the classroom.”
Wienecke is well aware of the benefits
of aiding with the development of young
people. Besides the numerous students
he has taught and mentored at Lycoming,
he and his wife, who have two biological
children, David ’92 and Fred, have been
longtime foster parents.
Being the foster parents of 17
children meshed very well with the
college students,” Wienecke said. “They
would visit the campus to participate
in all types of activities ranging from
pumpkin carving contests to karate
lessons to swimming.”
Although Fred never attended a class
at Lycoming, he certainly benefitted
from one of his many visits to campus.
He met his wife, Dr. Kelli (Beitler)
Wienecke ’07, during a chance meeting
when the one-time UPS driver made
a delivery to her room in Rich Hall.
The couple now resides in Erie, Pa.,
where much to the delight of Professor
Wienecke, they enjoy the outdoors,
especially boating and fishing on Lake
Erie.
While Wienecke has officially left
the College on a full-time basis to
concentrate on running his CPA firm,
don’t expect him to be away for long.
The College is a very friendly place
where I have met a lot of wonderful
people,” Wienecke said. “I plan to come
back and visit and even teach now and
then. I also plan to go to accounting
society meetings and alumni events. I am
going to miss the family atmosphere on
campus.”
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