Three receive alumni association awards

The Lycoming College Alumni Association presented three awards during the College's Homecoming activities Saturday, Oct. 16. Award recipients are selected by the Alumni Association Executive Board from nominations received from alumni and other members of the College community.

Pictured left to right: Dr. Heather Duda '98, Alumni Association Executive Board president; Dr. Eli Stavisky '61; James D. Spencer; Robert C. Vowler '76; and Dr. James E. Douthat, president of Lycoming College

Dr. Eli Stavisky, a 1961 Lycoming graduate, received the Angela R. Kyte Outstanding Alumnus Award, given in honor of an alumnus/a who has demonstrated a lifetime of service to humanity and whose life exemplifies those qualities encouraged and fostered at Lycoming and by its predecessor institutions.

Robert C. Vowler, a 1976 Lycoming graduate, received the Outstanding Achievement Award, given in recognition of an alumnus/a who has achieved a significant accomplishment that reflects positively on the College and/or its predecessor institutions.

James D. Spencer, Lycoming's vice president of admissions and financial aid, was recognized with the Dale V. Bower Service Award, given to an individual for outstanding service rendered to Lycoming.

Stavisky is retired from practice as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. He is a recipient of the Pennsylvania Dental Association Annual Award and has served as chair of the State Board of Dentistry and member of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and the American Association of Dental Examiners, among many other organizations. He has been inducted into the American College of Dentistry, which he served as president, as well as the International College of Dentists. As a member of the Free Dental Clinic of the Jewish Federation of Scranton and the Pennsylvania Board of Directors of Donated Dental Services, he donated countless hours of his career and was one of the few oral surgeons in Northeastern Pennsylvania to treat Department of Welfare patients. He earned a bachelor's in biology from Lycoming, where he has served as a member of the Alumni Association Executive Board, and a doctorate of dental surgery from Temple University. He completed his post-graduate work in oral surgery at the New York University College of Dentistry. Stavisky also served as a captain in the United States Air Force and was chief of oral surgery at the base hospital in Plattsburgh, N.Y. He and his wife, Paula Ovens, live in Clarks Summit, Pa., and are the parents of three daughters.

Vowler is retired as president and CEO of Hershey Trust Company and member of its board of directors. His career with Hershey began in 1980, with Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, where he served in financial management for seven years before becoming CFO and treasurer of the Trust Company. In 1996, he became president and CEO of the Trust, a position he held for 12 years. The Hershey Trust is the parent company of Milton S. Hershey's business enterprises and administers the estate and philanthropies of Hershey, with more than $10 billion under management. As president and CEO, Vowler led the oversight of The Hershey Company, Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, and the M.S. Hershey Foundation. For 20 years, Vowler also served as president of The M.S. Hershey Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the educational and cultural enrichment of residents of and visitors to the area. The foundation supports The Hershey Story museum, Hershey Gardens, Hershey Theatre, Hershey Community Archives, and ChocolateTown Square. Vowler led the historical restoration of High Point Mansion (Milton Hershey's home) and the Hershey Theatre. He has also served the greater Harrisburg area as chair of the Chamber of Commerce and as a Rotarian. Vowler earned a bachelor's in accounting from Lycoming and is a graduate of the National Graduate Trust School at Northwestern University and the Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. He and his wife, Holly, live in Hummelstown, Pa., and have two children.

Spencer has served Lycoming since 1989, influencing both the admissions standards of the College and the lives of the thousands students who have enrolled during the course of more than 20 years. Under his leadership, Lycoming has seen record numbers in applicants, academic measures of entering classes such as SAT scores and high school class rank, and the percentage of out-of-state students. He also contributes more broadly to his field through scholarship readings for the Mitrani Foundation and the Marguerite Carl Smith Scholarship. But it is his infectious enthusiasm for and commitment to the life of the College and its students that make him well-recognized and well-respected on campus. His is a familiar face at home and away sporting events, theatre productions, concerts and other student performances and programs. Spencer earned a bachelor's from Concordia College and completed graduate coursework at Montana State University. He and his wife, Gail, reside in Williamsport and are the parents of two children.

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