DeSales University held its mid-year commencement Saturday, January 22, in Billera Hall on the Center Valley campus. During the ceremony, Father Bernard O’Connor, OSFS, university president, conferred degrees upon 149 graduating students for January 2011, including 82 bachelor’s and 67 master’s.
In addition to the January 2011 degree recipients, DeSales awarded 187 degrees to students in September 2010, including 67 bachelor’s and 120 master’s. Because there is no formal ceremony in September, the September graduates may take part in the January commencement.
The 149 graduating students for January 2010 are from the following states: 130 from Pennsylvania; 9 from New Jersey; 2 each from New York, Delaware, Maryland, and Texas; and 1 each from North Carolina and Illinois.
The Commencement Address
The commencement address was delivered by Dr. W. Beall Fowler, professor emeritus of physics at Lehigh University.
Fowler joined the Lehigh faculty as associate professor of physics in 1966. While at Lehigh, he served twice as chairperson of the physics department as well as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1994-95. Fowler is a fellow of the American Physical Society.
He graduated from Lehigh with a degree in engineering physics in 1959, earned a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Rochester, and completed postdoctoral research at the University of Illinois.
Fowler is president of the Bethlehem Historic District Association and a board member of the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Association. He is a past president and a current board member of the Historic Bethlehem Partnership.
Originally from Honesdale, Pa., Fowler is now a resident of Bethlehem and is married to Marlene “Linny” Fowler, philanthropist and artist. They have 4 children and 12 grandchildren.
The DeSales Medal
During the ceremony, Robert J. Breslin, founder and chief executive of Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects, received the DeSales Medal.
The DeSales Medal is the highest nonacademic award conferred by the University in recognition of the outstanding contributions to the development of the University through personal service as well as financial support. Recipients of the DeSales Medal are well respected in the community at large and have been distinguished for the witness they give to the ideals most highly prized by St. Francis de Sales.
Breslin is chairman emeritus of the Pennsylvania State Art Commission and a member of the American Institute of Architects. Under his leadership, Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects has been the recipient of 65 awards for design excellence, including the highest honor of the Pennsylvania Society of Architects. He graduated from Penn State University with a degree in architectural engineering and has completed executive education at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Breslin has been the architect at DeSales University for the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, the Trexler Library, the Priscilla Payne Hurd Science Center, the addition to Billera Hall, and the University Center. He is currently working on the design of the Gambet Center for Business and Healthcare Education.
Breslin was married to his beloved wife Barbara for 52 years. They have three children: Robin, an architect and president of Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects; Gregg, an employee of a construction management firm; and Kristin, a professor in the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State University. He is the proud grandfather of Kaitlin, Kelsey, Bobby, Andie, Saige, and Zane.
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