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June 21, 2012
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU trustees elect Eric Holmes chair

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Eric Holmes, a member of the Slippery Rock University Council of Trustees since 2009, has been elected chair of the council. He is the first African-American on the council to be named to the post.

The action came at the council’s June 15 meeting.

"It is indeed a privilege to have been selected by my colleagues on council to serve as chair. I am deeply humbled and honored to become the first African-American to hold this post. We have a profoundly important role as trustees, one with challenges, no question, but one which also holds great promise. It has been my good fortune over the past decade to have had the opportunity to serve Slippery Rock University in various roles. As chair of the council, I look forward to leading with a sense of collaboration as we work to continue to provide our students the best education that higher education has to offer,” Holmes said.

John Hicks, of Slippery Rock, was elected vice chair; and Robert Marcus, of Harrisburg, was elected secretary for the coming year.

Holmes, a Pittsburgh native and 1993 SRU graduate, has served Pittsburgh as a law enforcement officer for 15 years, currently in the rank of sergeant. He also is a consultant for higher education institutions.

His awards and commendations to promote public safety are numerous, and he has presented topics and lectures on risk management to various schools, colleges and businesses both locally and nationally.

In the law enforcement, public safety and higher educations sectors, Holmes has been cited for building relationships, establishing partnerships, alliances and crafting strong community connections.

In 1993, he was appointed to the White House Intern Program by the Clinton administration.

He has continued to give back to the University having served as president of the SRU Alumni Association. In 2005, he received the SRU Pacesetters Award as the first African-American male to lead the organization. In 2006, he presented his “How to Restart Your Alumni Board” program at a national conference where he received an Award of Excellence.

Holmes was named to the council by former Gov. Ed Rendell. He has served as council vice chair and has chaired the council’s university advancement and governance committees. Holmes chaired the SRU presidential search committee, which selected Norton.

The Eric L. Holmes Criminal Justice Scholarship was established at SRU in 2008.

He is a member of a number of professional and volunteer activities, including Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the Young Democrats, Association of Governing Boards, Boy Scouts of America, Rights of Passage 2010, Pittsburgh Regional Champions, Leadership Pittsburgh LDI XVIII and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh board of directors.

Hicks, who attended Brandeis University, John Carroll University, Kent State University and Penn State University, retired from SRU in 2002 following nearly 30 years service. He is president of the Pennsylvania Association of Council of Trustees.

Marcus, a leader in education and business, retired in 1994 after 34 years with the Harrisburg School District. He is president of Marcus Bonding, a family business. He funds two SRU scholarships for minority students from Harrisburg.

Council’s next meetings are scheduled for Sept. 27-28.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.