Jan. 23, 2007
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine
Veteran administrators tapped to
lead advancement efforts
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa.
veteran administrators with deep ties and more than a combined 60-
plus years of service to the University were named today as
Co-interim Vice President for Development at Slippery Rock
Robert Aebersold, who retired
as president after serving the University for 30 years, and Robert
Watson, who retired as vice president for student life following a
34-year career at SRU, will begin their new positions
"We are extremely fortunate
to have two exceptionally talented individuals who have agreed to
provide interim leadership for this critical area of the
University," said Robert Smith, president. "They will be an
excellent resource to the University as we transition to new
leadership in advancement and close out our current
The Campaign for Slippery Rock
University, a 10-year campaign to raise $33 million, is in the
seventh year. As of Dec. 31, 2006, the campaign had generated gifts
and pledges of $26.7 million.
"We are at a critical point in the
campaign. It is crucial we don't lose any momentum. I'm confident
that Drs. Aebersold and Watson will keep us on track for success,"
Smith said. "For most day-to-day work, Dr. Watson will assist with
operations. Dr. Aebersold will be working with specific development
Aebersold joined the SRU faculty
in 1968 as an assistant professor of physical education and later
served as full professor and chair of the department. He was named
vice president for academic affairs in 1978, a post he occupied
until being named president in 1984. He served as SRU president for
13 years, retiring in 1997. The student recreation center is named
in his honor.
Watson, an SRU graduate and
34-year administrator, joined the University in 1972 and served in
a variety of positions until being named vice president for student
life in 2001. He is a fourth generation family member instrumental
in the founding and development of the University. Watson is the
author of "Slippery Rock State College: The Legend Behind the
Name." The honors/education building in the new residential suite
complex is named in his honor.
Aebersold and Watson will serve in
their interim roles until a permanent vice president is selected. A
national search for the position is under way.
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.