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 Veteran administrators tapped to lead advancement efforts 



Jan. 23, 2007
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

Veteran administrators tapped to lead advancement efforts

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -  Two 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 University.

            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 immediately.

            "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 campaign."

           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 projects."

           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.

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.

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