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SRU COUNCIL OF TRUSTEES RECOGNIZE DEDICATION
OF TRUSTEE THROUGH NAMING
OF CONFERENCE ROOM; NAMES NEW RESIDENCE HALL
IN TRIBUTE TO RETIRING VP
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa.
– The Slippery Rock University Council of Trustees
honored one of its own today for his outstanding service and
philanthropy by naming the Dr. Robert Marcus Executive Conference
Room in Old Main, the campus administration building, as a lasting
reminder of his dedication to the university.
Action came in
passage of a resolution during council’s regular quarterly
meeting honoring Dr. Robert Marcus, a council member, former
council chair and a 1961 SRU graduate.
completed conference space, on the first floor of Old Main, is a
state-of-the-art meeting room equipped with the latest in
technology and capable of big-screen presentations. The conference
center, located in the northwest corner of the 100+-year-old
building, offers a 20-seat conference table with additional space
for staff. It is electronically linked to the Internet allowing for
distance-conference participation. A small galley kitchen allows
the room to be used for special events. Marcus’ picture and
the naming resolution have been mounted in the room.
Marcus, a business
and education leader in the Harrisburg area and across the state,
has long been active in SRU activities.
generosity, leadership and friendship are deeply
appreciated,” said SRU President Robert Smith in speaking of
Dr. Marcus’s contributions to the university. “As an
alumnus, member of the council of trustees, former chair of the
council and the 2005 recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award, you
are recognized and respected. We thank you for your support
Marcus, who makes
his home in Harrisburg, served more than 34 years as a teacher and
administrator in the Harrisburg School District before retiring in
1995. He has served as an SRU trustee since 1999, including terms
as chair. Under his leadership, SRU selected Smith as
president, broke ground for the new $14.5 million Advanced Science
and Technology Hall set to open this spring, and undertook the
$110-million residence hall replacement project slated for fall
opening. He has been instrumental in the university’s
commitment to become one of the nation’s top residential
campuses. For more than 40 years he has been president of the
family business, Marcus Bonding, headquartered in Harrisburg where
he makes his home with his wife, Eileen, a former SRU student and
retired Harrisburg School System librarian.
In addition, Marcus
supports two scholarships designed to help students from the
Harrisburg area attend SRU.
He earned his
bachelor’s degree in health and physical education at SRU
where he played soccer – and was named an All American,
playing in the North/South Game and the All-America Game -- and has
remained a team supporter. He later earned his master’s
degree in counseling at Shippensburg University, in administration
from Western Maryland University and his doctor of education degree
from Nova University. He is active in his home community, including
10 year service as president of the Susquehanna Township Board of
School District and as a commissioner for Susquehanna Township. He
was a founder and first commissioner of the Slow Pitch Softball
Association of Central Pennsylvania and founded the Jewish Sports
Hall of Fame of Central Pennsylvania.
his thanks to the council, Marcus said, “I have found it a
unique experience meeting and working with my fellow trustees. It
is a wonderful honor to have a room named for me, an honor that
will go beyond my lifetime.” Marcus credited his SRU
experience, adding, “The Rock gave me the opportunity as a
student to find and achieve success in the classroom and in sports.
I has been very gratifying.”
In his report to
trustees, President Smith pointed out the university remains on
track with its primary goals, including continued enhancement of
the value of a SRU degree, continued improvement of campus
diversity, establishment of financial stability, and providing a
premier residential campus.
In specifics, he
pointed to the recent academic reaffirmation of SRU’s social
work program, the recommended reaccredidation of the SRU dance
program, and the anticipated recertification of all College of
Education programs by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Smith commented, “I think we should be particularly proud
that the [education evaluation] team applauded our ‘faculty
to be caring and concerned about student
The president told
trustees minority enrollment and minority and female hiring have
increased, and he pointed out the $100-million, student housing
project, providing apartment-like living, continues ahead of
schedule. Smith reported the Campaign for Slippery Rock University
had reached 64 percent of its goal.
continued to run ahead of last year, Smith said, “We are
anticipating holding our enrollment increase to a 1 percent growth
as a result of limited space and resources.” He pointed out
African-American applications are up 41 percent and transfer
student applications are up 33 percent over a year ago.
The board was
presented a comprehensive planning report for the proposed new
University Union prepared by WTW Architects of Pittsburgh. The
report defines the vision for a vibrant, new Campus Life Center,
with approximately 170,000 square feet of service area. Plans call
for the building to be the central core of campus (located on area
now occupied by Dodds Hall and Boozel Dining Hall). The center will
include public event spaces, retail and dining amenities, new
suites for student organizations, a student activities theater and
an expanded bookstore. Initial plans call for the building to be
linked with the new residence halls under construction forging a
new crossroads for student life. The report was prepared after
extensive interviews with students, faculty and staff, a comparison
with peer schools and a campuswide survey.
approved a resolution to formally name two new campus buildings.
The first action, taken in conjunction with the board of directors
of the Slippery Rock University Foundation, Inc., names Building C,
housing honors students, in the new $110-million residence hall
complex Robert J. Watson Hall in honor of the soon-to-retire Dr.
Robert J. Watson, SRU graduate and 34-year SRU administrator. The
hall will house honors/education students.
Watson retires March 31 having served with
dedication and generosity since 1972. He is a fourth generation
family member instrumental in the founding and development of the
university. He is the author of the university’s history
“Slippery Rock State College: The Legend Behind the
Name” and has long been involved in linking the university
with the community. He was named vice president for student life in
2001 and was instrumental in creating the Watson Family Scholarship
at SRU. The apartment-like living residence hall will open in time
for fall classes.
Technology and Science Hall will open this spring following naming
approval by council. The, $14.5 million 76,000-square-foot,
three-story structure will become the home for the departments of
physics, chemistry, geology, geography and computer science. The
facility will offer some 20 science teaching and research
laboratories; computer labs; a showcase, 250-seat auditorium;
“smart classrooms;” study lounges; and faculty offices
all wired for Internet access and multimedia display.
The building will
include the Snyder Family Lobby following a $250,000 commitment
from the Snyder Charitable Foundation based in Kittanning. The
foundation manages the charitable resources of Snyder Associated
Companies, Inc., the holding company for a number of related
businesses, including Allegheny Mineral Corp., operating in
Slippery Rock and nearby Harrisville. A resolution renaming Rocket
Drive to Rock Pride Drive and renaming Rocket Way to Green and
White Way on campus was also approved.
housekeeping matters, trustees approved a resolution bringing the
campus into compliance with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher
Education board of governors policy 1985-04-A stating publicly that
the university regularly receives financial contributions from the
Slippery Rock University Foundation, Inc., and the Slippery Rock
University Alumni Association.
agreed to submit the 2007 Capitol Budget Request to the state
system board of governors seeking two major projects, $31.6 million
for a new Performing Arts Center and $14.6 million for renovations
to Morrow Field House.
Approval was given
to a fee structure for on-campus food service dining services
increasing the price by 3.21 percent for the coming year. Those
purchasing a 19-meal plan, including $50 in flex funds, will pay
$1,146 beginning fall semester, up $36. Various other meal plan
options hold in the 3.2 percent increase range. In related action,
trustees increased the university-owned residence halls housing fee
across the board by 5 percent for the coming year. The double room
rate for 2006 will be $1,411. (Those in air-conditioned halls pay
the submitted reports for contracts, fixed assets and service and
supply purchase orders. In informational items, council was told of
23 faculty hirings and 17 other appointments.
In addition to
Watson’s retirement, trustees were told of retirement plans
for Anne Dayton, 26-year assistant professor of English, Dr. Diana
Dreyer, 26-year professor of English, and Nancy Vierthaler, clerk
typist in political science since 1998. Professor emeritus status
has been granted to Dr. James Hughes, a professor of geography,
geology and the environment, who retired in 2005 after 34 years of
next regularly scheduled, quarterly session is set for 1:30 p.m.
PN, PGN, WPN, PR, S