On April 26, Millersville University will hold its 56th annual Undergraduate Honors and Awards Convocation. The ceremony recognizes students who have received scholarships or awards for academic and athletic achievements as well as service involvement. The event will take place at 10:30 a.m. in Marauder Court at the Student Memorial Center (SMC).

In addition to student recognition, the Millersville University Alumni Association will present four awards: the Distinguished Alumni Award, Honorary Alumni Award, Outstanding Volunteer Service Award and the Young Alumni Achievement Award.

The five alumni being honored this year are:


Hugh Herr Ph.D. ’90 has been chosen to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. A rock climber and double amputee, Herr graduated from Millersville with an undergraduate degree in physics. He currently is an associate professor at the Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) division of Health Sciences and Technology. He directs the Biomechatronics group at the MIT Media Lab. Herr founded the company iWalk, Inc., in 2007 and has given lectures at the Fourth World Congress of Biomechanics, the International Conference on Advanced Prosthetics, the National Assembly of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, World Economic Forum, Google Zeitgeist, Digital Life Design and the TEDMED Conference. His work with wearable robotic systems to aid amputees has earned him the Heinz Award for Technology in 2007 and appearances on Scientific American Frontiers, Technology Review, National Geographic, the History Channel and CNN.


Harvey Owen will receive the Honorary Alumni Award. Owen was appointed as the first director of the Ware Center in downtown Lancaster in 2011, helping to program the film, music, dance and visual arts performances that draw crowds and make the Ware Center what it is. He will be retiring from this position in July 2014. He has  run his consultant business in Lancaster since 1998 and has spent time as a mentor for SCORE Lancaster. He is the president and chief operating officer for NSI IT Software and Services.


Catherine “Kitty” Glass ’53 has been named the Outstanding Volunteer Service Award recipient. Glass retired from Millersville in 1996 after serving more than 28 years as an associate professor and catalogue librarian. She has served on various boards including the Millersville University Alumni Association Board of Directors; Student Services, Inc.; Board of Directors (1972-1996); treasurer of the Association of Pennsylvania College and University Faculties; and the Homecoming Committee. Glass has also volunteered time at events such as the Class of 1953 60th Reunion, Freshman Convocation, Move In Day, Senior Send Off, Alumni Association Events Committee, Alumni Fall Fling, Commencement, MU After Work events and a host of others. She received her undergraduate degree in library science from Millersville University and a master’s degree in library science from Drexel University.


Patrick Leahy ’97 was selected as one of two recipients of the Young Alumni Achievement Award. Since graduating with degree in political science and history, Leahy has gone on to serve members of Congress, a cabinet secretary and currently the federal government. Leahy, who is blind, created the documentary “Blind Lifter” about his experience as a body builder, which is intended to inspire children with disabilities to participate in sports. Leahy has been featured in the Washington Post and was a guest on NBC’s Today Show. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Millersville University Alumni Association. While attending Millersville University, Leahy wrestled for the school’s nationally recognized Division I program (it is now a Division II program) and served as president of Student Senate.


Thomas Baker ’02 is the second recipient of the Young Alumni Achievement Award. The county councilman previously served as a school director in the North Hills School District before being elected to represent District 1 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County. Baker has written three books and is the founder and chief program officer of Get Involved! Incorporated. While earning his bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Millersville University, he served as president of the Student Senate and president of the Associates for Student Development during his graduate studies in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Indiana University of Pa. The honors he has received include the Distinguished Civic Leadership Award (2009) from Millersville University and Young Business Leader of the Year (2011) given by the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce.

“The Honors and Awards Convocation brings donors, students, family, faculty and staff together to honor those students who have demonstrated academic excellence, alumni who have accomplished so much since graduating from MU and the donors who make all these awards possible,” said Michael Saraka, director of alumni engagement.

The Undergraduate Honors and Awards Committee, chaired by Dr. Jeff Adams, associate provost for academic administration, oversees the planning of the ceremony.

This article has 2 comments

  1. Millersville University

    Editor’s Note: Thank you for your comment. Millersville apologizes for the parking ticket you received. Unfortunately, because of printing costs we had to cut back on the number of programs printed. They were made available to all students.

  2. Ralph Schwendeman

    My wife and I attended the ceremony this weekend, as we have in previous years. The cermony itself was well run. However, we had 2 disappointments related to the event. One, I received a parking ticket that morning while parked in the lot of my son’s apt. complex. Eventually, I found the officer who ticketed me and he tore up the ticket when I explained why I was there. I should not have had to go through that aggravation. The police dept. should be aware that such an event was taking place and that parents were expected to be on campus. Second, we were disappointed to find out that full programs were not being provided to parents this year as they had been in past years. When attending this event, we want to be able to follow what is going on during the ~2 hour ceremony. You provide a great deal of information about the awards and recipients in the program. To deny that information to most of the attendees makes no sense. I don’t know how much it costs to print these programs, but I think in the long run, it is worth the investment to provide them to all visitors. These are the people that have supported the University for years and from whom you are expecting continued support in the future. This was not a sensible way to cut costs.

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