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Dr. Peter French ’60 to Receive Prestigious Comenius Alumni Award
Bethlehem, Pa. October 18, 2005— The Moravian College Alumni Association will honor five distinguished alumni at the 6th Annual Alumni Awards Ceremony on Friday, October 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Peter Hall.
Jessica Edris ’00, Bethlehem, Pa., will receive the Emerging Leader Award, which is given to a recent graduate for outstanding service and leadership to Moravian College. Edris, a double major in business management and philosophy and a financial economics minor, graduated magna cum laude from the college. Since graduation, she has served as a career mentor, a career panelist, and a table host for both the Senior Breakfast and the Freshman Banquet , in addition to being an active participant in numerous alumni events and programs. In 2002 she was elected to the Young Alumni Board and has served as vice president twice and president once. Despite work commitments in the non-profit and financial sectors, Edris has continued to develop relationships with fellow Moravian alumni and to encourage them to continue their involvement with the college.
Sean Richardson ’97, of Arlington, Virginia, will be the recipient of the Young Alumni Achievement Award. This Award is given to an alumnus or alumna of the last two to ten years for exceptional professional success. Currently, Richardson serves as the Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI). One of the youngest chiefs of staff in Congress, he is responsible for managing all of Congressman Kennedy’s legislative and political matters in Washington, D.C. and Rhode Island. Richardson began his political career as policy advisor for Richard A. Gephardt , longtime Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives, He left Capitol Hill for a short period in 1999 to join the CBS News Political Unit as an associate producer covering the presidential campaigns of Vice President Al Gore and U.S. Senator Bill Bradley. In 2000, Richardson returned to Congress to serve Tom Daschle, Democratic Leader of the U.S. Senate. He also played an active role in the last two presidential campaigns, serving as the spokesperson for Vice President Al Gore and the Democratic Coordinated Campaign in Harrisburg, Pa., and as an advisor for Gephardt's 2004 Presidential Campaign.
The Benigna Education Award for outstanding contributions to education will be presented to Dr. Richard Bedics ’63, of Pensacola, Florida. For 28 years during his career, Bedics dedicated his time and efforts to Pensacola Junior College (PJC), serving three of the college’s campuses. He served as dean of instructional services, dean of health-related education, and provost at two vastly different campuses, meeting the rapidly changing needs of both the college and the community that it served. Bedics provided critical innovative leadership in renovating curriculum, training faculty, regenerating and developing programs, and cultivating relationships between the college and the community. As provost, he first managed the remarkable expansion of PJC’s largest 25,000 student Pensacola campus, and later helped to develop PJC’s rural Milton campus, where he fostered collaborative programming with low-income community youth, area high schools, and the University of Florida.
Marjorie Flohr Weiss ’46 of Allentown, Pa., will be honored with the Haupert Humanitarian Award for outstanding service in the cause of human welfare. From 1977 until 1997, she was Director of Volunteer Programs for Miller Blood Center in Bethlehem. As she worked to build the Center’s strong volunteer program, she also obtained an M.S. in Human Services Administration from the University of Scranton. From 1984 to 2003, she helped found and lead the Volunteer Management Services for the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley. She served also as president of the Society of Volunteer Administrators of the Lehigh Valley. For the last 10 years, she has been both an instructor and board member of the Program for Women and Families, where she is a strong advocate, a cheerful mentor, and a dedicated educator to women offenders. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania’s Evelyn Burston Award, the Lehigh Valley Senior Citizen Freedom to Volunteer Award, and the Frank Madey Award for Humanitarian Service.
The Moravian College Alumni Association will bestow its most prestigious honor, the Comenius Alumni Award, to Dr. Peter French ’60, of Bradenton, Florida. The Comenius Alumni Award recognizes lifetime achievement and/or service in the recipient’s work. French graduated from Moravian College with honors in history and continued on to earn masters and doctoral degrees in international relations from Yale University. He worked in higher education as a faculty and senior administrative member at several institutions , including the presidency of Newberry College , and was provost/vice-president for academic affairs and professor of government at Mercy College. He is currently president emeritus of Newberry College and associate vice president and dean for academic affairs at the University of South Florida’s Sarasota Campus. Dr. French has pursued also a lifelong interest and engagement in international relations, with particular emphasis on Africa. He made 16 field trips to east Africa during a 22-year span . He is a recognized consultant in higher education management, practices, development and institutional evaluation; in that capacity, he has worked with the U.S. Peace Corps, the United Negro College Fund, and the U.S. Department of Education. From 1986 to 1994, Dr. French served on the Moravian College Board of Trustees.
For more complete information on all of the awards recipients, please visit http://www.moravian.edu/alumni/awardsArchive/awards2005.htm.
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the web site at www.moravian.edu.