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Russell Redding to speak at DelVal’s Commencement

Courtesy: Russell Redding. Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding has been selected as DelVal’s Commencement speaker.

Apr 01, 2015

Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding has been selected as the Commencement speaker for Delaware Valley University’s first graduating class. Commencement will be held Saturday, May 16 from 10:30 a.m. to noon on the quad. DelVal will award three honorary degrees during the ceremony. As of April 8, 2015, Delaware Valley College will officially become Delaware Valley University.

Redding has more than 20 years of experience in public service on both the state and national levels.  This includes more than 16 years with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, serving three governors, during which he was instrumental in farmland preservation programs, development of what is now a national-scale insurance program for agriculture and expansion of the charitable food system.  He also worked on Capitol Hill as Ag Policy Advisor to former U.S. Senator Harris Wofford. He served as DelVal’s dean of agriculture and environmental sciences from 2011 to 2015. He was integral in the development of Hope of the Harvest, a charitable garden that uses campus land to grow food to fight hunger. Redding is also chair of the USDA Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture, and the Chester County Economic Development Council Ag Partnership.  He holds a B.S. in agriculture education and an M.S. in agriculture and extension education from Penn State University.

"During his time at DelVal Russell demonstrated tremendous passion for and dedication to experiential learning, the students, and the institution,” said DelVal President Dr. Joseph Brosnan. “I am thrilled that he has agreed to join us on this important day and serve as our Commencement speaker. Each year, we celebrate the achievements of our graduating class. This year, will be very special as we celebrate the first graduating class from Delaware Valley University.”

DelVal will also award three honorary degrees during the ceremony. This year’s recipients will be Redding, Emeritus Trustee Gerard Marini ’52 and Herman Silverman ’40.

Marini, a DelVal agronomy and environmental science alumnus, is a nationally recognized leader in the fight against drugs in the workplace. He served on DelVal’s Board of Trustees from 1991 to 2012, is a former chairman of the Board and became an emeritus trustee in 2013.  He worked for Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc. for 30 years, before retiring in 1993. In 1976, he was elected as a corporate officer of Hoffmann-La Roche. While at Hoffmann-La Roche, he honed his expertise in drug abuse policy initiatives and substance abuse intervention programs. He has held leadership roles with the New Jersey Governor’s Council for a Drug Free Workplace, Inc. and the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. He is a former vice president and general manager of the Pantene Company and he also served as senior vice president of Roche Biomedical Laboratories. He has served on numerous boards and committees related to employee assistance and a drug-free workplace. He was inducted into the DelVal Hall of Fame for both football and baseball in 1987. Marini and his wife, Rita, recently celebrated 60 years of marriage.

Silverman is a former acting president of DelVal and also served as a DelVal trustee. He was also president and CEO of Sylvan Pools –a leading pool installer in the Northeast. After selling Sylvan Pools, he founded Silverman Family Partnerships, Inc., which he continues to serve as managing partner.  Silverman Family Partnerships leases, manages, and develops commercial real estate. Silverman is a lifelong advocate of the arts in Bucks County. He was instrumental in creating: the Bucks County Art Council, the Bucks County Poet Laureate position, and the Artmobile, a “gallery on wheels” that teaches area children about art and culture. He is also one of the James A. Michener Art Museum’s six founders and is Chairman Emeritus of the Museum’s Board of Trustees.  In 2011, he opened The Silverman Gallery in Buckingham, Pennsylvania.  Silverman and his late wife, Ann, helped create The Free Clinic of Doylestown, which was renamed in her honor. Silverman has held leadership roles with: The Friends of The Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the Doylestown Historical Society, Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

For more information on Commencement, please visit: delval.edu/commencement.