Acting President, 1990-1991

When William H. Rorer III resigned from his post as Delaware Valley College’s president after an impasse with the board of trustees as to the College’s long-term direction, six-year board veteran and DelVal alum Herman Silverman stepped in as interim president during the search for Rorer’s successor.

Inheriting the large deficit, which had plagued his predecessor, Silverman’s tenure was also short-lived. He resigned in 1991 amid continued conflict surrounding the question of whether the College should remain independent or seek state-affiliation.

Founder and retired chairman of Sylvan Pools Inc., Silverman prepared for his career as a swimming pool entrepreneur with a degree in landscape management from DelVal (then the National Farm School) in 1940. In 1946, Silverman and his brother, Ira, established a small landscaping business, which grew to be one of the nation’s biggest pool companies.

Aside from being a successful businessman, Silverman is renowned for his efforts as a philanthropist and supporter of the arts. He is a founding member of the board of trustees of the James A. Michener Art Museum and a key founder of the Doylestown Hospital Heart Institute. In 2011 he opened the Silverman Gallery of Bucks County Impressionist Art, featuring fine art produced by Bucks County artists.

Born in Camden, N.J., Silverman had a 50-year friendship with bestselling writer James Michener, which he chronicled in his 1999 memoir Michener and Me.

Silverman and his wife, Ann, had four daughters. The nonagenarian resides in Newtown, Pa.