Academic Leadership Forum held at The Philadelphia International Flower Show for alumni

Mar 09, 2012

Delaware Valley College alumni gathered for a networking reception and an Academic Leadership Forum at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia Friday, March 9.

The event was hosted by DelVal’s 1896 Society during the Philadelphia International Flower Show.

The 1896 Society honors those who demonstrate an outstanding financial commitment to the college. Members of the 1896 Society were asked to stand and be recognized at the event.

DelVal hosted a similar event for alumni at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, Pa., in January.

The Academic Leadership Forum included a panel discussion with Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty Dr. Bashar Hanna, Dean of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Russell Redding, and Dean of the School of Life and Physical Sciences and Interim Dean of the School of Business and Humanities Dr. Benjamin Rusiloski.

The panel shared updates on the college’s experiential learning program, the move to university status, the plans for the Life Sciences Center, the academic programs and more. They also took audience questions and comments.

Participants heard from a special guest, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society President Drew Becher.

Board of Trustees Chairperson Dr. James F. Trainer ’82 spoke about the history of DelVal’s involvement in the flower show. He said the college’s relationship with the flower show dates back to 1950.

“We have a long, storied and proud history with the flower show,” said Dr. Trainer.

This year, the college’s exhibit, which students helped design, build and staff, took three awards, including the prestigious Bulkley Medal of the Garden Club of America, which is awarded to an exhibit of exceptional educational merit.

“This association with the flower show for 62 years is really a testament to what we’re doing in the classroom,” said Dr. Hanna.

Alumni Association President Peter Duane ’72 enjoyed the event.

“I think it was very informative,” said Duane. “I applaud the leadership team for taking the initiative to bring the message outside the confines of the campus. It makes you sit up and think about the mission of the college, where it is heading and what you can do to help.”

President Emeritus Dr. Joshua Feldstein, an 1896 Society member, said it was a beautiful event and that he’d like to see more people attend.

Gail Barr ’80 said she enjoyed hearing about the history of the college’s involvement with the show.

“We didn’t know all the history of the flower show and DelVal,” said Barr.

She said she also enjoyed the networking reception, which she said gave her a chance to make a new business contact and see some old friends.

“This was the first time we’ve been to the flower show in at least 15 years,” said Barr.

Patti Zaknich, who came with Greg Holder ’90, said she thought the event was great.

“There were many different generations, different cultures… it is just a very diverse atmosphere,” said Zaknich.