Founders’ Day ceremony honors students and faculty

Apr 29, 2010

Founders' Day 2010 Slideshow
Click here to see the 2010 Founders' Day Slideshow


By Edward Levenson

The student winner of Delaware Valley College's 2010 Founders' Day award says his biggest contribution to campus life was motivating other students to participate in college activities.

"I contributed a lot of positive attitude on campus. I got people involved in activities they would not have joined without a push," said senior Joshua Detwiler, a dairy science major from Carlisle, Pa.

Detwiler was presented the college's most prestigious student award at the annual Founders' Day Convocation April 28 in the Moumgis Auditorium. A committee of faculty and administrators chose him from among nine nominees as the senior "who has demonstrated outstanding leadership ability and involvement with the campus/surrounding community throughout (his) tenure at Delaware Valley College."

"I was shocked," Detwiler said afterward, adding that he considered all the nominated seniors as qualified for the honor. The other four finalists were Douglas Bocchino, Elsbeth Centola, Amelia Davis and Bethany Pavlik; the remaining nominees were Elizabeth Gerhard, Victoria Kinden, Taryn McCaffrey and Wesley Sharp.

Dr. James Trainer, chairman of the board of trustees, paid homage to the two men regarded as the college's founders. Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf started the National Farm School in 1896 with the goal of teaching Jewish immigrants farming as a means to escape crowded cities. Dr. James Work, a 1913 graduate of the school, served as a trustee from 1923 to 1977 and as president from 1946 to 1974, during which he transformed the college from a two-year technical school into a four-year accredited academic institution.

"For 114 years, Delaware Valley College has been rooted in the arts and sciences. It has been about nothing but pragmatism," said Trainer, a 1982 graduate. "We act as one learning community in one purpose."

Trainer conveyed congratulations to all the award recipients from college President Dr. Joseph Brosnan, who was unable to attend because he is recovering from hip replacement surgery.

John Brown, vice president for student affairs, described the achievements and qualifications of each of the nine nominees for the Founders' Day award.

"These are all highly qualified, highly motivated, highly involved students," he said.

Detwiler, the winner, served as a resident assistant, student herd manager at the campus dairy and president of Block and Bridle, the student livestock club. For two years, he ran the dairy show on A-Day. He earned a 3.75 grade point average and said his most challenging course was animal anatomy and physiology.

During his sophomore and junior years, he was a member of a college team that traveled to other states to judge dairy contests. Detwiler, who grew up in a rural area, said he chose to attend DelVal because its small size enables students to get individual attention.

At the same ceremony, Detwiler also received the Dairy Science Departmental Achievement Award. He is listed in Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges.

After graduation, he will take a job as a support technician at the Lancaster Dairy Herd Improvement Association in Manheim, Pa., working both on computers and in the field to assist dairy farmers.

Before the Founders' Day award presentation, other honors were bestowed on students and faculty members:

Twenty-four students were recognized for making the Dean's List for the last seven consecutive semesters. Lindsey Peed topped the list with a cumulative grade point average of 3.94.

Thirteen seniors received Departmental Achievement Awards, marking their leadership and academic achievements in specific departments as well as their overall contributions to the college and the community.

A total of 107 students were acknowledged as members of Delta Tau Alpha, the National Agriculture Honor Society.


There were 105 junior and seniors named in Who's Who among Students in American Colleges, based on their outstanding scholarship, participation and leadership in extracurricular activities, service to the college and future potential.


Dr. Frederick Hofsaess, a professor of animal science, was honored with a 40-year service award. Hofsaess, who graduated from DelVal in 1967 with a B.S. in animal husbandry, earned his master's and doctoral degrees at Virginia Polytechnic University and State University. He joined the DelVal faculty in 1970. "I wouldn't still be doing it if I didn't find it rewarding and to the benefit of students," he said.


Dr. Reginald Hoyt, co-chair of the Animal Biotechnology & Conservation department, received the Harleysville National Bank and Trust Company Professorship award.


Student Government Awards were presented to three college employees to recognize their dedication to students: Henry Schmieder Arboretum horticulturalist Mary Boyle, Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Christopher Tipping and Assistant Director of Student Involvement Erica Schwartz.