Retired Rep. Jerry Nailor will be commencement speaker; 811 to graduate
Dec. 12, 2008

HACC graduates by campus:

Gettysburg – 82

Harrisburg – 437

Lancaster – 225

Lebanon – 24

York – 43

HARRISBURG – Benjamin Olewine III, philanthropist, businessman and longtime friend to HACC, will be presented with an honorary doctorate of public service during HACC’s winter commencement ceremony.

HACC alumnus Jerry Nailor of Mechanicsburg , a recently retired state representative, will be commencement speaker and Ryan Baker Sr. of Harrisburg will be student speaker.

More than 800 graduates from campuses in Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York will receive their degree, diploma or certificate during the ceremony at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15, in the Cooper Student Center on the Harrisburg Campus.

Olewine was selected for the honorary degree for his inspiring example of his long and successful business career and for his extraordinary generosity in support of community needs and worldwide causes.

“Receiving the honorary doctorate of public service is a special event in my life,” said Olewine. “Graduating only from high school, it is like an impossible dream to be so honored.”

Olewine will share advice with the graduates and recommend as they continue their education and careers to remember to give something back to the community.

It was through Olewine’s generosity that HACC established its Olewine School of Culinary Arts, which included an endowment for scholarships. An additional large gift in 2005 expanded the program with the creation of Bricco, HACC’s teaching restaurant in downtown Harrisburg accompanied by a deluxe bakery and Olewine’s Meat and Cheese House, named after the historic Olewine family enterprise. With his daughter, Kristen Olewin Cooper Milke, Olewine provided funds to create HACC’s Bruce Cooper Memorial Law Library within the McCormick Library on the Harrisburg Campus.

Many central Pennsylvania institutions have benefitted from Olewine’s generosity. He has contributed major gifts on an international scale, including the Audubon Society and Birdlife International. Both are part of a significant family effort to help preserve wildlife habitat and secure areas for bird conservation around the globe.

For nearly 20 years Nailor represented the 88th Legislative District, which includes the townships of Lower Allen, Upper Allen and Monroe, and the boroughs of Mechanicsburg, Lemoyne, New Cumberland and Shiremanstown and a small portion of Wormleysburg Borough. Nailor retired from office Nov. 30 at the end of the legislative session. He earned an associate degree in data processing from HACC.

Class speaker Baker dropped out of college the first time around because of family responsibilities.

Three years later and working at a dead end job, he returned to HACC and was recognized for academic achievement.

The transition back to college was one of the hardest obstacles he faced.

“I had to figure out what I wanted to do,” said Baker. “Going back to college made me anxious and excited at the same time, but it got easier when I could see my improvement from the beginning of the semester to the end.”

Baker, married and now the father of two boys, will receive an associate degree in business administration and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Penn State Harrisburg.

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