|HERSHEY - Lifelong community volunteer Marion C. Alexander will receive an honorary doctorate of public service during the 43rd annual spring commencement of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College.
Alexander, whose myriad community volunteer activities over the past 40 years include the HACC Foundation Board, also will deliver the commencement address for the nearly 1,300 degree candidates during the ceremony at the Giant Center in Hershey at 7 p.m. Monday, May 12. Graduates are from all of HACC’s five campuses, including Harrisburg, Gettysburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York. Christian Timothy Le of Lancaster will be the student speaker.
“HACC has a tradition of awarding an Honorary Doctorate Degree to an individual whose commitment to the college and our community is outstanding,” said HACC President Edna V. Baehre, Ph.D.
“This year’s choice was easy for us. Marion C. Alexander is one of the most sought-after volunteers and advocates in the entire region. There’s isn’t a charity that wouldn’t die to have her on their board and when Marion takes on a cause, she takes it on with a vengeance,” Dr. Baehre said.
Alexander is a tireless fundraiser, volunteer, advocate and benefactor of literally dozens of community causes in Harrisburg and throughout central Pennsylvania. Her philosophy is simple: “Part of a person’s well-being is being able to respond to others who are less fortunate than they are,” says Alexander, who lives near Hummelstown with her husband, William H. Alexander, where they raise llamas and sheep, play tennis and keep in close touch with their four children and three grandchildren.
“People have to step out and help out,” adds Alexander. “My father taught me long ago people aren’t going to give financially unless you ask them.”
She counts advocating for education among her projects, which, in addition to the HACC Foundation Board, also include being named Alumna of the Year at Harrisburg Academy and membership on the Lower Dauphin Falcon Education, the College Club of Harrisburg and Project Youth 2000+, a program for secondary school students that takes place on HACC’s Harrisburg Campus.
This spring Alexander received the prestigious Women of Excellence Legacy Award from the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg, where she has volunteered since 1968.
The YWCA’s highest honor is but one of several times she has been recognized for community leadership, volunteer service and fundraising accomplishments. She has served on nearly two dozen charitable and nonprofit boards of directors, and it is not uncommon for her to serve simultaneously on numerous boards. She has a reputation for being a “working” board member, putting in many additional volunteer hours between meetings.
Donald E. Schell, chairman of HACC’s Board of Trustees, will confer the degree upon Alexander.
Helping Dr. Baehre with the presentations of degrees, certificates and diplomas to the graduates will be John S. Jordan and Thomas B. Richey, two of HACC’s trustees. They will be assisted by regional campus deans Dr. Stuart Savin from Lancaster, Jennifer Weaver from Gettysburg, Dr. Kathleen Kramer from Lebanon and Jean Treuthart from York.
Fast facts on HACC’s commencement
Campus breakdown of the graduates:
The top five majors of applicants for graduation include: