Solicitor Emeritus Francis Haas to receive honor public service degree
May 11, 2009
HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s first elected Attorney General and Chairman of the Hershey Trust LeRoy S. Zimmerman is the speaker for HACC’s 44th commencement.
Francis Haas, HACC’s solicitor emeritus and advocate for regional government will receive the honorary doctor of public service.
The HACC graduation ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 16, at the Hershey Arena. Nearly 2,500 students from HACC’s campuses in Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, York and the Virtual Campus, are candidates for graduation. Speaking on behalf of her class is Laura Summy, who attended the Lebanon Campus.
The span of Zimmerman’s work in the community is vast. As a trustee of the Hall Foundation he played an important role in support of HACC. The Hall Foundation was created by John N. Hall, a nationally recognized leader among truck and transportation company executives. Both the students and HACC are beneficiaries of the its support. Hundreds of students have received Hall Foundation scholarships. Major gifts enabled HACC to construct the Hall Technology Center in the mid-80s and build the Hall Family Fountain by McCormick Library, a Harrisburg Campus landmark.
Zimmerman, of Susquehanna Township, served as Dauphin County’s district attorney from 1965-80. He was then successful in the first election for Attorney General of the Commonwealth and served until 1989. He joined the law firm of Eckert Seamans where he served as chairman of the firm and is now senior counsel.
Zimmerman has served or is currently serving a number of organizations including: chairman, board of director of the Hershey Trust Company; board of managers of the Milton Hershey School; chairman, board of directors of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company; board member, the M.S. Hershey Foundation; board of counselors, the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University; president, the Pennsylvania Society; board of the YMCA of the USA; trustee of the Hall Foundation and co-chair of the Society of Attorneys General Emeriti.
Frank Haas has been associated with HACC right along with the late founders James Evans and Bruce Cooper. He was the college’s first solicitor, now emeritus. He is responsible for much of the legal framework that continues to help HACC function today.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Haas was admitted to the bar in 1951. The same year Haas joined the law firm McNees, Wallace & Nurick where he spent his entire legal career. After retiring in 1995 he remains “of counsel” at the firm.
His public life extended beyond HACC, serving as a member and president of the Harrisburg School Board, he was part of the Harrisburg City Charter Commission and later served as city solicitor under Mayor Harold Swenson. Haas was also the solicitor the Harrisburg Area Industrial Development Corporation which developed into CREDC - Capital Region Economic Development Corporation - and was a board member and solicitor of Harristown Development Corporation.
His experience working with local governments led him to believe that local government is too fractured in Pennsylvania and he became a leading voice of regional cooperation. Haas helped organize and is a board member of the South Central Assembly for Effective Governance – an eight-county regional nonprofit that works with local governments to foster planned growth.
Speaker for the Class of 2009 Laura Summy, of Lebanon, completed her elementary education degree at the Lebanon Campus. She plans to transfer to Millersville University and return to Lebanon County to teach at an elementary school. She was president of the Lebanon Campus Student Government Association.
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