Advisory Board receives Presidential Medal of Distinction

Schoenecker and Alexander
Schoenecker and Alexander

Pitt-Bradford bestowed its highest honor on a group of individuals who advise its president, embrace its mission and vision, and provide substantial financial support.


Jeannine Schoenecker, chair of the Pitt-Bradford Advisory Board, accepted Pitt-Bradford's Presidential Medal of Distinction on behalf of the Advisory Board during Commencement exercises on April 29.


“It is most fitting to bestow Pitt-Bradford's highest honor on the Advisory Board this year because the board is profoundly committed to our mission and fully engaged in helping to execute it,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, Pitt-Bradford's president.


The 90-member board meets with Alexander and other campus administrators twice a year. The Executive Committee of the board meets monthly with Alexander, while councils or committees of the board meet regularly with senior campus leaders. During these meetings, Alexander and other senior leaders discuss ongoing progress, while also focusing on barriers and obstacles that hinder progress.


The current leader of the Advisory Board is Jeannine Schoenecker, president and COO of American Refining Group. She was preceded in this role by Craig Hartburg, Judge John Cleland, William Higie, Robert Bromeley and J.B Fisher. 


Members of the board are chosen based on their qualifications, expertise, and experience, and depth of commitment to the campus. They are typically respected and well-known member of the community with useful ties and connections. They are leaders in business, nonprofit service organizations, local and state government, and public schools. An increasing number also are Pitt-Bradford alumni. All are familiar with the traditions of colleges and universities and all realize the importance and advantage of a college education degree.


In addition to providing counsel, board members have also given generously. For the past 12 years, every Advisory Board member has contributed to Pitt-Bradford.


“Board members have helped to make our campus great by actively supporting our vision and strategic direction, providing significant guidance and support over the years, and establishing a great tradition of stewardship,” Alexander added.


The Pitt-Bradford Advisory Board precedes the campus itself. In 1962, Edward H. Litchfield was the chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh. Upon deciding that Bradford would be home to one of three new regional campuses, Litchfield appointed Pitt-Bradford's first Advisory Board with J.B. Fisher, president of Kendall Refining, as its chairperson.


That first Pitt-Bradford Advisory Board worked enthusiastically on many aspects of the development of the new college, supporting fundraising and community awareness, helping to design the buildings, recruiting educators, offering advice on selection of the president, and formulating the curriculum. Many members served for life.


The Advisory Board is the 30th individual or group of individuals awarded the Presidential Medal of Distinction, which is presented to a person (or persons or entities) who has either volunteered his or her time for several years; supported the university either financially or with expertise or advice; served the university's service region through community, government or business affiliation; or has made distinctive achievements in his or her field that have affected Pitt-Bradford.


Recent medal recipients include architect Albert Filoni, late president of MacLauchlan, Cornelius & Filoni Architects; Greg Booth, former president and chief executive officer of Zippo Manufacturing Co.; and Craig Hartburg, former chairman of the Advisory Board.