Five honored with BU Alumni Awards

For immediate release: March 28, 2011

BLOOMSBURG — A retired mathematics professor will be named an honorary alumnus and awards will be presented to four alumni when the Bloomsburg University Alumni Association celebrates the accomplishments of graduates at the Annual Awards Luncheon on Saturday, April 2.

The luncheon will be held at noon in Kehr Union, Multipurpose Rooms A&B.

Honorary Alumnus of the Year

James Pomfret James Pomfret, BU faculty, retired. Pomfret, of Orangeville, joined BU’s mathematics faculty in 1972. He served as chair of the mathematics, computer science and statistics department for several years and was faculty adviser to former BU President Jessica Kozloff. Pomfret currently serves on the BU Foundation Board and, as a volunteer, develops exchange programs and study abroad opportunities in China. The Honorary Alumnus Award, which was established in 1985, recognizes individuals who have played a significant role in the life of the university.

Distinguished Service Award

Richard Agretto Richard Agretto, Class of 1977. Agretto, in his 34th year as an educator, has served as the Bethlehem Area School District’s director of special education since 1993. A resident of Easton, Agretto has volunteered with the Northampton County Special Olympics Program since 1980 and managed the program from 1983 to 1990. Agretto recently became president of the board of directors for the Miracle League of Northampton County, leading the effort to build a facility for children and young adults with physical and intellectual disabilities to play baseball. He was inducted into the 2010 Special Olympics Pennsylvania Hall of Fame last May.

Distinguished Service Award

Beverly Donchez Bradley Beverly Donchez Bradley, Class of 1971. After a 30-year career as a business educator, Bradley, of Bethlehem, helped establish and currently serves as president of the Cops ‘n’ Kids Children’s Literacy Program in the Lehigh Valley, a non-profit with the mission of “connecting kids and community through literacy.” The award-winning program has distributed more than 390,000 free books, established the Cops ‘n’ Kids Reading Room and organized book distribution events and community reading celebrations.

Distinguished Service Award

Dorothy Derr Tilson Dorothy Derr Tilson, Class of 1940. Coopers and Lybrand, Tilson’s employer for more than 35 years, honored her with the Commitment Award recognizing quality service, individual initiative and teamwork. She retired from the firm, now PriceWaterhouseCoopers, in 1991. Earlier, Tilson of New York City, taught English, geography and Latin; worked in the Philadelphia Ordnance Gage Laboratory during World War II; held positions with Remington Rand, Sears Roebuck and Ford International; and helped her husband in pursuits related to the performing arts. Since 1974, she has been involved with Planetary Citizens, a United Nations-affiliated organization that promotes world peace.

Maroon and Gold Excellence Award

Brian Kovatch Brian Kovatch, Class of 1996 Kovatch leads the Pennsylvania Territory Commercial Team for Cisco, providing technical direction and business guidance to regional sales and engineering teams responsible for $80 million in annual revenue. His awards include the 2008 Channels Systems Engineer of the Year Award for Cisco’s United States Channels Segment. A resident of Gilbertsville, he is a member of the Boyertown Area YMCA Board of Directors and the Tunkhannock Area School District Technology Advisory Board and coaches basketball, soccer and softball coach.

The annual Distinguished Service and Maroon and Gold Excellence awards celebrate the accomplishments of BU alumni. The Distinguished Service Award, established in 1948, recognizes alumni who have excelled in at least one of the following areas: significant accomplishments in his or her profession, outstanding service to Bloomsburg University and/or the Alumni Association or contributions to humanity.

The Maroon and Gold Award, formerly known as the Young Alumnus of the Year Award, recognizes alumni who have graduated within the last 15 years, have met one or more of the criteria of distinguished service and demonstrate outstanding potential for further contributions.

The Alumni Association nominations committee received 74 nominations this year, which yielded 31 names for consideration. Alumni board members serving on the nominations committee are Eugene Walker ’98, chair; Mary Anne Majikas Klemkosky ’59; Amy Chronister Scott ’05; John Nicodem ’86; Ted Hodgins ’89; Melissa Harris Brown ’90; Clayton Ruley ’02 and Nathan Conroy ’06, assistant director of Alumni Affairs.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 9,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.