Alumni News RSS Feed
2012 Young Alumni Award Recipients
Tuesday, May 01, 2012


Photos from the awards banquet

"Celebrating a Legacy of Leadership: The Tenure of President Robert M. Smith" Video
Friday, February 17, 2012

“Celebrating a Legacy of Leadership: The Tenure of President Robert M. Smith,” a video created by SRU’s University Public Relations Office for his retirement gala, is available for viewing at:


Photos from the 1986 Championship Women's Basketball Team Reunion
Friday, February 17, 2012

Click here for photos!

SRU council activates succession plan; Names Charles Curry acting president
Monday, January 30, 2012

Dr. Charles Curry

Joshua Young, chair of the Slippery Rock University Council of Trustees, today announced that “After consultation with Guido Pichini, chairman of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education board of governors, and with the pending departure of President Robert Smith, the University will activate its succession plan whereby Charles Curry, vice president for administration and finance, will serve as acting president.”
            Smith retires Feb. 10 after 12 years at SRU.
            “The council has full faith in Dr. Curry’s abilities and leadership, and stands ready to work closely with him during the transition to a new president of the University,” Young said.
            “I am very pleased to serve as acting president,” Curry said, “We have a great leadership team at the University and I know we are all dedicated to working together to continue the excellence that is our tradition here at Slippery Rock University.”
Trustees are conducting a nationwide search for a new president. The first of six potential candidates is scheduled to be interviewed Monday. A new president is expected to be in place by summer.
Curry joined the university in 1986 as assistant vice president for finance. He was named to his current post 18 months later.
            He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Le Moyne College, his master’s degree in business administration at Syracuse University and his doctorate of education degree in higher education administration at the University of Pittsburgh.
            Last fall, Curry was named one of the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 2011 Men of Excellence for setting high standards in office and for representing a diverse group of African-American men in the community. Award recipients were cited for their community leadership, displayed and proven success within their profession, and for being positive role models whose contributions encourage others.
            He and his wife, Jean, make their home in Slippery Rock. They are the parents of two grown children.

PASSHE Board Chair Issues Slippery Rock University Update
Tuesday, January 24, 2012



HARRISBURG The following statement was released today by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education:


After consultation with Chancellor John C. Cavanaugh and the other members of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors, Board Chairman Guido Pichini today announced that Dr. William Williams will remain in his position as provost of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, rather than as interim president, to permit him to continue to devote a significant portion of his time to serving as a member of the negotiating team for the System with the statewide faculty union, APSCUF.


“Dr. Williams brings invaluable knowledge and experience to his role as a lead negotiator for the System at the bargaining table,” Mr. Pichini said. “We had hoped to be farther along in the process at this time, but unfortunately have not been able to get agreement on changes we need to deal with the fiscal realities facing us.


“We appreciate Dr. Williams’ willingness to continue to serve in this vital role.”

Forgotten Angels depart for Haiti Service Trip
Tuesday, January 17, 2012


The SRU Athletes for Forgotten Angels group departed Slippery Rock Wednesday morning for a week-long trip to Haiti to help aid the country in rebuilding following the latest devastating earthquake. The group, making its second trip to Haiti, has also been to New Orleans to help with the cleanup following Hurricane Katrina, St. Lucia to help organize a youth sports clinic and educate local school officials and has performed multiple community service acts on Slippery Rock’s campus and in the community.


Read the full story here

December Commencement
Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Five hundred and twenty seven students graduated on Saturday December 16, and have now become proud Rock alumni.

  The graduation took place in Morrow Field House.

 The Alumni Association held a pre-commencement reception at the Alumni House.

Summa Cum Laude Graduates pose at the Alumni House.

SRUAA Board members who participated in commencement.

Presidential Search Update
Monday, December 19, 2011
 Dec. 9, 2011

To the University Community:

I am pleased to report that the search for the 16th president of Slippery Rock University is proceeding as planned.

The search committee recently completed a comprehensive two-day round of confidential interviews and has identified a number of promising candidates to invite to campus early next semester (Mid-February). Our consultants are in the process of contacting these candidates to determine their commitment to moving forward. We expect to have a diverse pool of finalists.

In the interim, the committee will begin to design the format for the next round of interviews, which will include opportunities for the campus and community to meet and ask the candidates questions, and provide feedback to the committee. We will release the schedule of visits as soon as it is confirmed. Candidate names will be announced prior to their scheduled visit.

I look forward to your continued interest and involvement as we take this next important step in the process.  


Eric Holmes
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
SRU Council of Trustees
Farewell Gala to be held January 28th, 2012
Monday, December 19, 2011

Celebrating a great time to have been at Slippery Rock University










A farewell gala honoring the presidency and leadership of Robert and Ramona Smith is being held on Saturday, January 28th, 2012 at 6:00 pm, in the Multipurpose Room of the Univer sity Union.

5:00 pm - Optional opportunity to tour the new Robert M. Smith Student Center

6:00 - 7:45 pm - Food & beverage stations - everything from tasty appetizers to exotic desserts

8:00 pm - Program

Cost - $100 per person.  Please RSVP by January 9th, 2012.  Dress is semi-formal.

Click here for more details.

Photos from the 2011 On-Campus Alumni Holiday Reception
Friday, December 16, 2011

Please click photo to see slideshow.

2011 Veterans Day Ceremony Photos
Thursday, November 17, 2011

Click here for photos of the 2011 Veterans Day Ceremony

SRU Names Bailey as New Director of Alumni Engagment
Tuesday, November 01, 2011

After an extensive search, Slippery Rock University has selected Kelly Bailey as its new director of alumni engagement. Bailey will assume the role Nov. 1.

The position, formerly director of alumni relations, was enhanced to acknowledge the University's increased efforts to provide more avenues for alumni involvement, particularly in the area of young alumni development and constituency programming.


Bailey joins the University from Thiel College where she served for five years as the director of annual giving and parent relations. Prior to Thiel, she spent five years as the executive director of the Northern Mercer County United Way.

"Kelly is a terrific addition to the Office of Alumni Engagement and will bring new energy and excellent skills to take our program to the next level," said Barbara Ender, vice president for university advancement. "She has a record for success in working with a volunteer board, growing membership, fund-and-friend-raising, and organizing special events."

Bailey will provide the vision and leadership to manage a comprehensive alumni program that serves more than 55,000 alumni around the world, and will be the liaison to the SRU Alumni Association.

The association, which is led by a volunteer board of directors, exists to promote, strengthen and perpetuate relationships among alumni and the entire University community, to encourage volunteering and participation, and to support the University's goals and objectives.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to create new ways for alumni to be involved and create a lifelong relationship with the University. I look forward to working with the president, vice president, faculty, staff, students and especially the alumni to build upon the already great program that exists," Bailey said.

"One of my goals is to create programs that add value, helping all our alumni to understand the importance of staying connected with the University," she said.

Bailey received a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Mary Washington College in 2001 and her master's in public policy and management from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008. Her husband, Jonathan, '96, and father, Bruce Turcic, '87, are proud SRU alumni.

She is the president-elect of the Greenville Rotary Club and has been active in the Women's Action Group, Friends of the Library, Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce and the College Club of Sharon.

SRU's Shaffer Joins Alumni Engagement Team
Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Pearl Shaffer, Slippery Rock University's assistant to the athletic director/senior woman administrator/business manager, is switching teams – but fortunately for the University she's not going far. The 33-year employee has been named associate director of alumni engagement.

"I am excited about the opportunity to join the alumni leadership team and to help provide new avenues for alumni engagement," Shaffer said. "I look forward to working as part of the leadership team in University Advancement and with the Alumni Association to instill a renewed spirit among our alumni."


Shaffer will assist with planning and implementing a variety of alumni activities, programs and services, as well as develop strategies to reach a broad base of SRU alumni and friends. She will also continue to provide leadership for three signature University events; the NKT golf outing, the women's athletics golf outing and the Hall of Fame banquet. Shaffer will also be responsible for engagement activities at the Gail Rose Lodge.

"Pearl's enthusiasm for Slippery Rock University and her creative and successful approaches to developing fund-and-friend-raising programs have, and will continue to, benefit the entire SRU community," said Robert Smith, SRU president. "Her network of relationships and positive standing among her fellow alumni will be critical to our success as we re-energize our efforts to connect with every SRU graduate."

Shaffer joins Kelly Bailey, the newly appointed director of alumni engagement, and Tracy Allison, assistant director of alumni engagement, Nov. 1. "I think we have a strong leadership team and can expect great things from this office," Smith said.

A native of Slippery Rock, Shaffer received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Slippery Rock in 1991 and a master's degree in sports management from SRU in 1993. Shaffer joined the SRU athletic department in 1978, first serving as a support staff member. She was promoted to the position of assistant to the athletic director/senior woman administrator/ business manager in April 2007 after serving seven years as the athletic department's administrative assistant.


SRU Alumni Association honors five as 'Distinguished Alumni'
Friday, October 21, 2011

On October 14, 2011, The SRU Alumni Association honored five individuals as "Distinguished Alumni".  The Slippery Rock University Distinguished Alumni Award honors individuals who have graduated from Slippery Rock University and have translated their Slippery Rock University experience into distinguished personal and  professional achievement, community service, university service, or philanthropy to the Slippery Rock University community.  Recipients also must distinguish themselves by reaching the highest level of accomplishment and possess the highest standards of integrity and character to positively reflect and enhance the prestige of Slippery Rock University.  

Kathlene Contres '77

Captain Kathlene Contres was the Navy’s highest ranking female Hispanic Officer on active duty until her retirement in November 2010.  Her final assignment was as the Commandant of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), located at Patrick AFB, Florida where she oversaw a multiple-service school supporting all Department of Defense and U.S. Coast Guard equal opportunity and equal employment opportunity program requirements.  Captain Contres held numerous positions throughout her Navy career,  including tours of duty from Guam to the Pentagon.  She earned the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Navy/Marine Corps Accommodation Medal.  Captain Contres taught from 1977-1980 at her alma mater, Bishop Carroll High School in Ebensburg, and in the Northern Cambria School District  before joining the Navy.


Captain Contres received her MS degree in Education Leadership and Management from San Diego State College, a BS from Slippery Rock University, 1977 (Health Education with an emphasis in Sports Medicine), and successfully completed several Military schools and qualifications.

Current Activities:

Kathy is a consultant for the Navy’s recruiting school where sailors learn a temporary new job as recruiters and learn best practices for recruiting the diverse force that protects our country and ensures our  freedom.


Sandra Kalin '64

Career Highlights:

Sandra is currently the principal at Bethel Lutheran School in St. Louis, MO.  The U.S. Department of Education and the National Association of Elementary School Principals recognized her as a National Distinguished Principal.  Under her leadership, her school was the first in the country to achieve national accreditation through the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association.  Sandra also received the “Flock of Eagles” award for urban schools and Principal of the Year for ELCA Schools in 2007.  She has presented in national conferences for administrators and state conferences for math and science.


Sandra received her BSED from Slippery Rock University, 1964 (Elementary Education).

Current Activities:

Sandra has served on the Board of Directors of Gifted Resource Council since 1984, serving a term as president of the board.  She has taught with GRC’s Learning Labs and Summer Academies, and also volunteers her time with Academic Challenge Cup, particularly with Creative Convention.  She is a member of Pi Lambda Theta, the national honor society of educators.  She also belongs to numerous organizations such as AAUW and ASCD.


Samuel Kiefer '79

Samuel joined UBS Wealth Management, North America in July 2005, where he holds the titles of Vice President-Investments and Senior Managed Account Consultant.  He is also certified as an Accredited Investment Fiduciary.  Before joining the UBS team,   Samuel worked as an investment management consultant at Smith Barney, Inc for eight years, and previously served as Senior Associate Athletic Director overseeing fundraising programs at Boston College, Temple University of South Alabama, the University of Pittsburgh and Tulane University.


Samuel earned his masters degree from Ohio University, and his bachelors degree from Slippery Rock University, 1979 (Physical Education).

Current Activities:

Samuel is a member of the prestigious Boston Estate Planning   Council and the Investment Management Consultants Association, and serves as a member of the Slippery Rock University President’s Advisory Council.  Sam, his wife Karen, and their four daughters are enthusiastic advocates of amateur athletics, and separately in 2001, founded the globally recognized grass roots giving initiative, Spread The Bread  Samuel also enjoys running marathons and to date, has six successful finishes.


Peter Oesterling '78

Peter began his legal career with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company in 1984 providing in-house legal counsel.  He is currently serving as Associate Vice President for their litigation department in Columbus, Ohio.  Despite a busy and successful law career, Peter previously found time to serve on the Slippery Rock University’s Alumni Association Board from 1999 through 2002 and Slippery Rock University's Council of Trustees from 1986 through 1992.  In 2006, Peter started funding the Peter J. Oesterling Family Scholarship.


Peter earned his JD from the University of Puget Sound School of Law, 1983 and his BA from Slippery Rock University, 1978 (Political Science, Cum Laude).

Current Activities:

Peter and his wife, Judy, make their home in Baltimore, Ohio and are the proud parents and step parents of a son, Peter Jr. and daughter, Kristin. The family enjoys a variety of outdoor activities. Peter was an adult volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America from 1999 through 2005 as well as the head coach of his son’s soccer team during the same time period.  He is an active volunteer for the Central Ohio United Way and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.


Bruno Raso '61 & '66

During his career, Bruno held numerous roles in the education field from teacher, coach, principal, supervisor, to superintendent.  Bruno has been named Allegheny County Elementary Principal of the Year in 1974 and has been honored by Duquesne University as Allegheny County Outstanding Superintendent.  Bruno also served in the United States Army from 1961-1963.


Bruno earned his doctorate from Nova Southeastern University, (Education), his masters degree at Duquesne University, (Administration), as well as his BS and MA from Slippery Rock University, 1961 & 1966 (Education).  He also earned superintendent certification at Youngstown State University.


While at Slippery Rock, Bruno was captain of the football team and earned numerous awards including being named All-American.  He was also involved in track and field and intramural basketball and wrestling.  Bruno was inducted into the Slippery Rock University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990.  Bruno resides in Hopewell with his wife, Aggie, and they have four children and eight grandchildren.



2011 Homecoming Photos
Thursday, October 20, 2011

Click here for 2011 Homecoming Photos.

Class of 1961 Reunion
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The "Golden Grads" Class of 1961 celebrated their 50th year reunion over Homecoming weekend.

Please click the class photo for a larger version.

Slippery Rock University

Russell Wright Alumni House and Conference Center
1 Morrow Way
Phone: 800.GetROCK | Fax: 724.738.4784