DeSales University to Hold Mid-Year Commencement Sunday, January 22
DeSales University will hold its mid-year commencement at 3 p.m., Sunday, January 22, in Billera Hall on the Center Valley campus. During the ceremony, Father Bernard O'Connor, OSFS, University President, will confer degrees upon 232 graduating students, including 112 bachelor's and 120 master's, from 14 states. DeSales is celebrating its 40th anniversary this academic year. Also, the DeSales' MBA program, the largest in the Lehigh Valley area, marks its 15th anniversary, which is the theme for this year's mid-year graduation.
In keeping with the theme, two successful Lehigh Valley area business professionals will be honored during the festivities. They are Michael J. Gausling, founder and former CEO of OraSure, who will deliver the Commencement address, and Elmer D. Gates, former chairman, president and CEO of Fuller Company, and currently chairman of the board of Embassy Bank for the Lehigh Valley, who will be awarded the DeSales Medal.
Michael J. Gausling, co-founder and former CEO of OraSure Technologies, Inc., will deliver the Commencement address, which he will supplement with aPowerPoint presentation. In his speech to DeSales' newest graduates, Gausling will talk about the entrepreneurial life experience and some of the lessonsthat he has learned from his successful business ventures.
"All new graduates should feel the sky is the limit," states Gausling. "They should know that anything is possible with a good idea, lots of hard work, a strong educational background, and a passion to succeed." Speaking from experience, Gausling is quick to point out that in 1990,in his third year of co-founding the company, his only income that year came from teaching finance and entrepreneurship in the ACCESS Program at DeSales. "I have come along way since that time," adds Gausling.
The MBA program, established in 1990, is the largest such program in the Lehigh Valley area, with classes available at Center Valley, Easton and Lansdale campuses. In addition, options are available at the Delaware Valley College campus in Doylestown and at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Currently, more than 700 students are enrolled in the program, with approximately, 1,000 students having graduated from the program to date. About 60 full-time adjunct faculty members teach in the program.
"DeSales' MBA Program offers a quality program for working professionals," says Dr. Mohamed Latib, vice president for program and strategic development and director of the MBA Program. "About 99 percent are full-time employees, with an average age of 37."
Gausling came to the Lehigh Valley in 1987, when he co-founded SolarCare Technologies Corp (STC) at the Ben Franklin Incubator facility at Lehigh University. He served as chairman, president and CEO of STC until 2000, when it merged with Epitope, Inc., to form OraSure Technologies Corporation (Nasdaq:OSUR). Gausling served as president and COO of OraSure from 2000 to 2002, and he was the CEO from 2002 until 2004, when he retired at age 46. In 2004, at the time of his retirement, OraSure had annual revenues in excess of $54 million and over 200 employees. OraSure is best known both locally and globally fordeveloping, manufacturing, and selling OraQuick, the only rapid oral fluid HIV test in the world today. In 2004, Gausling was also recognized as Ernst and Young's Central/Eastern Pa Biotech entrepreneur of the year.
Raised in Middletown, Ohio, Gausling earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and an MBA in Finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Currently, he serves on the boards of KNBT Bancorp (Nasdaq:KNBT) andthe Lehigh Valley Industrial Park. He and his wife, Sharon, have one son, and they reside in Bethlehem.
Gates, who is the recipient of the DeSales Medal, which is the highest nonacademic award DeSales University can confer, is being honored for outstanding contributions to the development of the university through personal service, as well as financial support. Recipients are well respected in the community at large and have been distinguished for the witness they give to the ideals most highly prized by St. Francis de Sales. The DeSales Medal is conferred no more than once a year and only if there is a suitable candidate.
"It's been a privilege to be a part of the value system and the commitment to excellence and concern for preparing young people that is woven into the culture of DeSales University," states Gates.
Gates had a rewarding 31-year career with General Electric, prior to joining the Fuller Company in 1982, as president and CEO. Under his guidance, the Fuller Company became a world leader in the cement industry. In 1986, he led a management buy out of the company. In 1990, the Fuller Company was sold to F.L. Smidth of Denmark. Following his retirement from Fuller, he was instrumental in starting Embassy Bank for the Lehigh Valley. Currently, Gates serves as chairman of the board of Embassy Bank. He also is a member of the board of Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation.
His honors and awards include: the Americanism Award, B'naiBrith; 2002 Arthritis Foundation Spirit of Philanthropy Award; 2001 Distinguished Service Award, Lehigh County Chamber of Commerce; Distinguished Citizen Award, Minsi Trail Council of Boy Scouts of America; and Americanism Award, U.S. Marine Corps League. In 1995, he was appointed by the State Legislature to be a member of IMPACT Commission to study ways to reduce the cost of government while improving service levels. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Clarkson College and served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Korea, during the Korean conflict.
Press Release: DeSales University to Hold Mid-Year Commencement Sunday, January 22 | Posted on: 1/20/2006
For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034
610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu