Published on Tuesday, April 30, 2013
York College will honor its 2013 graduates and retiring president George Waldner and his wife, Judith, at commencement exercises, which will begin at 10:15 a.m., May 18, on the campus mall. Nearly 700 students, including the College’s first five Doctor of Nursing Practice graduates, will receive degrees. Dr. and Mrs. Waldner will each receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
Tickets will be required for seating under the tent, where the ceremony is held. A live video stream of commencement will begin at 10 a.m.
A native of Philadelphia, George Waldner grew up in Moorestown, NJ. He earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University, then enrolled at Princeton University in the Department of Politics, earning a doctorate in international relations and East Asian studies.
Waldner began his academic career at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, twice winning the student-voted Golden Apple Award as the outstanding classroom teacher and going on to become academic dean and provost. In Atlanta, he founded and served as the first executive director of the Japan-America Society of Georgia, an organization that has grown to include hundreds of corporate and individual members. He was also selected to be a Fellow of the Southern Center for International Studies in Atlanta, organizing conferences and editing publications on U.S.-East Asian politics and economics.
In 1987, Waldner accepted appointment as vice president for academic affairs at Wilkes College, implementing a new core curriculum, improving faculty compensation and guiding the institution’s successful application for designation as a university.
He began his presidency of York College in 1991, focusing on developing York as a high-quality comprehensive, residential college, able to compete for students in a widening geographic area, with leading colleges in the country. Under his stewardship, York has grown from 2,900 to 4,600 full-time students, tripled its campus land area, and increased in net worth in facilities and financial resources by some $250 million dollars. Faculty credentials have advanced, while athletic and cultural programs have blossomed. Waldner has also provided strong leadership for scholarships for York City youth and launched a vigorous neighborhood revitalization initiative.
A native of West Chester, Judith Trimble Waldner is an alumna of the Westtown School, a noted college preparatory day and boarding school established by the Society of Friends. From Westtown, she went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Butler University in Indianapolis. She began her teaching career in Indiana, and later taught early childhood grades in both Georgia and Pennsylvania.
Judith’s career in education shifted focus in 1991, when she assumed the role of first lady of York College. Her hospitality to friends, alumni, faculty and students of York College is legendary, as she has opened the President’s Home time after time for memorable receptions, holiday parties and dinners for visiting dignitaries. Judith has also been active in the community, volunteering with the York Symphony and serving on York Hospital committees.
The Waldners are the parents of Lizanne Renaud and grandparents of Charles, Anthony, Genevieve and Gregory.