Five to Retire From Lebanon Valley College Board of Trustees; New Student Trustee Named

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Jeff Bates '16

ANNVILLE, PA (05/13/2014)(readMedia)-- Wesley T. Dellinger '75, P'05, chair of the Lebanon Valley College Board of Trustees, announced that Jeffrey A. Bates '16 has been appointed to serve on the College's board effective July 1, 2014. Dellinger also announced that Ron Drnevich, Malcolm Lazin, Esq., '65, Alan A. Symonette, Esq., Dr. Jeffrey W. Robbins, and Roberto M. Valdes '14 will retire from their board duties effective June 30, 2013.

Dellinger acknowledged the contributions of those retiring from the board. "Their guidance, wisdom, and professionalism will be missed by their colleagues and we hope they will remain connected to LVC."

Jeffrey A. Bates '16 will join Katheryn J. O'Hara '15 as student representatives on the board for a two-year term. Bates is an early childhood education and special education double major who graduated from Pine Grove Area High School. At LVC, he is a resident assistant, presidential scholarship recipient, and member of the dean's list and National Honor Society. Bates is also the president of the Class of 2016.

Bates was a recipient of the First-Year Student Award in 2012–2013. He plans on teaching in an inner-city environment after graduation before involvement in educational leadership. He aspires to one day be selected as the United States Secretary of Education and work to improve the educational system.


Ronald J. Drnevich has served on the Lebanon Valley College Board of Trustees since 1999. During this 15-year tenure, he served on the Academic/Student Affairs Committee, Audit Committee (chair), Executive Committee, and Facilities Committee (vice chair), among others.

Drnevich is the former senior executive vice president and vice chair of the board for Capital Blue Cross. Prior to this role, he was chair and chief executive officer of Gannett Fleming Inc., from which he retired in 2007. Drnevich also serves as director of Integrity Bancshares Inc. in Camp Hill, Pa., of which he was one of the original organizers.

He and his wife, Kathie, established the Ron and Kathie Drnevich Fund in 2012. The fund supports organizations that support the emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing of individuals or groups.

Drnevich received a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Notre Dame and attended graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University.

Malcolm L. Lazin, Esq., '65 has served on the Lebanon Valley College Board of Trustees since 2002. During this period, he was a member of the Academic/Student Affairs Committee and the Trusteeship Committee, among others. Lazin is the founder and executive director of Equality Forum, a national and international GLBT civil rights organization with an educational focus.

Before founding Equality Forum, Lazin was a federal prosecutor and led successful major grand jury investigations into public corruption. He received the U.S. Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award, the Department of Justice's highest honor.

Lazin served as commissioner and then chair of the Pennsylvania Crime Commission, the principal state agency investigating organized crime. He was a litigation partner in a Philadelphia law firm.

He was president of a real estate development firm that built the first major project on Philadelphia's waterfront. Lazin chaired the Philadelphia Waterfront Developers Council, which spearheaded infrastructure improvements. He conceived the idea to light the Benjamin Franklin Bridge; helped form the bi-state committee; and co-chaired development, which raised $1.7 million to fund the project.

Lazin is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2006 Distinguished Alumnus Award of Lebanon Valley College. He established the Lazin Series, a program aimed at linking LVC alumni and distinguished community leaders to current students by giving them the chance to lecture on real-world, postgraduate possibilities. Lazin started the program in 2002 in memory of his father, Norman Lazin '37.

Lazin graduated from LVC with a B.S. in biology. He then earned his J.D. from Boston University.

Alan A. Symonette, Esq., has served on the Lebanon Valley College Board of Trustees since 2005. He was a member of the College's Academic/Student Affairs Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee during this time.

Symonette has been a longtime labor and employment arbitrator. He is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators, the American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section Neutral Co-Chair, ADR in Labor and Employment Committee), the American Arbitration Association, National Mediation Board, Pennsylvania Bureau of Mediation, and the Philadelphia Chapter Labor Employment Relations Association (past president). He is also a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Arbitrators where he serves on its Board of Governors.

He is a member of the bars of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of the United States, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Symonette was part of a delegation to South Africa, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, South African Commission on Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration, and the American Arbitration Association and ILO in 1999. He is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Germantown where he served as lay leader and is currently a member of the Staff Parrish Relations Committee.

He received his B.A. in political science from Swarthmore College and his J.D. from Villanova University.

Dr. Jeffrey W. Robbins, chair of religion and philosophy; professor of religion; and director of American Studies at LVC, completes his three-year term as a faculty representative to the Board of Trustees, where he served on the Advancement Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee.

Robbins' area of specialization is in continental philosophy of religion. His teaching interests include contemporary religious thought, philosophy of religion, world religions, Christianity, Islam, and religion and politics. In addition to teaching courses in religion, Robbins also is the director of the College's American Studies Program.

He received the Thomas Rhys Vickroy Award for Outstanding Teaching at LVC in 2005. Robbins is the author or editor of seven books, including most recently "The Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion" (Indiana University Press, 2014), and "Religion, Politics and the Earth: The New Materialism" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) with Clayton Crockett.

Robbins is a contributing editor of the Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory and co-editor of the Columbia University Press book series "Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture."

He received a B.A. from Baylor University, a M.Div. from Texas Christian University, a M.Phil. from Syracuse University, and his Ph.D. from Syracuse University.

Roberto "Tito" M. Valdes '14, a political science major, completes his two-year term as a student representative to the Board of Trustees, where he served on the Academic/Student Affairs Committee and the Marketing and Enrollment Committee.

Valdes has been an active leader at LVC during his four years and serves currently as the president of the Executive Board of Student Government and president of the Class of 2014. He has participated in numerous academic, cultural, and social programs, including the "In the Footsteps of Leaders" leadership program at the Gettysburg Battlefields and the College's European Union Simulation Program.

He also participated in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Legislative Fellowship Program, served as a resident assistant, vice president, then co-president, of the Lebanon Valley Educational Partnership, and as an active member of Student Government for all four years. For the latter, he served as chair of the Facilities Committee and the Handicap Accessibility Committee, as well as the club liaison in 2012–2013.

Valdes has been involved with the Lebanon Valley College Democrats, Hunger Awareness Leaders of Tomorrow, Intramural Basketball, and raising funds for relief in Haiti. He plans to attend law school after graduation.