Tony Newberry, Ph.D, president and CEO of Jefferson Community & Technical College was presented with an honorary doctorate Saturday, June 2, by Spalding University at its commencement ceremony. He was among four distinguished individuals with deep roots in the Louisville community or who have made a significant contributions in their fields of service recognized. Also receiving honorary degrees were Louisville entrepreneur and philanthropist George Fischer and former Kentucky Auditor Crit Luallen. Dr. Rosemarie Young was honored with the Caritas Medal, the highest honor the university confers on an alumna.
Spalding President Tori Murden McClure says, “Each of these honorees are distinguished citizens who have dedicated their careers and lives to the betterment of the community. Their compassion, personal sacrifices and achievements are inspirations to us all. Spalding University is pleased to recognize their advanced citizenship with honors as part of the 2012 commencement ceremony.”
Newberry has led the college since July 2002, overseeing consolidation of two institutions, continuous enrollment growth, the opening of the college’s sixth campus, funding and building of a state-of-the-art Health Sciences Building, and the development of numerous education and workforce partnerships. Before becoming an administrator, Newberry started his career at Jefferson as a history faculty member. Having worked at what was then known as Jefferson Community College from 1976-1986, he felt a deep connection to the college’s mission, students and faculty when he returned 18 years later. He has dedicated his 36 year career as an educational leader in Kentucky to advocating for affordable and accessible college education for all people. For his accomplishments, spirit of service, and dedication to the provision of education for the community, Spalding University awarded him the honorary degree, Doctor of Public Service.
George Fischer has served the Louisville community as a dynamic business and civic leader and compassionate philanthropist. Having completed a varied and vibrant career, he was one of the founders of self-service beverage and ice equipment SerVend International Inc. in 1980. He was a pioneer of the development and marketing of the company into a worldwide presence. A former Navy pilot, Fisher was also secretary of finance for Gov. John Y. Brown in Kentucky. His philanthropic ventures include being a founding member of School Choice Scholarships, which provides educational aid to lower income families. His numerous civic activities include University of Louisville Board of Overseers and Chair of the Board for the Center of Interfaith Relations. For his vision and accomplishments as a leader, Spalding University awarded Fischer the Doctor of Humane Letters.
Eugenia Crittenden “Crit” Luallen has served the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its citizens through public service for more than 30 years, most recently in the elected position of Kentucky State Auditor for two terms. She served from 2003-2012. She has worked for six Kentucky governors during the past three decades. Her career includes positions as state budget director, Secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet, Secretary of the state’s Tourism Cabinet and Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of the Arts. Luallen coordinated the state’s efforts to create Metropolitan College, a key to UPS’s expansion in Louisville. She also was key in passing the Early Childhood Initiative under Gov. Paul Patton and during Gov. Martha Layne Collin’s tenure, she assisted with recruiting Toyota to establish a manufacturing plant in central Kentucky. For her devotion and spirit of service, Spalding University awarded Luallen the honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service.
Alumna Dr. Rosemarie Young graduated from the first class of graduates of Spalding’s doctorate of educational leadership program in 1994. She is principal of Watson Lane Elementary School, where she has served since 1985. Her leadership at Watson Lane has been recognized locally and nationally. For her accomplishments as a determined and steadfast leader, her depth of service to school-aged children, her community, and alma mater, Spalding University will award Dr. Young its highest honor of the Caritas Medal.