LHU honors the lives of Robert, Dolores Lynch

WENDY STIVER/THE EXPRESS Daniel Elby, right, a member of the Lock Haven University Council of Trustees, stands under a portrait of Robert and Dolores Lynch during a library tour. At left is Joby Topper, director of library and information services at the university.



LOCK HAVEN — The Lock Haven University Council of Trustees approved a “resolution of respect” to honor the lives of Robert and Dolores Lynch.

Both came to the university in 1969 and became an integral part of campus life until retiring in the late 1990s.

Trustee Daniel Elby recalled their positive influence on him as a student at Lock Haven. There were no other professors of color on campus in 1969, he said, but the Lynches “were of tremendous support to all of us. For the students who were different for Lock Haven, they made us feel supported.”

LHU President Dr. Michael Fiorentino said, “They didn’t just work here. They really devoted themselves to the students and the community.”

Robert Lynch served as assistant to the president and director of social equity.

He organized the LHU Black Student Union and served as its first advisor, becoming a facilitator for students who reached out to him through the organization.

In 1970, he founded the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education and established the annual Robert D. Lynch Student Leadership Development Institute.

Retiring in 1998 as administrator emeritus, he received an honorary doctorate of public service from LHU in 2005.

He was also the director of the Lock Haven Community Choir and Lock Haven University-Community Orchestra. As a Rotarian, he was president of the Lock Haven club as well as district governor.

Dolores Cruse Lynch began teaching at LHU in 1969 and served as the director of the social work program from 1970 through 1999. She obtained and maintained accreditation for the social work program through the Council on Social Work Education. She served on the Lycoming-Clinton County Office of the Aging Advisory Council, the Community Nursing Services Board of Directors, and the Lycoming-Clinton County Mental Health-Mental Retardation Board.

She retired in 1999 as assistant professor emerita.

She was a member of the Rotary Club of Mill Hall Sunrise, and both she and her husband were very active in the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Bellefonte.

Dolores died this past Dec. 15. Robert had died six years earlier.

The trustees’ resolution says, in part: “Together Robert and Dolores made the Lock Haven University community a better place and touched the lives of all those they encountered. Throughout their combined 58 years of service to Lock Haven University and its community, they both positively influenced generations of students and encouraged their colleagues to do more to serve others.”

The resolution will be placed next to a portrait of the Lynches in Stevenson Library on campus.

Later that same day, the trustees toured points of interest on campus, and their visit to the library included the room with the portrait.

Two current administrators were thanked for their service.

Dr. Susan Rimby, founding dean of LHU’s College of Liberal Arts and Education, is retiring and moving out of the area.

She in turn thanked the trustees for the opportunity to serve.

“This has been the highlight of my career,” she said.

Rodney Jenkins, vice president of university relations, is moving to Prescott, Ariz., where he will take on the position of vice president of community relations at Yavapai College.

Cheryl Reynolds of Jersey Shore recently retired as library assistant, having served at the university since 1991.

Another recent retiree the trustees noted is John Peters of Blanchard who was a custodial worker for five years.