At West Chester University’s winter commencement ceremonies on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 15 and 16, four individuals who are alumni and strong supporters of West Chester University and its students are being honored with the 2023 WCU President’s Medallion for Service: John H. Baker ’74; Eileen Reider Glenn ’69, M’99; Joseph F. Kienle, III ’72, M’74; and Roger B. Ware, Jr. ’82.
Each is being presented with the President’s Medallion for Service by West Chester University President Christopher Fiorentino.
All ceremonies take place in Hollinger Field House on WCU’s North Campus. Visit WCU’s commencement website for the complete schedule and details.
John H. Baker ’74
Honored at the 3 PM ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 16.
Professor Emeritus of Art John H. Baker ’74 has delivered more than 40 years of dedication to teaching, service in the arts and community, and fundraising for West Chester University. A distinguished artist with significant regional, state, national, and international accomplishments, Baker taught art at WCU from 1974 to 2015 and was department chair from 1996 until his retirement. As both professor and chair, he had a profound impact on the personal and professional lives of students and colleagues. His impact on the university endures. A member of the WCU Foundation Board of Trustees since 2015, he has served as the board’s president since 2018. He continues active support of the WCU gallery in E.O. Bull Center which bears his name.
An unsurpassed teacher/scholar, Baker challenged students while exposing them to the art of ceramics, paper-making, and museum curating. His dedication to WCU students was unwavering: For 20 years, he served as primary advisor for all majors in studio art; was tireless in fundraising to secure scholarships for art students; played major roles in organizing and installing gallery exhibitions; and helped establish regular study abroad opportunities. Today, his former students are well represented in academia, community and private art centers, design labs, museums, and galleries throughout the greater Philadelphia area and beyond.
Baker’s extensive and extraordinary contributions to the university have been recognized many times, including with the Faculty Merit Award (2007), the Civility Award (2008-09), the President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership (2008), and the Ram Pride Award (2018). In 2019, his achievements in the world of art and the classroom were further recognized when the university awarded him an honorary doctoral degree.
Baker earned a B.A. from West Chester University in 1974 and an MFA from the University of Delaware in 1991. His work has been in dozens of international, national, and regional exhibitions and is included in several permanent collections, including at ATT Corporation, the Delaware Art Museum, and Capital Normal University in Beijing, China.
Eileen Reider Glenn ’69, M’99
Honored at the 6 PM ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 16.
Eileen Reider Glenn ’69, M’99 majored in health and physical education, played basketball, and ran track at what was then West Chester State College at the height of the growing conflict over the Vietnam War. She has been close to several people with military backgrounds, from her late husband, Terry, who served in the U.S. Army Reserves and later became a Merrill Lynch executive; to her brother-in-law, a former Marine; her nephew-in-law, who retired from the Navy SEALs as a lieutenant commander; and her mentor, the late Dick Yoder ’59, who served six years in the Marine Corps. She and Terry have been among the university’s most generous supporters of WCU students and graduates who are U.S. military veterans.
In 2012, the family’s Terry and Eileen Glenn Foundation donated $32,000 to fund graduate assistants to staff WCU’s Greg and Sandra Weisenstein Veterans Center. Just six years later, her pledge of $1 million endowed a new, ongoing position for a licensed professional counselor dedicated to the specialized needs of the university’s nearly 300 student veterans. Assisting with post-traumatic stress issues and myriad other challenges student veterans face has helped cement the Veterans Center as an indispensable resource for WCU military veterans.
Glenn’s remarkable journey, highlighted by earning a master’s degree three decades after graduating with her bachelor’s degree, includes teaching elementary physical education for four years before becoming a stay-at-home mother for 16 years — and then re-entering the world of athletics as the Athletic Director at the Academy of the New Church (ANC) in Bryn Athyn, PA. She served in that role for 20 years before retiring in 2000. She has also served on the ANC Board of Trustees and its finance committee; on the board of trustees for Cairnwood Village in Bryn Athyn; and chaired the Board of Trustees of the Glencairn Museum.
She earned a master’s in athletic administration in 1999 from West Chester. Today, she continues to support two causes about which she cares greatly: the WCU Veterans Center and programs for students who have aged out of the foster system.
Joseph F. Kienle, III ’72, M’74
Honored at the 6 PM ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 16.
Joseph F. Kienle stepped onto WCU’s campus in 1968 and over the next 50 years he, Denise and their daughters Jessica and Stephanie would create a family legacy. After completing his B.S. in Kinesiology and master’s in education, he and Denise followed their passion for higher education. This took them to various universities including Iowa State University, Arizona State University, and the University of Maryland before returning to West Chester in 1988. Denise began her 25-year career at West Chester University and Joe followed his next passion, finance, working for two large investment banks, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, helping clients plan successful financial futures until his retirement in 2010.
Kienle’s mantra throughout his life has been “when asked, I serve.”
Kienle was elected to the board of directors of the Alumni Association in 1990 to serve two terms. During his board tenure, he served as treasurer for four years, vice president for two years, president for two years, and continues to serve as a past president. In 2016, Joe was awarded the designation of president emeritus of the WCU Alumni Association and received the WCU Alumni Association Service Award.
The Kienle family has established the Denise Howe Kienle memorial scholarship and the Kienle family scholarship to continue the tradition of supporting student success.
Roger Ware, Jr. ’82
Honored at the 6 PM ceremony on Friday, Dec. 15.
It is through the generosity of Roger Ware, Jr. ’82 and Agnes Ware that the South High Street gateway to the university’s campus was transformed. The Roger and Agnes Ware Plaza, located at the northwest corner of High Street and Rosedale Avenue, features a president’s walk and an illuminated fountain. The plaza is a favorite spot for graduation photos, meeting friends and colleagues, and relaxing on pleasant days.
Ware’s commitment to WCU and his generosity to the university includes serving on the West Chester University Foundation Board of Trustees.
As president and CEO of Genesee General, a full-service managing general agency (MGA) and wholesale company, Ware grew the firm from a small MGA with $3.5 million in annual premiums to a national firm licensed in all 50 states with $400 million in premiums. Insurance Business America rated Genesee General “5 Stars” for business excellence for six straight years, making the firm one of 22 companies in the country out of more than 3,000 to receive that distinction. In 2018, he sold Genesee General to the Carlyle Group, one of the largest private equity groups in the country.
Ware began his career in the property and casualty industry as a commercial underwriter with Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company in 1982. He transitioned to management as the vice president of Allianz Insurance Company in 1988 before becoming regional vice president for Crum & Forester Insurance Company. He served as president of the Wholesale Specialty Insurance Association, a non-profit association of insurance professionals and specialty market leaders dedicated to the wholesale distribution system and one of the insurance industry’s largest associations. He was elected to the Business Insurance America: Property & Casualty Hall of Fame in 2018.
Ware earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from West Chester University in 1982 and an MBA from the University of Colorado in 1997. He earned an Associate in Risk Management from the Insurance Institute of America in 1987. He retired on his 40th anniversary in the insurance industry in January 2022.
Learn more at West Chester University.