GREENSBURG, PA- The Seton Hill University Board of Trustees elected Former First Lady of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Michele Moore Ridge as its Chair. Ridge is Seton Hill’s first alumna to serve in this capacity and also the first woman to assume the leadership role. Ridge’s election is effective immediately.

Mrs. Ridge, who graduated from Seton Hill in 1969, joined the Seton Hill University Board of Trustees in June 2002 and serves on the University Relations and Development Committee and the Committee on Trustees. In addition, she serves as Chair of the President’s Advisory Council, a leadership group of alumni working collaboratively to enhance the University’s visibility and improve its competitive advantage at the national level.

President JoAnne Boyle commented, “Michele Ridge has a passionate commitment to education and recognizes its value in changing lives for the better. She is accomplished in many areas but her ability to instill in others a love of learning is truly inspiring. Michele’s keen ability to bring out the best in people is something I’ve always admired. I am delighted that she will serve as Seton Hill’s Board Chair at this important time in the University’s history. Michele’s leadership and boundless energy will be paramount as we continue our move forward. She will make an incredible contribution to Seton Hill’s progress in many areas.”

“This leadership position at Seton Hill is important to me for so many reasons,” said Michele Moore Ridge. She continued, “The achievement of university status marks such a milestone. JoAnne Boyle and I have been visiting alumni across the country in recent months and we are constantly impressed with the level of enthusiasm that those closest to Seton Hill possess for its high-quality academic programs and upcoming building initiatives. I’m honored to have been elected to Chair Seton Hill’s Board of Trustees at this pivotal time for my alma mater.”

During her tenure as First Lady of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Mrs. Ridge’s top priority was the prevention of violence against youth. She chaired and remains a member of the Governor’s Community Partnership for Safe Children. A community-based initiative, the project seeks to curb violence by and against youth by reducing child abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, academic failure, illiteracy and other factors that make youth more likely to commit crime.

Her current role as Director, Strategic Development and National Spokesperson for Communities that Care for Channing Bete Company, Inc. represents an extension of her commitment to children. Mrs. Ridge works to mobilize communities, states and local governments to cooperate and collaborate to stretch scarce resources to promote the positive development of children and youth. Mrs. Ridge’s work is guided by her belief that every child deserves a decent childhood.

As the result of her dedication to the betterment of young people, Mrs. Ridge was chosen by President George W. Bush in May 2001 to serve on the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. This program annually recognizes the nation’s outstanding high school students for their academic achievements and excellence in the arts.

After graduating from Seton Hill University with a Bachelor of Arts in European history, Mrs. Ridge went on to earn a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She later achieved recognition as the executive director of the Erie County library system, as a producer of the radio program “Library Medley” that is distributed by WQLM-TV, the PBS affiliate in the Northwest and as a volunteer of remarkable accomplishment in the City of Erie and throughout the Commonwealth.

Mrs. Ridge has received a number of awards and honors for her endeavors and in October 2002 was named a Pennsylvania Distinguished Daughter. She has received other recognitions including: the Seton Hill University Doctor of Humane Letters; National Center for Family Literacy’s William F. Goodling Award; Society for Prevention Research’s Public Service Award; Habitat for Humanity of Greater Harrisburg’s Humanitarian of the Year Award; Please Touch Museum’s Great Friend of Kids Founders Award; PA Citizens for Better Libraries Citizen of the Year Award; Children’s Playroom, Inc.’s Child Advocate Award; Republican Women in Government’s Woman of the Year Award; Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Greater Philadelphia’s Friend of the Family Award; National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) Gold Screen Award; Hadassah Presidential Award for Dedication to Women’s and Family Health and Education Issues; American Diabetes Association’s Pennsylvanians of Vision Award; Bucks County Boy Scouts Woman of the Year Award; Shirley Dennis Award for Community Service; Second Harvest Food Bank Bread Box Award; Gannon University Friends of Educators Award; American Association of University Women Award for Outstanding Community Service; and Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition Pink Ribbon Award.

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