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Honorary Degree Recipients

James G. Apple
John B. Apple
Fred A. Grosse


James G. Apple

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

James Apple was named president of the Butter-Krust Baking Co. in Sunbury—a company his grandfather co-founded—in 1983. He served as director of The Long Co., a bakery consulting company, for 30 years and as chair for 18 of those years. He was also a past chair of the American Bakers Association and a board member of the American Institute of Baking. In 2011, Apple was inducted into the American Society of Baking’s Hall of Fame.

Apple previously served on the boards of the Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA and the Susquehanna Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He is a longtime trustee (now emeritus) of Evangelical Community Hospital and served on Susquehanna Bank’s board from 1992 until 2007. He also served on Gettysburg College’s board from 1979 until 1990, when he became an emeritus member. He is currently a trustee of the John A. Apple Foundation, established by his father.

Apple has been active with Susquehanna University’s Susquehanna Valley Regional Campaign Committee and the Susquehanna Leadership Development Committee, as well as with the Business and Industry Campaign.


John B. Apple

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

John B. Apple, James’s brother, is retired as vice president of Butter-Krust Baking Co. He currently serves on the boards of the Sunbury Area Community Foundation and the John A. Apple Foundation, named after his father. He was a longtime board member of Sunbury Community Hospital, Sunbury’s Salvation Army and the YMCA, and president of the Zion Lutheran Church council. He was also a board member of the Pennsylvania Bakers Association and Susquehanna Savings and Loan.

Apple served on Susquehanna University’s Board of Trustees as a Lutheran synod representative from 1969 to 1978, and later served on Susquehanna’s board as a regular member from 1997 until 2007, when he was awarded trustee emeritus status. Apple has volunteered with Susquehanna’s Regional Campaign Committee, Leadership Development Committee, and Business and Industry campaign, and was a Sigmund Weis School of Business Partner.

Both John and James Apple have further connections to Susquehanna through family members who are graduates of the university or currently attending. The Apple family has also generously supported a number of initiatives at Susquehanna, ranging from scholarships to lectures to building spaces.


Fred A. Grosse

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

Fred A. Grosse received his doctorate and master’s degrees in physics from Lehigh University, and his Bachelor of Science degree from Muhlenberg College. During his teaching tenure, which began in 1960, Grosse taught sections of every physics class offered at Susquehanna University. He estimates he has taught Introductory Physics to about 1,000 students. He also taught the first computer course at Susquehanna in the late 1960s, and a course on using computers as PCs became commonplace in the 1980s and '90s.

Grosse’s research areas have included astronomy, the geology of Mercury and the atmosphere of the moon, which he studied as part of JOVE (JOint VEnture), a NASA education and outreach program that engaged students, teachers and others in solar and planetary radio astronomy. He was introduced to the University of Arizona’s JOVE program by the late Richard Kozlowski, a Susquehanna physics department professor and colleague who had once been his student.

When asked in a Susquehanna Currents magazine interview what he enjoyed most about teaching, Grosse said, “The best thing is when you sit down and work on a problem with students who don’t understand what you’re talking about, and suddenly you watch the lights go on in their eyes, and they say, ‘I get it.’ That’s what’s really fun about teaching––that, and picking on them.”

"Dr. Grosse is a teacher who is totally dedicated to his students,” said Lucien T. Winegar, dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences. “Even after over 50 years, he still thinks constantly about physics and how to support students in their understanding of the field. Fred has educated generations of students, both physics majors and others, in ways that they remember to this day.”

Grosse is a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Institute of Physics, and Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society.

He was also Susquehanna's head men's tennis coach from 1961 to 1972 and head women's coach in 1990. He has served as assistant coach under Head Coach Bob Jordan for the past 18 years.

When he retires at the end of the academic year, Grosse will be awarded professor emeritus status.




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