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Susquehanna University Taps Veteran Professor to Address Graduates

Published on May 3, 2012

Fred A. Grosse, professor of physics at Susquehanna University, will address graduatingFred Grosse seniors and invited guests as the featured speaker at Susquehanna’s 154th commencement ceremony May 13 at 2:30 p.m. in the field house of the James W. Garrett Sports Complex. With 52 years of distinguished teaching to his credit, Grosse is the longest-serving member of the faculty in Susquehanna’s history.

"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 will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, as will James G. Apple, former president of Butter-Krust Baking Co. in Sunbury, Pa.; John B. Apple, retired vice president of Butter-Krust Baking Co. and emeritus member of Susquehanna’s Board of Trustees; and Lucille M. Arthur, widow of emeritus Susquehanna board member and alumnus Douglas E. Arthur.

More than 500 students are expected to graduate this spring. This year, more than 100 students will wear study-away sashes reflecting the countries where they pursued GO (Global Opportunities) or other credits away from campus. By 2013, all graduates will be eligible to wear the colorful sashes.

The Baccalaureate service, a festive ecumenical service of praise and thanksgiving, will begin at 10 a.m. in the Weber Chapel auditorium, followed by a commencement luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center’s Evert Dining Room. Twitter users may follow the ceremony by using the hashtag #su2012.

Fred A. Grosse

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 engages 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 who had once been his student.

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

Grosse 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.

James G. Apple

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

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.

Lucille M. (Groff) Arthur

Lucille Arthur is the widow of 1949 Susquehanna graduate Douglas E. Arthur, who received an honorary degree from the university in 1996 and served as a voting and emeritus member of Susquehanna’s Board of Trustees for more than 30 years. Born and raised in the Harrisburg area, Lucille worked for Nationwide Insurance.

For many years, the Arthurs have taken a personal interest in making a Susquehanna University education possible for students. In 1987, they established a scholarship in their names to support students with strong academic credentials from the Millersburg (Dauphin County) area.

They have also been enthusiastic supporters of Susquehanna’s athletics program, frequently attending Crusader football games and Quarterback Club luncheons on campus. Together, the Arthurs made a commitment to endow the athletic director position at Susquehanna.

In 2004, Lucille made a gift in honor of her husband to commemorate his steadfast encouragement of fellow graduates in supporting their alma mater. Her gift gave life to the Douglas E. Arthur Plaza on campus, at the front of the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center, which recognizes members of the Susquehanna Society, whose lifetime contributions to the university exceed $1 million.


Karen M. Jones


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