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LA ROCHE FOUNDERS GALA SET FOR MARCH 24
SEVENTH ANNUAL FUNDRAISER HONORS BILL STRICKLAND, FOUNDER AND CEO OF MANCHESTER BIDWELL CORP.


2/9/2012

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (February 9, 2012) – William E. Strickland Jr. will be honored at the 7th annual La Roche College Founders Gala on Saturday, March 24, for his devoted service to improving the lives of Pittsburgh’s underserved, underemployed and unemployed. The event begins at 6:30 p.m.at the Fairmont Pittsburgh. La Roche College President, Sister Candace Introcaso, CDP, Ph.D., and members of the Board of Trustees will host the evening along with Honorary Chairs, Tony and Linda Bucci. Emceeing the event is Michelle Wright, anchor of WTAE Channel 4 Action News.

At this year’s gala, the College will present its prestigious Ad Lucem Award to Strickland. The award takes its name from the Latin words, “ad lucem,” meaning “to light,” and recognizes individuals whose vision, leadership and determination have transformed their dreams into reality and illuminated a new path, resulting in positive and lasting contributions to society, the community and the professions.

Raised in the inner-city neighborhood of Manchester, Strickland was inspired by his high school art teacher and a potter’s wheel. From that inspiration evolved his vision for an after-school arts and mentorship program, which took form as the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in a donated North Side row house he secured while attending college. Several years later, at a time of widespread unemployment in the Pittsburgh region, Strickland was asked to assume the leadership of Bidwell Training Center, where he guided the transition and responsiveness of its job training programs to benefit the region’s people and emerging markets.

Since 1972, the organization Strickland leads has attracted national attention for its innovative career-oriented training and literacy and remedial education. Because of Strickland’s success and inspiring stories of the students whose lives he has touched, he will appear in the upcoming documentary film “Waiting for Superman,” which examines the challenges of the American education system. Strickland is one of 25 appointees to President Obama’s White House Council for Community Solutions. He is the recipient of the 2011 Goi Peace Award, the 2012 Pursuer of Peace Award, the MacArthur “Genius” Award and numerous other awards for his contribution to the arts and the community.

Strickland, as with past recipients of the La Roche College Ad Lucem Award, exemplifies the mission of the College to educate future leaders and to promote peace and justice in a changing global society.

The Founders Gala is open to the public. To learn more about this event or to purchase sponsorships or tickets online, visit laroche.edu/gala, or contact Director of Special Events, Bobbi LaPlace at bobbi.laplace@laroche.edu or 412-536-1087.



About La Roche College: A private, Catholic, co-educational college north of Pittsburgh founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche welcomes students of all religions, ethnic origins and talents. Undergraduates may choose from more than 50 majors, including the top 10 majors most in demand among today’s college students. La Roche combines a quality educational experience with clubs, athletics, social and community volunteer activities, spiritual well-being and more to prepare students for life in a constantly changing global society.


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