2017 alumni awardees honored for contributions to their communities

Created: October 27, 2017  |  Last Updated: September 1, 2020  |  Category: ,   |  Tagged: ,

Homecoming & Reunion Weekend festivities kicked off Oct. 20, 2017, with the President’s Homecoming Dinner to honor three W&J alumni for their exceptional contributions to their communities and professions.


Peter J. Ross ’74, D.M.D., Pediatric Dentist, Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates, PC
Louise Kirkpatrick Ross ’74, former W&J trustee

“We grew up at W&J academically, socially, culturally—in ways that have affected our lives, both personally and professionally every day. We didn’t discover that influence until after we graduated and got out into the world. There are many influences all of us encounter during our lives: family, spouses, and special people. We both count our W&J experience near the top of that list.”

— Peter J. Ross, D.M.D., and Louise Kirkpatrick Ross


Barbara H. Lange ’88, Executive Director, Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and the Hollywood Professional Association

“W&J set me up for critical thinking. Because I studied chemistry, I became attuned to the scientific method. And while I no longer use chemistry in my daily work, the skills that I developed in the lab still work for me today in association management. Equally important, W&J provided a safe environment where a woman can excel. I never felt disadvantaged while on campus. In fact, W&J fostered a level playing field where everyone could do their best. Unfortunately, work life was not always so kind. While I don’t visit W&J as much anymore, I have very dear friends who remain in my life to this day—those friendships made in calculus class in Old Main, on the floor in the Alex dormitory, in Kappa Kappa Gamma, or on an intersession trip to the Soviet Union. Friends forever and great memories!”

— Barbara H. Lange


Timothy M. Wagner ’07, Ed.D., Associate High School Principal for Program Planning & Innovation, Upper St. Clair School District

“My journey at Washington & Jefferson College revealed to me that the answers to today’s most complex problems are often found in the treasure of a liberal arts education. Considering life from a multi-disciplinary perspective, and holding oneself accountable to both knowledge and community, are hallmark features of a W&J education. Because of what W&J offers, my service in schools has been marked by a desire to understand fully the nexus of educational theory, policy, and practice. Most importantly, however, my work at W&J instilled in me a belief that the best learning happens when instructors use both ‘head and heart’ as they consider the needs of children and families.”

— Timothy M. Wagner

Read more about the 2017 alumni award winners.

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