The Maurice Cleveland Waltersdorf Awards for Innovative Leadership

2018 Award Recipient - Susan Anderson Ralston '85

Susan Ralston has spent her entire career in the banking industry, most recently as chief operating officer and senior vice president at Dollar Bank, headquartered in Pittsburgh. Previous to that position, she was the president/CEO of Bank @lantec for more than 22 years. During that time, she led the effort to change the charter of the institution from a federal credit union to a federal mutual savings bank becoming the 1st credit union to convert in Virginia and the 25th in the country in 2004. In 2016, Susan successfully led the effort to merge with Dollar Bank, the largest independent mutual bank in the country.

Susan earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa. and a master’s degree in business administration from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. She is also a graduate of the American Banker Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking (Georgetown University) and the Hampton Roads Civic Leadership Institute.

Susan serves on the board of directors of the Central Business District Association in Virginia Beach. She also serves on the American Bankers Association Mutual Institutions Council, the Credit Union Committee, the Virginia Bankers Association’s Governmental Relations Committee and the Executive Women’s Leadership Council. Inside Business Magazine selected Susan as one of the “Outstanding Women in Business” in Hampton Roads in 2010.

Susan is the founder and executive director of the Pediatric Proton Foundation, a Virginia non-profit corporation. After her 2-year-old son’s diagnosis of Ewing sarcoma in 2007, Susan became a dedicated advocate for children’s cancer initiatives and specifically pediatric proton therapy. The Foundation conducts an annual survey providing valuable data regarding patterns of care with pediatric proton therapy in the United States. This work was published in the International Journal of Particle Therapy.

Originally raised in Washington, Pa., Susan lives in Virginia Beach with her husband, Jim, and her 12- year-old son, Jacob.

About the Award

The Maurice Cleveland Waltersdorf Awards for Innovative Leadership recognize outstanding alumni and students of Washington & Jefferson College who attain a high level of achievement and exemplify the spirit and leadership qualities manifested by Dr. Maurice C. Waltersdorf.

The Waltersdorf Awards honor the late Dr. Waltersdorf who served as a professor and chairman of the Department of Economics at the College for 32 years. He initiated numerous innovative changes that shaped the Department of Economics and its students, including the development of a special cooperative arrangement with the Wharton School.

As a part of the Waltersdorf Awards, one alumnus/a is honored each year for his or her innovative leadership in business or other profession. Innovative leadership may be demonstrated by any of the following accomplishments:

  • Introduction of a new good or new quality of good;
  • Introduction of a new method of production;
  • Introduction or refinement of an idea which enhances understanding of the role of the entrepreneur in a market economy;
  • Conquest of a new source of supply of raw materials or the innovative application of an existing material;
  • Opening of a new market or service;
  • Carrying out of a new organization of any industry.

Additionally, each year the Waltersdorf Scholarship is awarded to one or more W&J upperclass students. Those chosen best exemplify the academic excellence personified by Dr. Waltersdorf and show promise as innovative leaders.

About Dr. Maurice C. Waltersdorf

Dr. Maurice C. Waltersdorf Dr. Maurice C. Waltersdorf received his bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Princeton University. After serving as a school principal, teacher and registrar, he was named an assistant professor of economics at W&J in 1924 and became a professor and chairman of the Department of Economics three years later.

Waltersdorf developed a special cooperative arrangement with the Wharton School for W&J students seeking master’s degrees and created a major and minor in economics. He established an Economics Club (which preceded the Economics Honorary Society); developed a three-track system of accounting, economics and business administration; and created both the Benjamin Franklin and Walter Hudson Baker prizes for scholarship.

Widely known for his work and writings as an economist, Dr. Waltersdorf acted as an advisor to numerous government agencies at the state and federal levels. He held positions on wartime boards and committees, helped train war-plant personnel in industrial relations, and was cited by the federal government for his contributions and leadership.

Included in Who’s Who in America, Dr. Waltersdorf was the author of numerous articles on economic theory, budgeting and banking, and a book published on New Jersey utility companies. When he was honored with a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Washington & Jefferson College in 1956, his citation noted:

“You have enlarged the vision and extended the horizons of all who have studied and worked with you. The many students whom you have guided to outstanding academic and business careers bear witness to your notable achievements.”

Past Award Winners

Alumni Recipients

  • 1988 Eugene R. Yost ’50*
  • 1989 John P. O’Leary Sr. ’49*
  • 1990 J. Campbell Brandon Jr. ’40*
  • 1991 John J. Paull Jr. ’43*
  • 1992 William M. Stout ’64
  • 1993 Charles Roazen ’52
  • 1994 Thomas V. Craig ’80
  • 1994 David J. White ’77
  • 1995 Russell A. Eberly ’44*
  • 1996 W. Edward Sell, Esq. ’45*
  • 1997 Adam K. Bert ’27*
  • 1998 E. Ronald Salvitti, M.D. ’59
  • 1999 Joseph C. Cicero ’57*
  • 2000 Glenn C. Rice, Ph.D. ’78
  • 2001 Lyn M. Dyster, Ph.D. ’80
  • 2002 George “Gig” S. Hender ’64
  • 2003 Charles “Chuck” F. Marcy ’72
  • 2005 Paul P. Medvedo Jr. ’77
  • 2006 William F. Sarris ’75
  • 2007 Larry A. Makel ’75
  • 2008 John O. Hanna Jr. ’55
  • 2009 Jeffrey Conn, Esq. ’86
  • 2010 Gerald Lee Morosco, AIA ’81
  • 2011 Frances Smith Rohrich ’85
  • 2013 D. Lawrence Wickerham ’72
  • 2014 Joseph G. Gibson ’86
  • 2015 Chong S. Park, M.D. ’83
  • 2016 John T. Lucas ’82
  • 2017 Kenyon R. Bonner ’94


Student Recipients

  • 1988 Bernard W. Stanek Jr. ’88
  • 1989 Daniel M. Wallach ’89
  • 1990 Victoria Lee Reid ’90
  • 1991 George F. Magera ’91
  • 1992 Leslie McKeough Barham ’92
  • 1993 Heather A. Welsh ’93
  • 1994 Lynne Unice Yater ’94
  • 1995 Christopher D. Stofko ’95
  • 1996 Jennifer Hoover Starr ’96
  • 1997 Gayla Anderson Gessler ’97
  • 1998 Lyric W. Clark ’98 1998 Mohammad M. D’Beisi ’98
  • 1999 Mary-Margaret Spore Kanzleiter ’99
  • 2000 Lawrence L. Muir Jr. ’00
  • 2001 Jeanine Samolovitch Revak ’01
  • 2002 Jeremy S. Stragand ’02
  • 2003 Matthew J. Zane ’03
  • 2004 Kari Sievers Broze ’04
  • 2005 Natalie L. Podkul ’05
  • 2006 Katie M. Goehring ’06
  • 2007 Danielle L. Skowronski ’07
  • 2008 Melissa J. Barnickel ’08
  • 2009 Carley Riggin Taslov ’09
  • 2010 Joshua K. Bashioum ’10
  • 2011 Joseph Breckons ’11
  • 2012 Shelby Colyer Ouderkirk ’12
  • 2013 Alexander J. Nallin ’13
  • 2014 Rachel Guest ’14
  • 2014 Haley Roberts ’14
  • 2014 Kara Seamon ’14
  • 2015 Megan DeLisle ’15
  • 2016 Veronica Aboujaoude ’16
  • 2016 Courtney Brennan ’16
  • 2017 Abbey Brewer ’17
  • 2017 Alex Halula ’17