McDowell Named Board Member Emeritus at NPRC

Dr. McDowell and Kate Brock

Dr. Richard McDowell, a native of McKean County, is one of the true pioneers of higher education in northern Pennsylvania. To honor one of Northern Pennsylvania Regional College’s founding members, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution at the regularly scheduled meeting on January 13 that granted him designation as board member emeritus.

The term emeritus is one used commonly in higher education to honor retired administrators and professors and allows them to retain their title in honor of the work they have done. In the case of Dr. McDowell, not only was he an inaugural board member for the Educational Consortium of the Upper Alleghenies (ECUA) in 2014, but he was also a board member of the College when it began operating under the name Northern Pennsylvania Regional College. Through the years, Dr. McDowell has selflessly given his time and service for the betterment of our communities, employers, and students.

On Friday, February 10, Dr. McDowell attended the NPRC Board of Trustees meeting held at the Beacon Light Recovery Center in Warren to be presented with the resolution granting him this privilege. Dr. McDowell is the third trustee to have earned the emeritus distinction, joining fellow inaugural board members, Hon. Mary Jo White of Oil City and Ed Pitchford of Boalsburg.

Prior to his work at NPRC, McDowell was a long-time employee at the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford. After retiring from his post as President, he earned the distinction of President Emeritus and his career in higher education continued to evolve.

McDowell’s next quest was to establish a team from around the region to bring his vision of a more affordable college option in his native area to life. His idea would see multiple educational locations around northern Pennsylvania connected by leveraging interactive technology. By doing so, it made college education more accessible for all. Though there have been advancements, changes, and pivots along the way, his vision has been brought to life and continues to progress to this day

NPRC president, Susie Snelick, served with Dr. McDowell on the ECUA Board of Trustees and the NPRC Board of Trustees and shares, “Being able to serve with Dr. McDowell and now to support the execution of his vision has been a privilege and honor. We’ve made progress over the years and are dedicated to continuing the work Dr. McDowell started to provide accessible education and become an economic driver for our region.”

Presently, Dr. McDowell remains one of the biggest supporters of education in the area, but more importantly, he loves seeing others succeed and improve their lives throughout the region in a collection of ways. From a young man who grew up in Bradford to a true pioneer for higher education in NPRC’s nine-county service region, Dr. McDowell’s impact continues and will be felt for generations to come.

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