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College celebrates life of Dean and CEO Emeritus Frederick Gaige

Penn State Berks will celebrate the life of Dr. Frederick H. Gaige with a special event on Saturday, March 27, 2010 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium, followed by a reception in the Freyberger Gallery. This event is free and open to the public.

Known to many as a visionary leader, Gaige served as Dean and CEO of Penn State Berks from 1984-2001, helping to transform the campus into a college with four-year academic programs and residence halls. He was also instrumental in significantly increasing student enrollment, endowment, and physical facilities.

The event will begin with reflections on Gaige's contributions from community members and former Penn State Berks colleagues and students, as well as a discussion of Gaige's scholarship in Nepal. The second half of the program will feature a presentation by Nancy Dorrier, President of Dorrier Underwood, executive consultant, futurist, and speaker on transformation, who will deliver a talk titled "Envisioning Our Future."

During the sixteen years Gaige served as dean and CEO, the campus had expanded from 1,000 students in four major buildings on 135 acres of land to 2,100 students in seven major buildings and thirteen smaller structures on 240 acres of land.

Gaige was a noted scholar in the field of South Asian studies and became an early expert on Nepal, where he did research on a Fulbright Fellowship from 1966-1968. His research culminated in the publication of Regionalism and National Unity in Nepal. He returned to Nepal as a Fulbright Lecturer in 1983 and, in 1991, he served as a consultant to the Asia Foundation and U.S. Agency for International Development on the first democratic elections in Nepal.

A community activist who volunteered with numerous organizations, Gaige was one of the leaders of the successful effort to change the Reading city charter (Reading Citizens for Effective Government). He was also elected as a board member of the Reading School District and he was an appointed member of the Berks County Planning Commission.

He also served as a member of the board of directors of The Reading Hospital and Medical Center, Police Athletic League, Hispanic Center, and many other organizations.

Gaige earned his doctoral degree in South Asian studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970, a master's degree in history from Brown University in 1963, and a bachelor's degree in history from Oberlin College in 1959.

He is survived by his wife, Austra, and their two daughters, Karina A. Gaige and Amity W. Gaige and their families.
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