Three Shippensburg University alumni are set to be honored with the Jesse. S. Heiges Distinguished Alumni Award, the university’s highest honor. Established in 1959, the award is named for the university’s first dean of instruction. It recognizes each recipients’ distinguished and outstanding achievements in their field to the benefit of the community and society. This year’s recipients are:
Steven M. Dolbin ’83
Steven M. Dolbin graduated from Shippensburg University in 1983 with a BA in Art. In 1988 he earned a MFA from the Pratt Institute, in NYC. A professor and former chairperson of the Art and Design Department at Ship, Dolbin is a recognized artist and educator who has exhibited his work throughout the United States and Britain. He is the recipient of numerous awards such as the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Grant. His sculpture is featured in the world’s leading textbook on sculpture “Shaping Space.” Dolbin was elected to the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 2017. In 2016 his work was exhibited in the Henry Moore Gallery of the Royal College of Art in London. A native of Shippensburg, he attended the Rowland Lab School on campus as a child and as a Shippensburg College student he was a member of the wrestling team and the 1981 championship football team. He is a founder of the area’s first environmental organizations -The Middle Spring Water Shed and The Rail Trail Sculpture Path. He is the creator of Shippensburg’s “New Year Anchor” and many sculptures on campus, including the ”Touch Stone” in Seth Grove Stadium, “Creative Tools” at the Luhrs Elementary School and “Victory” the greyhound sculpture at Shippensburg Area High School. As chairperson he founded the art education major and spearheaded the construction of the new Huber Art Center. As a professor he has positively mentored countless SU students. He is married to Robin Howellls-Dolbin. They have two sons Reece and Collin.
Chad S. Lesher ’94
Chad Lesher graduated in 1994 with a BSBA and was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the College of Business’s international honor society and the Boxing Club. He is self-employed as the president of CSL Materials, in Frisco, TX. Chad was the youngest regional manager in the 40-year history at Carlisle SynTec when promoted in 2001. After managing three different areas of the United States for Carlisle, he started CSL Materials in 2011 as an independent rep agency for commercial roofing products covering North Texas and Oklahoma. He later added the territory of Arkansas in 2012. Chad started CSL West in 2014 with an office in Colorado. He later added Western Tennessee and Northern Mississippi in November 2019 to the CSL Materials territory. CSL Materials sales have grown from 3 employees in 2011 to a total of 16 employees between CSL Materials and CSL West in 2021. The revenue of the companies grew from $750,000 to $4.5 million. CSL is the largest construction material rep group in the United States representing over 10 different manufacturers. Outside of the CSL business, Chad started and sold an Escape Room business (Escape Hunt Dallas 2016-2019). He resides in Frisco with his wife Heaven, and has three children Austin, Maddie and Elizabeth.
Dr. Elizabeth Welsh Robison ’85
An educator for 35 years, Dr. Elizabeth Welsh Robison is the superintendent of schools for Pocono Mountain School District, the largest school district in Monroe County, PA, spanning 305 square miles and encompassing seven municipalities, with a current enrollment of more than 8,000 students. Since she assumed the role of superintendent in 2011, Robison is credited with resolving a $23 million budget gap, which was achieved without increasing local property taxes. She is also credited with working with her school board to reduce local property taxes by 12 mills over the past five years while continuing to maintain and improve upon the outstanding educational opportunities for students of all abilities. Robison graduated from Shippensburg University in 1985 with her Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in Elementary Education and a minor in Reading. She’s an alumna of Delta Zeta sorority. She continued her education and received her Master of Education from Bloomsburg University and PhD in educational administration from Marywood University in 2004. Robison has received many awards and honors including the Distinguished Alumni Award for Pottsville Area High School; Outstanding Campaign Manager for the United Way of Monroe County; and Outstanding Educator Award from Marywood University.
Dolbin, Lesher and Welsh Robison will be officially honored during the annual Alumni Awards Dinner on October 22 as part of Ship’s Homecoming celebration. The evening also recognizes recipients of the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, Cultural Achievement Award and Exceptional Service Award.