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Fly Eagles Fly: Together we can; 1993-2010

The Grunenwald Years Profiled

"Fly Eagles Fly" was the ending of most speeches made by Joe Grunenwald during his presidency and the words emphasized how "Clarion Proud" he was of his Golden Eagles.

Retiring June 30, 2010 after 40 years of public service, the last 32 of which were at Clarion, he was quick to add, "I want to continue to help Clarion in any way possible once I retire." Since his retirement, Grunenwald has assisted in general fundraising and promoting the Barnes Center for Biotechnology Business Development. He has also served as a consultant for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.  

Grunenwald Welcomes Students
Grunenwald welcomes potential new students
Even when he announced he would be retiring as president, it wasn't really a goodbye.  Starting in Clarion as a faculty member in the College of Business, Grunenwald worked his way through many areas of responsibility at Clarion and had a firm grasp on the pulse of the university.

Enhancing Clarion's emphasis on a national recognition

During Grunewald's tenure as president, significant efforts were directed at enhancing Clarion's emphasis on a nationally recognized high quality education and an ambitious building program of five new buildings over his last two years that were designed for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) as energy efficient buildings. The buildings included a Science and Technology Center, Biotechnology Business Development Center, Dining Complex, and two student suite-style apartment buildings.

Trustees honored Grunenwald's commitment to an expanding role in science and technology with the naming of the Joseph P. Grunenwald Center for Science and Technology. The Center houses many of Clarion University's core programs -- including mathematics, chemistry, physics, geography, earth science, geology, molecular biology/biotechnology, and anthropology -- and makes extensive use of IS-geographical information systems and labs.

A Clarion and state leader

 

Grunenwald's impact was recognized throughout Pennsylvania. "President Grunenwald spent most of his adult life at Clarion University," said PASSHE Chancellor Dr. John C. Cavanaugh. "It is evident everywhere you go and from everyone you talk with there that he did, in fact, dedicate his life to improving it in all areas. He accomplished that goal, and has led Clarion to unprecedented levels of excellence.

"His entrepreneurial skills and willingness to try new programs and approaches significantly broadened Clarion's academic programs and footprint across the Commonwealth," continued Cavanaugh. "His leadership in the system has provided a steady, guiding force that has been based on his ability to listen, quickly understand a problem, and offer creative solutions. Joe's accomplishments will last as his legacy. He will be greatly missed. At some point there will be a successor president named. Joe Grunenwald, though, cannot be replaced."

Clarion strong thanks to Grunenwald's leadership

"The Board of Trustees is grateful to President Grunenwald for his 32 years of service to the University," said R. Lee James, Trustee Chairperson. "We were saddened by his decision to retire, however, he will leave in place a very capable management team. The college is strong today, thanks to his leadership. We are pleased to note that he plans to stay involved with several area economic development projects, seeing them to completion. We wish Joe and his family well."

 

Assumed presidency in July, 2003

 
Grunenwald became the 15th president of Clarion University in July 2003, bringing to the presidency a long and respected record of professional service as a professor of marketing and department chair, interim executive dean of the Venango Campus, director of continuing education, dean of the College of Business Administration, and provost and academic vice president.Grunenwald became the 15th president of Clarion University in July 2003, bringing to the presidency a long and respected record of professional service as a professor of marketing and department chair, interim executive dean of the Venango Campus, director of continuing education, dean of the College of Business Administration, and provost and academic vice president.

Within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, Grunenwald was a member of the Executive Council of the Chancellor, Commission for the Universities, Executive Committee of the Academy for the Profession of Teaching, and the PASSHE Student Information System Oversight Committee. He was a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Presidents' Council and served on the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Board of Directors, Team Pennsylvania Foundation Board, Northwest Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board, and the Northwest Pennsylvania Technology Council Board of Governors.

In each of his roles, Grunenwald has worked to promote academic excellence and the highest quality in university programs and services. His guiding principles for Clarion's future include enhancing the university's position as a leading, high quality institution, developing high quality academic programs and student services focused on learning that are attractive to students and meet regional needs, achieving moderately-growing enrollment, enhancing diversity as a major contributor to overall high quality, and contributing to the advancement of the region and community.

Locally, Grunenwald served on the boards of numerous economic development and community organizations. He is past president of the Clarion County Economic Development Corporation and has served on the board of directors of the Clarion County Chamber of Business and Industry, the Clarion Hospital, the Clarion County Industrial Authority, and the Clarion County Sawmill Center for the Arts. He also served on the Clarion County Industrial Development Council and the development committee of the Venango County Industrial Development Corporation.