Milton Hershey School Congratulates Lt. Col. Charles Seidel ’87 for his Distinguished Military Career
Milton Hershey School congratulates Lt. Col. Charles Seidel ’87 of Oxon Hill, Md., who retired June 1, from the United States Air Force after a 27-year distinguished military career.
“Lt. Col. Seidel is a wonderful role model for our students, as he exemplifies perseverance, commitment to mission and integrity – all the qualities we strive to instill in the young people we serve,” said MHS President Peter Gurt ’85. “He is an amazing ambassador for our school and the achievement that is possible with a top-notch educational foundation.”
Seidel served as the Long Range Strike Bomber Integration Division Chief. He has been recognized with the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, NATO Medal and many other notable decorations.
He attended MHS from fourth grade through graduation. He even met his future wife, Cyndi, at the school.
Seidel credits Milton Hershey School with preparing him for life by teaching him the value of hard work and respect for others. He attributes many of his life’s successes to his upbringing at the school.
“My experiences at MHS built in me the character traits I needed to be successful in the Air Force – core values like integrity, excellence and service before self. Life has been easier for my wife and me because of the education we received at Milton Hershey School,” said Seidel. “The school owes me nothing, and yet all these years later it continues to give. I love my MHS family and was so touched by how many people from the school attended my retirement ceremony.”
MHS celebrates 81st Commencement Ceremony
The 81st Milton Hershey School® Commencement took place on Sunday, June 14 at the Giant Center, when 203 students received diplomas.
On Sunday, Milton Hershey School welcomed new young adults into our family of alumni. As we marked their achievements during our 81st Commencement, I also want to acknowledgethe accomplishments of the many employees and alumni who helped them to reach that special day. As I looked out into the audience of more than 4,000, I knew our students could feel the love and pride of their MHS family, and that our support and guidance played an extraordinary role in helping them to reach their goal.
I thank everyone who participated in the many activities of the weekend, from their senior class trip and the Ring Ceremony to prom and the awards and Commencement ceremonies. The MHS community was very visible and supportive, making their last few weeks as students memorable and showing them that this is always their Home and we are family.
Today, our obligation shifts to one of postgraduate support as we work to preserve the great investment we have made by helping them achieve success in college and beyond. During our Alumnus of the Year dinner, I was yet again reminded of the power of this community. As we honored the achievements of Dr. Anthony Graves ’87, who is striving to find a cure for pediatric cancer, I could only wonder what the young men and women in the class of 2015 will one day do to make the world a better place.
Peter G. Gurt
Watch the 81st Commencement Ceremony
Want to relive all the excitement and emotion of Commencement?
Passing the Torch
The Passing the Torch video featured at Commencement includes MHS students and emphasizes the importance of passing the vision of Mr. and Mrs. Hershey on to the next generation. Click Here
Alumnus of the Year Dinner
On Saturday night, the MHS community honored its 2015 Alumnus of the Year, J. Anthony Graves, Ph.D., M.D. ’87 at The Hotel Hershey. He’s being recognized for his commitment to pediatric cancer research and the example of excellence and philanthropy he sets for MHS students.
Class of 2015 Ring Ceremony
As part of a longstanding tradition, seniors received the unique MHS class ring on Friday. The ring symbolizes Home, School and family. Click here to watch.
Alumni Achievement Awards posted. Click here to view.
Alumni Success Stories
Spartans are putting their mark on the world.
We want to hear from YOU, our MHS Alumni who are doing amazing things! We’ve just launched something new called Alumni Success Stories, and we want to hear from our alumni. Submit your story here.
MHS School Historian Authors Hershey: Then & Now
Milton Hershey School Director of School History, James D. McMahon Jr., will release the book, Hershey: Then and Now, on Monday, June 1. Through more than 200 vintage images, many never before seen, Hershey: Then & Now, highlights the town Milton Hershey founded in 1903 to present day.
MHS Announces 2015 Alumnus of the Year
Dr. J. Anthony Graves recognized for his contribution to pediatric cancer research
HERSHEY, Pa. – Milton Hershey School® has named J. Anthony Graves, Ph.D., M.D. ’87, the 2015 Alumnus of the Year, recognizing his commitment to pediatric cancer research and the example of excellence and philanthropy he sets for MHS students.
“Dr. Graves is a tremendous example of the spark that can happen when children are provided a top-notch education, a nurturing environment, and the opportunity to find and hone their passions,” said Pete Gurt ’85, president of MHS. “He is applying the values he learned at Milton Hershey School – principles like hard work and service to others – and using his gifts to fight pediatric cancer. We are so proud to see an alumnus devoting himself to this noble cause. He is an outstanding role model for our students of what they can achieve with perseverance, dedication to their studies and an enthusiasm for serving humanity.”
Graves enrolled at MHS when he was 14. During his time at the school, he was a standout student leader who participated in National Honor Society and Student Home Council. He was also a distinguished athlete on the cross country and track teams. He has fond memories of the relationships he built on campus, particularly the bond he developed with his weekend houseparents, Brad and Terri Brooks.
“Milton Hershey School really rescued me at a time when I needed it,” said Graves. “It represents the closest thing I could get to a family and a nurturing environment. It truly set me on a course for the rest of my life.”
After graduating from MHS, Graves attended Bucknell University, majoring in biology with a minor in black studies. At Bucknell, he became involved in laboratory research, which influenced his goal of a career as a physician-scientist.
Upon completion of his B.A. in 1991, he went home to Pittsburgh to complete his Ph.D. in biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. From there, he entered John Hopkins University School of Medicine, earning his M.D. in 2002.
Graves currently has his own research laboratory at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where he focuses on studying mitochondrial physiology in pediatric cancers. He also serves as an assistant professor of pediatrics at the CHP.
Graves has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2014 Young Investigator Award from CureSearch for Children’s Cancer and the Young Physician-Scientist Award from the American Society of Clinical Investigators.
“It’s a tremendous honor. I was very overwhelmed when I received the news,” said Graves. “I can’t believe I deserve such a prestigious award, but I am very proud and humbled to be recognized.”
Milton Hershey School will honor Graves during a special recognition dinner on Saturday, June 13. He will address students and staff during commencement on Sunday, June 14.