Student Support/Recognition

Support for Recent Graduates and Current Students

With the creation of the William Dearden Alumni Campus, came the opportunity to provide additional support to recent graduates and current students. The Dearden Foundation Board was created to oversee and manage future growth and use of the Alumni Campus in both programming and facilities. The Dearden Foundation Board funds and manages several awards including the following:


The Dick Purcell Career Technical Education Award continues to honor the rich tradition of vocational programs and career technical education, and the outstanding opportunities they provide to our students. It is presented in memory of Dick Purcell, Class of ’61, who completed the machine shop program and went on to enjoy a very successful life-long career in the machining business. More importantly Dick and his brother Milt ’64 gave and continue to give time, effort and money to alumni and students and originated the Dearden House in honor of William E. Dearden ’40. They were recognized as Alumni of the Year in 2010.


This award honors two students who have excelled in the vocational education program and who show special promise and interest in pursuing their vocational area after graduation by enrolling in a post-secondary institution or by entering the work force in that specific area.


Another award that honors the School’s career technical program is the Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Culinary Scholarship, which is funded by Hershey Entertainment & Resorts and managed by the Dearden Alumni Campus. The School’s Culinary Arts teacher selects a senior who has successfully completed his/her co-op experiences in the culinary arts field. The co-ops are a rotation through the culinary arts areas throughout the Hershey Entertainment and Resort properties and the success of the student is based on the feedback provided by the chefs they worked with during the year.