Dr. Harry Ausprich 1985-1993

Dr. Ausprich at the Parent's Day 
football game, October 10, 1987

On March 19, 1985 Dr. Harry Ausprich was named as the first permanent peresident of Bloomsburg University, replacing Dr. Larry Jones who had served for two years in an interim capacity. Dr. Ausprich earned a bachelor's degree in communications and education from New York State University College at Buffalo and a Masters degree in theatre and broadcasting from the University of Wisconsin. His doctorate was in communications and theatre and came from Michigan State University. He began his administrative career as Dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at the University of Northern Iowa in 1970, and then went back to SUNY Buffalo for five years before becoming Dean of the College of Fine and Professional Arts at Kent State University in Ohio in 1978. He interviewed at Bloomsburg in February 1985 before being offered the position.

Dr. Ausprich began his tenure at Bloomsburg on July 15, 1985 and was formally inaugurated on April 5th of the following year. In keeping with his educational background and interests he encouraged the growth of arts and humanities at Bloomsburg and supported expanded offerings of artistic performances. His personal involvement in fundraising and development of other sources of income led to millions of dollars being raised during his eight years. This went primarily into scholarships, but also to the enhancement and remodeling of the University's performing arts facilities: Mitrani Hall in the Haas Center and Gross Auditorium in Carver Hall; and financial support for athletic programs and the Celebrity Artist Series.

The expansion and development of the Celebrity Artist Series was Dr. Ausprich's most satisfying personal memory as president of Bloomsburg. He felt it gave students the exposure they needed to superior quality in the arts and was often the first time they had been to an event such as an opera or ballet. In the summer of 1992 he decided not to seek an extension of his contract when it was due to expire two years later in June 1994. But he could not pass up the opportuntity to become executive director of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council when the position became available, and so left Bloomsburg in 1993 after eight years of service as its President.  At the present time Dr. Ausprich is living in retirement in Philadelphia, but has continued his involvement in education by teaching classes at Rowan College in New Jersey.

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