Alumni News

A Man Lifted Up by God

by Office of Marketing | May 28, 2015
Bill Werkheiser Retires
“Lord, if you call me to go somewhere I’ll go,” Bill Werkheiser said during a Sunday morning church service at Christian Life Assembly in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Werkheiser could not have realized the journey on which his short prayer would embark. His commitment and obedience to follow where God led, turned into a 24-year career as head of maintenance and general manager with Sodexo at the University of Valley Forge (UVF). 
On April 30, 2015, the UVF honored and recognized Werkheiser’s 24 years of service during a special chapel service and luncheon. Many special guests who have worked with Werkheiser over the years were in attendance. As head of maintenance, Werkheiser served behind-the-scenes to make sure the university ran smoothly. He has led project upon project to develop and improve the campus and has served UVF with integrity, love, wisdom and honor through every situation.
President Don Meyer, Ph.D., shared a slideshow of images from when Werkheiser first arrived through this fall semester. In 1991, Werkheiser and his family left their dream home to follow God’s direction to UVF. Werkheiser accepted the position as head of maintenance to lead the university’s reconstruction projects. At the time, many buildings on the campus were remnants from the former Valley Forge General Hospital from World War II. 
Under Werkheiser’s leadership over the years, the university completed many reconstruction projects. He led the construction teams for the Jericho Project — when the university and volunteers tore down some of the old hospital buildings — and oversaw the groundbreaking and opening of Cardone Hall and Bongiorno Hall, the remodeling of the Flower Chapel and the restoration of Krempels Theater. Jonathan Capeci, UVF vice president of finance, believes that Werkheiser accomplished all of these projects and goals because he never walked into anything alone, he was always with God, and he always served God first. "Bill Werkheiser is a man lifted up by God," he said. 
“In our 76th year history, no one could have cared for, served more, helped more or saved more because of his multiple abilities and gifts. Thank you, Bill,” Meyer said. The President’s Cabinet presented Werkheiser with a plaque that represents the renaming of one of the streets on campus to "Werkheiser Way."

Werkheiser’s immediate supervisor, Karen Loveland, expressed her thankfulness on behalf of Sodexo for his leadership and dedication to the university. “If the true wealth of a man is his depth and conviction of faith, the love and devotion to and from his family, and the respect of his community, Bill must be one of the wealthiest men in the world,” she said.  
Werkheiser’s son, Rick Werkheiser, accepted his father’s position and will begin serving as the general manager with Sodexo. He described his father as a man of honor, strength, character and loyalty and said he hopes to follow in his footsteps and serve the university as his father had. “Our name means work. The Werkheiser tradition is to live up to that name,” he said.
Toward the end of the chapel service, Werkheiser addressed his family, friends and the UVF community. “I used to ask God, ‘Why me?’ And I realized that it is not up to us to ask the question. It is up to us to answer. If God calls you, he will equip you.”
Werkheiser looked out into the chapel and continued, “Thank you very much. It has been an honor to serve here. God bless you.” The University of Valley Forge is honored for Werkheiser’s dedication to the university as a man of God, whose wisdom and heart led the Facilities Department at the university for 24 years, all for the glory of God. Werkheiser has influenced the campus and the community in a way that will never be forgotten.