Friends News

President Meyer Honored as Outstanding Citizen of the Year

by Office of Marketing | Mar 24, 2015
Dr. Meyer Receives Award
University of Valley Forge President, Don Meyer, Ph.D., was named the 2015 Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Phoenixville Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Annual Awards Dinner was held on March 18, 2015, at the Phoenixville Country Club. The well-attended event is held to recognize long-standing and emerging business leaders and businesses for their accomplishments. 
The Outstanding Citizen of the Year award is given to an individual who “has contributed an extraordinary amount of time, service and leadership to promoting the quality of life and welfare of the regional community.” As the 2015 award recipient, Meyer has served as president of the University of Valley Forge since 1997 and has seen the university thrive and celebrate its many achievements including the university's 75th anniversary and the recent name change from Valley Forge Christian College in September 2014.  
Meyer and his wife Evie have been enthusiastic and loyal members of the community since their arrival, encouraging the University of Valley Forge to reach out and give back to Phoenixville. Meyer inspires the students, faculty and staff to dedicate one day of service to Phoenixville annually — what the university has designated as Community Service Day. On this day, the University of Valley Forge gives back by cleaning up debris in yards, parking lots, streets and parks, as well as painting and helping neighbors with assorted jobs that they cannot do themselves.

With Meyer's support, The University of Valley Forge also hosts annual events that benefit specific organizations in the community. The Phoenixville American Cancer Society Relay for Life is a 24-hour continuous walk on the campus grounds that raises funds for various American Cancer Society programs.  The university's Homeless Ministry and community volunteers gather on the campus to assemble care packages for the homeless and raise funds for the Good Samaritan Shelter in Phoenixville while hosting an all-night vigil. 

More personally, Meyer contributes a weekly column to The Phoenix Reporter & Item titled Think About It, where he shares humorous vignettes and thought-provoking ideas on a variety of topics. 
Crysta C. Peers, the chair of the Phoenixville Regional Chamber of Commerce Board, introduced Meyer at the event and presented his award. She commemorated his accomplishments involving the University of Valley Forge’s growth and his leadership, notably leading the school from a college to a university last fall. Peers expressed the positive impact the university, under Meyer’s vision, has had over the years. She shared, “His extraordinary leadership, vision and exceptional decision-making skills enable him to bravely navigate through each task. He is a noble leader both locally and within the higher education community. One who provides inspiration to all he serves.”  
Meyer humbly thanked the Chamber and the town of Phoenixville for the award. He said, “When Evie and I came to Phoenixville for the first time, about 19 years ago, we arrived in town and knew no one. What we discovered here in the Valley Forge community, was a community of people committed to a mission that mattered. We discovered a family that grew around our hearts and our hearts grew around theirs.”
He continued, “There was something else right in our community that we also discovered: a group of people who were amazing. All who have poured their lives into this place and this community." He looked to the crowd and said, "Your Phoenixville became our Phoenixville.”

Meyer ended his speech by sharing a "Think About It" story. He quoted an African proverb that says, "Hold a true friend with both hands." He then added, "So this beautiful plaque, I will hold with both hands. However, I will hold it more profoundly in my heart."