Century Club Awardees
The Century Club was established during Duquesne's 100th anniversary in 1978 to recognize graduates with exemplary records of professional achievement and service to the University and their communities. Of more than 100,000 alumni since 1878, only 330 have been admitted to its elite ranks.
The 2021 class of Century Club inductees include:
Dennis P. Brenckle, B’67
Retired President, Central Pennsylvania Region
After military service in Vietnam, Brenckle returned home to join PNC Bank in 1969. In more than 40 years with the company, he rose through management positions including executive vice president of PNC Bank Ohio (1993-98) and regional president for central Pennsylvania from 1998 until his retirement in 2011. In that position, he doubled the bank's local business, including the integration of Sterling Financial in 2008, and established innovative banking products serving students at Penn State University. At the time of his retirement, PNC operated 94 banks in 22 counties in central Pennsylvania.
Brenckle remains a leader in the Harrisburg and central Pennsylvania communities, serving as chairman of the board for Penn State's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and as a director of Highmark Health; the Harrisburg Area YMCA; the Whitaker Center for Science and Arts; Pennsylvania Partnership for Culture, Health and Education; Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corporation. He has also been active in leadership with Four Diamonds, an organization assisting children battling childhood cancer and the beneficiary of Penn State's famous THON fundraiser.
Influenced by his fraternity's advisor, the Rev. Joseph Duchene, C.S.Sp., Brenckle has been active in Alpha Epsilon's efforts to raise funds for scholarships and campus beautification. In 2019, he and his family partnered with Highmark Health to underwrite renovation of the historic Lourdes Grotto, which was dedicated in memory of Brenckle's mother. Helen Dorothy Spock Brenckle attended Duquesne en route a 35-year career as a Catholic school teacher, beginning a family legacy that led Brenckle and four other family members to the Bluff.
Thomas J. Herward, A’67
Retired Managing Shareholder
City Beauty, Inc.
The son of Irish immigrant parents, Herward personifies Duquesne's first-generation college student success stories. Beginning his career as a teacher and coach in the Pittsburgh diocesan schools, Herward turned his efforts toward business management in 1972, becoming an executive with the Busy Beaver Building Centers chain, where he worked until 1988. He subsequently was a managing shareholder with Ultimate Restaurants Group (Pizzeria Uno restaurants in the Pittsburgh area), LIQ (Rent-A-Center stores in greater New York City) and City Beauty, a Pittsburgh-based specialty retail and beauty salon operator.
He brought a similar entrepreneurial spirit to his community service efforts, most notably volunteer leadership with Bethlehem Haven, a shelter for homeless women located near Duquesne University's campus. During a leadership transition in 2015, he served as its interim chief executive, guiding a merger with Pittsburgh Mercy Health System that bolstered the shelter's behavior health service offerings.
Herward has also served as a trustee and board chair of the Edgewood Club, C.C. Mellor Memorial Library and the Allegheny County Library Association. He has received the Library Associations "Trustee of the Year" award and the Edgewood Foundation's William D. Limpert Award for Volunteer Service.
An active alumnus of Duquesne's Gamma Phi fraternity, Herward co-chaired its 100th Anniversary reunion in 2016 and led fundraising efforts which yielded $100,000 for a student scholarship fund.
The McAnulty Service Award was presented to:
Robert Z. Gussin, Ph.D., P’59, GP’61, H’95
Retired Corporate Vice President for Science and Technology
Johnson & Johnson
Gussin, a 1986 Century Club inductee, retired in 2000 after 34 years as a vice president with Johnson & Johnson and its McNeil Laboratories division. He previously directed cardiovascular renal disease therapy research for Lederle Laboratories and served as a member of NASA's Space Flight Advisory Committee and an adjunct professor in the medical schools at Michigan State University and the University of Utah. Since 2006, he has been the founder and CEO of Oceanview Publishing, an independent book publisher based in Florida, including his own award-winning novel, Trash Talk.
Gussin is an emeritus member of Duquesne's Board of Directors and one of the University's most generous benefactors. With his wife, Gussin has endowed the Drs. Robert and Patricia Gussin Endowed Minority Pharmacy Scholarships, the Gussin Spiritan Division of Academic Programs, and the Robert and Patricia Gussin Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota County Endowed Scholarships. They have also supported Athletic programs and return to campus frequently for University events and interaction with students.
Gussin serves on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club and the Library Foundation in Sarasota County, and is a past director of Holy Ghost Preparatory School, the Alliance for Aging Research and Catholic Health Services of Long Island. He has served on advisory boards at Duquesne the University of Michigan, University of Florida, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and Harvard University.