College Recognizes Several for Educational Support with Community Awards

The BCCC Foundation honored Dr. Christopher Bursk, First National Bank & Trust Co. of Newtown, and Carol C. Tyler.

The Bucks County Community College Foundation presented its Community Awards Thursday, March 21, at the 5th Annual Bucks Presidents’ VIP Breakfast, sponsored by Comcast Business Class.

The awards, presented at the Newtown township campus, honored Dr. Christopher Bursk, Language and Literature Professor; First National Bank
& Trust Co. of Newtown; and philanthropist Carol C. Tyler.

“The awards recognize outstanding achievement by individuals, foundations, and corporations that are making a difference in the following categories: education, community, and partnership,” said Phil Wursta, president of the BCCC Foundation Board of Directors. “The Foundation is proud to recognize the great partners in our community who go above and beyond, and really make Bucks County Community College a very special place.”

Honored were:

Education award: Professor Christopher Bursk, PhD, Language & Literature, for the passion he shows for his work, colleagues, students, and college donors. Since 1971, Bursk has been one of the most popular professors on campus. He has been a passionate advocate of poetry readings at Bucks, is the author of 11 poetry collections, and was named Bucks County Poet Laureate in 1978. He also co-coordinates the Bucks County Poet Laureate Program. Bursk has been a strong supporter of scholarships at Bucks, helping to establish many in memory of students and colleagues who have passed away. Among his many awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the 1988 Case Pennsylvania Professor of the Year. He’s a recipient of the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award, and the college’s “Above and Beyond” Faculty Award. Bursk is also an avid volunteer with the Bucks County Prison, A Women’s Place, and other organizations.

Community Award: The First National Bank & Trust Co. of Newtown, for its spirit of innovation, cooperation, and willingness to help and participate in the betterment of Bucks students and the community at large. The award was accepted by John Parry, Chairman
of the Board, and Daniel Schaffer, President and CEO. Established in 1864 with 12 branches throughout Bucks County, First National has
been very supportive of nonprofit organizations within its community for many generations. Partnering with the college, First National has been the Tyler Tasting Party Presenting Sponsor since 2002, and generously supported both the Lower Bucks Campus Capital Campaign and the Upper Bucks Campus Capital Campaign.

Partnership Award: Carol C. Tyler, wife of the late George Tyler III, grandson of George and Stella Elkins Tyler, on whose estate the college was founded. Mrs. Tyler has generously supported many causes at the college over the years, including restoration projects, the Tyler Gardens Endowment, the Annual Fund, Scholarships, Tyler Tasting, and the Nursing Program. She has also served on the Foundation Board of Directors
(1989-1995). She is especially fond of helping nursing students who have financial need, and takes a great deal of time to meet and get to know the students she sponsors.

The Presidents’ VIP Breakfast, sponsored by Comcast Business Class, brought together College President Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt, BCCC Foundation Board President Wursta, and College Board of Trustees Vice Chairman James Dancy, along with presidents and executives from the Bucks County business community. It’s hosted by the BCCC Foundation, established in 1982 as a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational trust to provide expanded resources for the college’s growth and development. Foundation funds support instructional resources, campus facilities, scholarships and awards, cultural activities and special college projects. 


From left: Daniel Schaffer, President and CEO, First National Bank and Trust Company of Newtown, which received the Community Award; Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt, College President; Dr. Christopher Bursk, Professor, who received the Education Award; Carol Tyler, wife of the grandson of George and Stella Elkins Tyler, on whose estate the college was founded, who received the Partnership Award; and Dave Breidinger, Senior Vice President at Comcast, which sponsored the event.

Jean Dolan
Assistant Director, Public Relations