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Funeral and Memorial Services
Memorial Contributions
When Communities Grieve (Reflection, Emerson Lesher)
A Legacy of Faith, Hope and Love: Rodney Sawatsky's Vision for Messiah College (PDF) (Chapel Address, Douglas Jacobsen, 4/20/2004)
Celebrating the Legacy of President Rodney J. Sawatsky (PDF) (The Messiah College Bridge, Summer 2004)
Photo Gallery: Sawatsky Tribute Dinner
Video Tribute

Condolences may
be mailed to:

The Sawatsky Family
c/o Office of the President
Messiah College
Box 3000
One College Aveneue
Grantham, PA 17027

E-mail a reflection/tribute of President Sawatsky for the Sawatsky Family.

Tribute Dinner Celebrating the Presidency of Rodney Sawatsky
Sunday evening, June 13, 2004

Family, friends and colleagues celebrated Dr. Rodney J. Sawatsky and Mrs. Lorna Sawatsky at a dinner recognizing their decade of contribution and leadership as the president and first lady of Messiah College. The evening was hosted jointly by Messiah College and the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra and offered music, friendship, and personal reflections that celebrated the Sawatsky's service and dedication to Messiah College, to higher education, and to the greater Harrisburg community. All proceeds benefited the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra Endowment Fund as a lasting tribute to Dr. and Mrs. Sawatsky.

(Click on any of the images below for a larger version)

The Mendelssohn Trio opened the evening with the Taiwanese folk song, "White Peony." The Mendelssohn Trio is currently the ensemble-in-residence at Messiah College.

  Over 300 friends, colleagues and family celebrated with Dr. and Mrs. Sawatsky to commemorate their ten years of service, leadership and contribution as president and first lady of Messiah College.   Mr. and Mrs. Sawatsky were joined by their daughters, Tonya, Katherine and Lisa, for the evening celebration. Other family members traveled from Canada to be in attendance at the celebration.
Senator Harold J. Mowery, Jr., 31st District, Pennsylvania, presented Dr. Sawatsky with a personal citation in appreciation for his service and dedication to Messiah College and the greater Harrisburg community.
  Everyone in attendance at the celebration enjoyed an evening of music, friendship and personal reflection in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Sawatsky.   Senior Vice President David Parkyn reflected on his tenure of service working along side Dr. Sawatsky
Mr. Derek Hathaway, CEO of Harsco Corporation, and his wife, Margaret, both special friends of Messiah College and the Sawatskys enjoy the special tribute dinner and program as guests of the College.

  The Susquehanna Chorale, under the direction of Linda Tedford, performed two selections, including the benediction, at the celebration. Ms. Tedford is currently artist-in-residence at Messiah College.   Stuart Malina, music director for the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, played a tribute piece to the Sawatskys. Dr. Sawatsky was Chair of the Harrisburg Symphony Board of Directors during the appointment of Mr. Malina as musical director of the symphony.
Dr. Richard Roberson, Dean of the School of the Arts at Messiah College, paid tribute by introducing a piece he wrote for the Sawatskys entitled, "And the Word" which was performed by The Susquehanna Chorale.
  Chair of the Harrisburg Symphony Board of Directors, Nancy Zimmerman, gave personal tribute to the Sawatskys in a reflection given at the evening celebration. Ms. Zimmerman gave special thanks to the Sawatskys and Messiah College for the evening's proceeds to benefit the Harrisburg Symphony.   Chair of the Messiah College Board of Trustees, Eunice F. Steinbrecher, presented the official presidential portrait of Dr. Sawatsky. The official portrait, painted by Catherine Prescott, will be displayed along side other presidential portraits in the Murray Library.
Messiah College Professor of Art, Theodore Prescott, created a piece of art work for the Sawatskys as a gift from the Messiah College community. Mr. Prescott presented the sculpture to the Sawatskys as special part of the evening's program.

  Rod and Lorna Sawatsky were seated on stage for the unveiling of the presidential portrait and the presentation of the sculpture.   Rod and Lorna Sawatsky thank Catherine Prescott for her fine work in painting the presidential portrait.
The Sawatskys were very appreciative of the evening. Rod and Lorna thanked their family, friends and colleagues for the kindness and support they have received during their time at Messiah College.

  The crowd stood in tribute as the Sawatskys left the stage for the evening.   Interim President Kim Phipps closed the evening and thanked the guests for sharing in this special tribute to the Sawatskys.
Rod Sawatsky conversed with Jeff Woodruff, executive director of the Harrisburg Symphony, and Nancy Zimmerman, chair of the Harrisburg Symphony Association Board of Directors after dinner.
  Rod Sawatsky personally thanked Stuart Malina for his kind words spoken that evening. Rod remarked that his most admired achievement during his tenure on the Harrisburg Symphony's Board was the appointment of Mr. Malina as musical director.

  Messiah College alum Ryan Keith ’02 chats with President Sawatsky after dinner.
Charles and Sally Hoober (center) talk with Regional Director Cindy Petersheim (left) and Rod Sawatsky after the evening’s program concluded. Sally Hoober is a member of the Messiah College Board of Trustees. Rod Sawatsky, along with his daughter Tonya, admire the presidential portrait painted by Catherine Prescott.



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