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Spore named Distinguished Centurion 


Mary Beth Spore

By Colleen Pollock
Special to The Catholic Accent

GREENSBURG — A university administrator, educator and author has been named Greensburg Central Catholic’s 2013 Distinguished Centurion.

Mary Beth (Roitz) Spore, Ph.D., of North Huntingdon, was chosen for the award based on the demonstration of faith, values and humility in her daily life, at church and in the community.

She will be honored at the 17th annual Making a Bid for Our Future Auction Gala March 16 at 6 p.m. at Greensburg Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School.

A 1975 graduate of GCC, Spore is dean of the School of Social Studies, Communications and Education at Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, where she also served two years as interim vice president of academic affairs.

Prior to joining the SVC staff in 2006, she served in various administrative capacities at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, including assistant to the president for institutional advancement and media relations, senior assistant to the president, director of the Children’s Literature Certificate Program and assistant professor and instructor of English.

Spore said she was "completely amazed" upon learning of the honor.

"This is very humbling," said Spore, whose husband, Joseph, and four children are also GCC graduates. "If there’s anything I can do to raise the awareness of Catholic education, to promote and support and preserve it for future generations, I’m more than willing to do it."

Spore said her education at GCC was instrumental in forming her career path.

"I think that’s where it all began," she said. "At Greensburg Central, you were expected to become a lifelong learner."

Spore said the women religious teachers at GCC served as great sources of wonder and inspiration and continue to guide her in the present.

"These were scholarly and holy women," Spore said. "They were inspiring, independent, intellectual and credentialed women, and I literally wanted to become them."

She said one teacher inspired her to find the work of art within each person and give it to the world.

"My students and my children are the vessels of the great work of art that I nurture. That’s my gift to the world," she said.

Spore was nominated by the 2009 Distinguished Centurion, Eugene M. Dangelo, Ph.D.
In his nomination letter, Dangelo wrote Spore’s "accomplishments are legion, and by no means focused upon herself, but rather upon what she could do to better the field of education for students and teachers, and to disseminate, by her own practices, the principles of our Catholic faith."

Dangelo noted that as a GCC student Spore was "destined for greatness in a field which would magnify her Christian gifts in a humanitarian way."

"She was always brilliant and truly the epitome of compassion, caring and assistance to others," he wrote.

Spore serves on the Pitt-Greensburg’s Children’s Literature Conference Board and is an executive board member of SVC’s Prevention Projects. She was also a member of the United Way Women’s Leadership Council, chairwoman of GCC’s Diocese of Greensburg Transition Team and Capital Campaign, and a member of the GCC Alumni Board.

Author of numerous educational publications, Spore earned bachelor’s degrees in English literature and elementary education from St. Mary’s College, Indiana, and a master’s degree in English literature and a doctorate in English education from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a parishioner of Immaculate Conception Parish, Irwin.

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