Wilkes University Honors Eugene Roth, Esq. ’57 at Founders Gala 2019
Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald’s longest-serving attorney was the recipient of the President’s
Medal at the University’s annual event.
Wilkes celebrated its legacy of educating first-generation college students at the
2019 Founders Gala on Saturday, June 1 at the Westmoreland Club, 59 S. Franklin St.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of the President’s Medal – the University’s highest honor – to Eugene Roth, Esq. ’57 of Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald.
Proceeds from the event support the First Generation Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarship funds to students who are the first in their family to pursue a four-year degree. Culminating in Saturday’s event, over $600,000 was raised this year for the First Generation Scholarship Fund. In the past six years, Wilkes has raised $3 million to benefit first-generation college students.
“Wilkes University’s legacy of educating first-generation college students continues to this day as over half of our current students are the first in their families to pursue a four-year degree,” said Wilkes President Patrick F. Leahy. “The First Generation Scholarship Fund makes a Wilkes education attainable for these students while the Founders Gala celebrates their determination and our enduring commitment.”
The President’s Medal is bestowed annually on an individual whose personal and professional life reflect the highest aspirations of Wilkes University. Roth’s philanthropic support is apparent across campus, especially in Lawrence W. Roth Hall, a standout residence for first-year students, and the Max Roth Center, home to the Center for Global Education and Diversity. In addition, Roth has the distinction of serving under each of Wilkes University’s six presidents, first as vice president of his undergraduate class, then as president of the alumni association and eventually as a member of the University’s board of trustees, a role he serves to this day. He was the chairman of the board from 1993 to 1998, helping to establish the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy.
In announcing Roth as the 2019 President’s Medal honoree, Leahy praised his continued commitment and enthusiasm for the University. “Gene is a fierce supporter of our core mission: to provide educational opportunities to all who show potential. His support is evident in his leadership and generosity, but is also demonstrated in the way he supports our students. Gene is a mainstay at Wilkes athletic events, notably our basketball games, where he cheers on the newest generation of Colonels. A first-generation college student himself, it is incredibly fitting to have Gene Roth as this year’s President’s Medal recipient.”
Roth enjoyed a successful career at Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald, rising through the ranks from law clerk to partner during his 60-year tenure. A prominent figure in northeast Pennsylvania, he has received numerous accolades for his professional, civic and community efforts with awards from the United Hebrew Institute, the Boy Scouts of America and the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. He has also been featured in a variety of Who’s Who publications. He has served on the board of directors for Commonwealth Telephone Enterprises, RCN Incorporated, Wachovia Bank and was chairman of the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital Advisory Council.
In memory of his son, Roth and his wife, Connie, have established the Lawrence W. Roth Memorial Scholarship, granted annually to a deserving Wilkes student with an interest in the law, politics or community service. He was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wilkes Ancestral Colonels and is a long-time member of the John Wilkes Society.
Roth graduated from Wilkes University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He went on to Dickinson School of Law where he graduated with honors in 1960. A native of Wilkes-Barre, Roth and Connie are parents to Joan Kleinman, Stephen Roth and Jeffrey Roth, and have 13 grandchildren.
In addition to the presentation of the President’s Medal, attendees heard remarks delivered by Leticia Patino-Flores, Bethlehem, Pa.; Alexandra Panek, Sayre, Pa.; and Romeo Rosario, Allentown, Pa. All three reflected on their experiences as first-generation college students.
Read media coverage in the June 2 issue of the Times Leader: Roth Honored at Wilkes University Founders Gala