Alumni Profile - Dennis Murphy '72
Each spring, the Alumni Association convenes a committee of faculty, staff and volunteers to help select candidates for its Alumni Award programs. This is a great time to hear inspiring stories of graduates who have excelled in their profession, in their community or found success through both. One of this year’s nominees is Dennis Murphy ’72, who has worked in higher education for the majority of his career and is currently using his experience as a Vietnam Veteran to help recognize local veterans for their service. For his service in Vietnam, Murphy was the recipient of the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Army Commendation Medal and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
Currently, Murphy is a member of the Board for the Delaware County Veterans Memorial, which will be dedicated next month in Newtown Square. The project’s intent is to pay tribute to local veterans who have served this country. The dedication will take place on Saturday, May 11 in a high-profile ceremony featuring Congressman Patrick Meehan (PA-7), former Governor and the First US Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Governor Tom Corbett and the grandson of legendary General George S. Patton, Jr.
What year did you graduate from Delaware County Community College and with what degree?
"I attended the College in 1968 following graduation from Monsignor Bonner High School in Drexel Hill. I was with the first group of students to attend the day program at the former Concordville location. As we walked into the building, we were given a chair with a lap board and told to take it to our first class. That is how the furniture was moved into the building. Despite the challenges, or maybe because of them, students and teachers were given the chance to bond, and we had a great educational experience. I left the College after my third semester to enlist in the U.S. Army, but returned two years later and finished my degree in Liberal Arts.”
Did you pursue further academic goals?
"I eventually transferred to West Chester State College (now West Chester University) where I completed my undergraduate degree in Education. After graduation, I went on to Villanova University for my master’s degree in Education."
What are you doing now?
"I am presently the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs at Neumann University. Previously, I held positions at Montgomery County Community College, Bucks County Community College, Gwynedd Mercy College and Villanova University. In 2010, I was named to the Hall of Fame for Monsignor Bonner High School in recognition for my professional successes to date."
What are your future plans?
"It is my desire to continue to grow and improve on the many lessons I have learned over my career which all started at the College. Without the advent of community colleges and Delaware County Community College in particular, my life path would have surely been immeasurably different, and for this I am eternally grateful to the visionaries that worked so hard to make the College a reality."
What advice would you give to current students and Alumni to make the most of the education they received from the College?
"Never to think that ‘good enough’ is an acceptable alternative for ‘job well done.’ My other piece of advice is that we do not live in a vacuum and we are all interconnected to each other. Students and alumni need to value each other’s differences and call upon their similarities as we strive to make our communities and our country a better place."
The Alumni Association is proud to share Dennis's story with his fellow graduates and thanks him for both his service to his country and to local veterans.