Lebanon Valley College alumnus leaves school $5 million estate

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Lebanon Valley College President Dr. Lewis E. Thayne announced that the College has received notification of the largest estate bequest in the 147-year history of the institution. The late Dr. John “Jack” Bowman Allwein ’56, a 20-year U.S. Army veteran and well-known oral surgeon, died April 13, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Fla., at the age of 78 and named Lebanon Valley College as the sole benefactor of his estimated $5 million estate.

Dr. Allwein, a member of the College’s Lifetime Vickroy Society, LVC’s highest giving society, had previously established three scholarships at his alma mater: The Dr. John B. Allwein ’56 Scholarship, The Marion Bowman Allwein & Hilda I. Bowman Scholarship, and The Homer J. Allwein Scholarship. As with his existing three scholarships, it is anticipated that Dr. Allwein’s estate gift will be used for endowment for financial aid to Lebanon County students based on financial need.

Rebecca Wise ’15, of Jonestown, Pa., a biology major with a minor in chemistry, is the current beneficiary of the Dr. John B. Allwein ’56 Scholarship.

Kadie Dasher ’15, of Myerstown, Pa., a double major in early childhood and special education, is the current beneficiary of The Marion Bowman Allwein & Hilda I. Bowman Scholarship. Dr. Allwein established the scholarship in honor of his mother, Marion, and aunt, Hilda, who were both teachers.

Stephanie Kleinfelter ’15, of Myerstown, Pa., a double major in early childhood education and special education, is the current beneficiary of The Homer J. Allwein Scholarship. Dr. Allwein established the scholarship in honor of his father.

“On receipt, the Allwein gift will increase the value of Lebanon Valley College’s endowment by more than 10 percent,” said Dr. Lewis E. Thayne, president. “The annual proceeds from the endowment will add significantly to the accessibility of a Lebanon Valley College education for student from Lebanon County high schools. This gift takes us back to our foundations, to the citizens of the region, and to the power of education and of individuals to influence communities.”

Dr. Allwein grew up in Lebanon as the only child of Marion J. Allwein and Homer J. Allwein, Lebanon Valley College Class of 1930. He graduated as valedictorian of his class from Millcreek Township High School in Newmanstown, Lebanon County, before entering LVC and earning a bachelor of science degree, in just three years, in chemistry in 1956. There, he was mentored by two legendary faculty members-Dr. Samuel O. “Soggy” Grimm and Dr. H. Anthony “Tony” Neidig ’43.

After graduating from LVC, Dr. Allwein earned his D.D.S. from Temple University in 1959. That same year, he entered the U.S. Army and soon held a residency at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii before being stationed in Japan in 1961. In 1962, Dr. Allwein was appointed by President John F. Kennedy as a White House Aide stationed at the Arlington Clinic; he was one of only 27 such appointees nationwide. He remained in the army and was promoted to Colonel in 1974 after serving in Vietnam, Virginia, North Carolina, and Germany. He received the Bronze Star Medal in Vietnam commemorating his “Exemplary Service” while stationed at the 24th Evacuation Hospital in Vietnam between July 1969 and July 1970.

Dr. Allwein retired from the U.S. Army as director and chief of oral surgery in 1978 and entered private practice in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. He was associate professor of oral surgery at the Georgetown University School of Dentistry in Washington, D.C., from 1980 until 1990 when the school closed. Before retiring in 2005, he served as chief of oral surgery at the Bay Pines Veterans Administration Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Dr. Allwein’s lifelong dedication to his country was acknowledged throughout his career. He proudly displayed personalized photos signed by President Ronald Reagan, President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Bird Johnson, and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, among others.

“The generosity displayed by Dr. Allwein’s gift parallels his lifelong belief that ‘Education is the key to solving many of society’s ills,'” added Dr. Thayne. “This will be a transformational gift for Lebanon Valley College and we are profoundly grateful for the generosity of Dr. John “Jack” Allwein ’56.”

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