Commencement Keynote Speaker

Commencement Keynote Speaker

Fall 2017

Keynote Speaker Vic Hammel

Keynote Speaker Vic Hammel

Image: Penn State

Victor H. Hammel ‘67
Chairman, Rentokil North America
Retired President, J.C. Ehrlich Co., Inc.

Vic Hammel is a proud Penn Stater who states that he is grateful for the education he earned and most importantly, for the opportunity to meet his future wife, Dena (Lipson) ’68.

As a student government leader, Hammel became aware of the imminent cancellation of a student loan program that would impact 1,723 Penn State students. He organized a petition signing, letters to newspapers statewide, and several student rallies calling to prevent the cancellation.  Eventually he met with state legislators in Harrisburg, which resulted in a reversal of the decision and continuation of the loan program.

This experience impacted Hammel in several ways. First, he was named an Outstanding Senior of the Class of 1967. Then, after he and Dena married, they learned that she was one of the 1,723 students who was able to continue her education under that loan program. Now, the Hammels are committed to assisting students in earning their degrees and have established scholarships for students at Penn State Berks.

The Hammels are particularly enthusiastic about currently serving as Co-Chairs of the Penn State Berks Development Committee of the University’s fundraising campaign: A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.  They state that this is their way of saying “thank you” and helping future students gain the same opportunities from Penn State as they did.

In addition to his professional success as retired CEO of J.C. Ehrlich and current Chairman of Rentokil North America, Hammel has been very involved in the local community. He has been a 25-year board member and immediate past Board Chair of the Reading Health System. In that capacity, he was a cofounder of the Berks Alliance. He is also a past President of the Greater Berks Food Bank and the Jewish Federation of Reading and serves on its development committee, as well as serving on the board executive committee of Yemin Orde Youth Village in Israel – a home and school for at-risk children.

Dena and Vic will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in April 2018. They have three children and six grandchildren. His favorite current role, Hammel states, is that of grandfather.