A new class of nearly 150 Penn State Berks students will receive their baccalaureate and associate degrees on Friday, December 20, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. in the Beaver Community Center when Berks hosts the fall 2013 commencement ceremony.
The keynote speaker will be Peter D. Barbey, President and CEO of the Reading Eagle Company. In this position, he is responsible for management and implementation of the strategic directives of the company, which publishes the Reading Eagle newspaper and operates WEEU 830 AM radio station, readingeagle.com, Reading Eagle Internet Services, and Reading Eagle Press, a commercial printing facility. Barbey has served on the Board of Directors since 2000. His involvement in the daily operation emphasizes a continuation of family ownership and leadership of Reading Eagle Company, which was founded by his great-grandfather Jesse Hawley, who published the first edition of the Reading Eagle in 1868 out of the Eagle Bookstore located on Penn Street.
Previously, Barbey has worked in banking, retail, and commercial real estate, marketing, and strategic planning. He owned Houle Books, which received numerous awards in Arizona. He has served on numerous community boards in the Phoenix area, including as vice chairman of Arizona Humanities Council, on the Advisory Board of the University of Arizona Press, and as a member of the Friends of the Phoenix Library. He also served as the President of the Center Dance Ensemble.
Presently, he serves as a member of the Boards of the Chamber of Commerce and the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation. He is an avid bicyclist and reader and also owns two horses and a dog.