F&M Stories

Richard Denlinger: The Richard Kneedler Distinguished Service Award

Presented at the 2016 Commencement of Franklin & Marshall College:

The Richard Kneedler Distinguished Service Award was created to recognize annually one member of the professional staff who consistently goes above and beyond what would normally be expected, who has earned the respect of students and colleagues, and who has clearly demonstrated his or her commitment to the mission of the College. Nominations for this prestigious award were accepted from members of the campus community and reviewed by a committee of professional staff. From among many fine nominees, the committee recommended Dick Denlinger as this year's award recipient.

Denlinger, lead electrician at Franklin & Marshall, is a fixture on campus, familiar to students, faculty, staff and alumni. He oversees the electrical setup for all major College events—convocations, Spring Arts Festivals, Dipnics, Homecomings and Alumni Weekends. Today, in fact, marks his 40th F&M Commencement—and the first one at which he is not working.

His colleagues in Facilities and Operations describe him as a leader and mentor for his coworkers, consistently going above and beyond to help others learn and grow. Denlinger also is recognized by his frequent attendance at events where he has no professional duties, supporting students, faculty and coaches. There is no better example than his attendance at Franklin & Marshall wrestling matches. For several years, he has been the team's photographer, taking more than 7,000 action photos each season. At the end of each year, he produces a highlight DVD for each Diplomat wrestler, along with a 12-by-18-inch framed photo collage. He also submits his best photos to the coaching staff and to the F&M Archives for historical purposes.

In this role, Denlinger serves an important function for the wrestlers and especially their parents, who are now free to watch their children wrestle without having to worry about taking their own photographs. In the process, he has kept in regular contact with several wrestling alumni and their families. Perhaps the ultimate example of this was when he and his wife attended the wedding of Justin Herbert '09, the wrestler who originally sparked Denlinger's interest in taking photos of the team.

Dick Denlinger, your professional expertise and your ability to lead and mentor colleagues continues to strengthen the Franklin & Marshall community. The College's students, faculty and staff thank you for your dedication to your craft and your commitment to F&M.

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