AU Press Releases

Dr. Arthur L. Powell ’43, Life Trustee, dies

I regret to inform you of the death of Dr. Arthur L. Powell, a Life Trustee and Chairman Emeritus of the Alfred University Board of Trustees on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

A 1943 graduate of Alfred University, where he earned a degree in ceramic engineering, Dr.  Powell was elected to the Alfred University Board of Trustees in 1980, serving as the Board's chairman from 1989 to 1995, and was named a Life Trustee in 2001. In 1993 he was awarded the Lillian T. Nevins award, the highest honor given by the alumni association and was presented with an honorary degree in 1995 when he served as Alfred's commencement speaker. 

While at Alfred University, Dr. Powell was a member of the wrestling team, the Student Senate, Keramos, and was an editor of the Kanakadea. He was president of Kappa Nu and was listed in the 1943 edition of Who’s Who in American Colleges. He often remarked that one of the best things about Alfred University was that it allowed him to try so many things in so many diverse areas, from athletics to theater.

After graduating from Alfred, Dr. Powell went on to serve in the U.S. Air Force while also attending the Aircraft Engineering School at Yale University. In 1949, he earned his master's degree in industrial engineering from New York University. 

Dr. Powell began his career with Kravco, Inc. of Pennsylvania in 1956, becoming vice president in 1959 and president in 1969. He retired in 2005. He was a past president of the Rotary Club in King of Prussia, PA.  He  also served as a director of First Sterling Bank and research suggests was vice chairman of the board of the Montgomery Hospital in Norristown, PA. 

Dr. Powell and his late wife, Lea, are survived by their four children, Richard, Carol, Nancy, and Jon. Lea Powell served on the AU Board of Trustees from 1995-2001 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 1995. 

The Powells are also survived by 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

As a couple, the Powells were generous donors; they were among the charter members of the Society of Benefactors, which recognizes those whose lifetime gifts to the University exceed more than $1 million. In recognition of their support, the University named its new campus center, opened in 1994, the Arthur L. and Lea R. Powell Campus Center. To encourage student artists, they created a fund to purchase student work for the campus. They supported other initiatives as well, including the planned renovation of South Hall into a residence hall.

But it was service to children and families that drew the Powells’ personal support and philanthropy, particularly Lea’s. In 1994, they created the Lea R. Powell Institute for Children and Family Services at Alfred University. The Institute supports and enhances the service, training, and research activities conducted by the Division of School Psychology. They provided funds for the renovation of the former Pi Alpha Pi sorority house at 6 Sayles St. into a new home for the Institute, as well as the Center for Rural School Psychology and the Rural Justice Institute. The renovated facility, which included a 5,000 square foot addition, was dedicated in October 2002.

Services for Dr. Powell were June 9 at Temple Brith Achim, King of Prussia, PA. Interment will be in Haym Salomon Memorial Park. The family respectfully requests that contributions in his memory be to the Albert Einstein Medical Center Montgomery-Neonatal Unit or the Powell Religious School at Temple Brith Achim.


Dr. Charles M. Edmondson, President