Diocesan Superintendent of Schools Receives Award

Dr. Philip Fromuth, third from left, with his family members after receiving the award. From left are Collin Vito, daughter Katharine Fromuth, wife Joanne Fromuth, and in-laws Mary Ann and Rodney Focht. The Fromuths’ other daughter lives in Florida and was unable to attend.

Dr. Philip Fromuth, superintendent for Catholic education in the Diocese of Allentown, received the Ellen Frei Gruber Award from Alvernia University, Reading.

The award was presented Oct. 11 during the President’s Dinner at Alvernia.

The Ellen Frei Gruber Award is presented to an individual who has given outstanding service to his/her alma mater and exemplified continued commitment and support of the mission of Alvernia. Most important, this individual reflects the values of service, humility, peacemaking, contemplation and collegiality.

A lifeline resident of Reading, Fromuth is completing his 37th year in the Diocesan education system.

He received his undergraduate degree from West Chester University in 1980, his master’s degree from Kutztown University in 1984 and completed his educational administration studies at Temple University, Philadelphia in 1987. He was awarded a doctor of philosophy degree in leadership from Alvernia University in 2012.

He began his tenure in the Diocese teaching at St. Catharine of Siena School, Reading in 1980, and was named principal of Holy Guardian Angels (HGA) School, Reading in 1984 (HGA became a regional school in 2001).

Fromuth began the new century in the new role of assistant superintendent of elementary education with the diocesan Office of Catholic Education. He was named deputy secretary for education in 2001.

The next year he succeeded Dr. James Cusimano as the Diocese’s secretary of the Secretariat for Catholic Education and superintendent of Catholic education when Cusimano retired.

Fromuth was a charter student in Alvernia’s doctoral program in leadership. His dissertation was a historical narrative study on the life of Monsignor George Bornemann, a Roman Catholic priest who was pastor of St. Paul, Reading 1867-1924.

Fromuth has also been involved in community organizations, including the Board of Directors of PBS 39; the Berks Business Education Coalition; the Board of Associates of Muhlenberg College, Allentown: and secretary-treasurer for the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO) for Pennsylvania.

He is a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus and a past grand knight of Reading Council 793, and served on the President’s Council at Alvernia.

Fromuth has been honored as a distinguished alumnus of the former Reading Central Catholic High School and honored by the Diocese of Allentown for his service to youth in CYO activities and education. For leadership in basketball officiating on and off the court, he has been honored and received awards from local, regional, state and international organizations.

After receiving the Ellen Frei Gruber Award, Fromuth thanked: the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters who founded Alvernia College in 1958; his dissertation committee – St. Margaret Ann Dougherty, Dr. Bill Harst and Alvernia President Dr. Tom Flynn – for their guidance, assistance and encouragement through the dissertation process; Dr. Flynn both professionally and personally for his interactions and collaboration with Fromuth and the Diocese over the past 13 years; his Diocesan colleagues for their “dedicated service to the students and families entrusted to our care”; and his own family members.

He expressed “my sincere gratitude for your kindness with this recognition. I am proud to say that Alvernia University is not only in my hometown, but that in so many ways, Alvernia is home.”