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Juniata Patron of the Arts, Suzanne von Liebig, to Receive Honorary Degree

(Posted October 19, 2009)

Suzanne von Liebig, chair of the William J. von Liebig Foundation and the Drax Group, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Juniata College at 7 p.m. Oct. 29

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Suzanne von Liebig, chair of the William J. von Liebig Foundation and the Drax Group, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree at a ceremony at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 29 in the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre just prior to a performance of the college's production of "Twelfth Night."

The ceremony will be hosted by Thomas R. Kepple, president of Juniata. Mrs. von Liebig will speak at the ceremony as well.

Mrs. von Liebig and her late husband, William, have donated generously to Juniata, including a gift of $14 million dollars to partially fund construction of the $20 million William J. von Liebig Center for Science. The von Liebigs donated an additional $4 million to fund ongoing programs and faculty positions, including the William J. von Liebig Chair in Biomedical Sciences. In addition, their gift funded continuing, collaborative research projects being undertaken by faculty and students.

Mrs. von Liebig also is a major donor to the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre, a postmodern theatre space that is an integral part of the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts.

A resident of New York City and Palm Beach, Fla., Mrs. von Liebig has been an avid supporter of creative ventures and charitable giving. Educated at the Parson's School of Design and the Art Students League of New York, she has supported numerous building and arts projects, including the von Liebig Art Center in Naples, Fla. and the Peres Peace House in Jaffa, Israel.

Mrs. von Liebig received the 2002 Peacock Award for Outstanding Accomplishments and Leadership in the Arts from the United Arts Council of Collier County, Florida.

William and Suzanne von Liebig built their company, Meadox Medicals Inc. into a world leader in the manufacture and distribution of vascular grafts and other devices to treat cardiovascular disease. As a company, Meadox Medicals held 33 patents for vascular prostheses and distributed products to 60 countries.

The William J. von Liebig Foundation was established in 1975 and centers its giving on medical research primarily for the treatment of vascular and cardiovascular diseases.

The Foundation supports a range of scientific research and education efforts across the country, including the Mayo Clinic's Organ Transplant Center in Rochester, Minn., the William J. von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurs and Technology Advancement in San Diego, Calif., the Naples Museum of Art in Florida and the Naples Philharmonic.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.