The Distinguished Alumni Award are given in recognition of Bryn Athyn College alumni who have given back to their communities, alma mater, or church, especially by applying the values and perspectives garnered from a New Church liberal arts education. On October 13th, 2023, four Distinguished Alumni Awards were given to Stephen David (attended ‘79-81), Jay Volcy (BA ‘17), Louise Barry Rose (AA ‘51, BS ‘53), and posthumously Rev. Frank Rose (AA ‘48, BA ‘50, MDiv ‘52).

Steve David accepts his awardStephen David 

After attending Bryn Athyn College (then it was called the Academy of the New Church College), Stephen when on to pursue a BA in Economics and Political Science from Yale University, graduating magna cum laude. This was followed by a MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.  

Today, Stephen in the CEO of SkyMark. leading the development of software systems that support teamwork, data analysis, and decision-making. He also serves as a Board member for the Institute for Swedenborg Studies and is an Academy Corporation member.  

When submitting this nomination, faculty said: “Stephen David has lived the spiritual mission of Bryn Athyn College” as Co-Founder of New Christian Bible Study Project, now the leading website for the New Church worldwide. It emphasizes the interconnections between the Old and New Testaments and the Writings, showing the internal sense to Bible readers from all over. It’s deeply multi-lingual, with more than 80 translations of the Word in over 40 languages, and 52 of Swedenborg’s Latin texts, plus 480 translations of them in 22 languages, all cross-linked across the website. 

Jay Volcy 

Since graduating from Bryn Athyn College, in 2017, Jay has worked as a dedicated public servant. Starting as a humble intern in the office of State Senator Shirley Kitchen. He was later hired as a staffer for State Senator Sharif Street. After only one-year with Senator Street, he became a Deputy Scheduler and Assistant to the then Executive Director, Jim Harrity.  

Jay has had the pleasure of serving people in North Philadelphia through constituent services and community events. Jay has worked closely with now Councilmember at-Large, Jim Harrity, where he is currently the youngest Chief of Staffin Philadelphia City Council history. Jay is thrilled to work with the Councilmember, who he considers one of his mentors. In his capacity as Chief of Staff, Jay serves all Philadelphians through writing legislation, negotiating with the other city departments, and facilitating community events. Jay hopes to use his degree from Bryn Athyn College to serve his community and continue his career in public service. 

Louise Rose accepts awardFrank and Louise Rose

Louise attended Bryn Athyn College, earning a degree in education. While in college she exhausted the undergraduate language offerings and, seeking further study in Greek and Hebrew, found herself across the table from theolog Frank Rose. After graduation, she returned to Glenview to teach, all the while corresponding with Frank, their letters sprinkled with Hebrew.  

Frank attended the church schools and graduated from theological school in 1952, taking up the pastorate in Colchester, England. Three years later, Frank returned to the states long enough to marry Louise, and then they returned together to Colchester where they raised five children and served not only the Colchester congregation but New Church groups in Scotland, Wales, France, Holland, Germany, and Austria. In 1968 the family relocated to the Caryndale society in Canada, then Bryn Athyn for five years, and ultimately Tucson, Arizona, where Frank and Louise served Sunrise Chapel and nurtured its outreach to surrounding communities.  

In addition to her great love of mothering, Louise has devoted her long life to supporting worship services, women’s retreats, marriage enrichment groups, and Frank’s pastorates. She played organ and arranged flowers for worship services in three countries, ran women’s groups for over 30 years, and served as wedding coordinator for Sunrise Chapel. Now in her 90s, Louise continues to carry on aspects of the work that she and Frank fostered together through a lifetime, especially the commitment to support people in connecting with others and growing spiritually.  

Their legacy can perhaps be captured by Louise’s favorite phrase: “Let everything you do be done with love” (I Corinthians 16:14).