2020 Robert T. Sherman Distinguished Service Award — Audrey Onspaugh

Audrey Onspaugh worked at Allegheny College for 55 years — more than one-quarter of the College’s history. Over those five decades, Onspaugh has seen many changes in her work — from entering data with punch cards to typing Senior Comprehensive Projects on a computer. Throughout her service, she has consistently been a shining example of dedication to the College and a source of joy to those around her. 

“Having worked with Audrey Onspaugh for over 15 years, I can attest to her being one of Allegheny College’s treasures,” said Eleanor Weisman, retired associate professor of dance and movement studies. “She knew just about everyone on campus and had many student friends as well. In fact, many students would interview her as part of student projects, even Senior Comprehensive Projects. They admired her wisdom as well as her historical knowledge about the College and Meadville.”

Another colleague writes that “It is impossible to adequately express what Audrey means to this College and to all of the people who have had the privilege of working alongside her and learning from her, for more than half a century.  She is an unwavering role model of honesty, integrity, kindness, care, and excellence.”   

During her time with the College, Onspaugh provided administrative support in a wide range of offices, including Institutional Research, the Office of Planning and Information, the Treasurer’s Office, the Dean of Students Office, and the Dance and Movement Studies Program. She was known and respected for her meticulous attention to detail, vast knowledge of College processes and operations, and willingness to go the extra mile. Over the years, Onspaugh worked in offices Bentley, Carr, Montgomery, Reis, and Ruter Halls, and she was a smiling, familiar face on her frequent walks across campus. 

In 2020, at the age of 90, Onspaugh retired as the building coordinator in Montgomery Hall. She touched countless lives and made Allegheny a better place in so many ways. 

“Her grace and wisdom are a gift to every person she comes in contact with, and to me, she exemplifies what it is to be Allegheny,” said Kelly Wright in nominating Onspaugh. “Dedication, hard work, compassion, flexibility, and endurance. She is not only worthy of this award, she absolutely embodies everything that the Robert T. Sherman award is about.”