William Penn University names Distinguished Service Award Recipient

This year’s Distinguished Service Award was presented to Garold Heslinga. (submitted photo)

Oskaloosa, Iowa – William Penn University presented the 2012 Alumni Hall of Fame awards on Friday, September 28 at the annual Homecoming Recognition Banquet. This year’s Distinguished Service Award was presented to Garold Heslinga for his counsel, friendship, and steady support of William Penn University. The Distinguished Service Award is bestowed upon an individual whose life of service has been exemplary. This honor extends beyond the circle of Penn alumni to those who embody the William Penn commitment to community and humanitarian service.

Garold attended William Penn University for one year before transferring to George Washington University in Washington DC for one year, and he also attended Michigan State College while serving in the US Army during World War II. He later enrolled at Drake University, graduating from law school in 1948.

He returned to Oskaloosa and opened his first office on the second floor of 101 High Avenue East in October of 1948. After another move or two, Garold along with his brother, Harold, bought and remodeled their present office at 188 N Market in 1961. They became business leaders and were active in community affairs.

Heslinga began helping in civic projects 40 years ago as president of the Jaycees and continued as a leader in several community organizations and efforts including the Community Chest, the YM-YWCA, the Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, William Penn and Oskaloosa Industrial Park Committee.

In 1987 Garold was presented the Special Community Service award by the Oskaloosa Chamber of Commerce. His work behind the scenes on projects like Main Street and Keep Oskaloosa Beautiful was invaluable to the implementation and continued success of those programs.

The Chamber of Commerce presented their Citizen of the Year award to Garold in 1990. The award presenter said of Heslinga ‘he’s always been there for any project, …. many efforts, most of which, people will never know about.’

His service to William Penn spanned over twenty years. Garold served as an active member of the Board of Trustees from 1987 – 2008 and provided legal counsel on numerous occasions for the University.

To express our appreciation for all that he has done for William Penn University, it is an honor to recognize Garold Heslinga as the Distinguished Service recipient for 2012.



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