Congratulations to the 2010 Alumnus of the Year Milton “Milt” Purcell ’64 and Richard “Dick” Purcell ’61
Milton Hershey School has named Milton “Milt” Purcell ’64, of Hummelstown, and the late Richard “Dick” Purcell ’61 as the 2010 Alumni of the Year. This year marks the 56th anniversary of the award. Recipients of this award have demonstrated humanitarianism and exemplary service to others, achieved distinguished service in their careers, and exhibited high standards of achievements both personally and professionally. The Alumni of the Year serve as role models for MHS students and an example of achievement to which they can aspire. The Purcell brothers were business partners in the successful Purcell Machine Company. The company and its subsidiaries work in many industries with a concentration in the confectionery industry. It manufactures parts and complete systems for such diverse operations as drop roll manufacturing and product handling. The business works with companies nationwide and includes among its customers Fortune 500 companies, such as Caterpillar, The Hershey Company, York International/Johnson Controls, and New Holland. Throughout the years, Dick and Milt were active members of the MHS Alumni Association, and sponsored adult and youth organizations in the Hershey community. Dick received the Rotary Club Youth and Vocational Service Award in 1990, the MHS Alumni Service Award in 1991, and the Homestead Chapter Service Award in 1999. After he died in May 2004, he received the Unsung Graduate Award from MHS and the Humanitarian Award from the Italian Heritage Club. For 15 years, Milt coordinated Hershey flag football with Coach John Cook. He earned the MHSAA Alumni Service Award, the Optimist Club Service Award, the Hershey Rotary Club Youth and Vocational Service Award, the MHS Homestead Chapter Service Award, and the Hershey Baseball Outstanding Service Award. As a co-founder of the Dearden Alumni Campus, Milt serves as a member of the Dearden Alumni Campus Board, which is committed to developing and supporting programs that assist MHS graduates. Among the DACB’s projects is the Dick Purcell Career-Technical Education Award. The brothers enrolled in Milton Hershey School in August 1950, a couple years after their mother, Theresa, died. Their father, Pasklean, had tried to raise a daughter, Jean, and the two boys on his own, when he decided to enroll Dick and Milt at MHS, and Jean in a Catholic orphanage in Harrisburg. Dick was 7 years old, and Milt was 4-1/2. Both brothers took full advantage of opportunities at MHS, performing well in sports, career technical education, and leadership roles. Dick was co-captain of the Spartan football team, and played basketball and baseball. He lettered in all three sports and was named the football team’s “Outstanding Back” for two consecutive years. Dick also enjoyed trapping, served as Student Senate treasurer, and was vice president of his senior class. Milt played football, and served as captain his senior year. He was captain of the basketball team his junior and senior years, and served as Senior Class treasurer. In addition, he played baseball and was a member of the track team. Dick was married to Sally (Kindt) Purcell, and had two sons, David and Stephen. Milt and his wife Linda (Bell) Purcell, have two children, Christine and Matthew.