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York College president named ATHENA award winner

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

Dr. Pamela Gunter-Smith, president of York College of Pennsylvania, can add another award to her collection.

Gunter-Smith is the 2022 recipient of the ATHENA Award, given by the York County Economic Alliance and the Women's Business Center Organization.

Gunter-Smith, hired in 2013, is the first woman and person of color to lead York College. During her tenure, the college has opened the Center for Community Engagement and Marketview Arts in downtown York as well as created a five-school academic structure.

Dr. Pamela Gunter-Smith, right, is the 2022 ATHENA Award recipient. From left: Traditions Bank director of Her Traditions Nicole Shaffer and 2017 ATHENA recipient Kim Bracey.

“Dr. Gunter-Smith is truly a servant leader, and we are fortunate to have her leadership for almost a decade in the York community," YCEA President and CEO Kevin Schreiber said. "York College continues to be a strong partner in many endeavors that create a vibrant city and county.”

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Gunter-Smith also has worked to diversify York College, with the hiring of the first female provost in the school's history as well as two deans. At the end of the year, York College is set to welcome the first woman to chair the board of trustees.

“For decades, Pamela has served as a mentor and inspiration to countless aspiring women leaders from Spelman College, who look to her as much more than simply a role model," York College assistant vice president and YCEA board of directors chair Jeff Vermeulen said in a written statement.

In addition to the ATHENA Award, Gunter-Smith has   received several other awards, including from her alma mater Spelman College in Georgia.

Those include the Spelman College Alumnae Achievement Award in Health and Sciences, the Spelman College Presidential Faculty Award for Scholarly Achievement and the Directors Award for excellence in dedicated service to the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. 

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The yearly ATHENA Award, sponsored by Traditions Bank, is presented to a woman who is honored for excellence, community service and assisting women in attaining professional leadership excellence and leadership skills.

The award will be presented May 20at the YCEA Keynote Event "Showcasing YoCo."

— Reach Matt Enright via email at or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.