2007 Distinguished Service Award
Sylvester “Bud” Aichele ’42
Sylvester “Bud” Aichele was an indefatigable supporter of all things Dickinson.
After graduating with a major in history from Dickinson in 1942, he went on to serve as a naval aviator during World War II in the Pacific. He flew as part of the VP-12 Squadron—the original “Black Cat” squadron. The recipient of two distinguished flying medals for “heroism and extraordinary achievement during combat,” Aichele had the distinction of flying the final combat mission of World War II and was one of the last surviving veterans of this distinguished Navy squadron.
Following the war, he entered graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, completing a master’s degree in political science in 1947, and worked toward a Ph.D. He then began a long and distinguished 38-year teaching career at Temple University. A professor of political science, he also served as assistant dean of students, director of placement and director of the annual fund before retiring from the university in 1985 as professor emeritus and executive vice president of development.
While working for Temple, he went beyond just contributing to his alma mater financially and began to put his considerable professional skills to work for Dickinson and to advancing liberal-arts education. He provided prospective students and alumni with career guidance and worked to strengthen and broaden the Dickinson network.
“Bud always felt connected to Dickinson. In his mind, he never really left it,” said Mary Jane Aichele, his wife of more than 60 years.
When the Aicheles moved back to Carlisle in 1995, “Bud made the decision to focus his energies on helping Dickinson and to cut back on the many civic associations he had maintained for decades,” Mrs. Aichele reflected.
His service to the college included his role as a class chairman, helping to organize class reunions and raising funds for the class gift. He also served as a member of the Alumni Council and the Dickinson Fund Advisory Council. He was a frequent and welcome visitor to the college relations and development offices, delivering news and updates on his classmates and fraternity brothers, as well as treats for the staff.
Aichele embraced his fraternity, serving as secretary/treasurer of the Alumni Association for 12 years, a responsibility which saw the treasury double its assets during that time as well as the faithful production of the annual spring letter to all Kappa Sigma alumni.
Shortly before his death this spring at age 86 after a prolonged illness, Aichele was notified by Dickinson’s Alumni Council that he had been selected as the 2007 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award for Service for his years of dedication and commitment to the college.
“He was a humble man who didn’t talk about himself much,” said Mrs. Aichele. “But he told me that he was very pleased to be recognized in this way. He said he had had a good life and that Dickinson was an important part of it.”
Besides his wife Mary Jane, Aichele’s survivors include his children, Stephen, Jeffrey and Gary.
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