A Tribute to Erie Civic Leader, William "Bill" Sennett

July 25th,2023 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Professor/Instructor/Speaker: David Frew, Ph.D.

A Tribute to Erie Civic Leader, William "Bill" Sennett

Please join the Jefferson Educational Society as friends and colleagues of Bill Sennett present a farewell tribute to his rich life. In addition to Bill's incredible legal and political career, he provided leadership for several local educational and nonprofit organizations, notably Mercyhurst University, where he served on the board of directors for 42 years. Bill Sennett fundamentally changed every organization that he was associated with, and always in an understated and gentle way. We gather, especially, to celebrate his contribution to "The Jefferson."  William Sennett was instrumental in the creation and success of the organization that has become Erie's thinktank, contributing hundreds of world-class programs over a fifteen-year tenure. A printed testimonial that "Jefferson Educational Society" created on the sad occasion of Bill's passing last January is attached to this invitation. While that document details his life and career, the tribute program promises to reveal new stories; happy times during which Bill was influencing the future of Erie by adding to the quality and integrity of community organizations. The program promises to be fun and interesting as it reveals several of the wonderful aspects of a community leader who was rarely took credit for accomplishments that he was responsible for. It may inspire you to recognize our old friend in several important Erie landmarks.


Location: Jefferson Educational Society - 3207 State Street, Erie, PA 16508

Date/Time: Tuesday, July 25 at 7:00 p.m.

Admission: FREE

Parking: lot behind building, State Street, 33rd Street, 32nd Street, French Street

David Frew, Ph.D.
Scholar-in-Residence, Jefferson Educational Society

Historian and author David Frew, Ph.D., is a JES Scholar-in-Residence. An emeritus professor at Gannon University, he held a variety of administrative positions during a 33-year career. He is also emeritus director of the Erie County Historical Society/Hagen History Center, where he had previously served as Executive Director for five years, and is president of his own management consulting business.


After beginning with a five-year career in engineering, Frew took a teaching fellowship at Kent State University, where he earned a doctorate in Organizational Behavior in 1970. His love of Lake Erie brought him back to Erie where he became a faculty member and the founding director of Gannon's MBA Program. His career at Gannon included administrative posts as Director of the Health Services Administration and Public Administration Programs, as well as Dean of the Graduate School. In 1982 and 1983, he took a leave from Gannon to complete a post-doctorate at Kent State University where he completed advanced coursework in psychology and research design. He was also a visiting professor at Mercyhurst University for four years.


Dr. Frew has authored or co-authored 40 books, most recently “Accidental Parade: A 13,000-Year History of Presque Isle,” and more than 100 articles, cases, and papers. His work has appeared in publications ranging from refereed journals such as The Journal of Applied Psychology to popular magazines such as Sail Magazine and Cruising World.


Growing up on Erie's lower west side as a proud "Bay Rat," Frew was known to join neighborhood kids playing and marauding along the west bayfront. He has written for years about his beloved Presque Isle and his adventures on the Great Lakes. In the “On the Waterfront Series” for the JES, the Scholar-in-Residence takes note of life in and around the water.