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Edward Bauer, Distinguished Alumni

            Edward Bauer ('70), the 2008 Clarion University Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni recipient, came to Clarion intending to be a teacher and recently retired as a person whose designs almost all Clarion University alumni have touched.

            Bauer left his mark on the packaging industry through many of the world's top products from Campbell soup cans to Swanson's TV Dinners to Similac baby formula plastic containers to Bausch and Lomb contact lens solutions. Inducted by his peers into International Packaging Hall of Fame in 2006 for his accomplishments, Bauer has extensive contacts in the plastics, metal can, pharmaceutical, and aseptic packaging industries in North America, Europe, Asia, and South America.


He is one of seven individuals who will be honored with a Clarion University Alumni Association Distinguished Award on Friday, October 3, during a banquet in 6 p.m. in the Gemmell Student Complex Multi-Purpose Room. A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Gemmell Student Complex Rotunda.

            RSVP for the banquet at due by Sept. 21 to or telephone (814) 393-1784. The cost is $40 per person. Checks should be made payable to the Clarion University Foundation, Inc., and mailed to Clarion University Foundation, Inc., 840 Wood St., Clarion, Pa. 16214. Those attending are asked to indicate any food allergies and the honoree for whom they are attending.

            Clarion University - Venango campus will hold a distinguished alumni reception on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 5 p.m. in the Robert W. Rhoades Center.

            Being honored are: Distinguished Service - H.E. (Gene) and Susanne Burns; Distinguished Faculty - Dr. Gail (Fulton '66) Grejda; Distinguished Achievement - Brigadier General Peter Talleri ('79); Distinguished Volunteer - Sheryl Riesmyer; and Venango Campus Distinguished Alumna - Rhonda Steigerwald ('75).

            In addition a special presentation of the President's Medallion will be made to the Honorable Fred C. McIlhattan ('70) in acknowledgement of his 40 years of public service.


           "I am really surprised by the award," said Bauer. "I tried to do my best over the years and do what I though was the right thing."

            Clarion became Bauer's college of choice because it was affordable. The first of his family to go to college, he enrolled shortly following his father's death with a plan to become a chemistry teacher. Bauer found his niche, become a member of the marching band and concert band, participating in intramurals, and joining TKE fraternity. Bauer joins fellow TKE member Bill Hartman ('70) as the recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award. Hartman's award came in 2004.

            "It was a very good time to be in college," he recalled. "Most of us were first generation college students and we didn't know much about college or where we were going in the future. We learned to grow up and work with people. Clarion helped us focus on a career path."

Bauer's career path was set when he realized that with a few more credits he could get a bachelor of arts degree along with a bachelor of science degree.

"Dr. Pearce made a big difference for me," said Bauer. "He encouraged me, helped me find financial aid, and took and interest in how I progressed. Dr. Ken Mechling was very encouraging too, along with Galen Ober during my student teachin, and Dr. Stanley Michalski also had a big influence on me."

            His first job after graduating was with Mobil Chemical in Pittsburgh with Stoner Mudge Packaging Coatings as a chemist. After two years he moved on to Glidden Paints where he was first responsible for coil coatings, the paint on the outside of aluminum siding and steel metal buildings, before moving into sales and marketing.

            One of his accounts in sales was Campbell's and they enticed Bauer to return to the lab as manager of organic materials and section head of can coatings. With Campbell's, Bauer designed, planned and built both Campbell's Plastic Center, a first-of-its-kind plastic packaging development laboratory, and the Campbell's Plastic Frozen Food Tray Manufacturing Facility in Modesto, Calif. He also developed the first plastic cans, the replacement for the aluminum tray used in TV dinners, and microwaveable soup bowls.

After nine years at Campbell's, Bauer joined Abbott Laboratories as Director of Package Engineering and Development in 1990 where he continued his impressive string of packaging successes, developing special plastic packaging for products such as Similac (infant formula) and Ensure (medical nutritional supplement drinks).

            American Home Products Corp. (known today as Wyeth) recruited Bauer in 1997 as Senior Director of Packaging Services where he managed all pharmaceutical, over-the-counter, vaccine, and biologics package development and specification at multiple sites throughout the world. He joined Bausch and Lomb Corporation in 2001 as director of global packaging where he was responsible for all medical device, pharmaceutical, and consumer packaging worldwide.

            Bauer retired from Bausch and Lomb in 2006, but stays active as a consultant, lecturer, writes frequently for professional publications, and was active with St. Louis Catholic Church, Pittsford, N.Y. He and his wife, Suzy, moved to Mars, Pa., following his retirement.

            "It is nice to be back in Pennsylvania around family and friends," he said. "I feel very fortunate in looking back at my career. I received a good education from Clarion University."


9/3/2008 3:38 PM

Edward Bauer, Distinguished Alumni