In a post-graduation conversation with Shenandoah President Dr. Robert Parker (1969-1982), David A. Hartley ’82 was offered an admissions counselor position at the university. Hartley had no other plans, so he accepted the offer saying that he would do this for a couple of years until he found something else.
“Little did I know that 30 years later, I’d still be working in higher education,” Hartley commented.
Hartley received his undergraduate degree in history and psychology with minors in vocal music and theater while attending Shenandoah. His entire family had encouraged him to pursue teaching as a career, but after his sophomore year, he realized this was not what he wanted to do.
“Like so many people out there, my career just kind of happened,” said Hartley.
After working in SU’s Admissions Office for 18 months, Hartley returned home for Memorial Day Weekend and met his future wife, Denise. At this point, he found himself planning a life with Denise and moved back to Pittsburgh, Pa. when he secured a position as an admissions counselor with the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. After four years in this position, he became an inside admissions representative at Pittsburgh Technical Institute. After two years, Hartley was employed by Robert Morris University and has been working their ever since.
Over the 23 years at RMU, Hartley worked with undergraduate and transfer admissions and academic services. Since 2004, he has also been a part-time instructor and has been fortunate to have one or two sections of History or Humanities each semester. In 2008, Hartley officially left Admissions and now works directly for the university registrar and the Vice Provost for Academics in the Academic Services office.
“The number one reward of a career in higher ed is working with students and their families,” Hartley remarked. “This has been an ongoing plus for me through my career. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with students and parents, helping them become aware of what college is and helping them through the process.”
Hartley also feels very fortunate to have completed his masters while at RMU, to be able to teach and to have had the ability to help his children and wife pursue their college degrees. Hartley has two children, Josh and Kayla.
This past year, SU Alumni Board member Kirk Smith ’80 nominated Hartley for the board.
“I thought about this opportunity, discussed it with family and a few friends, and it was a no-brainer,” Hartley stated. “I felt like it was meant to be a part of my life. I have such fond memories from my time at Shenandoah.”
Hartley mentioned how Shenandoah was one of the best things that ever happened in his life. Many friendships were built during those years with classmates, faculty and staff. Some of Hartley’s highlights at SU were all of his choir work, especially singing in the Madrigal group with Dr. Laster and at Trinity Episcopal Church. He can also remember many of his part-time jobs while at school, specifically working in the cafeteria, being involved in the Apple Blossom Festival, working as an RA and his time employed at Noble’s Travel Group, a travel agency owned by alumnus Paul B. Noble ’56.
“Shenandoah was the foundation to everything professional and academic in my life,” Hartley said. “Without my bachelor’s degree and the experiences of my college years, I could not have moved deeper into life with the confidence and security that I have. It would have been difficult building a career if not for the benefit of higher schooling and the growth that came out of those efforts.”
Hartley is excited to be an Alumni Board member and feels that it is now the perfect time in his life to give back to his alma mater.
“Serving comes in many forms and fashion,” Hartley commented. “The growth and presence this university has is quite impressive. I feel it’s a good time to get on board.”