LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Former women's basketball standout Christine Center '89 and Bucknell Athletics Hall-of-Famer and trustee emeritus William Dearstyne '62 will receive Bucknell Athletics Alumni Achievement Awards at a special celebration dinner on campus on Saturday, Feb. 3. Center and Dearstyne will be honored at the event starting at 5 p.m. in the Terrace Room, located inside the Elaine Langone Center. The dinner is open to the public at a cost of $20 per person. Please RSVP to Emily Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These outstanding former Bison student-athletes have gone on to achieve tremendous professional success, and they will offer remarks before a roomful of current student-athletes representing the Bucknell Athletics Leadership Institute. Center and Dearstyne will be honored again at halftime of the men’s basketball team’s game against Lafayette later in the evening.
The Bucknell Athletics Alumni Achievement Award is awarded annually to one male student-athlete alumnus and one female student-athlete alumna who have earned distinction in their professional careers. The award recognizes alumni for their leadership aptitude and contributions to their professions, while upholding the highest values of Bucknell Athletics. The recipients of this award represent the best of our alumni and become role models for current Bison student-athletes.
Here is a closer look at the careers of Christine Center and Bill Dearstyne:
Christine A. Center | Women’s Basketball Class of 1989
Christine Center has a successful track record of effective communication, team leadership, and financial management, proven in her 17 years with Verizon. Center is the Senior Project Lead for Advanced Solutions Project Management and is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and an IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) expert. She supports global clients and handles multi-million dollar contracts in 130 sites. Her leadership has provided her customers with exceptional service and produced teams that have provided upward mobility for the company. Prior to her time at Verizon, Center worked at MCI WorldCom Inc., Bois Cascade Office Products – Boise Technology, and MobileComm.
In addition to managing projects and governance teams, Center also finds time to volunteer with the Richmond Sports Backers, a non-profit organization in Virginia dedicated to helping individuals in the greater Richmond area lead an active lifestyle.
Center received a Bachelor of Arts in both Spanish and Latin American studies from Bucknell in 1989, after spending a summer studying at the Colegio Mayor Universitario La Conception in Valencia, Spain. A four-year letter winner on the Bucknell women’s basketball team, Center received the Ronald J. “Pete” Pedrick Award, an honor given annually to a student-athlete for contributions and improvements in athletics over a four-year period. As a senior, she was the team’s leading rebounder with 9.0 per game, and she also averaged nearly 11 points per contest.
In the years following graduation, Center has continued to make Bucknell Athletics a priority as vice chair of the Bison Club Board of Directors, an organization supporting the continued success of student-athletes. Committed to the recognition of both past and present students, she also serves on the Bucknell Athletics Hall of Fame committee and was in charge of fundraising efforts for the Class of 1989’s 25th reunion.
Center currently resides in Richmond, Virginia.
William Dearstyne | Swimming & Diving Class of 1962 | Bucknell Hall of Fame Class of 1982
Bill Dearstyne has a long history of success growing and developing people and business, which is evident in his 26-year tenure at Johnson & Johnson. During his career at Johnson & Johnson, he served as the Company Group Chairman, overseeing all of the corporation’s medical companies in the Asia Pacific Region while holding multiple international executive positions. In the course of his time with Johnson & Johnson, Dearstyne led billion-dollar acquisitions of both Cordis and Depuy, leaders in interventional cardiology and orthopedics. He also established businesses in Eastern Europe, consistently increasing sales while serving on the company’s Corporate Contributions Committee.
Dearstyne is also the Director Emeritus of the EastWest Institute, a non-profit, global action-oriented think tank focused on confronting critical challenges that endanger peace, and he is a member of the board of directors of a number of European and U.S. healthcare companies.
Dearstyne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Bucknell, as well as a Masters of Business Administration in international business from Syracuse University. While at Bucknell, Dearsytne was a two-time captain of the Bison men’s swimming and diving team. He won Middle Atlantic Conference 100 and 200-yard backstroke championships three straight years. Dearstyne was the Eastern 100-yard backstroke champion in 1960, when he also led the Bison to their first-ever MAC championship. He won 30 consecutive 200-meter backstroke races, and he also captured two Middle Atlantic Conference titles in the 400 medley relay. Dearstyne made history as the first-ever Bucknell swimmer to compete at the NCAA Championships. He was awarded the prestigious honor of Most Outstanding Bucknell Senior Athlete in 1962.
Following graduation, Dearstyne has remained a strong supporter of Bison Athletics. His contributions have led to an endowment for the creation of the Bucknell Athletics Leadership Institute, which develops and enhances leadership skills in the more than 750 student-athletes at Bucknell. Dearstyne also created and contributed to the Robert A. Latour Swimming and Diving Endowment, and he has provided generous support for numerous athletics programs and initiatives at Bucknell. Additionally, he served on the Board of Trustees from 1991-2015 and is currently a trustee emeritus.
Dearstyne lives with his wife, Elizabeth, in Bregnez, Austria. They have two daughters, Katherine Bell Dearstyne ’89 and Elizabeth Dearstyne Geletka, and four grandchildren.