Distinguished Board Chair Emeritus Dies

Dr. Ross W. Fasick poses with wife Betty on Fasick Bridge

Dr. Ross W. Fasick ’55, H’03 died Sunday, July 16 in Delaware. He served on Lebanon Valley College’s Board of Trustees from 1992–2010, including two terms as chair of the board (1997–2003), and was named trustee emeritus on his retirement from the board in 2003. LVC’s Fasick Bridge is named in honor of Dr. Fasick and his wife, Betty. 

Dr. Fasick, son of F.M. and F.E. Fasick, grew up in Central Pennsylvania and graduated from the former John Harris High School in Harrisburg. He enrolled at LVC where he was a member of the Knights of The Valley (president), involved in Student Government (president, freshmen and sophomore classes), and competed in athletics (baseball and basketball) before graduating with a B.S. in chemistry. 

Following in the footsteps of his mentor, Dr. H. Anthony Neidig ’43, H’04, late LVC chair and professor emeritus of chemistry, Dr. Fasick enrolled at the University of Delaware where he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in organic chemistry, the latter in 1959. He then began a three-decade plus career with E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co, starting as a researcher at the Jackson Lab in Deepwater, N.J.  

During the 1960s and 1970s, Dr. Fasick moved through various supervisory and middle management positions in research, manufacturing, marketing, and general business management, and in 1977 he was appointed vice president of DuPont Brazil. The following year, he became president and general manager of the Brazilian Subsidiary. 

In 1981, he and Betty, his childhood sweetheart whom he married in 1954, moved from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Coral Gables, Fla., where he assumed responsibility for DuPont operations in all of Latin America. Dr. Fasick returned to Wilmington, Del., in late 1982 and was appointed director of finishes, with responsibility for the company’s billion dollar paint business. 

Dr. Fasick was promoted to vice president—automotive products in 1987 and moved to DuPont’s automotive world headquarters in Troy, Mich. The following year, he was made senior vice president—automotive products and in 1992 became senior executive vice president—polymers and automotive products world-wide, with responsibility over the $6 billion business. He retired in 1994 after 34 years of service with DuPont. 

From 1988 to 1992, while residing in Michigan, Dr. Fasick was a member of the visiting committee of the School of Business at the University of Michigan. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was a member of the advisory council of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware. 

“He was an impressive board chair who was respected by everyone,” said Tom Reinhart ’58, H’97, who played baseball with Dr. Fasick at LVC and was a long-time fellow trustee and friend. “He was a thoughtful and collaborative, yet decisive, leader who oversaw the College during a great period of enrollment growth and campus construction.”

Lebanon Valley College recognized Dr. Fasick’s philanthropic and career achievements, which included 15 U.S. patents and numerous publications in his discipline, by awarding him an Alumni Citation in 1988, a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995, and an honorary doctor of humane letters in 2003. In 1999, he and Betty were named Lifetime Vickroy Associates, which recognizes those whose cumulative lifetime giving to LVC exceeds $100,000. 

In 1997, he and Betty made a contribution to LVC to build the College’s signature Fasick Bridge, a footbridge spanning Pennsylvania Route 934, in the heart of campus. 

In addition to the Fasick Bridge, spaces in the Vernon and Doris Bishop Library and Neidig-Garber Science Center are named in honor of the Fasicks’ generosity and service to LVC. Dr. Fasick chaired the Science Initiative and served as a campaign cabinet member for the Great Expectations Campaign (2000–2010), which led to a major revitalization of the College’s science center. 

“Ross and Betty were great supporters of The Valley,” added Reinhart. “Two of their proudest moments were when the Fasick Bridge was dedicated and when the revitalized Neidig-Garber Science Center was completed. It was a great honor for Ross to work with Dr. Neidig to raise support for the center.”  

After retiring from DuPont, Dr. Fasick became an active volunteer at The Independence School, beginning with his role as Santa Claus. He sat on the board of trustees from 1996 until 2005, serving as vice president, Development Committee chair, Endowment Committee chair and was a member of the Finance Committee. Upon completion of his board term, he then served on the Advisory Committee. Dr. Fasick’s commitment to education, and especially to the education of his grandchildren, was unwavering. He believed deeply in The Independence School’s mission and was dedicated to supporting it. All seven of his grandchildren are graduates of The Independence School, where the Fasick Gallery now stands as a testament to his passion for education. 

In 2008, Dr. Fasick accepted an appointment to the board of directors for Lightwave Logic, Inc., a technology company focused on the development of electro-optic polymer materials for applications in next generation photonic integrated circuits and devices. He played a critical role in transforming the young company and attracting world-class talent. 

Dr. Fasick was an avid golfer, a Philadelphia sports fan, and enjoyed fly fishing with his friends and family. He held a deep appreciation for investment analysis, and his favorite place on earth was The Arnold Fish and Game Preserve, a natural sanctuary in the Canadian mountains affectionately known as “The Bog.” His most prized possessions were his grandchildren, and most of his free time since retirement was spent assisting his family with the transporting of grandchildren to school, sports, and extracurriculars.

Dr. Fasick is survived by his wife of 64 years, Betty Lehmer Fasick; his son, Steven Ross Fasick and Patty; his daughter, Lisa J. F. Ramone and Michael; and seven grandchildren: Christopher Fasick and Anita, Brittany Ramone Gomez and Ray, Moira Kostes and Rick, Ross Ramone, Ryan Fasick, Kevin Fasick, Nicholas Ramone; and three great grandchildren: Madison Fasick, Benjamin, and James Kostes.