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2003 Alumni Fellow

Posted: June 29, 2009

Dean Girton '60 B.S. Dairy Science. Girton is owner and president of Girton Manufacturing Company Inc., which produces and distributes dairy and food processing equipment worldwide.
Dean Girton

Dean Girton

"Dean has contributed an extensive amount of time and energy to many professional associations, Penn State and his community, while directing a highly successful business at the same time" says Robert Steele, dean of Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, who nominated Girton for the award. "His rich professional and volunteer efforts made him an outstanding recipient for this award."

Girton earned a bachelor's degree in dairy science from Penn State in 1960. Upon graduation, Girton returned home to work for his family's business. Under his leadership, Girton Manufacturing is today known worldwide for its production of quality dairy and food processing equipment, as well as products for pharmaceutical and medical research groups. The company received the Blue Chip Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1993 and the Presidential "E" Award for excellence in exporting in the late 1970s.

Girton has been active in the food industry, serving in numerous professional groups. He has been a board member of the International Association of Food Industry Suppliers since 1985 and served as board chairman from 1994 to 1996. He has also been a member and co-chair of the World Wide Food Expo and served on the Food Industry Suppliers Association Board. Currently, he is vice-chair of the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation.

Girton has maintained an active role in the Penn State community. He is the president of the Penn State Agricultural Alumni Society and immediate past president of the Penn State Agricultural Council, which fosters relationships between Penn State and its agricultural industry clientele. He is also a founder and past president of the Food Industry Group, an affiliate alumni group of the Ag Alumni Society, which was active in obtaining financial support for Penn State's plans for a new food science building.

Girton's personal support of Penn State includes his establishment of the Dean and Harriet Girton Scholarship in Food Science. The College of Agricultural Sciences honored him with the Outstanding Alumni Award in 1999. Girton involves himself in his community as council vice president for Boy Scouts of America and as a former scout master. He has also served on the Millville Borough Council and Millville Planning Commission.