Awarded to an alumnus or alumna whose service, dedication and commitment to alma mater are extraordinary.
Sidney Grabowski was born in Bobrowniki, Poland (a small town near the Vistula River) on March 31, 1891. He came to America in 1898 through Ellis Island, New York. The family lived in various places in Northeast Pennsylvania before settling in Nanticoke. One of his High School teachers took him by car to Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he enrolled and graduated (summa cum Laude in a class of 92 students) in 1915 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. Sidney studied law at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a Bachelor of Laws Degree in 1918. Then he served with the 62nd Pioneer Infantry in Camp Wadsworth, South Carolina. In 1920 he married Teodozia (Tozia: Dorothy) Knoll. They settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Sidney was admitted to the Lackawanna County Bar on July 25, 1919 and the Luzerne County Bar on March 5, 1920. Honored by the County, Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations, he early won the respect of his colleagues as a leader in the legal profession. He practiced law in Scranton for 63 years, helping many less fortunate people in need of legal services, before retiring in 1983 at the age of 92.
As native of Poland, he was a man justly proud of his heritage, living a life of extraordinary achievement. Being an accomplished musician himself, he early on became an active member of the Paderewski Choral Club of Scranton. Through more than four decades he has served as General Counsel, as a Director and as President of the Polish Union of the United States. At various times he was also President of the Polish-American Society of Lackawanna County, Friends of Poland, and the Catholic League for Religious Assistance to Poland. Among his many recognized contributions to his community are service with the Salvation Army, the United Fund, the Boy Scouts of America, the Red Cross, the Tatra Club, the Slavonic Progressive League, the Saint Stanislaus Orphanage, St. Mary's Villa Nursing Home, the Holy Name Society, and the American Legion. In 1960, Sidney, and his wife, were named Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem by Pope John XXIII. The papal recognition affirmed their exceptional endeavors in the Scranton Diocese on behalf of the Catholic Church.
Included also in this man's productive life is his long service to his alma mater in a variety of roles. A robust Patron of the University, he served on the original Bucknell Alumni Council, on Executive Committee of the General Alumni Association, as Assistant Class Fund Manager, and as an advisor on Development. In 1922 he became the President of the local Bucknell Alumni Chapter. He served in that capacity for 50 YEARS until 1972. Sidney was highly active in the Bucknell Alumni Association, taking a dynamic part in all their activities until 1973. Five of Sidney's six children and 7 of his grandchildren and 2 of his great grandchildren attended Bucknell. Three of his children and three of his grandchildren married Bucknellians
After 61 years of marriage his wife died in 1981. Sidney died peacefully at age 100 in 1991 having 6 children, 18 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.