The Misericordia University Board of Trustees honored the philanthropy and leadership John C. Metz, Sr., and the late Frank M. Henry by presenting them with the Founders Medal during the annual Trustee Associates Gala at the Beaumont Inn.
The Founders Medal is one of the highest honors bestowed by Misericordia, as the trustees award it only when merited. Trustee Marjorie Henry Marquart '85 and Scott E. Henry gratefully accepted the award on behalf of their family and father, who passed away in June. Mr. Metz, who retired from the board in June, accepted the award with his family by his side.
"Misericordia University is grateful for Frank's generosity,'' Misericordia University President Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., said, "and for including us in the eleemosynary spirit of the Henry family.''
"John has served on our Board of Trustees for 30 years,'' President Botzman said. "During that time, he has had many roles, including a term as board chair, and has supported a great number of forward-looking improvements to the physical plant and campus programs.''
Known for a lifetime of benevolence, Mr. Henry was the chairperson emeritus of Martz Group in Wilkes-Barre. He had guided and grown the business as CEO since 1964. Founded in 1908 by his grandfather, Frank Martz, Sr., in Plymouth, Pa., the Martz Group is a fifth generation, family-operated business that provides a variety of transportation services in Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C., via the Gold Line, National Coach Works, First Class Coach and Martz Trailways companies.
Mr. Henry used the same transformative approach with his motor coach companies to address the needs of his community. He invested his time, talent and treasure in quality of life issues that touched everyone. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education, for example, presented Mr. Henry with the Seymour Preston Award in 2000. The Frank M. & Dorothea Henry Cancer Center at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center has helped countless cancer patients and their loved ones since it opened in 1992 and expanded in 2009.
The Misericordia University Board of Trustees honored the couple in 2014 by presenting them with the Trustee Associates Award for the their philanthropy, leadership and overall dedication to maintaining and strengthening the Catholic institution's mission of fostering intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and respect for people in an environment where all are welcome. The Frank and Dorothea Henry Student Lounge bears the couple's name in recognition of their benevolence.
The family's affinity with Luzerne County's first four-year college, though, began in 1980 with the late Dorothea Henry's appointment to the Board of Trustees, where she served until 1986. Ms. Marquart has been serving her alma mater as a trustee since 2013.
Mr. Henry was the first major benefactor to commit his support to the "Now for Tomorrow" Campaign, the largest campaign in Misericordia's rich 94-year history. The campaign will support construction of the new $35 million Frank M. and Dorothea Henry Science Center and provide significant investment in the Annual Fund and endowment for additional scholarship opportunities for worthy students.
Mr. Metz, executive chairperson of Metz Culinary Management, has been a stalwart member of the Misericordia community for many years, serving the institution since 1988 as a trustee and continuing in his new role as trustee emeritus.
His foray into the restaurant and hospitality business began in 1967 when he founded Custom Management Corp., in Kingston, Pa. Today, the family-driven company is headquartered in Dallas, Pa., and has about 7,000 employees in 19 states, providing food management services to corporate, health care, school districts, and higher education clients. In addition, Metz Culinary Management owns and operates numerous franchises, including T.G.I. Friday's, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Wolfgang Puck Express, Lucky's Sporthouse and more.
The success of the business is well documented. In April, Food Service Management magazine recognized the company as one of the top food service providers in the nation. Mr. Metz (1979) and his sons, John Metz, Jr., (2013), executive chef and co-founder of Marlow's Tavern and Sterling Spoon Culinary Management, and Jeff Metz (2017), president and CEO of Metz Culinary Management, each received the Silver Plate Award from the International Facility Management Association.
A member of the Misericordia University Board of Trustees from 1988 to 2018, Mr. Metz and his colleagues oversaw rapid growth in overall enrollment, academic programs, campus facilities and prestige. Today, Misericordia ranks in the top tier of the Best Regional Universities – North category of U.S. News and World Report's 2018 edition of Best Colleges. The Princeton Review recognized MU as a 2019 Best Northeastern College and MONEY Magazine included the institution in its 2018-19 "Best Colleges" list.
In 2002, Misericordia recognized Mr. Metz and his wife, Mary, for their philanthropy and leadership by awarding them the Trustee Associates Award. The award is given to friends of the University who have demonstrated outstanding dedication, service and generous support.
The family's impact on the institution is obvious campus wide, as they supported the remodeling and renovation of the John and Mary Metz Dining Hall in the Banks Student Life Center and the addition of the InterMetzo Café in Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall. More recently, the University dedicated the John and Mary Metz Field House in 2012. The fieldhouse was named in honor of the couple and their three children, John Jr., Jeff and Maureen, in recognition of their exceptional dedication and support.
Mr. Metz is also very active in his community and profession. He is a trustee of the National Restaurant Association's Education Foundation and a member of the state Restaurant Association. He previously served as the board director of the National Restaurant Association and member of the Board of Overseers for Harvard University.
In 2013, the Boy Scouts of America presented him with the Distinguished Citizens Award and the Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Association for the Blind honored him with the Distinguished Community Service Award. The Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce awarded him the Distinguished Citizen Award in 2014.