John A. Synodinos, 68, Hopkins University official

January 01, 2003

John A. Synodinos, a former Johns Hopkins University administrator and president emeritus of Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania, died of lymphoma Thursday at Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa. He was 68.

Born in the Mayfield area of Baltimore, Mr. Synodinos was a 1952 graduate of City College. After serving in Germany with the Army, he returned to Baltimore to earn a history degree in 1959 from Loyola College -- where he also directed the college's theater from 1959 to 1964.

In 1959, Mr. Synodinos married Glenda J. Davis. They met as students -- he at Loyola, and she at what is now Towson University.

In 1960, Mr. Synodinos accepted a job in admissions at Johns Hopkins and worked in several administrative posts there under university President Milton S. Eisenhower.

After leaving in 1968, Mr. Synodinos held posts including vice president of advancement at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.; founded a college consulting firm in Lebanon, Pa.; and served eight years as president of Lebanon Valley College in Annville, overseeing a substantial increase in enrollment and a return to achievement-based scholarships.

He retired in 1996, but remained active as a college trustee and taught history and business classes. He also co-founded a consulting group to help nonprofit organizations raise funds. In October, he and his wife were honored at the dedication of the college's Peace Garden -- one of the last projects he initiated before retirement.

A private service was held Monday, and a public celebration service is planned for 11 a.m. Jan. 25 in Miller Chapel on the Lebanon Valley College campus.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Synodinos, a longtime resident of Lancaster, is survived by two daughters, Jean Louise Synodinos of Austin, Texas, and Victoria Lynn Gertenbach of Reinholds, Pa.; a brother, James Synodinos of Baltimore; and two granddaughters.

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