Alliance College Allumni Association

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All checks for ACAA Foundation donations should be made payable to ACAAF and mailed to:

ACAA Foundation
c/o L.J. Rachocki
249 Bridgewater Lane
Sagamore Hills, OH 44067-4129

The book Alliance College 1912-2012 Sto Lat History can be purchased for $25. Checks should be made payable to ACAAF and mailed to the address above.

Alumni News

Gail Dolzenko

Gail Dolzenko.... Sad news.  Pani Dolzenko passed away on Easter Sunday at the age of 98.    Her son Alex hasn't done an obituary yet and will be planning a memorial service for her soon.  When the details become available, the info will be posted.

Gail Dolzenko.... Sad news.  Pani Dolzenko passed away on Easter Sunday at the age of 98.    Her son Alex hasn't done an obituary yet and will be planning a memorial service for her soon.  When the details become available, the info will be posted.

October 2017 Meeting Schedule

October Meeting Schedule


Saturday - October 7th, 2017

The Courtyard by Marriott at the Erie Bayfront

October Meeting Schedule


Saturday - October 7th, 2017

The Courtyard by Marriott at the Erie Bayfront

Erie - Pennsylvania


Meetings this year will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott at the Erie Bayfront.  A block of rooms has been reserved from Thursday Oct 5th through Saturday Oct 7th with a room rate of $165 per night (expires 9/5/2017).  Use the link below to make reservations.


9:30 am – 11:30 am  Foundation Meeting & Scholarship Application Review

For the 8th year, The Alliance College Alumni Association Foundation (ACAAF) proudly promotes and encourages post-secondary education, by offering a $1,500 scholarship.  Applications must be postmarked by Sept. 15th.  The scholarship application & requirements are available on  Contributions to the ACAAF are tax deductible.  All Alliance alumni faculty are welcome to attend.


1:00 pm – 3:00 pm                  Alliance College Alumni Association Meeting

Business meeting to review the status of the AC Alumni Association, determine future goals and direction, and start planning the 2018 Reunion.  Direct questions to Mike Anderson (562) 618-7378.  All Alliance alumni and faculty are welcome.


3:30 pm – 5:30 pm                                        Reunion 2018 Planning Meeting

Plan to gather and begin the planning process for Reunion 2018. 



Please use the following link to make hotel reservations:

You might have to copy & paste the link.  Our special rate expires after September 5, 2017.


October 2017 ACAA Meeting

2017 ACAA Meeting

Saturday October 7, 2017


2017 ACAA Meeting

Saturday October 7, 2017


Due to the unfortunate, tragic fire at The Riverside Inn, we have had to find a new location for the 2017 ACAA Meeting and ACAA Foundation meeting.  We have settled on the Courtyard Erie Bayfront Hotel.  It is a brand new property right on the water. 

We have secured a special room rate of $165 for this event.  The rate is good from Thursday October 5 through Sunday October 8. 

We will hold two open meetings on the seventh.  An ACAA Foundation Meeting to select the recipient of the 2017 Foundation Scholarship and the 2018 Reunion meeting.  Proposals for the 2018 Reunion location will be presented.  Unfortunately, Cambridge Springs is no longer an option for the ’18 Reunion so I expect a spirited discussion about where to hold the next reunion. 

A complete meeting schedule will follow, once it is finalized.  

We look forward to seeing you in October. 

Here is a registration link for the Courtyard Erie Bayfront.



Obituary - Bernie Durkin

Bernard M. Durkin


In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his uncle, John Madden, his aunts, Mary Madden, Eleanor Pavlick, Regina

Cross, Catherine and Mary Durkin, Alice Dempsey and cousin, Martin Madden.

Mr. Durkin's family would like to thank the many dedicated staff members of The Village at St. Barnabas, Beaver Meadows and St.

Barnabas Hospice for their support and compassionate care.

Friends will be received on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 199 McGovern

Blvd., Crescent, PA 15046 until the time of the Mass of Christian Burial at 12:30 pm. Private burial will follow at the National

Cemetery of the Alleghenies.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation at or St. Barnabas

Free Care Fund, St. Barnabas Charities at

BOHN-MATICH FUNERAL HOME INC., 1099 Maplewood Ave., Ambridge, is in charge of arrangements.

Message About Loss of Riverside`


2017-04 Riverside Inn Cambridge Springs PA (2) Terri Kurkowski  (1)

                                                                                                                                                                               May 2, 2017

A Message to the
Community of Cambridge Springs
Alliance College Alumni


The entire Alliance College family mourns the tragic loss of The Riverside Inn in Cambridge Springs, Pa.  The news of the fire was heart breaking.  The Riverside Inn held a special place in our history and in our hearts.  For us, the Inn was truly one of the last vestiges of Alliance College in Cambridge Springs.
When enrollment was at a peak in the 1960’s, the grand Riverside Inn served as a dormitory during the off season for Alliance students. 
Through the decades, the Riverside Inn hosted countless weddings and special events involving our alumni.  The Inn was the site of our reunions, alumni and board meetings. The beauty of the Inn, and the commitment of the employees of the Riverside Inn was incredible.
By all historical accounts, when the Rider Hotel (then home of Alliance College) burned down in 1931, the Community of Cambridge Springs were heart broken, and together with the Alliance family mourned our loss. 
Today, we mourn together again. 
To Mayor Gorske, the Halliday family, Jeremy Ball, the employees and the Community of Cambridge Springs our sympathy is extended by the loss of this icon which has held such a special place in our hearts.

On Behalf of the Alliance College Alumni Association,
Mike Anderson
President, Alliance College Alumni Association


Internet Links Showing The Fire's Magnitude
by Lori Burke  
​by Jeremy Ball, Riverside Manager


Riverside Inn Destroyed by Fire

From the Meadville Tribune
Riverside fire
CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS — Fire swept through the 132-year-old Riverside Inn early Tuesday, completely destroying the historic building and leaving a hole in the community where it had played a central role for generations.

“We have a plaque in the fire hall with every one of our chiefs on it and it’s been the biggest nightmare call for every one of those chiefs,” said Tom Glenn, safety officer for the Cambridge Springs Volunteer Fire Department, “and unfortunately, our current chief is having to live it.”

None of the three employees or 12 guests present at the time of the fire were injured, according to Glenn, but two people at the scene were hospitalized with injuries of unknown extent. One resident was injured when they fell in the parking lot, while an unnamed firefighter was struck by a vehicle as he directed traffic at the scene, according to Cambridge Springs Fire Department Chief Jeff Murdock.

The injured firefighter was taken to UPMC Hamot, according to Murdock, who had not been updated on the firefighter's condition as of Tuesday afternoon.

“We got everyone out and that’s what matters,” said Jeremy Ball, general manager at the inn, “but a piece of Cambridge Springs history is gone.”

Ball returned to the inn at around 1 a.m. after being contacted by employees about how to turn off what they at first believed was a false alarm. Ball checked the kitchen door when he arrived, finding it too hot to open.

Cambridge Springs firefighters were dispatched to the fire at 1:10 a.m. and arrived at the scene within three or four minutes, Glenn said. Smoke could be seen coming out of the eaves and front door as they arrived.


The fire was the worst he has seen in 32 years with the Cambridge Springs fire department, Glenn said.

“Most of the materials in that building are 132 years old. You’re talking dry-tinder wood filled with antiques,” Glenn said. “It was just a nightmare.”

About 20 fire departments from Crawford and Erie counties responded to the scene of the fire, along with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Crawford County Scuba Team.

For more on this story, check later with Photos from the fire were posted to the Tribune's Facebook page around 3:30 a.m. 

Obituary - Peter G. Wiatrowski

Age 72, of Level Green, passed away on Sunday, May 28, 2017, in his home. Pete was born
on December 22, 1944, in the Bronx, NY the son of the late Bruno and Elizabeth (Mulryan)
Wiatrowski. Pete was retired from the Internal Revenue Service as a Treasury Agent-Real
Estate Appraiser. He was a member of the St. Regis Church Trafford and the Last Tuesday
of the Eat N' Park Lunch Club. Pete is survived by his wife, Martha (Pcolar) Wiatrowski, the
love of his life, who he would have been married to for 50 years in August; his children,
Chris Wiatrowski (Sarah Gorman) of Whitehall, Lisa Schambura (Bob) of Irwin, Kate
Wiatrowski (Gerald Silvasy) of Level Green, and Jessica Wiatrowski of Phoenix, AZ; his
grandchildren, Megan, Devon, Micayla, Connor, Anna, Zach, Danni and Lucas; and his
sister, Mary Ellen Wiatrowski (Tony White) of Stamford, CT. Family and friends will be
received on Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. in the JOHN M. DOBRINICK FUNERAL
HOME, INC., 702 7th St. (State Rt. 130), Trafford, 412-372-3111. A Funeral Mass will
be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. on Friday in the St. Regis Church, 517 Homewood Ave.,
Trafford, with Fr. David Nazimek as celebrant. Everyone attending the Mass please go
directly to the church. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations
may be made to Three Rivers Hospice Patient Care Fund, 2500 Mosside Blvd.,
Monroeville, PA 15146.
Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from May 30 to May 31, 2017

100th Anniversary, WWI Haller's Polish Army Officer Training Academy in CS

          2017 - the 100th Anniversary of World War I Haller’s Polish Army

                       Officer Training Academy in Cambridge Springs

by David Matejczyk                                       

          2017 - the 100th Anniversary of World War I Haller’s Polish Army

                       Officer Training Academy in Cambridge Springs

by David Matejczyk                                       

            This year marks the 100th Anniversary of a unique army that fought along side the United States and its allies in World War I.  Known both as “Haller’s Army” and the “Blue Army” this force with ties to the former Alliance College and Cambridge Springs fought courageously with United States troops and its allies in World War I. 

            An announcement in Poland that 2017 will mark a year of honoring General Jozef Haller for his role in fighting for a free and independent Poland, and specifically for his heroics on the battlefield has resulted in a new found appreciation for Haller’s Army.     

            In a recent “Heard and Seen” article by Janet Beanland of The Meadville Tribune, the reporter had a column reviewing what was “making news” in Cambridge Springs in 1917.  Among the items was a notation that on March 23, 1917, there was a “gathering at the Polish National Alliance College welcoming Polish Falcons who were training for active duty in World War I.” 

            The Polish Falcons of America formally opened a training academy for future officers of the Haller’s Army at the Polish National Alliance College in Cambridge Springs 100 years ago this month, on March 19, 1917. 

            Over the next two years over 400 future officers and enlistees in Haller’s Army were housed in the old Rider Hotel, and trained on the Ross Avenue field and throughout the Alliance College campus.  They were eager to fight for their new country the United States, and at the same time be fighting for independence of their homeland of Poland. 

            During last year’s Cambridge Springs Sesquicentennial Celebration, photographs and a history of the training of future officers in the Polish army who would serve in Europe during World War I were shown and discussed during the Alliance College History Night.  Many of the photographs and materials were from the archives of the Cambridge Springs Heritage Society. 

            At a presentation during the Alliance College Reunion Weekend, the history of Haller’s Army and its connection to Alliance College and Cambridge Springs were presented.  Included in the photographs of the troops was a striking photograph of soldiers training on Ross Avenue field in the shadow of the former Rider Hotel (then known as the Polish National Alliance College).  Helen Dziob, an Alliance alumnus who was the daughter of one of General Jozef’s Haller’s closest aides, Captain Frank Dziob was introduced.  Captain Dziob was the Polish Falcons director of the officer training program held in Cambridge Springs.  He was also instrumental is establishing a very large training camp at Niagara-on-the-Lake in Canada.

            It was recently announced that in the coming months Polish Public Television will be filming a documentary in the United States and Canada on Haller’s Army, focusing on the military actions of Polish Americans in 1917 and 1918.  Over 20,000 troops were recruited in the United States and Canada for service in Haller’s Army.  A recent press release noted the film crew will visit various cities in the United States and Niagara-on-the Lake, Canada. A large commemorative marker is in the downtown of the Canadian town.  Each year a memorial service is held in the community.

            It is not known if the Polish film crew will visit Cambridge Springs, which played a unique role in Haller’s Army.

            Unfortunately, the role and connection of Cambridge Springs and Alliance College to this historic army are often overlooked, and long forgotten.

            Some history is in order.  The formation of Haller’s Army paralleled the entry of the United States into World War I in 1917.  Future Polish Prime Minister Ignacy Paderewski had formed a warm relationship with United States President Woodrow Wilson.  Paderewski submitted a proposal to the President calling for the acceptance of Polish-American volunteers for service on the Western Front. 

In 1917, President Wilson would issue formal approval: “That recruitment to the Polish Army all those who do not fall in the category of potential recruitment into the United States forces is hereby approved without impediments.”  The soldiers were mostly recent Polish immigrants who were not yet American citizens.

            Paderewski the year before was in Cambridge Springs.  He believed the Polish National Alliance College was a natural choice for the training academy.  He stayed on campus at the former Rider Hotel and addressed the 1916 graduates of the college. 

            Haller’s Army would first see battle in France while relieving the Tennessee “Wildcat” 81st Division at the front in the Battle of Champaign.  It would become the first time the colors of the United States and Poland would fly together in battle in World War I. 

            The New York Times in a dispatch on the war noted that the French Military Mission in Washington received notification of the first casualty of Haller’s Army, Lieutenant Lucyien Chwalkowski.  The New York Times noted Lieutenant Chwalkowski was a 30 year old Polish immigrant who was a military instructor at the Polish Falcons officer training camp in Cambridge Springs.  He would be the first of many casualties from Haller’s Army.

            One of the recruiters for Haller’s Army was Stanley Luter.  Residents of Cambridge Springs, and virtually all alumni of Alliance College fondly remember “Mr. Luter.”  Luter served with distinction as a lieutenant in Haller’s Army.  An expert swordsman, he engaged in some of the fiercest battles of the war.  Luter in 1925 returned to Cambridge Springs, and worked at the college for the next several decades.  Unfortunately, the college’s museum which included Luter’s sword, medals and other items relating to Haller’s Army were destroyed in the Rider Hotel fire in 1931.  In 1934, General Haller visited Cambridge Springs where he was a guest of honor at Alliance College.

            Ironically, Cambridge Springs would play one last coincidental side note as to Haller’s Army.  One of the World War I Polish Army’s Chaplain, Father Jozef Jaworkski visited Cambridge Springs in January of 1962.  While visiting the college the 81 year old priest fell ill and died.  

            At the last Alliance College reunion it was noted that at one time a memorial to Polish Americans who trained in Cambridge Springs and fought along American troops in Haller’s Army existed at the top of Thomas Street.  It was removed when the college closed.  A discussion at the alumni presentation focused on the possibly of locating the World War I memorial to Haller’s Army (or creating a new plaque) and returning it to Cambridge Springs.

 # # #

Photographs (located in the photo gallery):

-Polish Army Training on Ross Avenue Field - 1917.

-Officers at the PNAC (Rider Hotel) entrance.

-Polish Statesman Ignacy Paderewski at the Rider Hotel, Cambridge Springs, Pa.

-General Jozef Haller and Captain Francis Dziob.  Dziob was the director of the training academy in Cambridge Springs.

-Canadian Government Granting Passage of Troops Document to Captain Francis Dziob. 

-New York Times Article noting the First Casualty, Lucyien Chwalkowski, who trained in Cambridge Springs.

Francis Rutkowski Obituary

Francis A. Rutkowski age 74. Beloved husband of Patricia (nee Buk). Loving father of Christine (Scott) Hirth, Joseph (Julia), Anne and Michael. Dearest grandfather of Hannah and Gabrielle.

Devoted son of The Honorable Anthony and Ann (both deceased). Loving brother of Raymond A. (deceased). Retired Cleveland Municipal Court Probation Supervisor. Proud Past President of The Polish Roman Catholic Union of America. Francis was a dedicated and devoted leader of the Polish American Community. Funeral Mass Friday at 11am at St. Ladislas Catholic Church 2345 Bassett Rd. Westlake. Visitation 1 - 4pm and 6 - 9pm Thursday, at Catavolos Berry Funeral Home 23040 Center Ridge Rd. Westlake. Online condolances at


Dear Classmates, As I indicated earlier I am getting back to you regarding Frank's passing. If I did not include the following the obit can be viewed on where photo's are posted and messages can be left. We attended the wake in the evening and stood in a long line with many others for about an hour before we reached the family. Pat shared that Frank had died in his sleep. They think it was a heart attack. It was great meeting his four grown children.  It was evident that they had been raised by a very good Dad.

We were amazed, but not surprised, as we moved along the perimeter of the parlor at the many, many awards, and plaques and memberships and leadership memorabilia that were on display in his honor. The majority of the honors were because of his concentration and commitment to Polonia. Polonia, Polonia.   Polonia was at the heart of his life.  

The celebration of life mass was just that. Father Snyder at St Ladislas prayed a beautiful mass. His homily eulogized Frank's life, family and accomplishments. Of course the reception was well attended and in Frank's own style. (we are not accustomed to shots at 2 in the afternoon.) But a toast was more than appropriate.

Milt and I were the only Alumni in attendance. There is fifty years of friendship here. And we knew him when, as they say. Also we indicated to Pat that we will be making a contribution to ACAA Foundation in Frank's memory. 

Mickie, please let us know where/how we can nominate Francis Rutkowski for the ACAA Alumni of the Year Award posthumously. It is rightfully deserved. Sadly, after his passing. A confirmation of our nomination from all of you would be appreciated. Thanks.

See you all in October. The 50th reunion of the Class of 1966. Felicia and Milt

Felicia Bruce