DuBOIS, Pa. — As Penn State DuBois prepares to launch the spring semester, two longtime campus staples are beginning a new chapter in 2022. Director of Finance and Business John Luchini and Continuing Education Program Coordinator Shelly Luchini — husband and wife — have both entered retirement together, effective at the end of 2021. With their combined years of service to Penn State DuBois totaling more than half a century, John retires with nearly 35 years and Shelly with almost 25 years at the campus.
“The opportunity to work in this field while making lifelong friends on campus and across the state is what I’m most thankful for,” John said.
Shelly shared a similar sentiment, saying, “I feel the same way. The people really are the best part. And I’m proud of what we all achieved working together. I’m thankful to be a part of that.”
John began working at Penn State DuBois in 1987 as the financial officer, additionally taking on the role of director of Business Services within the first year. He holds the distinction of being the first in his position at a Penn State campus to direct both business and finance functions. John managed campus budgets, oversaw the technical service staff with responsibility for building maintenance, landscaping and more, while also managing building and renovation projects on campus. Most recently, John worked alongside architects and construction specialists on the design for the $17 million renovation of the former Multipurpose Building on campus, which will reopen as the Physical Fitness, Athletics, and Wellness Center later this year.
“The way the campus looks, the facilities; nothing is the same as when I first came to campus. Things are always changing,” John said. “But I’m proud of the fact that even through tough challenges, we always seemed to go in the right direction and do our best to provide the greatest atmosphere that we could for students. We’ve seen the campus move into the modern era.”
Shelly first came to Penn State DuBois in 1997, serving as an administrative assistant in the Student Affairs office. She moved into the same position in the Admissions office before transitioning to Continuing and Community Education, where she assumed the role of education program coordinator. There, Shelly worked to establish and schedule courses available to members of industry and the general public. These courses unite the area workforce with prospective employees through training that is aimed at preparing workers to take on jobs available in the central Pennsylvania region.
Humbly, Shelly said, “The small part I played in workforce development helped our director to connect people with great training, and to connect people with industry. It was crucial that we did that in the best way possible, and that’s what we did. I feel proud of that.”
Interim Chancellor Ping Werner congratulated the Luchini’s saying, “On behalf of the campus faculty and staff, we thank you, John and Shelly, for your long and dedicated service to the University.”
The couple, who reside in Treasure Lake, will celebrate their 34th wedding anniversary in October 2022. While they love to travel, especially to visit extended family in Italy, they’re easing into retirement for the time being.
“We’ve been planning this for a couple of years, and we planned to travel more at first,” John said. “But, with the pandemic still a reality, we’re happy to put that on hold and just enjoy getting used to being retired.”
Shelly added, “I really enjoyed all my time at the campus, but being retired is a good feeling. I think of an Italian term for a way of life, ‘Dolce far niente,’ which is the art of doing absolutely nothing. It’s not that we’re doing nothing, but it means we have time to do everything at a slower pace and really enjoy it.”
The Luchinis remain active at their church, St. Michael the Archangel Parish in DuBois, where Shelly is the secretary of the church Rosary Society, and John serves on several committees, including the finance board. John also is a member of the board of directors at Christ the King Manor in DuBois.