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Joseph V. Schember '72, '81M

English Literature & Business Administration

Joseph V. Schember '72, '81M

Joe has played many roles in his life, growing into many of them through the education given to him at Gannon. Originally planning to become a priest, Joe graduated from St. Marks Seminary High School and spent his first two years at Gannon in the seminary. During this era, the younger generation was a bit suspicious of authority and was determined to make the world a better place, as daily life consisted of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement.

Driven to class every day from the seminary on a short, yellow bus driven by his classmate, Joe would participate in anti-war protests and Black History classes in an attempt to foster his individual growth. Finally dropping out of the seminary, he decided to major in English Literature, as reading and language came easily for him. Engulfing his life in school, Joe graduated with his undergraduate degree in 1972 and received his MBA in 1981.

Having honed his creative and logical cognitive abilities, Joe finds himself holding three titles: banker, teacher, and politician. “I make my living as a banker,” he explains. “It is something I never aspired to, but literally fell into about 34 years ago.”

Outside of his PNC office, Joe was appointed to Erie City Council in 2006 and has held the position since, though his first love is teaching. “I continue to teach two one-week banking schools in the summer: one at Penn State for the PA Bankers Association and one at the University of Pennsylvania for the American Bankers Association.”

Though his weekdays are typically jam-packed, Joe says that he likes to save his weekends for family. “Don’t just learn a foreign language,” he advises, “become fluent in it.”

(Published in 2010. Revised July 2014.)