Philanthropist gives message of hope to York College audience: ‘Laugh as much as you can’
York County business and philanthropist Irvin S. Naylor recently received a honorary doctorate and spoke to the graduating class at York College of Pennsylvania. Naylor’s business interests have included Ski Roundtop, now Roundtop Mountain Resort. Also of interest: Forerunner of York College’s ornate building torn down in 1960s and Another predecessor’s building served as USO headquarters in World War II and York College of Pennsylvania book provides insight into school, community
Irvin S. Naylor is part of a prominent class of low-key business and industrial leaders in York County.
And just as many of his counterparts, his business record speaks for itself: He founded two packaging firms, Lok-Box and Cor-Box, and helped develop Ski Roundtop, Liberty Mountain Resort and Whitetail Mountain Resort.
Earlier this year, he did make news by granting McDonogh School of Owings Mills, Md., $6 million to build a science, technology, engineering and math building.
At the time of Christopher Reeve’s death in 2004, Naylor indicated that he looked to the paralyzed Superman actor for inspiration.
Naylor, himself, was paralyzed in 1999 when he was thrown from a horse… .
The Spring Garden Township resident took the occasion of the graduation of York College’s class of 2010 to give an audience of 6,000 a message of hope.
In return, the philanthropist received a standing ovation.
The York Daily Record/Sunday News story (5/16/10) on that presentation follows:
Irvin S. Naylor — former member of York Water Company’s board of directors for 48 years and founder, president and owner of Snow Time Inc., which owns and operates ski resorts including Ski Roundtop — gave the commencement address at York College on Saturday.
Naylor said his son, Scott, was president of his senior class at the college and graduated from there in 1981.
On Saturday, Irvin Naylor was given an honorary degree at the commencement ceremony.
In 1999, Naylor was paralyzed after being thrown from a horse he was riding in the Grand National Timber Steeplechase Stakes in Butler, Md.
“My life changed forever,” he said of using a wheelchair.
Naylor said he later began a search for a cure for his paralysis and helped fund a team of scientists working on stem cell research.
He now plans to get European and U.S. approval to have his own reprogrammed cells injected into the location of his vertebrae injury.
Downside possibilities of the procedure include death or cancer, although neither is likely, he said.
“Actually, my primary fear is pain,” Naylor said. “But fear pales in the face of hope.”
He said he hopes by spring of 2011 to walk from his wheelchair.
“Laugh as much as you can because there will be plenty of moments to make you cry,” said Naylor, who received a standing ovation after he spoke.