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Grove Theatre

John L. Grove

Who Is John Grove?

John L. Grove, widely credited as the creative force behind the invention of the hydraulic telescoping crane boom, the modern-day aerial work platform and the hydraulic roll-back truck bed, died at his Pennsylvania home at the age of 82.

Not only was Mr. Grove acknowledged as a brilliant creative force, he was a pioneer in introducing cranes and aerials to the marketplace. Mr. Grove co-founded Grove Manufacturing in Shady Grove, Pa., in 1946, launching its first hydraulic cranes for the commercial market in 1952. After selling the company in 1967, Mr. Grove founded JLG Industries in McConnellsburg, Pa., in 1969 to manufacture aerial work platforms, leading that company until his retirement in 1993.

“He brought so much more to the industry than the word ‘inventor’ could ever cover,” Craig Paylor, senior vice president of sales, marketing and customer support for JLG, told RER. “His concepts of extendable axles, oscillating axles, basket rotation, electric engines and so many other product improvements paved the way for safe and secure height access around the world. While others may claim to be the real ‘first,’ his other product improvements have made his legacy unmatched. He knew how to sell his machines better than anyone else. He understood the marketplace and the role his machines would play and why they had to be built to last.

Mr. Grove was appreciated and respected by his competitors as well as his business partners. “The industry is going to miss its founder,” said Don Roach, a now-retired former executive with Snorkel, which competed against JLG for years. “I had great respect and admiration for the man. I always remember when we took the first Snorkel lift and introduced it to the public for the first time, John walked over and introduced himself and complimented us on a well-engineered piece of equipment.”

Mr. Grove was well known as a philanthropist. He gave millions of dollars to Shippensburg University, which named its business school for him, and a medical center in Greencastle, Pa., now known as John L. Grove Medical Center.

Mr. Grove remained active in charities and business even after his retirement from JLG. He served on the board of directors of National Equipment Services until last fall, when he stepped down because of health problems.

COPYRIGHT 2003 PRIMEDIA Business Magazines & Media Inc. All rights reserved.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

Cora L. Grove

Who Is Cora Grove?

The Art of Giving

“Cora, like John, was a special person,” said Tony Ceddia. “They both believed deeply in improving the human condition in the region and they accomplished this through many acts of generosity and support. Cora will be greatly missed.”

Cora Grove and her late husband, John, gave generously to the university through various donations and endowments over the years.

Cora Grove donated more than $3.5 million to 14 nonprofit groups in the community, including $500,000 toward Shippensburg University’s new performing arts center for the John L. Grove and Cora I. Grove Theatre.

The University received $500,000 towards the construction of the main theatre in the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center. Cora, a long-time supporter of the university, donated the funds in honor of Tony (SU president, 1986-2005) and his wife Val Ceddia. In Cora’s remarks, she recognized the importance and value of Val’s role in supporting her husband and his career, something she did for her husband John L. Grove.

The Groves also established a scholarship fund for business students and gave a $1.25 million endowment for the school’s college of business. They also contributed funds for the Cora I. Grove spiritual center adjacent to the university.

Both John and Cora played an important role in the future of Pennsylvania because of their contributions to the community.

Cora L. Grove, 87, died at her home in Greencastle on June 4, 2005. In honor of her death and the years of support that she and her husband provided Shippensburg University over the years, the main theatre of the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center is named the John L. and Cora I. Grove Theatre.



The Luhrs Center Circle of Friends helps make all that we do possible. This membership program enables us to nurture an arts-oriented lifestyle in the Cumblerand Valley, and invest in the future of the arts through outreach to students of all ages.

Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive,
Shippenburg PA 17257
Luhrs Center Box Office
475 Lancaster Drive,
Shippensburg PA 17257
(717) 477-7469 (SHOW)