News: Centennial

Centennial Documentary to Premiere in January on WVIA-TV
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From its humble inception as a basement vocational-technical shop at Williamsport High School in 1914 to its standing today as a special-mission affiliate of Penn State, Pennsylvania College of Technology and its predecessor institutions have continually met workforce demands.

The college’s 100-year commitment to that noble objective is explored in a one-hour documentary airing throughout northeastern and northcentral Pennsylvania in January on WVIA-TV. “Working Class: 100 Years of Hands-On Education” will premiere on the PBS-member station on Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.

Produced by Penn College and WVIA Public Media, the documentary reveals myriad challenges the college has overcome in honoring the dignity of work and embracing workforce needs. Through interviews with multiple generations of key college officials, and archival photos and video, the documentary brings to life the institution’s enduring commitment to the working class, defined not only as a group contributing to the workforce but also a classroom engaging students in traditional, general education and relevant, hands-on activities.

“We knew there were important stories to tell for our 100th anniversary about the founding of the institution and the many challenges that were faced over the past century,” said Elaine J. Lambert, special assistant to the president for creative development and public relations, and an executive producer of the documentary. “We chose to produce a film because we felt it was important to share the history in a video format in addition to printed materials.”

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Countdown to the Centennial logo

2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →

Centennial Recedes Into History, but Philanthropy Shines On
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A spectacular cake, literally "geared" toward the Centennial celebration, is just one of the eye-catching treats.

The Centennial Legacy Celebration, recognizing the donors who help further Penn College’s mission – and showcasing the talented students in the School of Business & Hospitality – was held Saturday evening in the Hager Lifelong Education Center. Invited guests enjoyed dinner in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, bookended by appetizers and a Grand Pastry Buffet in the Keystone Dining Room. The phenomenal success of the Centennial-related Penn College Scholarship Campaign was noted by President Davie Jane Gilmour, who said more than $6.1 million has already been pledged … and more gifts are expected before a final total is announced in mid-January. “This additional scholarship support will help the college pursue its vision of being a national leader in applied technology education,” she told donors, “and it was only made possible thanks to your generous support and commitment to Penn College. The impact of your generosity is already being felt by students, as the (Penn College) Foundation has awarded  more than $600,000 in scholarships this academic year – a 150-percent increase from the start of the campaign!” Support came from many members of the college community, who donated to an existing scholarship or established one of the 71 new funds added over the past three and a half years. The broad-based demonstration of support involved 653 alumni, 439 employees and retirees, 598 friends of the college and 197 industry partners.

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Gallery Announces People’s Choice Winner for ‘100 Works’

Ronni N. Warner, winner of the People's Choice award for "100 Works! - The Centennial Exhibit," stands next to her winning entry, "Past, Present, Future," a blend of three digital photographs, in The Gallery at Penn College.

The creative work of a Pennsylvania College of Technology student captured the People’s Choice award at the close of “100 Works! – The Centennial Exhibit” at The Gallery at Penn College.

Ronni N. Warner, a junior enrolled in pre-applied health studies, won the honor for her work, “Traveling Through Amelia,” a black-and-white print relating to the exhibit’s “Past, Present, Future” theme.

“This photo, which is actually a blend of three digital photos, reminds me of the theme because I can see the past in the sand and the shells, the present by the footprints imprinted on the sand, and the future in the tree reaching toward the light in the sky,” said Warner, a resident of Muncy and native of Bellefonte. “The blend of the photos reminds me of life as a process, and that process includes all of the elements of this theme.”

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Countdown to the Centennial logo

2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →

Centennial Documentary to Premiere Jan. 8

Documentary to premiere Jan. 8 in ACC

Documentary to premiere Jan. 8 in ACC

The premiere showing of “Working Class: 100 Years of Hands-On Education,” a one-hour film that chronicles the history of Penn College and its contribution to the American workforce, has been rescheduled for 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium. (Tuesday’s presentation of the documentary, a co-production of the college and WVIA Public Media, was postponed due to inclement weather.) “Working Class” is also set to be broadcast on public television early next year.

Countdown to the Centennial logo

2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →

Penn College Presents on Centennial at Communicators Conference

Co-workers present on college Centennial

Planning and implementing a milestone event – specifically, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Centennial celebration – was the subject of a recent staff presentation at a Fall 2014 Conference for CUPRAP-The Association of Communicators in Education, held at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr.

Judith A. Fink, website content manager and supervisor of alumni/advancement marketing, and Joseph S. Yoder, associate vice president for public relations and marketing, presented “Staging a Milestone Anniversary: Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Centennial.”

The Centennial honors the 100-year history of the institution, from the inception of vocational and adult education classes at Williamsport High School through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College and Penn College. It also celebrates the present-day institution, a special mission affiliate of Penn State, with a variety of events built around the college’s vision, values and strategic goals.

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Countdown to the Centennial logo

2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →

Colloquium Highlights Consideration of Context Over Memorization of Dates

Under the lights of the ACC Auditorium dome (and the glow from the projection screen and students' electronic devices), a sizable crowd gathers for the final Centennial Colloquium.

Under the lights of the ACC Auditorium dome (and the glow from the projection screen and students’ electronic devices), a sizable crowd gathers for the final Centennial Colloquium.

Craig A. Miller offers an overview of the technological, economic, environmental and cultural issues that surrounded construction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railways – including displacement of American Indians.

Craig A. Miller offers an overview of the technological, economic, environmental and cultural issues that surrounded construction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railways – including displacement of American Indians.

Miller responds to an audience question about the ultimate impact of automation on the workforce, optimistically saying that, while technology will continue to alter the way we live and work, humans will always be involved.

Miller responds to an audience question about the ultimate impact of automation on the workforce, optimistically saying that, while technology will continue to alter the way we live and work, humans will always be involved.

The college's Centennial is drawing to a close, but Miller – along with the five other Penn College faculty members who contributed to the enlightening colloquia series – will reconvene for a panel discussion in February.

The college’s Centennial is drawing to a close, but Miller – along with the five other Penn College faculty members who contributed to the enlightening colloquia series – will reconvene for a panel discussion in February.

Past and present meet as Miller time-travels across the stage, introducing his audience to Thomas C. Durant, vice president of the Union Pacific Railroad.

Past and present meet as Miller time-travels across the stage, introducing his audience to Thomas C. Durant, vice president of the Union Pacific Railroad.

Defining history as a “conversation between the past and the present … and almost always about the future,” faculty member Craig A. Miller delivered the concluding lecture in Penn College’s Centennial Colloquia Series on Tuesday night. The assistant professor of history and political science discussed “Technology, Power and Responsibility” in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium, engaging his audience the same way he challenges his students: “I’m not here to teach you history. I’m here to use history to teach you to be critical thinkers.” So while the presentation was shaped around the construction of the transcontinental railroad, that story served as a thought-provoking springboard to the broader connection between choices and consequences. Cross-country rail service was “truly a technological marvel” steeped in progress and industrial speed, he said, a monumental achievement that was not without fallout. True, it ushered in an era of development and helped the United States become a global economic power. But the territorial expansion also relocated Native Americans under a policy of “assimilate or move,” fostered financial chicanery and altered the workforce. In an informed give-and-take, Miller urged attendees to vigilantly weigh multiple perspectives, to logically and critically analyze the societal price of decisions, and to “accept uncomfortable truths and learn from them.” The hourlong program, introduced and moderated by Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs and provost, was followed by a question-and-answer session and a reception in Wrapture.

Countdown to the Centennial logo

2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →

Centennial Reception, Concert Say ‘Thanks’ to Scholarship Donors

A full house in the Field House! The Centennial event invited all campaign donors to an autumn buffet. Attendees including alumni, current and retired employees and other friends and supporters, enjoyed such treats as mashed sweet potatoes, a selection of "sliders" and a choice of desserts from the college's fine-dining restaurant.

A full house in the Field House! The Centennial event invited all campaign donors to an autumn buffet. Attendees including alumni, current and retired employees, and other friends and supporters enjoyed such treats as mashed sweet potatoes, a selection of “sliders” and a choice of desserts from the college’s fine-dining restaurant.

Surrounded by colorful stage lighting befitting the festive affair, President Davie Jane Gilmour welcomes more than 500 people – including students – to the post-buffet concert at the CAC.

Surrounded by colorful stage lighting befitting the festive affair, President Davie Jane Gilmour welcomes more than 500 people – including students – to the post-buffet concert at the CAC.

One of the funnier moments of the evening was when the band offered a free copy of its new Christmas CD to the first audience member "to get up here." Two eager fans took the words literally, leaping onto the stage. Erin N. Shaffer (standing in white top), daughter of Myra K. Shaffer, institutional advancement and foundation assistant, was proclaimed the winner (although the band gave a second CD to the other fan.)

One of the funnier moments of the evening was when the band offered a free copy of its new Christmas CD to the first audience member “to get up here.” Two eager fans took the words literally, leaping onto the stage. Erin N. Shaffer (standing in white top), daughter of Myra K. Shaffer, institutional advancement and foundation assistant, was proclaimed the winner (although the band gave a second CD to the other fan.)

Home Free, which received two standing ovations by night's end, takes the stage.

Home Free, which received two standing ovations by night’s end, takes the stage.

Chris Rupp, who founded Home Free with his brother Adam, signs autographs for young fans in the Capitol Lounge following the show.

Chris Rupp, who founded Home Free with his brother Adam, signs autographs for young fans in the Capitol Lounge following the show.

In appreciation of their contributions to the Penn College Scholarship Campaign, donors were treated to a casual Saturday evening of tasty and tuneful entertainment. The celebration began with a Le Jeune Restaurant-catered buffet at the Field House and continued at the Community Arts Center with a private performance by Home Free, the a cappella country group that won the fourth season of NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” More than $5.7 million has been donated to the campaign, which, for 2014-15, has already more than doubled the scholarship support to students prior to the start of the campaign in 2011.

Countdown to the Centennial logo

2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →

A Picture Worth 100 Years

"100" on the lawn

“100” on the lawn

Celebrating 100 years of hands-on education (and a brisk moment of coats-on necessity), the Penn College community gathered Thursday for an aerial commemoration of the institution’s ongoing Centennial. Scores of students and employees – and one canine member of the family – enthusiastically braved the chill to form a “100” on the Madigan Library Lawn.
Photo by Carlos Ramos, web designer/interactive media specialist

Countdown to the Centennial logo

2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →

Lecture to Examine Responsibilities of Technological Innovation

Craig A. Miller

Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member Craig A. Miller will present the concluding lecture in the college’s Centennial Colloquia Series on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.

Miller, an assistant professor of history/political science, will offer a talk titled “Technology, Power and Responsibility” in the college’s Klump Academic Center Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

At a college of applied technology, Miller says, it is important to discuss and assess the responsibilities associated with technological innovation.

To illustrate the maxim “choices have consequences,” Miller will evaluate the technological, economic, environmental and cultural issues that surrounded the construction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railways, a massive undertaking that involved technological innovation, colossal financing, unique labor arrangements and the displacement of American Indians from Minnesota to California.

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Countdown to the Centennial logo

2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →

Centennial Speaker Upbeat on Technology’s Downside

"Slow down," Alan Lightman tells his audience, a simple and optimistic remedy to overwhelming acceleration and accessibility.

“Slow down,” Alan Lightman tells his audience, a simple and optimistic remedy to overwhelming acceleration and accessibility.

An attentive crowd hears a tailor-made message.

An attentive crowd hears a tailor-made message.

A Centennial throng of students, employees and the public extends to the ACC Auditorium balcony.

A Centennial throng of students, employees and the public extends to the ACC Auditorium balcony.

Lightman describes a world that is "faster, less patient, louder and more wired" – but one that is not beyond reclamation.

Lightman describes a world that is “faster, less patient, louder and more wired” – but one that is not beyond reclamation.

The latest event in a yearlong 100th-birthday celebration

The latest event in a yearlong 100th-birthday celebration

Affirming that the speed of communication governs the pace of life, a visiting physicist, author and educator made a regretful confession to his Penn College audience Tuesday: “I rarely goof off.” No matter the amount of time available – seconds can be spent answering phone messages, minutes are allotted to email responses and hours devoted to work on an article or book – Alan Lightman lamented that he no longer wastes that precious commodity. Contrasting his “long childhood detours through the woods” with his adult status as “a prisoner of the wired world,” he called for a more selective, reflective approach to time management; challenging us, individually and as a nation, to “take the time to think about where we’re going.” While he is far from anti-technology (Skype and other tools keep him connected to his nonprofit Harpswell Foundation), Lightman said society pays a heavy price for its advanced gadgetry. Among them are an obsession with speed and a corresponding impatience with relative slowness, an overload of not-always-useful information, confusing the cyberworld with reality, and the dual absence of silence and privacy. “I have lost something of my inner self,” he said; that quiet “soul space” where imagination, dreaming and exploration dwell. Lightman invoked the philosophy of Francis Bacon and Benjamin Franklin, who only championed technological invention when it served humanity. And it is humans, he said, who have the power to reverse the dizzying course and reclaim the “certain amount of stillness” required to balance societal progress with internal peace. The presentation of “Our Home in the Material Universe” to a packed Klump Academic Center Auditorium, especially written for the college’s Centennial Colloquia Series, was introduced by physics professor David S. Richards (who noted his favorite novel is Lightman’s “Einstein’s Dreams”). The series will conclude Tuesday, Nov. 18, with “Technology, Power and Responsibility,” presented by Craig A. Miller, assistant professor of history/political science.
Photos by Dalaney T. Vartenisian, student photographer

Countdown to the Centennial logo

2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →

College Holds Centennial Open House
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Victoria Krueger, a student ambassador stationed in an information tent by "The Rock," points a family in the right direction.

Penn College welcomed prospective students, their families and friends, and its community neighbors to Fall Open House on Sunday. Helpful employees, students and alumni were on hand throughout the day to enable exploration of academic programs, student life, and the college’s campuses and facilities. The student-focused portion of the day was held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; free transportation was provided to and from the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood and the Lumley Aviation Center in Montoursville. A Community Centennial Event, inviting the public to help celebrate 100 years of adult education, was from 2-4 p.m.

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Chamber Holds Timely ‘PM Exchange’ Amid Centennial Excitement
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With "mocktails" hot and cold, from a chill-chasing brew of apple cider, vanilla ice cream and cinnamon to the refreshing bite from a Maroon Dragon, student mixologists had refreshments covered.

Members and guests of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce visited main campus in the midst of Penn College’s yearlong 100th-birthday celebration, encouraged to take a leisurely autumn stroll among the institution’s three new outdoor art installations: the Centennial Mosaic, “These Trees” and “Student Bodies.” The Chamber’s latest PM Exchange, providing the area business community with an informal opportunity to network and socialize, was held under a tent outside the Thompson Professional Development Center.

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Winning Their Share: WTI Students, Faculty Support WWII Efforts

Williamsport Technical Institute students examine a gas mask, circa 1941.

Williamsport Technical Institute students examine a gas mask, circa 1941.

An aviation mechanic student works on an airplane engine. The student was later placed as an Army Air Corps aviation mechanic.

An aviation mechanic student works on an airplane engine. The student was later placed as an Army Air Corps aviation mechanic.

From the Fall 2014 One College Avenue magazine: To help train men and women for war-related production, the institution overhauled its curriculum from 1940-45, reinforcing a growing national reputation. Read the full story.

Countdown to the Centennial logo

2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →

New Experiences, Old Friends
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Blue skies and a welcoming atmosphere greeted late-morning arrivals for Saturday's numerous activities.

Homecoming 2014, a spectacular continuation of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Centennial celebration, made institutional history while honoring it. Marked by the first-ever campus carnival, the inaugural reunion for Williamsport Area Community College alumni and employees, and an Oktoberfest, “Then … Now … Forever Proud” offered nearly a full week of activities that can’t even fit into an online gallery of more than 140 photos. More images from the week’s activities – which included a faculty lecture, a gallery opening, dedication of a conversation-starting art installation, several other get-togethers and the latest Athletic Hall of Fame induction – are available via Penn College Alumni Relations on Facebook.

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Penn College Dedicates ‘Student Bodies’ Centennial Sculpture

Abstract human forms, crafted from thousands of pounds of scrap metal, parade up the mall on the main campus of Pennsylvania College of Technology. Titled "Student Bodies," the Centennial art installation features 78 life-size structures created by more than 50 welding students.

As part of its Centennial anniversary, Pennsylvania College of Technology welcomed 78 new “students” this fall, many of which just might be around for the institution’s bicentennial.

Some of these “freshmen” could sustain a broken body part, and others might corrode. But if welding majors, faculty and staff did their job correctly, the “Student Bodies” Centennial Sculpture will be still standing in 2114.

Augmenting the campus mall, the large-scale project features 78 abstract human forms made of scrap-metal pieces welded together. The college formally dedicated “Student Bodies” today during homecoming festivities. It’s the third recent art installation meant to enrich the college’s outdoor environment.

“This work of art is a testament to the creative abilities and technical skills of our college community,” said Davie Jane Gilmour, president. “It’s very rewarding to know that students, faculty, staff and visitors will be able to marvel at these creations for generations to come.”

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Countdown to the Centennial logo

2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →

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