News: Centennial

Penn College Presents on Centennial at Communicators Conference

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.

Continue reading →

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 →

‘Einstein’s Dreams’ Author Alan Lightman to Present Lecture

Alan Lightman

Theoretical physicist and author of the award-winning novel “Einstein’s Dreams,” Alan Lightman, will speak at Pennsylvania College of Technology at 7 p.m. Oct. 28 as part of its Centennial Colloquia Series.

Lightman is one of the first professors to receive a dual faculty appointment in science and humanities at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

An international bestseller, “Einstein’s Dreams” is one of the most widely read books on university campuses. Lightman’s most recent book of essays, “The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew,” features work focused on modern physics and philosophy.

At Penn College, Lightman will introduce a presentation developed specifically for the college’s Centennial Colloquia Series. Titled “Our Home in the Material Universe,” the talk will examine the significance, potential and limitations of major scientific and technological discoveries.

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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 →

Faculty Member to Review Book by Next Presenter in Colloquia Series

David S. Richards

David S. Richards

David S. Richards, a professor of physics at Penn College, will discuss Alan Lightman’s “Einstein’s Dreams” during an on-campus reprise of his recent James V. Brown Book Review Luncheon at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Mountain Laurel Room of the Thompson Professional Development Center. The international best-seller is a fictional collage of stories dreamed by Einstein in 1905, when he worked in a Swiss patent office. The author explores how the lives of ordinary people in Switzerland would be changed in the various realities of time imagined by Einstein as he develops his theory of relativity. Richards’ review offers a timely introduction to Lightman – a theoretical physicist, educator, novelist and essayist – the next speaker in the college’s Centennial Colloquia Series at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium.

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 →

Get to Know Penn College During Fall Open House

Penn College’s Open House on Sunday, Oct. 26, will include activities for community visitors from 2-4 p.m.

The diverse “degrees that work” offered at Pennsylvania College of Technology, a national leader in applied technology education, will be on display from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the college’s Open House on Sunday, Oct. 26.

Held amid a yearlong Centennial celebration at the college, Open House gives prospective students and their families a convenient opportunity to sample campus life and to explore bachelor’s, associate and certificate programs – “degrees that work” – in more than 100 different career areas.

“Open House is where you can find out what Penn College is all about,” said Dennis L. Correll, associate dean for admissions and financial aid. “State-of-the-art labs, classrooms, dining facilities and residence halls distinguish Penn College as the place where you can earn a degree and stand apart from other graduates. When you visit, you’ll know it’s the right place to launch your career.”

In addition, members of the public interested in visiting a century-old anchor of the community are invited to a Centennial Community Event from 2 to 4 p.m.

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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 →

‘These Trees’ Art Installation Weaves Cross-Campus Connections

"These Trees," an environmental art installation at Pennsylvania College of Technology, created by environmental artists Kathy Bruce and Alastair R. Noble, weaves together Shakespearean text and natural materials.

The third large-scale art installation created to celebrate Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Centennial has woven together not only text and trees, but students from across campus.

Over two weeks, more than 160 students from various majors participated in the creation of “These Trees,” an art piece utilizing a variety of tree species harvested from Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center and installed on the west lawn of the Bush Campus Center at the college’s main campus in Williamsport.

Working alongside internationally known environmental artists Kathy Bruce and Alastair R. Noble, the students assisted in creating Bruce and Noble’s vision of a spiraling text quoting William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”

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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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