One alumnus drove more than 500 miles (round trip) to volunteer at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Spring Open House and two others ended the day by getting engaged in a campus parking lot.
There appears to be a whole lot of love going on at Penn College!
Approximately 25 alumni returned to campus to volunteer their time, talent and enthusiasm at Open House, held March 26. The alumnus driving the farthest was Larry J. Morgan (’09, computer aided drafting and design), who resides on New York’s Long Island. Morgan is employed as a mechanical engineer at Protex International Corp., a retail loss prevention manufacturer, based in Bohemia, N.Y.
What would compel Morgan to drive all the way back to his alma mater for a day of volunteering?
“I wanted to give back to students because I know how hard it is,” he said, referring to high school students trying to figure out their career paths, as well as current students navigating their way through their majors. “Plus, I figured it’d be a nice drive and I could see some old friends.”
Working alongside his former professor, Katherine A. Walker, assistant professor of drafting and CAD technology, Morgan enjoyed sharing his insights with current (as well as potential) students and their parents. One of the first families he spoke with was from Long Island, so there was an immediate bond.
Morgan was encouraged by Becky J. Shaner, alumni relations assistant, to volunteer for Open House.
“We love inviting alumni back to campus, especially to volunteer during Open House!” Shaner enthused. “What better example for prospective students to see alumni working successfully in their fields of study.”
Shaner also lined up alums Dee E. Bilger (’07, business administration: management concentration) and Cory D. Keys (’06, electrical occupations), both of Harrisburg, to serve as Open House greeters at the Campus Life Involvement Fair in the Field House.
When their volunteer shift was over, the couple walked back to their vehicle parked near the spot where they first met as Penn College students in 2005.
“Cory got down on one knee and proposed!” Bilger later relayed. “He said, ‘This is a very special place for us we met here and have some of our greatest memories here. I can’t think of anywhere better to ask you to marry me.’ So, of course, I said, ‘Yes!’ and started bawling!”
Bilger added, “he really did pick the best place to propose! It was definitely a great day for us! I’m still on Cloud Nine!”
The couple is considering a wedding day in September 2012.
Bilger is employed as a career services job developer at YTI Career Institute and Keys works as a technician at the Edwin L. Heim Co.
Photos by Cindy D. Meixel, photo editor (top), and Becky J. Shaner, alumni relations assistant