Pennsylvania College of Technology held its Summer Commencement ceremony Saturday morning at the Community Arts Center in downtown Williamsport. Kaitlin M. Savidge, of Northumberland, who received an Associate of Applied Science degree in emergency medical services, was the student speaker for the 11 a.m. event. More than 200 degrees were conferred by college President Davie Jane Gilmour and Steven P. Johnson, a member of the Penn College Board of Directors. During the ceremony, Penn College also presented a Distinguished Alumni Award to James E Cunningham for four decades of service to college and community.
– Photos by Cindy D. Meixel, writer/photo editor, and Tom Wilson, writer/editor-PCToday
A gorgeous setting for a distinguished day
Katelyn E. Watson, a radiography grad from Turbotville, marks the day with a true Penn College legacy family, including her father, Chip (far left), a 1980 Williamsport Area Community College graduate who majored in heavy construction equipment.
Steven P. Johnson, a member of the college board of directors, talks with student speaker Kaitlin M. Savidge.
Alumni luminary James E. Cunningham, who would later announce that a family-funded scholarship fund has appropriately hit the $100,000 level during Penn College’s Centennial year, joins the siblings who helped make it happen.
President Davie Jane Gilmour greets the latest members of the Centennial class.
More than words can say
The cap of Zoie H. Cipriani, of Williamsport, declares the stick-to-it attitude that helped her earn an occupational therapy assistant’s degree.
Graduating cousins: Rachelle N. Horning (left), of Milton, in legal assistant-paralegal studies, and Meghan C. Cunningham, of Williamsport, in individual studies.
Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer, snags a selfie with the student speaker …
… who talks about her calling into the line of paramedic duty.
A glowing graduate
Shawn T. Knapp, of Auburn, New York, and Luke C. Laughlin, of Butler – both graduating in heavy construction equipment technology: technician emphasis – went out on stage in tandem and “double-selfied” with a sporting president.
Five graduates with military experience stand to receive acknowledgement and applause from an appreciative audience.
Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost, welcomes the commencement crowd with electrical technologies faculty member Ken Kuhns by his side.
Affirming the college president’s on-stage remarks that Health Sciences graduates have the best decorated mortarboards, students mix fun and philosophy (“Great achievements involve great risk”) …
… while another cap provides fitting editorial comment on the happy faces surrounding it.
Graduates consider their accomplishments.
Well-wishers frame a portrait of pride.
Husband-and-wife grads Hana Ali Almuhathab, applied health studies: occupational therapy assistant concentration, and Abduljabar Khamees Hamadeen, welding and fabrication engineering technology, international students living in South Williamsport, celebrate their joint accomplishment.
While some students make 11th-hour wardrobe adjustments, others pass the time with photos.
Heavy construction equipment technology graduates populate a formidable island in a sea of mainly health-related majors.
Students acknowledge their faculty supporters upon entry to the theater.
Shortly after the college president encouraged use of technology in preserving the day’s highlights, phones, cameras and tablets were put to commemorative use.
A firm handshake cements a genuine occasion: a baccalaureate degree in web and interactive media for Brandon W. Knapp, of Pottsville.
Lindsey N. Rosenberry, a radiography graduate from Reedsville, poses with her boyfriend, Jackson J. Albert, of Liverpool, a 2013 alum in landscape/horticulture technology: landscape emphasis.
A Centennial keepsake mingles with a Licensed Practical Nursing pin on a graduate’s gown.
The president snaps a parting shot of grads.
Mike Cunningham, vice president for information technology/chief information officer, applauds his daughter, Meghan C.
After finishing her speech, Savidge shares a relieved moment and laugh with Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost.
A grateful Jim Cunningham emotionally reflects on his family’s long history at the institution.
An inspiring group surrounds Justin L. Kelchner, of WIlliamsport, who earned a physician assistant degree.
Students move toward a holding area in the wings, awaiting their highly anticipated walk across the CAC stage.
With a subtle smile of satisfaction, a graduate notes his towering achievement.
A projection screen above the stage helps audience members enjoy the ceremony.
Registrar Denny L. Dunkleberger preps the crowd for its procession from The Genetti Hotel to the nearby Community Arts Center.
Radiography grads prepare to burst into the workforce (after one important stop at the venue next-door).
A friendship formed in the challenges of nursing
Shannon L. Abercrombie, a graduate in applied health studies: occupational therapy assistant concentration (she earned an associate degree in occupational therapy assistant last year) from South Yarmouth, Massachusetts, celebrates with her mother.
Commencement excitement travels in waves …
… after waves …
… after double waves.
Karen L. Plankenhorn (center), clinical supervisor of radiography, with the students who completed their clinical practicum at Evangelical Community Hospital under her instruction
The president turns Savidge’s tassel …
… and uses her smartphone to snap a selfie with the class representative.
Members of the Cunningham family rise in tribute as the alumni award-winner returns to his seat.
No shortage of hugs and happiness
Diploma cases, stacked at the ready
With cowboy boots and a piece of heavy construction equipment on her cap, the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies’ Ashley M. Baker exudes style AND confidence on her journey from Coudersport to a college degree.
Shaddon K. Rice, an occupational therapy assistant graduate from Selinsgrove, is all smiles with his happy family.
Grads parse one of their hardest assignments to date: figuring out the words and melody of the Penn College Alma Mater!
Matthew J. Freer, a physician assistant graduate from Creedmoor, N.C., jubilantly soft-shoes across the stage.
Melissa J. Lake, graduating in applied health studies: surgical technology concentration (and a statuesque member of the Lady Wildcat volleyball team), stands tall amid family support.
Kay E. Dunkleberger, coordinator of disability services, celebrates with Sarah L. Bensinger, of Shamokin, recipient of the Board of Directors’
Award and a graduate in applied health studies: occupational therapy assistant concentration.
Nursing graduates display their camaraderie …
… and their handcrafted caps.
A colorful parade along sunshiny West Fourth Street
An occupational therapy assistant student’s inspirational decorations address world travel and an embrace of life’s journey …
… while an LPN grad challenges an adage with lunar clarity: “Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”)
A graduate gets an encouraging word from Gilmour and Johnson, her shoes adding a vibrant splash to the colorful summer proceedings.
Students and faculty exchange waves and applause along the two-way street between teaching and learning.
Pointing to supporters while savoring the moment
Jacob R. Miller, an associate professor of computer information technology, hugs his daughter, Heather A., who graduated in physician assistant.
Another cute selfie moment, this one between the president and Rachelle N. Horning (daughter of Wendy A. Miller, director of academic services)
Back on campus, one of Penn College’s newest alumnae raises her arms in exultation.
At a ceremony dominated by students from the School of Health Sciences, surgical technology seniors assemble for an unofficial class portrait.
Janae B. Rohrer (left), an occupational therapy assistant major from Manheim, and Kelly M. Daum, of Wysox, enrolled in applied health studies: occupational therapy assistant concentration, bid farewell to their proud Penn College days.
Graduating students receive their marching orders, honors cords and Centennial pins from Katie M. Reed (center foreground), registrar office
assistant, and Heather A. Swimley, assistant registrar.
Another impromptu selfie!
Marking a milestone under the marquee, the emergency medical services/paramedic “family” of graduates and mentors pose for a photo.
The extended family of alumni honoree James E. Cunningham (third from right) – including two graduates seated behind him – has plenty to smile about on a momentous day.
Occupational therapy assistant graduate Kristin B. Boatman, of Hughesville, pauses for a celebratory snapshot with parents William and Shirley and boyfriend Matt Perakovich.
Smiles for a job well-done
The steps of City Hall make a great spot for a photo of the many fans of Marcia E. Shives, of State Line, a
graduate in health arts: practical nursing emphasis.
Stephanie M. Malatesta’s father came equipped with a Penn College shirt and a camera. Malatesta, of Harrisburg, earned her radiography degree.
Peggy A. Barbour, academic services specialist: placement testing, congratulates Jaclyn M. Cardini, of Mount Pocono, a longtime work-study student in her office and a new alumna in surgical technology.
Gathering for a large-scale selfie
Memories preserved here
Blowing a kiss to the crowd
Back where it began, a stage set for the big day.