Penn College offers something to enjoy in all seasons, but takes on a particularly pleasant air as winter approaches. Several inches of snow fell across the area overnight, prompting a two-hour delay Thursday morning and offering a glacial glimpse at what’s ahead.
A Frosty Farewell to Fall
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.
A tree along the main campus entrance has been decorated with 408 stars, each representing a military member of the Penn College community – and each fashioned by a serviceman enrolled in the School of Industrial, Computing and Engineering Technologies. Using the 60-ton Minster 5 press in the Machining Technologies Center, students of Howard W. Troup, maintenance mechanic/millwright, and Keith H. English, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, stamped out the stars using leftover plastic from the school’s thermoforming lab. On Thursday afternoon, student veterans – along with supportive friends from the Financial Aid, Admissions and Registrar’s offices, as well as General Services personnel – adorned the red-, white- and blue-lighted tree in tribute to the 373 students and 35 employees who have identified themselves as veterans.
A variety of Penn College student organizations and departments have put their best wishes forward in oversized holiday cards, installed by General Services on the campus mall Nov. 25. Colorfully conveying messages that range from faith to frivolity, from Centennial to solemnity, the cards were lighted at 5 p.m. Wednesday on the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center patio. A total of 486 voters from the college community chose their favorites via an online ballot; the top three selections in student and employee categories (as noted below) were announced at the traditional ceremony.
Gold Medalist Shares Ice-Carving Mastery With Students
Chef Robert Lo Furno, a competitive ice carver, food service director for Aramark at the University of Delaware, and father of baking and pastry arts student Nicole C. Lo Furno, visited Pennsylvania College of Technology, where he and his wife, Monica – also an accomplished ice carver – spent Thursday in the courtyard outside the Keystone Dining Room working alongside School of Business & Hospitality students to share the tricks of the trade. Working well after dark, students in Chef Craig A. Cian’s Artistic Buffet Decoration course used the Lo Furnos’ specialty tools and lessons in technique to produce six ice sculptures that remain on display outside the dining hall’s atrium.
Fright-Night Double-Feature Offers Howlingly Good Time
Back-to-back Halloween events provided family-friendly fun Wednesday night, beginning with the fifth annual Trick or Treat Night at the Village at Penn College. Residents of the on-campus housing complex went all-out for the younger children of students, employees and alumni, handing out goodies in a safe, controlled environment. (Many more images are available via Penn College Alumni Relations on Facebook.) The popular event was followed by a party in the Rose Street Courtyard, complete with novelties, giveaways, a dual obstacle course, food, T-shirts and prizes.
College Holds Centennial Open House
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.
Students narrowing their occupational choices gained some real-world focus on Friday, as the Outreach for K-12 Office again hosted Career Day on Penn College campuses. Held in the spring for seventh- to ninth-graders and in the fall for high school freshmen through seniors, the event gives regional school districts the opportunity to brings groups of students to delve into potential careers through hands-on activities, tours of facilities, and discussions with in-the-know students and on-the-job faculty.
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.
Nearly 200 employers were on campus this week, looking to fill more than 2,000 positions from among Penn College’s “degrees that work.” At three sessions over two days, including breakout offerings for specific majors, employers (including a number of Fortune 500 companies and other industry heavyweights) sought interns and new graduates who are technically skilled and prepared to enter today’s workforce. A Monday fair in the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center highlighted majors within the School of Health Sciences, while Tuesday morning’s Field House event – moved onto main campus from the Schneebeli Earth Science Center – was geared toward natural resources technologies students. The Career Fair wrapped up Tuesday afternoon with a wide-open field of opportunities for students in all six of the college’s six academic schools.
New Experiences, Old Friends
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.
Penn State President Eric J. Barron traveled to Pennsylvania College of Technology on Tuesday, his first visit since assuming the presidency in May. In a timely trip to a main campus observing its 25th anniversary as a special mission affiliate of Penn State – as well as its yearlong Centennial celebration – Barron met with students, viewed three recent art installations, toured Madigan Library and student housing, explored the college’s role in the natural gas industry, and visited a variety of instructional labs. Joining Barron and his wife, Molly, on the tour were Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour; retired Penn College Board of Directors Chairman Robert E. Dunham and his wife, Maureen; Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs and provost; and police Chief Chris E. Miller. A reception in the Victorian House and dinner at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, where the group was joined by state Sen. Gene Yaw, board chairman, followed.
Jessica N. Felton, a culinary arts and systems major from State College, has won the right to represent Pennsylvania College of Technology at this year’s World Food Championships in Las Vegas. She was among six School of Business & Hospitality students who vied Monday night for a “Golden Ticket” to compete in the Nov. 12-18 event. The entry was granted by award-winning chef and television host Ben Vaughn, who visited campus earlier this month; the college will pay airfare and lodging. Other participants in the on-campus competition were culinary arts and systems majors Christopher S. Kasler, of Kendall Park, New Jersey; Zachary A. Knol, of Annville; and Victoria L. Zablocky, of Jersey Shore; and baking and pastry arts students Katlyn J. Hackling, of Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey, and Victoria L. Kostecki, of Center Valley. Two flights of students, whose dishes were timed from prep to plate, were judged by faculty members under WFC guidelines and the school’s standards for sanitation and safety. Scores were tabulated in a variety of categories covering execution, appearance and taste, and the winner was announced at noon Tuesday in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.
The third time for Wildcat Comic Con went beyond charming into the realm of enchantment, as presenters and the public bonded over graphic novels, cosplay, gaming and other common interests. The event, held across Pennsylvania College of Technology’s main campus on a gorgeous fall Saturday, put a unique educational spin on popular culture – and left hundreds upon hundreds of attendees already anticipating a fourth installment.
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.”
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 →