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1969 Spotlight – Past as Prologue


John Strawbridge, left, with James Bressler, dean of applied arts at WACC
John Strawbridge, left, with James Bressler, dean of applied arts at WACC

With spring commencement just past, new alumni are putting their degrees to work, and, someday, will have successes to share with Penn College students working toward careers of their own. The March 21, 1969, Spotlight student newspaper published one such story about a graduate contributing to education through art in the Williamsport area and the state capital. When John Strawbridge earned an associate degree in architectural technology from Williamsport Area Community College, Penn College’s immediate predecessor, there was a boom in museum construction and the concept of regional museums to present historical art to local communities. Strawbridge, hired by the Lycoming County Historical Society as an exhibit designer, was assigned to create Native American exhibits that focused on prehistory. He also served as a part-time assistant at the William Penn Memorial Museum, as well as the State Museum of Pennsylvania, in Harrisburg. “WACC’s reputation throughout the country is good,” he said, proud of his alma mater’s down-to-earth vocational instruction. “And I’d recommend the college to anyone who wants a practical education.” Strawbridge went on to an illustrious career in museum curation and wildlife art, one of many alumni who embody the college’s motto of “degrees that work.”

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