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A Winter Wonderland of Grads, Grins and Gratitude

On a rarity of late – a blustery, chilly day that added appropriate atmosphere for an event called “Winter Commencement” – Pennsylvania College of Technology held its yearend graduation ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Community Arts Center. The student speaker was Jay Michael Rhoads Jr., of South Williamsport, who received an Associate of Applied Science in automotive restoration technology; Jason C. Gross, of Williston, Vermont, received the Alumni Humanitarian Award. More than 250 degrees were conferred by college President Davie Jane Gilmour and state Sen. Gene Yaw, chair of the Penn College Board of Directors.

–  Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor, and Tom Wilson, writer/editor-PCToday

Jay Michael Rhoads Jr. offers insightful advice as student speaker.
Jay Michael Rhoads Jr. offers insightful advice as student speaker.

Alumni award-winner Jason C. Gross rolls the Wello WaterWheel onto the stage and encouraged graduates to “share what you know, collaborate and make the world a better place."
Alumni award-winner Jason C. Gross rolls the Wello WaterWheel onto the stage and encouraged graduates to “share what you know, collaborate and make the world a better place.”

Ana Nicole Uribe, baking and pastry arts graduate from Lewisburg, beams with pride.
Ana Nicole Uribe, baking and pastry arts graduate from Lewisburg, beams with pride.

As the curtain closes on another commencement and Registrar Denny L. Dunkleberger’s college career, he and President Gilmour (who publicly noted his 35 years of service from the podium) pose for a keepsake.
As the curtain closes on another commencement and Registrar Denny L. Dunkleberger’s college career, he and President Gilmour (who publicly noted his 35 years of service from the podium) pose for a keepsake.

The Wiegand family from Trout Run forms a portrait of Penn College Pride. From left are Benjamin J., who graduated with an associate degree in heavy construction equipment technology: technician emphasis; parents Brenda A., the college's internal facilities coordinator and a business management student, and Joseph A., who graduated from Williamsport Area Community College in machinist general and toolmaking technology; and Jessica R., who earned a bachelor's in business administration: marketing concentration.
The Wiegand family from Trout Run forms a portrait of Penn College Pride. From left are Benjamin J., who graduated with an associate degree in heavy construction equipment technology: technician emphasis; parents Brenda A., the college’s internal facilities coordinator and a business management student, and Joseph A., who graduated from Williamsport Area Community College in machinist general and toolmaking technology; and Jessica R., who plans to earn a bachelor’s in business administration: marketing concentration in May.

Sheryl E. Snyder, of Montoursville, graduating in applied health studies, gets some help with her gown from sons Chase, 10 (center) and Cole, 7.
Sheryl E. Snyder, of Montoursville, graduating in applied health studies, gets some help with her gown from sons Chase, 10 (center) and Cole, 7.

Graduates parade past a watchful ‘Nutcracker’ guard.
Graduates parade past a watchful ‘Nutcracker’ guard.

Framed by family happiness is Bader A. Alghamdi, plastics and polymer engineering technology, and his parents.
Framed by family happiness is Bader A. Alghamdi, plastics and polymer engineering technology, and his parents.

As graduates cross the stage to receive their diplomas, they are happy to share their enthusiasm in a variety of ways. Some can scarcely contain that sense of accomplishment ...
As graduates cross the stage to receive their diplomas, they are happy to share their enthusiasm in a variety of ways. Some can scarcely contain that sense of accomplishment …

... while others offer a subtle, but cheery wave ...
… while others offer a subtle, but cheery wave …

... or an exultant slide ...
… or an exultant slide …

... or a decidedly "peaceful" demeanor ...
… or a decidedly “peaceful” demeanor …

... maybe a rock-star reaction ...
… maybe a rock-star reaction …

... or recognition of yonder fans!
… or recognition of yonder fans!

Wearing a red, white and blue honor cord that designates her military service, Tammy S. Ryder, a technology management major from Hughesville, is congratulated by Chester M. Beaver, the college’s veterans affairs coordinator.
Wearing a red, white and blue honor cord that designates her military service, Tammy S. Ryder, a technology management major from Hughesville, is congratulated by Chester M. Beaver, the college’s veterans affairs coordinator.

Emergency medical services graduate Kathy L. Kling, of Watsontown, sports seasonal accoutrement to the customary cap and gown: reindeer antlers – a suggestion from her 13-year-old daughter.
Emergency medical services graduate Kathy L. Kling, of Watsontown, sports seasonal accoutrement to the customary cap and gown: reindeer antlers – a suggestion from her 13-year-old daughter.

Last-minute touches and smiles make their way into the Community Arts Center.
Last-minute touches and smiles make their way into the Community Arts Center.

The colors of the season burst brightly in a beautiful floral arrangement on stage.
The colors of the season burst brightly in a beautiful floral arrangement on stage.

Dulcey J. Messersmith, instructor of nursing, poses for a special moment with her son, Justin G. Smith, a graduate in welding technology.
Dulcey J. Messersmith, instructor of nursing, poses for a special moment with her son, Justin G. Smith, a graduate in welding technology.

It’s never too chilly to pose at the big college sign! After commencement, new nursing graduate Brenda Applegate poses with her family.
It’s never too chilly to pose at the big college sign! After commencement, new nursing graduate Brenda Applegate poses with her family.

Sweet selfie smiles
Sweet selfie smiles

With the seriousness of his Registrar role balanced by a ‘'Santa" tie, Denny L. Dunkleberger oversees his final commencement procession.
With the seriousness of his Registrar role balanced by a ‘’Santa” tie, Denny L. Dunkleberger oversees his final commencement procession.

Prior to receiving the Alumni Humanitarian Award, Jason C. Gross (seated at left), gathers with family members who traveled to Williamsport for the special event.
Prior to receiving the Alumni Humanitarian Award, Jason C. Gross (seated at left), gathers with family members who traveled to Williamsport for the special event.

Alumni Relations makes it easy to arrange a fitting photo opportunity.
Alumni Relations makes it easy to arrange a fitting photo opportunity.

Acknowledging the appreciable audience reaction, Darth Vader (Dave A. Probst, assistant professor of engineering design) joins one of Santa’s elves (Paul E. Mach, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts) as the final faculty members to depart the stage.
Acknowledging the appreciable audience reaction, Darth Vader (Dave A. Probst, assistant professor of engineering design) joins one of Santa’s elves (Paul E. Mach, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts) as the final faculty members to depart the stage.

The tree offers a gorgeous backdrop for photos.
The tree offers a gorgeous backdrop for photos.

Michael J. Reed (right), interim dean of sciences, humanities and visual communications, shakes hands with his school’s graduates.
Michael J. Reed (right), interim dean of sciences, humanities and visual communications, shakes hands with his school’s graduates.

Looking for that special graduate, a well-wisher finds a higher vantage.
Looking for that special graduate, a well-wisher finds a higher vantage.

With a pace as brisk as the suddenly December temperatures, imminent graduates hurry toward the Arts Center to claim their hard-earned prize.
With a pace as brisk as the suddenly December temperatures, imminent graduates hurry toward the Arts Center to claim their hard-earned prize.

A blueprint for student success
A blueprint for student success

Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, helps School of Business & Hospitality students celebrate their accomplishment.
Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, instructor of hospitality management/culinary arts, helps School of Business & Hospitality students celebrate their accomplishment.

The scene outside the Community Arts Center is filled with magical marquee moments.
The scene outside the Community Arts Center is filled with magical marquee moments.

A whisper in the wings: Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost, listens to proper pronunciations from graduates.
A whisper in the wings: Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost, listens to proper pronunciations from graduates.

Special accessories of the day
Special accessories of the day

Angel wings grace the cap of Andrea L. Bower, a part-time faculty member in the college's surgical technology major, who paid tribute to her father in earning a degree in applied health studies.
Angel wings grace the cap of Andrea L. Bower, a part-time faculty member in the college’s surgical technology major, who paid tribute to her father in earning a degree in applied health studies.

A heartfelt clasp in the middle of the crowd
A heartfelt clasp in the middle of the crowd

More family photo fun outside
More family photo fun outside

A baking and pastry graduate enjoys a delicious day.
A baking and pastry graduate enjoys a delicious day.

Snowflakes ... sparkles ... and a strong, yet simple sentiment shine during the singing of the Penn College Alma Mater.
Snowflakes … sparkles … and a strong, yet simple sentiment shine during the singing of the Penn College Alma Mater.

The glow of the holiday season is enhanced by a 28-foot Christmas tree in the Community Arts Center’s inner lobby.
The glow of the holiday season is enhanced by a 28-foot Christmas tree in the Community Arts Center’s inner lobby.

Brothers and their mentors! Matthew L. Gross (second from left), ’06, plastics and polymer technology, and Jason C. Gross, ’05, plastics and polymer engineering technology, enjoy pre-commencement conversation with their former professors Timothy E. Weston (far left) and Kirk M. Cantor.
Brothers and their mentors! Matthew L. Gross (second from left), ’06, plastics and polymer technology, and Jason C. Gross, ’05, plastics and polymer engineering technology, enjoy pre-commencement conversation with their former professors Timothy E. Weston (far left) and Kirk M. Cantor.

Pride and elation are on the menu as Chef Paul E. Mach and his son, Jeffrey P., delight in an associate degree in forest technology. (It was a big weekend for the Machs. Older son Vincent earned his master's degree from Carlow University the night before.)
Pride and elation are on the menu as Chef Paul E. Mach and his son, Jeffrey P., delight in an associate degree in forest technology. (It was a big weekend for the Machs. Older son Vincent earned his master’s degree from Carlow University the night before.)

Motivational words adorn the mortarboard of Amanda N. Woolf, of Lititz, who graduated in business administration: management concentration.
Motivational words adorn the mortarboard of Amanda N. Woolf, of Lititz, who graduated in business administration: management concentration.

Selifes with the president are still in style! Daniel T. Kreger, a building science and sustainable design graduate from Morris, revels in the moment.
Selifes with the president are still in style! Daniel T. Kreger, a building science and sustainable design graduate from Morris, revels in the moment.

The audience ovation swells for military veterans among the day's graduates, asked by the president to stand and be recognized.
The audience ovation swells for military veterans among the day’s graduates, asked by the president to stand and be recognized.

Devices get smaller, but graduation remains a huge achievement.
Devices get smaller, but graduation remains a huge achievement.

Nursing grads reminisce during final preparations.
Nursing grads reminisce during final preparations.

The president turns the tassel of the student speaker, who also received the President’s Award for leadership and service to the college.
The president turns the tassel of the student speaker, who also received the President’s Award for leadership and service to the college.

Bradley M. Moriarty (center), a culinary arts and systems graduate, waves at the camera and shares a laugh with classmates.
Bradley M. Moriarty (center), a culinary arts and systems graduate, waves at the camera and shares a laugh with classmates.

New forest technology alumni have their photo taken by instructor Eric C. Easton.
New forest technology alumni have their photo taken by instructor Eric C. Easton.

Business majors assemble near the hotel's holiday finery.
Business majors assemble near the hotel’s holiday finery.

Philip G. Berry, external records specialist in the Registrar's Office, greets a soon-to-be-grad at check-in.
Philip G. Berry, external records specialist in the Registrar’s Office, greets a soon-to-be-grad at check-in.

Selfies preserve a multitude of memories, each one uniquely personal
Selfies preserve a multitude of memories, each one uniquely personal

Students and their faculty escorts gather in The Genetti's Grand Ballroom, awaiting procession to the Arts Center.
Students and their faculty escorts gather in The Genetti’s Grand Ballroom, awaiting procession to the Arts Center.

The future looks bright for the new Penn College alumni filing out of the Arts Center venue.
The future looks bright for the new Penn College alumni filing out of the Arts Center venue.

The wrapup of another winter commencement
The wrapup of another winter commencement