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A Valued Present From the Vibrant Past

A leaf-shrouded legacy invites passersby to sit a spell.
A leaf-shrouded legacy invites passersby to sit a spell.
Charitable high school classmates (from left) are Loretta Franzi, Geraldine Barnes, Harold Ingram, Kenneth Johnson and James Walbridge.
Charitable high school classmates (from left) are Loretta Franzi, Geraldine Barnes, Harold Ingram, Kenneth Johnson and James Walbridge.
A plaque commemorates the group's benevolence.
A plaque commemorates the group’s benevolence.
Graphic design students Joseph N. Colyer, of Selinsgrove, and Felicia R. Hartzler, of Dover, stop by to greet and chat with the ’49 classmates.
Graphic design students Joseph N. Colyer, of Selinsgrove, and Felicia R. Hartzler, of Dover, stop by to greet and chat with the ’49 classmates.

Members of Williamsport High School’s Class of 1949 donated a bench that has been installed in the shade of their alma mater – now Penn College’s Klump Academic Center. Five classmates, part of a 10- to 20-member group that gets together monthly at The Villa restaurant in Loyalsock Township, stopped by Thursday to check out their gift and to get a firsthand feel for the comfortable respite it provides students and visitors to campus. The class had money left over from its last reunion in 2004 and kicked around a number of ideas of how and where to spend it. “We finally decided about two years ago that a bench would be appropriate,” spokesman Kenneth Johnson said. “We looked at locations around the city, at the hospitals … and then thought, ‘Well, we went to school here!'” The group had no shortage of stories to tell and no shyness about sharing those memories with current Penn College students who will benefit from their generosity, happily engaging with a few of them as they exited the east side of the building.