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Annual reunion includes belated tribute to WTI veterans


Thirty-two graduates of Williamsport Technical Institute, a precursor to Pennsylvania College of Technology, were among the 70 attendees at Friday’s 19th annual reunion. Combining coffee and continental breakfast, presentations, lunch, and optional tours of the makerspace and brewing lab, the event allowed WTI alumni and their guests to get reacquainted with one another and their alma mater, as well as to talk with current students about the exciting developments since they left campus. Established in 1941, WTI gained a national reputation for its defense training during World War II and for retraining returning veterans for new positions in business and industry. A number of those veterans, who didn’t experience a commencement ceremony or the recognition accorded today’s graduating servicemen and women, were movingly presented with red, white and blue honor cords in gratitude for their military experience. Among those participating in the reunion were President Davie Jane Gilmour; Kimberly R. Cassel, director of alumni relations; Chet Beaver, coordinator of veteran and military services; and student veterans Keenan A. Bayus, software development and information management, Skyler B. Snyder, automotive technology, and Cody R. Harriman, emergency management technology.

– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor

The bright smiles of D. Frederick Wascher (left), ’56, automotive mechanic, and C. Richard Miller, ’51 automotive, add to the palette of Wildcat blue and daffodil yellow.
The bright smiles of D. Frederick Wascher (left), ’56, automotive mechanic, and C. Richard Miller, ’51 automotive, add to the palette of Wildcat blue and daffodil yellow.

A gathering of groundbreakers in the Thompson Professional Development Center
A gathering of groundbreakers in the Thompson Professional Development Center

Beaver, a 25-year Army veteran, presides over the presentation of honor cords. Included in the tribute was Paul Schriner, ’63, welding, and a longtime faculty member. Wife Shirley (to Schriner's right) joins in the applause; she also was a college employee, retiring in 1999 as secretary of academic support services.
Beaver, a 25-year Army veteran, presides over the presentation of honor cords. Included in the tribute was Paul Schriner, ’63, welding, and a longtime faculty member. Wife Shirley (to Schriner’s right) joins in the applause; she also was a college employee, retiring in 1999 as secretary of academic support services.

President Gilmour (center) shares a laugh with husband Fred, '66, technical illustration, and '72, individual studies, and Loni N. Kline, vice president for institutional advancement.
President Gilmour (center) shares a laugh with husband Fred, ’66, technical illustration, and ’72, individual studies, and Loni N. Kline, vice president for institutional advancement.

James Harmon, who studied carpentry and building construction, sports a WTI hat.
James Harmon, who studied carpentry and building construction, sports a WTI hat.

A different type of drafting table! From left: Everett Brandt, ’65, industrial drafting; Ronald Good, ’67, draftsman mechanical; Chalmer Van Horn, ’58, mechanical drafting; Robert Kotarsky, ’66, mechanical drafting, and son Robert Jr. (Van Horn also instructed Brandt, Good and Kotarsky.)
A different type of drafting table! From left: Everett Brandt, ’65, industrial drafting; Ronald Good, ’67, draftsman mechanical; Chalmer Van Horn, ’58, mechanical drafting; Robert Kotarsky, ’66, mechanical drafting, and son Robert Jr. (Van Horn also instructed Brandt, Good and Kotarsky.)

Cassel helps kick off the reunion, an annual celebration for nearly two decades.
Cassel helps kick off the reunion, an annual celebration for nearly two decades.

Marlyn Stauffer, ’63, mechanical drafting, enjoys an early morning coffee klatch with former classmates.
Marlyn Stauffer, ’63, mechanical drafting, enjoys an early morning coffee klatch with former classmates.

Denice Palmeter, '59, electronics, proudly wears his honor cord while exchanging sincere appreciation with Beaver.
Denice Palmeter, ’59, electronics, proudly wears his honor cord while exchanging sincere appreciation with Beaver.

A photo from WTI's 1963 entry into nursing education is projected while Val A. Myers, assistant dean of nursing, balances yesterday's beginnings with current technologies.
A photo from WTI’s 1963 entry into nursing education is projected while Val A. Myers, assistant dean of nursing, balances yesterday’s beginnings with current technologies.

Robert Fries (left), ’45 aviation mechanics, and Walter Doebler, ’62 pattern making technician, readily reminisce.
Robert Fries (left), ’45 aviation mechanics, and Walter Doebler, ’62 pattern making technician, readily reminisce.

Rebecca A. Davies (at podium) and Anthony F. O’Koren deliver The Dr. Welch Workshop presentation and share various projects and their extreme excitement for the makerspace. On screen is one of Davies’ wall guitar mounts that she created in the workshop. Davies is enrolled in building construction technology: masonry concentration; O’Koren is an electronics and computer engineering technology student.
Rebecca A. Davies (at podium) and Anthony F. O’Koren deliver The Dr. Welch Workshop presentation and share various projects and their extreme excitement for the makerspace. On screen is one of Davies’ wall guitar mounts that she created in the workshop. Davies is enrolled in building construction technology: masonry concentration; O’Koren is an electronics and computer engineering technology student.

Copies of this 1950 WTI catalog were shared with alumni; the original (shown to guests by the college president) was recently found at an estate sale.
Copies of this 1950 WTI catalog were shared with alumni; the original (shown to guests by the college president) was recently found at an estate sale.

Timothy L. Yarrington (left), instructor, brewing and fermentation science, converses with John Hertel, ’48, electric and acetylene welding, and ’49, agricultural equipment and repair; Hertel’s daughter Sandra; and Edmond Wozniak, ’61, machinist, pattern making-wood.
Timothy L. Yarrington (left), instructor, brewing and fermentation science, converses with John Hertel, ’48, electric and acetylene welding, and ’49, agricultural equipment and repair; Hertel’s daughter Sandra; and Edmond Wozniak, ’61, machinist, pattern making-wood.

In the makerspace, Davies “talks shop” with William Olson (left), ’58, carpentry, and Ronald Good, ’67, draftsman-mechanical. Olson was impressed with Davies’ woodworking skills.
In the makerspace, Davies “talks shop” with William Olson (left), ’58, carpentry, and Ronald Good, ’67, draftsman-mechanical. Olson was impressed with Davies’ woodworking skills.

A measure of past success in a latter-day haven for tinkerers: Olson views a WTI ruler displayed on a makerspace wall. The ruler originally belonged to the late Joseph B. Gehret, a 1938 graduate, who received it when he was a student.
A measure of past success in a latter-day haven for tinkerers: Olson views a WTI ruler displayed on a makerspace wall. The ruler originally belonged to the late Joseph B. Gehret, a 1938 graduate, who received it when he was a student.

O’Koren discusses 3D technologies in The Gilmour Tinkertorium section of the makerspace during the alumni’s optional tour.
O’Koren discusses 3D technologies in The Gilmour Tinkertorium section of the makerspace during the alumni’s optional tour.

Yarrington shares a brewing and fermentation science video (produced by the college), and details both the in-demand industry and his personal path to Penn College.
Yarrington shares a brewing and fermentation science video (produced by the college), and details both the in-demand industry and his personal path to Penn College.

Roberta Schwenk, makerspace assistant, leads a tour into The Logue Fabritorium side of the workshop.
Roberta Schwenk, makerspace assistant, leads a tour into The Logue Fabritorium side of the workshop.

Thomas C. Heffner, assistant dean of sciences, humanities and visual communications, with alumni in the brewing lab
Thomas C. Heffner, assistant dean of sciences, humanities and visual communications, with alumni in the brewing lab

A display of items from the makerspace
A display of items from the makerspace

 

 

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