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Alumni Centennial

Legacy of Leaders
David M. Heiney

David M. Heiney
David M. Heiney

“I have very, very fond memories of (Williamsport Technical Institute) and the (Williamsport Area) Community College,” said David M. Heiney, who served as interim president of the latter from 1980-81. “I think it really gave a boost to my professional career.” Although his administration was brief, Heiney’s overall career at the college, including his years as a respected and innovative student affairs professional, coincided with the institution’s growth on a number of levels. Among them was the focus on student activities and housing, helping to move WACC from a commuter campus to a more traditional college community, and his transitional assistance after President Robert L. Breuder was hired in a national search. Much more about his interim presidency can be found in “Legacy of Leaders,” the second volume in Penn College’s Countdown to the Centennial series. The 120-page book, enhanced by videos and other material at the centennial website, is available for $9.95 from The College Store.

Read more about past leaders →

Alumni Centennial

Montage – A Match Made in History

Tom Reeder, top left, takes the title at 134 pounds.
Tom Reeder, top left, takes the title at 134 pounds.
Lynn Rebert, the 154-pound champ.
Lynn Rebert, the 154-pound champ.
Coach Max Wasson, center, "calmly" suggests a plan of attack.
Coach Max Wasson, center, “calmly” suggests a plan of attack.
Wrestling returns to Penn College
Wrestling returns to Penn College

As the Wildcats prepare to host the National Collegiate Wrestling Association Mid-East Conference Championships this weekend, precedent leaves big shoes to fill. Three decades ago, competing in the Eastern Pennsylvania Community College Athletic Conference, Williamsport Area Community College wrestlers won the conference title for the third straight year to become “the winningest team on campus.” The photos above, contrasting with one taken this season under the sport’s resurgence, are from the 1973 edition of Montage, the WACC yearbook. That year’s team at the Penn College forerunner was coached by Max Wasson, who was among the inaugural inductees into the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame last fall.

Learn more about the College’s history →

Alumni Centennial

1966 Spotlight – preHarmony.com?

COMETAD in operation
COMETAD in operation

Nearly 50 years ago, before the Internet removed much of the awkward mystery from blind dating, four computer science students at Williamsport Area Community College devised an electronic method for ascertaining potential partners’ compatibility. As reported in the March 30, 1966, edition of the Spotlight student newspaper, COMETAD (which presumably combined a computer prefix with the reverse spelling of “date”) converted applicants’ personality questionnaires onto punch cards that – for a minimal fee – could help like-minded people make a love connection. This romantic piece of college history, delivered just in time for Valentine’s Day, is among the nostalgic nuggets unearthed in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of Penn College and its forerunner institutions.

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Alumni Centennial

Legacy of Leaders
William H. Feddersen

Dr. William H. Feddersen
Dr. William H. Feddersen

“People will judge you by your actions,” said William H. Feddersen, one of the nation’s youngest college presidents when he took the reins at Williamsport Area Community College nearly four decades ago. “They’re going to watch what you do, not just what you say.” He combined vigor and vision in setting the course for the institution, which grew from Williamsport Technical Institute and would become Pennsylvania College of Technology within five years of his administration. Building on the college’s deep vocational technical roots, Feddersen implemented long-range planning, undertook overdue building renovations, broached the need for on-campus housing, initiated regular interaction with students and cemented the college’s role in the outlying community. Much more about his presidency can be found in “Legacy of Leaders,” the second volume in the Countdown to the Centennial series. The 120-page book, abundantly illustrated and complimented with videos and more at the centennial website, is available for $9.95 from  The College Store.

Read more about past leaders →

Alumni Centennial

Montage – On a Historical ‘Note’

The Association, 1972
The Association, 1972
 Eddie Money, 1982
Eddie Money, 1982
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, 1974
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, 1974
Z.Z. Top, 1974
Z.Z. Top, 1974
Campus dance, 1972
Campus dance, 1972

Today’s Penn College students have access to more tunes than ever: MP3s filling their earbuds with new music and classics alike; and Open Mic nights, coffeehouses and other events offering the real thing in a variety of venues. Music has always been a part of the college experience, as shown in these photos from Williamsport Area Community College’s Montage yearbook. Students attend a dance at far right, and, from left, enjoy some recognizable performers from the 1970s and ’80s.

Learn more about the College’s history →

Alumni Centennial

Were you there? – Athletes Through the Years

The 2006 women's state basketball champs, with coach Ron Kodish, proudly display their trophy at the Bryce Jordan Center
The 2006 women’s state basketball champs, with coach Ron Kodish, proudly display their trophy at the Bryce Jordan Center
WACC basketball team, 1968
WACC basketball team, 1968

Penn College’s exploration of an affiliation with the National Collegiate Athletic Association is the latest chapter in a long history of intercollegiate and intramural sports on campus. The photos at left, depicting the Wildcat women’s 2006 state championship team and an earlier Williamsport Area Community College men’s squad, are from “Were You There: Evolution of a College Campus” – a centennial photo exhibit and companion book.

Alumni Centennial

1980 Spotlight –Thoughts on a January Thaw

Poem by Mollie Zelewicz, photo by John Zelewicz

The recent taste of spring, a snowmelt respite before the return of more typically frigid days, provides a perfect occasion to share this Jan. 21, 1980, item from the Spotlight student newspaper – an evocative blend of poetry and photography that sums up the wondrous variety of Pennsylvania’s seasons. Its author, Mollie Eliot, graduated from Williamsport Area Community College that May with a degree in journalism. She is employed as a certified peer specialist by The Main Link, providing mental-health recovery services at drop-in centers in Towanda and Sayre.

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Alumni Centennial

Legacy of Leaders
Kenneth E. Carl

Kenneth E. Carl
Kenneth E. Carl

During a 36-year career in higher education – more than one-third of the century celebrated during the centennial of Penn College and its predecessors – Kenneth E. Carl tirelessly wore many hats: alumnus, faculty member, president and mentor. A graduate of the Williamsport High School vocational program (that began in what is now the Klump Academic Center basement), Carl was a mechanical drafting instructor when chosen as the first director of Williamsport Technical Institute. He was beyond instrumental in furthering legislation to create a statewide community college system, and led WTI’s transition into Williamsport Area Community College after that measure was passed. “He is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and of indefatigable vitality,” one group of observers says of Carl in “Legacy of Leaders,” the second volume in the Countdown to the Centennial. “He leads by example and everybody runs to keep up.” The 120-page book, fully illustrated (and bountifully supplemented at the centennial website), is available for $9.95 from  The College Store.

Read more about past leaders →

One College Avenue One College Avenue Feature

It Emerged as a Silvery Blip to the East …

In conjunction with the arrival of the retired FedEx Express plane, several alumni – employees and retirees of FedEx – returned “home” to the Aviation Center, where they helped to remove the plane’s engines and install those that will be used for instruction.
In conjunction with the arrival of the retired FedEx Express plane, several alumni – employees and retirees of FedEx – returned “home” to the Aviation Center, where they helped to remove the plane’s engines and install those that will be used for instruction.
A look at the cockpit. The airplane’s complex flight controls, hydraulics, electrical and other systems will enable hands-on learning in areas that could only be simulated previously.
A look at the cockpit. The airplane’s complex flight controls, hydraulics, electrical and other systems will enable hands-on learning in areas that could only be simulated previously.
Aviation students get a closer look during public tours of the plane.
Aviation students get a closer look during public tours of the plane.

Appearing in the Winter 2012 issue of One College Avenue magazine: One of the largest donations in the institution’s history provides a new facet of hands-on education for students at the college’s Lumley Aviation Center.

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December 17, 2012
Alumni Centennial

1950s Spotlight – Holiday Decorations Through the Years

Williamsport Technical Institute holiday decorations
Williamsport Technical Institute holiday decorations
The Penn College entrance dons its holiday best.
The Penn College entrance dons its holiday best.

Just as attention to quality education has remained an institutional hallmark for nearly a century, decorating the campus for the ho-ho-holidays has enjoyed its own continuity throughout history. In the archival photograph at far left, an illuminated Santa – his sack bursting with gifts for the Williamsport Technical Institute family – delivers “Season’s greetings” from a 1950s campus rooftop. In the adjacent photo, the main entrance to Penn College takes on the warm glow of bright lights and festive greenery.

Learn more about the college’s history →

Alumni Centennial Legacy of Leaders

Legacy of Leaders
George H. Parkes

Dr. George H. Parkes
Dr. George H. Parkes

During an interview for Penn College’s ongoing oral history project, a former dean of applied arts noted, “Behind every great institution stands the shadow of one man – that was Dr. George Parkes.” Those comments from James P. Bressler about the founder of Williamsport Technical Institute are particularly fitting as the college moves ever closer to its 100th anniversary in 2014. “Legacy of Leaders,” the recently published second volume in the Countdown to the Centennial, brings Parkes and his successors out of the shadows with inspiring stories of their momentous impact. The illustrated volume, which takes readers on a richly detailed journey from the birth of WTI to the institution’s present-day renown, is available from The College Store.

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One College Avenue One College Avenue Feature

Natural Gas Programs Continue Long ‘degrees that work’ Tradition

Firefighters quell flames during a simulated emergency at the Energy Technology Education Center. The center, a joint venture among Penn College, the Lycoming County Department of Public Safety and natural gas industry partners, was dedicated May 18 near Penn College's Schneebeli Earth Science Center.
Firefighters quell flames during a simulated emergency at the Energy Technology Education Center. The center, a joint venture among Penn College, the Lycoming County Department of Public Safety and natural gas industry partners, was dedicated May 18 near Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center.
First responders tend to the condition of a "victim" during an initial ETEC training exercise.
First responders tend to the condition of a “victim” during an initial ETEC training exercise.
First responders from eastern Lycoming County, among the initial trainees at the new center, prepare to extract a mannequin from within a wellhead prop, among the 'injured' in the day's exercise.
First responders from eastern Lycoming County, among the initial trainees at the new center, prepare to extract a mannequin from within a wellhead prop, among the ‘injured’ in the day’s exercise.

Appearing in the Winter 2012 issue of One College Avenue magazine: Penn College’s tradition of preparing the workforce for the fluctuating demands of industry is evident today in programs that have helped thousands embark on rewarding careers in the burgeoning natural gas industry.

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General Information One College Avenue One College Avenue Feature President

Winter Annual Report ‘One College Avenue’ Available

Winter 2012 One College Avenue
Winter 2012 One College Avenue
President Davie Jane Gilmour chats with students, from left, Brandon S. Haney, Kacie L. Weaver and Kathrine E. Dixon, in the courtyard outside the Keystone Dining Room.
President Davie Jane Gilmour chats with students, from left, Brandon S. Haney, Kacie L. Weaver and Kathrine E. Dixon, in the courtyard outside the Keystone Dining Room.

The Winter 2012 Annual Report edition of One College Avenue magazine is available online and will soon be distributed on campus and delivered to mailboxes.

2011-12 was a year of deep reflection for Penn College. From that self-assessment, we emerge with renewed strength and focus on providing an exemplary educational experience and a new vision for the future.

Read the President’s Message →

November 26, 2012
Alumni Centennial

Open House in the 1960s Spotlight

As Pennsylvania College of Technology continues its multiyear Countdown to the Centennial, PCToday helps share the institution’s remarkable story through the eyes and words of those who lived it. Follow the “Spotlight” logo in the coming months for a memory-filled look back to the days of Williamsport Area Community College, thanks to the campus newspaper that historically (and sometimes humorously) reflected the tenor of the times. As the campus prepares to welcome more than 1,100 prospective students who are registered for Open House on Sunday, we take a trip through The Spotlight for a look at Open Houses past.

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Alumni Centennial

1975 Spotlight

Forestry Student Named to U.S. Advisory Council

Robbin SmithAs Pennsylvania College of Technology continues its multiyear Countdown to the Centennial, PCToday helps share the institution’s remarkable story through the eyes and words of those who lived it. Follow the “Spotlight” logo in the coming months for a memory-filled look back, thanks to the campus newspaper that historically (and sometimes humorously) reflected the tenor of the times. In this initial item, read a letter written by Robbin S. (Schreiner) Smith that details her experience at Williamsport Area Community College and what she is doing today. You can also read the original Spotlight story.

View WACC spotlight →