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Ben’s Bequest Benefits Penn College Students 200 Years Later


Founding father Benjamin Franklin had the vision to see how a modest bequest would assist Pennsylvania students two centuries into the future.

In 2000, the Williamsport-Lycoming Foundation, working with the Pennsylvania College of Technology Foundation, developed a Benjamin Franklin/Williamsport-Lycoming Foundation scholarship that, to date, has assisted nine associate-degree and certificate students with their Penn College education.

Franklin knew the value of technical skills in the nation’s economy. In his 1788 will, Franklin, who died in 1790, left 1,000 pounds sterling (about $4,000) to the City of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania. He directed that the money not be accessed until 200 years after his death. In 1990, the Legislature allocated and distributed the funds, which by then had grown to $1.5 million.

The scholarship at Penn College is administrated by the Outreach for K-12 office under the direction of the Penn College Foundation. To be eligible, students must have graduated from a state-approved Tech Prep high-school program in Lycoming, Bradford, Tioga, Sullivan, Clinton or Potter counties. Tech Prep provides a seamless transition from high school to college, assisting students with career goals and academic preparedness for a technical career.

First-time applicants for the Benjamin Franklin/Williamsport-Lycoming Foundation Scholarship must have a grade-point average of “B” or higher. In addition, students must be enrolled at Penn College on a full-time basis in a certificate or associate-degree program and must successfully complete a writing sample. If selected, students receive $500 per year, divided between the fall and spring semesters.

Penn College students who have received the scholarship thus far are: Jeremy A. Bower, Computer-Aided Drafting Technology, Allenwood; Joshua J. Brown, Computer Information Systems-Networking and Technical Support, Mildred; Tanya J. Budman, Heavy Construction Equipment Technology, Allenwood; Ryan C. Buttorff, Carpentry, Jersey Shore; Eric L. Hively, Aviation Technology, Allenwood; Kerry A. Horn, Semiconductor Processing Technology, Cogan Station; and Craig L. Mark, Toolmaking Technology, Loganton.

The Foundation also made available scholarships for students in state-approved Tech Prep programs who meet all the other criteria but are not from one of the six specified counties.

This fall, they are: Ira E. Koser III, Collision Repair Technology, Elizabethtown; and Devin M. Teeter, Toolmaking Technology, RR 2, New Albany.

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