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College celebrates another ‘best-ever’ philanthropic year

Despite a year of continuing challenges, donors to Pennsylvania College of Technology were honored Monday evening for unwavering support that ignited a record-setting year for institutional fundraising.

The combined contributions of steadfast alumni, corporate partners, friends, retirees and colleagues – a milestone $8.3 million during fiscal 2021 – were recognized during an annual ceremony alongside the Penn College Donor Wall, which pays permanent tribute to those whose contributions of gifts, pledges, donations and entrustments of equipment and technology, and estate commitments significantly empower students.

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Entranceway repairs open door to honoring a community pillar

The Witmer Group, a masonry contractor based in Mount Joy, is continuing remediation of the 22-year-old entrance fountains and repairs to the brick pillars surrounding Pennsylvania College of Technology’s main campus entrance – presenting an opportunity for well-wishers to honor the legacy of retiring President Davie Jane Gilmour.

The entrance and the capstoned pillars, linked by black fencing along Maynard Street and beyond, were dedicated in September 1999. That ceremony – a little more than a year after Gilmour assumed the college presidency – was the culmination of Penn College’s Diamond 10 anniversary, marking 85 years of education and a decade as a Penn State affiliate.

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Worth & Company Excellence Scholarship supports students

Worth & Company Inc. has established a scholarship to assist Pennsylvania College of Technology students pursuing careers in the building equipment contractors industry.

First preference for the Worth & Company Excellence Scholarship will be given to a student who is an intern, employee or dependent of an employee of Worth & Company Inc.

Second preference will be given to a student who is enrolled full time in one of the following majors: heating, ventilation & air conditioning design technology; heating, ventilation & air conditioning technology; welding & fabrication engineering technology; welding technology; or construction management; has been a recipient of a scholarship from the fund in prior years; and has a residence in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton or Philadelphia counties.

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College author interviewed for public radio broadcast

Tom SpeicherArts SceneAn interview with Penn College writer/video producer Tom Speicher, co-author of “Bucky Deacon’s Dilemma,” debuted Thursday morning on WVIA Radio’s “Arts Scene” with Erika Funke. The youth sports novel, sales of which benefit the college’s Emergency Scholarship Fund, is discussed at length in a broadcast timed to the start of the Little League Baseball World Series. It aired on 89.9 FM and 89.7 FM (and streamed) at 11:07 a.m. – following NPR News – and was posted as a podcast later that evening. Recommended for 10- to 14-year-olds, the book is available from Amazon in paperback ($6.99) and Kindle ($3.99) editions.

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Employee couple establishes graphic design scholarship

A faculty member and an administrator at Pennsylvania College of Technology have created a scholarship for students majoring in graphic design.

Brian A. and Joanna K. Flynn have established the Brian and Joanna Flynn Scholarship, which gives preference to students who are enrolled full time in the graphic design bachelor’s degree major, have successfully completed two semesters of study and have a 3.0 or higher GPA. The scholarship is renewable for the third and fourth academic years if a 3.0 GPA is maintained.

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Scholarship established for first-generation college students

Retired faculty member Darla B. Logue has established a scholarship for first-generation college students at Pennsylvania College of Technology in honor of retiring President Davie Jane Gilmour.

The James E. and Darla B. Logue Scholarship also honors Darla Logue’s late husband, who taught for 49 years – 39 of them at Penn College – and was the recipient of the institution’s highest teaching honor: the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award.

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Warfel Construction establishes endowed scholarship

A full-service commercial construction company, founded in 1911 and based in Lancaster County, has endowed a scholarship to assist Pennsylvania College of Technology students in a variety of related majors.

The Warfel Construction Endowed Scholarship is focused on students pursuing degrees in building construction technology, concrete science technology, construction management and heavy construction equipment technology: operator emphasis.

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Penn College Golf Classic raises $134,000 for scholarships

The 35th Annual Penn College Foundation Golf Classic, featuring inspiring blind golfer Jeremy Poincenot, winner of three World Blind Golf Championships and eight National Blind Golf Championships, recently raised $134,000 for student scholarships.

With this year’s total, the Penn College Foundation Golf Classic Scholarship Fund now exceeds $1.8 million. Proceeds from the annual Golf Classic and accumulated investment income created the endowed scholarship fund, one of the foundation’s largest.

“Golf Classic participants are part of the legacy that has built this important source of scholarship aid,” President Davie Jane Gilmour said. “Participation directly impacts the lives of Penn College students as they pursue an applied technology education and prepare to become leaders in their chosen professions – meeting the challenges of their industries with unrivaled skill and confidence.”

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President’s Legacy Campaign gift benefits student scholarships

Pennsylvania College of Technology President Davie Jane Gilmour has made a substantial commitment to the college’s Legacy Campaign for Penn College fundraising effort. The donation will benefit several key scholarship initiatives for students.

Gilmour, who recently announced plans to retire as president on June 30, 2022, is making a six-figure gift that will support the existing Tomorrow Makers Scholarship, as well as two new endowed funds she is creating: the Gilmour Global Experiences Endowment and the Gilmour Student Competition Endowment.

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College, Alexander Family Dealerships collaborate on digital sign

The new digital billboard is installed last month along Interstate 180 near Penn College.
The new digital billboard is installed last month along Interstate 180 near Penn College.

In partnership with Pennsylvania College of Technology, Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships has made a significant donation to erect color digital signage along Interstate 180 near the college.

The double-sided, 14-by-48-foot sign – which stands 70 feet high – replaces an existing college-owned sign that is no longer in operation.

Penn College will use the sign to promote academic programs, as well as a range of activities and events, Wildcat Athletics and college-related initiatives.

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‘Bucky’ goes off the gridiron, into the studio

Speicher (center), with "PA live!" co-hosts Bohinski and Bianco
Speicher (center), with “PA live!” co-hosts Bohinski and Bianco

Penn College writer/video producer Tom Speicher, whose literary labor of love and friendship finessed a mentor’s manuscript into print, was featured in a four-minute segment of WBRE’s “PA live!” on Thursday afternoon. Co-hosts Haley Bianco and Christopher Bohinski discussed “Bucky Deacon’s Dilemma,” a youth football novel written by local sports legend Bill Byham in the 1980s, and revised and recently published by Speicher. The interview touched on the book’s winding road to publication, its universal themes (leadership and conflict resolution, among them) and the philanthropic fact that sales benefit the institution’s Emergency Scholarship Fund. “I’m very excited about that,” Speicher said. “I’ve worked at Penn College for over 30 years now in various capacities, so it was very important for me that I was able to give back.” Recommended for 10- to 14-year-olds, the book is available from Amazon in paperback ($6.99) and Kindle ($3.99) editions.

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College part of pioneering $1.8 million scholarship initiative

Pennsylvania College of Technology is partnering with the Brook J. Lenfest Foundation and Philadelphia Foundation for the Lenfest Immensitas Scholars Program, which benefits youth in, or aging out of, foster care.

The innovative large-scale initiative, designed to increase college graduation among up to 100 Philadelphians annually, features participation principally from Harcum College (80 scholars) with additional funding reserved for three institutions: Penn College, 10 scholars; Penn State main campus, five scholars; and West Chester University, five scholars.

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College launches $1.5 million ‘Kick Start Scholarship’ project

Pennsylvania College of Technology is committing $1.25 million in existing scholarships and $250,000 in new scholarships for incoming students in Fall 2021.

Eligible students may receive up to $5,000 scholarship awards through the initiative, known as the Kick Start Scholarship project. Part of the college’s plan to continue seeking the best and the brightest prospective students, the project is being launched during somewhat turbulent times to ensure that a Penn College degree is accessible to more students.

To be considered for a Kick Start Scholarship award, prospective students are being asked to submit a 30- to 60-second video that shares how the scholarship will help kick start their education at Penn College.  The college is sharing the videos on its social media platforms.

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Students to benefit from co-author’s tribute to late mentor

When local sports legend Bill Byham passed away in late May 2017, his unpublished novel – offering relevant life lessons through the prism of junior-high football – could easily have died with him.

The manuscript of “Bucky Deacon’s Dilemma,” pecked out on a typewriter during summers by the pool, had languished for decades since Byham tried unsuccessfully to get it published through the comparably limited outlets of the 1980s and ’90s. The dream of sharing Bucky’s story with the world would have remained unrealized, but for a friend who fondly remembered his once-upon-a-time reading of it.

“A couple weeks before he died, Bill just wanted to write. He talked about it a lot,” said Tom Speicher, who met Byham as a Lycoming College freshman. “About two years afterward, I got the idea that publishing his book would be a great way to pay tribute to him. We need more stories like this, sharing the virtues of teamwork, conflict resolution and friendship.”

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Scholarship donors get firsthand look at their fruitful philanthropy

A recent Scholarship Celebration, including remarks delivered from the new Center for Career Design, paid tribute to scholarship donors and vividly illustrated the life-changing impact that their support creates for Pennsylvania College of Technology students.

Emceed by Kyle A. Smith, executive director of college relations and the Penn College Foundation, the event featured the perspective of Student Government Association President Ethan M. McKenzie, graduating this spring in software development and information management, and 2018 applied technology studies alumnus Ryan Monteleone, who also holds a degree in information assurance and cyber security.

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