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Clappers Named Penn College Alumni of the Year


Loyalsock Township residents Ronald C. Jr. and Sharon Engel Clapper were honored as Pennsylvania College of Technology’s 1999 Alumni of the Year during the College’s commencement exercises, held Saturday, May 15, in the Community Arts Center in downtown Williamsport. The Clappers own 21st Century Signs, in Montoursville.

The Clappers graduated from Penn College’s predecessor, Williamsport Area Community College, in 1981. (The couple met while they were students at the College and subsequently married.) Mr. Clapper, a native of Hollidaysburg, earned his degree in the electrical construction program and went on to become an entrepreneur, inventor and businessman. Mrs. Clapper, a native of Williamsport, graduated from the nursing program and later worked at Williamsport Hospital and in the rehabilitation field in Hollidaysburg.

Mr. Clapper credits his success in the coin gaming manufacturing field to the education he received at the College. He said former electrical faculty member Robert Snauffer made a particular impression on him and taught him the fundamentals which led to his first invention the control board for a crane-type device within a coin-operated redemption game machine. Later, he patented several casino games, as well as designed and built casinos. He owns businesses in California, South Carolina and Pennsylvaniathat employmore than200 people.

After residing in California for a number of years, the Clappers returned to Williamsport in 1996 to raise their daughters Stephanie, age 12, and Kristi, 10 in what they view as “a family-oriented, caring community.” Mrs. Clapper is active in volunteer activities including managing the annual Girl Scout cookie sale in Loyalsock Township. The couple also wanted to invest in the local community by establishing a business here. In 1997, Mr. Clapper opened 21st Century Signs; the business employsmore than50 people, among them, Penn College graduates.

Nominations for the annual Outstanding Alumni awards are accepted for graduates of Penn College (or its predecessors, W.A.C.C. and Williamsport Technical Institute) who have made significant contributions in his/her chosen field or benefited his/her community, state or nation.

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