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College Notecards Feature Artistry of Retired Faculty/Staff Member

Frederick T. Gilmour III literally draws inspiration from campus landmarks. (Photo by Joseph S. Yoder, News Bureau manager)Sets of notecards produced from watercolors painted by an alumnus and retired faculty/staff member at Pennsylvania College of Technology are available for purchase at The College Store.

The four watercolor scenes of the Klump Academic Center, the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center, the Victorian House, and the Student and Administrative Services Center were painted by Frederick T. Gilmour III.

Gilmour, who retired in 2001 after 20 years at the College, had been director of instructional technology and distance learning, an assistant professor of advertising art and the first executive director of the Penn College Foundation. He painted the scenes for the notecard project as a donation to the Foundation.

The boxed set contains two notecards of each scene. The cost for the set is $10, with all proceeds earmarked for the Student Scholarship Fund.

Gilmour, who was trained as a technical illustrator at Williamsport Technical Institute (a Penn College predecessor institution), relied upon the precision techniques he learned there to complete the watercolors for the notecard project.

“Back in those days, before computers and CAD, everything had to be done by hand, on tracing linen, one page at a time,” he said. “Every drawing that illustrated how the individual parts of a piece of machinery went together, or came apart, was drawn by hand. Everything from parts manuals and assembly instructions, to fully assembled aircraft engines and even conceptual engineering design, was done by a human hand.”

“The realistic and illustrative style I use is a byproduct of that training,” Gilmour added. “The technique I used on this project is watercolor enhanced with pen and ink a blend of the illustrative tightness of an illustration and the more free application of accent colors in an artistic and ‘painterly’ style.”

While Gilmour was attending W.T.I., another Penn College predecessor (Williamsport Area Community College) was established. He earned a certificate in Technical Illustration from W.A.C.C. and returned to earn an associate’s degree. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in Art Education from Mansfield University. Gilmour taught Advertising Art at Penn College part-time for a number of years while administering the Instructional Technology/Distance Learning program. He holds ‘professor emeritus’ status at the College.

This is not the first time Gilmour has used his ample artistic talents to benefit the institution.

He designed the College’s original official seal when it was established as Williamsport Area Community College in 1965, the College mace, the first College catalog cover, the masthead of the first newspaper the College published, and the large sculptural piece in the courtyard of the library. He also volunteered to redesign the seal when Penn College was established as a Penn State affiliate in 1989.

“Donating my talent is my way of helping to further the work of the institution,” he said. “The notion of being able to give the art to the College and help it gain a secondary advantage through the sale of the cards which benefit the Foundation and, in turn, students at the same time those who purchase them get to enjoy the art, or remember a campus visit or a past class experience, is a win-win-win.”

Gilmour said the buildings selected for the watercolor scenes highlight stages of development in the institution’s history.

Penn College notecards feature a collection of watercolors by Frederick T. Gilmour  III, professor emeritus and alumnus, including this wintry view of the Victorian House.The Klump Academic Center, he noted, will be recognized by most W.T.I. and W.A.C.C. graduates as the old Williamsport High School Building, where many classes were held.

The Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center, constructed in the 1980s, shows a progression into the “advanced and emerging technologies.”

The Victorian House (at right), he said, shows “the College’s recognition of the roots of the Greater Williamsport community and its continuing commitment to it.”

And, the Student and Administrative Services Center “reflects the current commitment to student-centered service,” he said of the facility that opened in 2003 at the College’s main entrance.

“We had discussed the possibility of producing a set Penn College notecards to sell, and when Fred offered to donate these watercolor paintings, we jumped at the opportunity,” said Barry R. Stiger, vice president for institutional advancement. “We are extremely pleased with the quality of these notecards. Over the years, Fred has been a great supporter and friend of Penn College and the Penn College Foundation.”

The notecards can be purchased at The College Store, located on the first floor of the Bush Campus Center at Penn College. They also are available for purchase online .

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