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Legacy of Leaders
Davie Jane Gilmour

Davie Jane Gilmour
Davie Jane Gilmour

When Davie Jane Gilmour was named Penn College’s president 15 years ago this month, her mantra of “People make the difference” quickly turned the focus back onto the human element at the root of the institution’s historic success. Coupled with a renewed emphasis on the college’s role in the community, the tone was set from the very start of her administration, when a Diamond 10 celebration marked the college’s 85th anniversary and its 10th year as an affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University. “We are proud of our history and of a tradition that sets us apart from others in higher education,” Gilmour said. “We have roots deeply planted in this community. We are not, nor should we be, a gated community unto itself.” While eyes are keenly focused on next year’s centennial observance, her presidency has seen an impressive succession of milestones: a new entrance, which helped spur economic development all along Maynard Street; the Field House, designed and built by students; installation of the area’s largest American flag, which quickly became a community symbol; expanded campus housing (and the accompanying attention to student life); transformation of the vacated HON Industries Inc. building into College Avenue Labs; programs that spur youngsters’ interest in technological careers; a Student and Administrative Services Center; and − a longtime goal realized −  the Madigan Library. And through it all, Gilmour has been a tireless example of town-gown cooperation, lending her time and leadership talents to area as diverse as Little League Baseball, philanthropy, health care and the arts. More can be learned in “Legacy of Leaders,” the second volume in the Countdown to the Centennial series. The book, supported by a centennial website, is available for $9.95 from The College Store.

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