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Dr. Martin Receives ‘Vision Award’ for Support of Arts Center

The Community Arts Center Board of Governors has honored Pennsylvania College of Technology Senior Vice President Dr. William J. Martin with a “Vision Award” for his efforts in the renovation of the Arts Center and his ongoing support of the facility.

The surprise honor was bestowed at a recent awards ceremony and reception at the Arts Center the restored former Capitol Theatre during which the Board of Governors honored its previously announced 2002 recipients: Dr. Francis M. “Skip” Powers, Caryn Powers and the Williamsport-Lycoming Foundation.

Gram Slaton, the Arts Center’s executive director, said Dr. Martin has steadfastly declined to be considered for the honor, so the Board, a volunteer-driven advisory council to the Arts Center, decided to surprise him with the award instead.

The “Vision Award” recognizes members of the community who have demonstrated outstanding service to the performing arts in Williamsport and Lycoming County and to the Arts Center itself.

“Bill Martin was and continues to be the heart and soul of the Community Arts Center,” said Penn College President Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour. “(Former Penn College President) Dr. Robert Breuder had the vision, and Bill brought the place to life. Because of Bill’s countless hours of work both during and after the restoration, we can experience the arts in Williamsport today like never before.”

Slaton said no one has put “more extraordinary energy, patience, care and concern” into the restoration and ongoing operation of the Arts Center.

“Bill had no background in performing arts prior to his designation by Dr. Breuder as point person for the ‘Capitol Campaign;’ nevertheless, he went about the business of making this project a success with tremendous gusto,” Slaton said. “He climbed through dirt tunnels, painted detail in the final hours before the first performance and piloted the administration of the new enterprise as if he’d been doing projects like this all his life.”

For his support of the Community Arts Center and the performing arts in Williamsport and Lycoming County, Dr. Martin will receive a star in the theater’s outer-lobby “Vision Walk.”

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