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Happy Returns of the Day


About 50 alumni of Williamsport Technical Institute returned to campus on Friday for an annual reunion of graduates from the institution that laid the foundation for today’s Pennsylvania College of Technology. Established by the Williamsport School District, WTI developed many innovations in hands-on adult education before becoming the third community college in the state in 1965 and later Penn College. In addition to reminiscing, the alumni – whose graduation years ranged from 1945 to 1966 – heard from current students about the latest advancements in the college’s welding, occupational therapy assistant and mechatronics academic programs. After a morning of nostalgia and student presentations, the group gathered for lunch and toured the college’s art gallery and veterans’ resource center.

– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor

Bruce Henning (center), ’64, automotive mechanic, converses with Lee Woodhead (at left), ’60, heavy construction equipment.
Bruce Henning (center), ’64, automotive mechanic, converses with Lee Woodhead (at left), ’60, heavy construction equipment.

President Davie Jane Gilmour welcomes the WTI alumni and their guests gathered in Penn’s Inn.
President Davie Jane Gilmour welcomes the WTI alumni and their guests gathered in Penn’s Inn.

Time stands still in this Penn's Inn group photo of reunion attendees, representing the college's historic and formative early years.
Time stands still in this Penn’s Inn group photo of reunion attendees, representing the college’s historic and formative early years.

Welding and fabrication engineering technology majors get some sage advice from Paul Schriner, a 1963 welding grad and one of the program's earliest faculty members. Alluding to Schriner's developmental role, Samuel P. Guaragno (left) of Spring Grove, said getting to meet him is “the only reason I’m here.” They’re joined by Nathaniel H. Lyon, of Fredericksburg.
Welding and fabrication engineering technology majors get some sage advice from Paul Schriner, a 1963 welding grad and one of the program’s earliest faculty members. Alluding to Schriner’s developmental role, Samuel P. Guaragno (left) of Spring Grove, said getting to meet him is “the only reason I’m here.” They’re joined by Nathaniel H. Lyon, of Fredericksburg.

Drafting graduates from 1966-67 who had Chalmer Van Horn (far right) as their instructor reunite on the second floor of the Bush Campus Center. From left are Gareth Wick, Ron Good, Robert Kotarsky and Everett Brandt. Van Horn graduated from mechanical drafting in 1958.
Drafting graduates from 1966-67 who had Chalmer Van Horn (far right) as their instructor reunite on the second floor of the Bush Campus Center. From left are Gareth Wick, Ron Good, Robert Kotarsky and Everett Brandt. Van Horn graduated from mechanical drafting in 1958.

All five, including VanHorn, are depicted in a photograph brought to campus by Good ...
All five, including VanHorn, are depicted in a photograph brought to campus by Good …

... a 1967 drafting graduate who also carried his WTI student ID in his travels from Wellsville, N.Y.
… a 1967 drafting graduate who also carried his WTI student ID in his travels from Wellsville, N.Y.

Kimberly R. Cassel, director of alumni relations, visits with reunion attendees.
Kimberly R. Cassel, director of alumni relations, visits with reunion attendees.

Johnathan T. Capps generates a laugh as he shows a photo of himself immersed in mud after last year’s competitive SAE Baja race. Capps, ’16, mechatronics engineering technology, delivered a talk on the diverse skills learned in mechatronics. The applied technology studies student from North Wales has petitioned to graduate next month.
Johnathan T. Capps generates a laugh as he shows a photo of himself immersed in mud after last year’s competitive SAE Baja race. Capps, ’16, mechatronics engineering technology, delivered a talk on the diverse skills learned in mechatronics. The applied technology studies student from North Wales has petitioned to graduate next month.

Paul Bizilia, ’62, mechanical drafting, flashes a smile.
Paul Bizilia, ’62, mechanical drafting, flashes a smile.

Veteran students, who also dined with WTI alumni, stand ready to help guests navigate the luncheon line. From right are Brandon R. Belack, civil engineering technology, Navy; Cutter M. Hall, construction management, Marine Corps; Gina M. Peluzzo, civil engineering technology, Pennsylvania Air National Guard; and Cody R. Harriman, emergency management technology, Army.
Veteran students, who also dined with WTI alumni, stand ready to help guests navigate the luncheon line. From right are Brandon R. Belack, civil engineering technology, Navy; Cutter M. Hall, construction management, Marine Corps; Gina M. Peluzzo, civil engineering technology, Pennsylvania Air National Guard; and Cody R. Harriman, emergency management technology, Army.

Donald and Gail Sayman traveled to campus from Okeechobee, Fla. He graduated in 1953 in aviation mechanics, then returned to study electronics in 1960.
Donald and Gail Sayman traveled to campus from Okeechobee, Fla. He graduated in 1953 in aviation mechanics, then returned to study electronics in 1960.

Lyon and Helen Torunidis, a welding and fabrication engineering technology student from Bethlehem, take their audience on a journey through welding's past, present and future – including plans to expand the college's welding labs.
Lyon and Helen Torunidis, a welding and fabrication engineering technology student from Bethlehem, take their audience on a journey through welding’s past, present and future – including plans to expand the college’s welding labs.

John Hertel, ‘49, electric and acetylene welding, poses a question during a Q&A with the students.
John Hertel, ‘49, electric and acetylene welding, poses a question during a Q&A with the students.

Two students enrolled in applied health studies: occupational therapy assistant concentration – Bryonna A. Aldubayan, of Old Forge, and Caleb J. Maenza, of Sayre – share universal design concepts that assist older individuals to “age in place” (at home).
Two students enrolled in applied health studies: occupational therapy assistant concentration – Bryonna A. Aldubayan, of Old Forge, and Caleb J. Maenza, of Sayre – share universal design concepts that assist older individuals to “age in place” (at home).

Air Force veterans meet: Thomas Chapman, ’64, technical illustration, shakes the hand of applied management student Efrem K. Foster, who serves in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.
Air Force veterans meet: Thomas Chapman, ’64, technical illustration, shakes the hand of applied management student Efrem K. Foster, who serves in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.

Old meets new in the arena of accessories. The alumni were gifted with Penn College Wildcats plastic drinking bottles and Penn College Alumni Association lanyards.
Old meets new in the arena of accessories. The alumni were gifted with Penn College Wildcats plastic drinking bottles and Penn College Alumni Association lanyards.

Following lunch, alumni enjoyed optional tours of The Gallery at Penn College on the third floor of Madigan Library …
Following lunch, alumni enjoyed optional tours of The Gallery at Penn College on the third floor of Madigan Library …

… and the Major General Fred F. Marty, USA Retired, Veterans and Military Resource Center on the first floor of the Student and Administrative Services Center.
… and the Major General Fred F. Marty, USA Retired, Veterans and Military Resource Center on the first floor of the Student and Administrative Services Center.

Culinary arts technology student Janelle R. Becker, of Fort Loudon, skillfully serves the special guests.
Culinary arts technology student Janelle R. Becker, of Fort Loudon, skillfully serves the special guests.

 

 

 

Comments

Phil Berry,

It is an honor to welcome these treasured, foundational alumni back to campus!

Fred & Jenny Keiper,

We thoroughly enjoyed the reunion. The student presentations were most informative, the comradery with fellow alumni priceless and the food was excellent. You did a fine job, as usual, Kim!

Robert Fries,

Enjoyed student presentations, talking to other attendees, looking forward to next year’s event. College staff most courteous and attentive, food delicious. My thanks to all responsible.

Donald R. Miller,

The reunion was great, and when I left, I forgot the drinking cup mainly because I could not carry it. Thanks for a great day.

Ron Good,

Great time at the reunion. I try never to miss an opportunity to reunite with our drafting instructor, Chalmer Van Horn. A living legend.

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