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Horticulture Faculty Member Accepts Surprise Donation at Summit

Carl J. Bower Jr.A member of the horticulture faculty at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently joined colleagues from across the country in a visit with the nation’s largest landscape-construction contractor, returning home with a $1,000 donation for the college’s School of Natural Resources Management.

Carl J. Bower Jr. attended the Second Annual Faculty Summit, held Feb. 10-13 at the corporate headquarters of the ValleyCrest Companies in Calabasas, Calif. He was among 26 faculty/administrators from the United States and Puerto Rico to meet with the executive board and learn about the firm’s corporate culture during an all-expenses-paid trip.

“With nearly 10,000 employees and sales close to $1 billion a year, it only makes sense to pay close attention to ValleyCrest and what they can do for our students,” Bower said. The group toured the corporate campus; the Huntington Library and Garden, a landscape development in San Marino, Calif.; and the Langham Hotel and Resort in Pasadena, one of ValleyCrest’s landscape-maintenance sites.

“Learning about the other landscape programs was a huge benefit of the trip,” Bower said. “Recruitment, fundraising and connections with alumni were common topics among faculty. No matter what part of the country we were from, we all faced similar issues and problems.”

Learning how other colleges dealt with those issues was extremely beneficial, he added.

“ValleyCrest brought us together with a common goal: to learn,” Bower said. “We learned about their company and the fantastic work they do, we learned more about the students in our programs and in programs across the country, and we learned from the other faculty by sharing ideas about our programs, our schools and students.”

As a parting gesture of ValleyCrest’s support of landscape programs at Penn College and the other 20 schools present, attendees were given checks of $1,000 each to help purchase supplies, equipment and materials to educate students.

“We truly appreciate the support ValleyCrest has shown in our program and students,” Bower said. “The checks were a total surprise to all of us. It just shows how invested they are in getting quality employees, and the fact that Penn College was among those 20 schools in the country makes us feel good. We hope to continue our relationship with them in the future.”

For more information about the School of Natural Resources Management, visit online or call (570) 320-8038.

For more information about Penn College, visit on the Web, e -mail or call toll-free (800) 367-9222.

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