PPL Provides Support for Penn College’s Makerspace

An $8,000 grant from PPL Electric Utilities will help Pennsylvania College of Technology in its effort to open a makerspace on campus.

PPL is offering unrestricted funding in support of The Dr. Welch Workshop: A Makerspace at Penn College. The facility, under construction in the Carl Building Technologies Center at Penn College, will open this fall.

“PPL has been a longtime friend and supporter of Penn College,” said Elizabeth A. Biddle, the college’s director of corporate relations. “This recent gift is no exception. The company demonstrates an ongoing commitment to students, innovation and the community through this grant to the Penn College makerspace. We are appreciative of the support, which takes hands-on technology education to a deeper level.”

Gathered at the The Dr. Welch Workshop: A Makerspace at Penn College (under construction in the Carl Building Technologies Center at the college) are, from left, alumnus James Ryan, distribution technician for PPL; alumna Michelle Bennett-Knouse, journeyman electrician for PPL; Tracie Witter, PPL regional affairs director; Kyle A. Smith, executive director of the Penn College Foundation; and Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations for Penn College.

“Penn College offers a high-quality education to those interested in the technical fields,” said Tracie Witter, PPL regional affairs director. “This, along with PPL’s core value of commitment to the community, makes it an ideal fit for funding. We are honored to share a role in the establishment of the makerspace as an area for students in the sciences to gather, innovate and collaborate.”

The makerspace will provide the environment and essential tools for students, faculty and staff to collaborate on innovative projects. The design for The Dr. Welch Workshop: A Makerspace at Penn College was created by students and finalized by a committee of faculty and staff.

Makerspaces typically feature “clean” and “dirty” spaces. Clean spaces may include equipment such as computers, 3-D printers, sewing machines and vinyl cutters; dirty-space equipment includes things like saws, drill presses, routers, lathes and CNC mills.

The makerspace memorializes Dr. Marshall Welch Jr., whose son, Marshall Welch III, the chair of the Penn College Foundation Board and a member of the college’s 1914 Society, is the project’s principal donor, with a gift of $75,000.

George E. “Herman” Logue Jr. made a $25,000 commitment supporting the dirty space (the “Logue Fabritorium”). Fred Gilmour, faculty emeritus, has made the same $25,000 commitment for the clean space (the “Gilmour Tinkertorium”). Other leadership donors to the makerspace include: The Alberts Family, Al and Jane Clapps and Young Industries Inc.

To date, more than $185,000 in commitments have been secured for the project. Additional support is welcomed.

A variety of giving levels offer unique opportunities for anyone wishing to become philanthropic leaders for the project including an endowment to support project materials for students, $25,000; a “Think Space” classroom, $15,000; a “Tool Up” equipment fund, $10,000; and individual gifts noted with the donor’s name on a plaque, $5,000.

Anyone interested in supporting the makerspace project may contact Loni N. Kline, vice president for institutional advancement.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Penn College is a special mission affiliate of Penn State