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Reception celebrates donors’ generosity, president’s legacy

Commenting at Monday evening’s Donor Recognition Reception on the absurdity of receiving a pollen alert and a winter weather advisory on the same April day, President Davie Jane Gilmour moved on to something equally astounding but far less rare: affirmation of the philanthropy that allows Pennsylvania College of Technology students to pursue their passions and hone the skills needed to transform tomorrow.

As Michael and Christina Reed were acknowledged among the newest members of the Heritage Society, Gilmour took the opportunity to introduce him as the college's new president come July. She promised the institution's supportive patrons that Reed would honor the college's long-held mission, while imbuing it with exciting new vision.
As Michael and Christina Reed were acknowledged among the newest members of the Heritage Society, Gilmour took the opportunity to introduce him as the college’s new president come July. She promised the institution’s supportive patrons that Reed would honor the college’s long-held mission, while imbuing it with exciting new vision.

“Your generosity is empowering students to experience firsts of all kinds: a first opportunity to study a subject they love, first international travel, a first chance to compete on a national stage, the opportunity to serve in our Student Government Association,” said the president, who is retiring in June after more than four decades of service to the institution as a faculty member and administrator.

“I’ve had several milestone moments throughout my presidency and this year certainly tops the list, both professionally and personally. For 45 years, I’ve advocated for our life-defining, applied technology education. I’ve done my best to live out a ‘hands-on presidency’ to ensure our students would have meaningful opportunities to achieve their educational and professional goals,” Gilmour continued.

“Witnessing countless individuals come together to strengthen the Penn College Legacy for current and future students is truly a remarkable gift, one that humbles me. I’ve always said that people make the difference and that holds true today. Thank you for making a difference for our students and future generations.”

The president was introduced by Loni N. Kline, vice president for college relations and chief philanthropy officer, who also shared a video highlighting the “incredible impact” of contributions from alumni, corporate partners, employees, parents and friends of the college.

“I’d like to take a moment to thank you, Dr. Gilmour. Our future is bright because of your vision, your steadfast leadership, your own personal philanthropy and your commitment to community and most importantly, our students,” Kline said. “You are Penn College, through and through.”

The night’s honorees, newly added to the Donor Recognition Wall or moving to a higher level of giving (*) are:

Millionaire’s Society ($1 million+)
Cleveland Brothers  Equipment Co. *

Golden Society ($500,000 to $999,999)
Allan Myers Inc.*
Lycoming Engines*

Visionary Society ($100,000 to $499,999)
The Brook J. Lenfest Foundation Inc.*
Donald M. Cunningham
Foley Inc.*
Frazier family*
The Hartman Group*
John Deere*
William Knecht*
Laserline*
David and Lynda Livingston*
Olympus Scientific Solutions Americas
The family of John and Eva Pellegrino*
Elliott and Carolyn Strickland*
Susquehanna Valley Corvette Club Foundation*
Waste Management*
Marshall Welch III*
Worth & Company Inc.

With "Future Made by Hand" providing an appropriate backdrop – and the falling snow offering an unseasonably beautiful ambience – a crowd gathers for the Donor Wall portion of the evening.
With “Future Made by Hand” providing an appropriate backdrop – and the falling snow offering an unseasonably beautiful ambience – a crowd gathers for the Donor Wall portion of the evening.

Heritage Society ($50,000 to $99,999)
Automation Systems Interconnect Inc.
Compass Group North America*
John and Linda Confer*
The late Carol Cunningham*
Mark and Denise Cunningham*
Brent and Daria Fish – Fish Real Estate*
Five Star International*
Ryan Monteleone*
Philly Shipyard
Michael and Christina Reed*
Patricia Urosevich*
Wheeland Lumber Company Inc.
Gene Yaw and Ann Pepperman*

Ambassador’s Society ($25,000 to $49,999)
Nicholas and Carol Catino
Clark Associates Charitable Foundation
Coterra Energy
Coventry Foundation
The late David D. Cunningham*
The late Donald and Jean Cunningham*
EQT Foundation
Brian and Joanna Flynn
Herman and Luther’s Catering Co.
Keith and Jennifer Kuzio
George Logue III
Ron and Tina Miller
Anthony Pace
Pfizer Inc.
David and Marilyn Seeling
Walter and Erin Shultz
SPE Rotational Molding Division
Trane
Francis “Skip” Vogel and Kathleen Solley Vogel
Warfel Construction Co.
Wayne Township Landfill

The family of Jerry "Fuzz" McNett, which memorialized the 1973 horticulture grad and 28-year General Services employee on an entrance pillar, multigenerationally gather in commemoration. McNett, who died in December, had two daughters involved with Penn College athletics; the plaque fittingly ends with "Wildcat Proud."
The family of Jerry “Fuzz” McNett, which memorialized the 1973 horticulture grad and 28-year General Services employee on an entrance pillar, multigenerationally gather in commemoration. McNett, who died in December, had two daughters involved with Penn College athletics; the plaque fittingly ends with “Wildcat Proud.”

The reception was preceded by dedication of the college’s Pillar Project, which honors Gilmour’s legacy through commemorative sponsorship of capstoned pillars surrounding the college’s entryway. (The ceremony was scheduled to take place outdoors, in front of the pillars themselves, but was moved into the Student & Administrative Services Center by the day’s early-spring snowstorm.)

“The pillars line the main entrance to campus – the literal accessway for students to a Penn College education,” the project’s initial 42 contributors were told by Kline, who initiated the Pillar Project as part of the Tomorrow Is in the Making: Legacy Campaign. “And, your thoughtful gifts to scholarships are creating that launchpad. Your gifts are enabling students to pursue their passions, and creating opportunities that many of them would not otherwise have experienced.

“That means more talented technicians, bakers, dental hygienists, engineers and business leaders, locally and globally. And that’s good for all of us. Because when you give a young person the chance to fulfill their potential, there’s no limit to what they can accomplish.”

Honored by donors’ generosity, Gilmour said the resulting scholarship funds will provide students with opportunities many never dreamed possible until they stepped on campus and started expanding their horizons. In addition, she commented that the pillars – whether installed when the entrance was dedicated in 1999 or thoroughly refurbished last fall – welcome the Penn College community to the wonders that await.

“I firmly believe that first impressions can make a difference,” she said. “These pillars set the stage for what you will find behind Maynard Street. You know you’re coming somewhere special.”

– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor
(unless otherwise noted)

 

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