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Retired Faculty Member Establishes Two Endowed Scholarships


Chalmer Van Horn, a retired faculty member who taught engineering drafting for nearly three decades at Pennsylvania College of Technology and its two predecessor institutions, has endowed two scholarships at the college, including one that honors the memory of his wife of 56 years, Ruth Ann.

The Ruth Ann Van Horn Nursing Scholarship gives preference to full-time students who are enrolled in the practical nursing major, are prior recipients and are enrolled to earn their registered nursing or Bachelor of Science nursing degrees.

Ruth Ann Van Horn received a registered nursing degree from the Williamsport Hospital School of Nursing in 1953 and worked in the emergency room at Muncy Valley Hospital from 1956 until the late 1960s, when she left nursing due to ill health.

Ruth Ann Van Horn with a rug-hooking sample
Ruth Ann Van Horn with a rug-hooking sample

She was introduced to rug hooking by her mother and enjoyed the art of making something useful. She studied techniques and performed the necessary requirements to become a certified Pearl K. McGown rug hooking teacher. She went on to operate her own business, Ruth Ann’s Wool, selling rug-hooking supplies and wool.

The Chalmer Van Horn Engineering CAD Technology Scholarship gives award preferences to full-time students who are enrolled in the engineering CAD technology associate-degree major, are prior recipients and are enrolled in the engineering design technology bachelor-degree program.

Chalmer Van Horn (left) with his final engineering drafting student, William P. Woodley, in 1991
Chalmer Van Horn (left) with his final engineering drafting student, William P. Woodley, in 1991

Chalmer Van Horn is a 1958 graduate of the mechanical drafting program at Williamsport Technical Institute, a Penn College forerunner. He earned professional engineering status as defined by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Van Horn started his teaching career at WTI in 1962. He also taught at Penn College forerunner Williamsport Area Community College before retiring from Penn College in 1991. He was recognized with the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1984 and was granted faculty emeritus status in 1994.

“Chalmer has played a significant role in the history of the institution, teaching students enrolled in Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College and Penn College,” said Robb Dietrich, executive director of the Penn College Foundation. “His legacy is already secure in the generations of students whose lives he impacted, but we are pleased that both his and his wife’s names will be forever part of the institution through these endowed scholarships. We are extremely grateful for Chalmer’s generosity.”

“Supporting these two scholarships is an opportunity for me to give back to Penn College for a fantastic education and a very rewarding teaching career,” Van Horn said. “This is also an appropriate way to remember Ruth Ann and her passion and commitment to the nursing profession. I continue to enjoy my involvement with the college by volunteering at Open House events, attending reunions and meeting with my former students.”

Students interested in applying for these and the more than 200 scholarships administered by the Penn College Foundation may complete the online application.

For more information about making a gift to the campaign or establishing a scholarship fund to support Penn College and its students, email or call the Institutional Advancement Office toll-free at 866-GIVE-2-PC (866-448-3272).

For more about Penn College, which is celebrating its Centennial throughout 2014, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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