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Ronald Thompson Scholarship, Commencement Award Established

A memorial commencement award and scholarship honoring the late Ronald E. Thompson a faculty member at Pennsylvania College of Technology and its predecessor institution Williamsport Area Community College have been established at the College.

The Ronald E. Thompson Memorial Physical Fitness Specialist Commencement Award and Scholarship will be distributed annually, beginning in May.

The commencement award will be given to a graduate of the Physical Fitness Specialist associate-degree major, chosen by the faculty, who has demonstrated high academic achievement and promotes and practices the principles of wellness and personal fitness.

Preference for the scholarship will be given to students enrolled in any Physical Fitness Specialist program who have demonstrated financial need and academic quality.

Thompson taught ecology, environmental science, microbiology, general biology, and anatomy and physiology from 1965 until his retirement in May 2002. He was instrumental in the creation and development of the Science Department, serving as chairman for several years. Before coming to Penn College, he taught biology at the State University of New York-Plattsburgh.

Thompson was co-author of the text “Experimental Designs for the General Biology Laboratory” and the article “Acid Rain, pH & Acidity: A Common Misinterpretation,” published in “The American Biology Teacher.” His special interest was study and research in aquatic ecology. He was a founder and prominent member of the Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association for more than 30 years, serving as president for many years.

He collected a vast amount of biological and chemical data on the Loyalsock Creek. Using his expertise in ecology, he directed and worked with students in many of the Watershed Association’s research projects.

Thompson also was an assistant coach/adviser for the Wildcat Power Team, which was started in 1995 by Dr. William Urosevich, associate professor of biology (anatomy/physiology). The team is devoted to weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding and the martial arts. Dr. Urosevich became the coach/adviser, while Thompson and Dr. Rudy Kafer served as assistant coaches/advisers.

“I often looked to Ron for guidance on developing strength programs and his expertise in human anatomy,” Dr. Urosevich said. “The members of the team loved Ron dearly, and although he could not travel with us to various competitions, he always was proud of the team. Many members of the Wildcat Power Team were students pursuing a career in physical fitness, so I felt it appropriate to honor Ron by establishing the scholarship in the Fitness Specialist program. The team has competed regionally and nationally and won several awards over the past eight years. I feel the scholarship is a fitting tribute to Ron in an activity that he truly enjoyed.”

“Ron was well-respected by his students and colleagues,” added Dennis L. Correll, executive director of Penn College Foundation. “To have his colleagues come forward to establish a commencement award and scholarship fund in his name will ensure that Ron’s legacy will live on here at Penn College.”

Contributions will continue to be collected in Thompson’s memory. Donations may be sent to the Penn College Foundation, One College Ave., Williamsport, PA 17701. For more information, contact Correll at (570) 320-8020.

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