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College’s ‘defining moment’ launches grads into waiting workforce

Punctuating the ultimate celebration of student achievement, Pennsylvania College of Technology held a dizzying dozen commencement exercises from May 14-16 to provide a memorable occasion for students and their families while adhering to federal and state guidelines. The proceedings – four on Friday, five on Saturday and three on Sunday – simultaneously honored Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 graduates and featured speeches by a rotating trio of class representatives: Joseph M. Morrin, of Morrisville, graphic design; Ethan M. McKenzie, of Muncy, software development and information management; and Olivia C. Ferki, Richboro, plastics and polymer engineering technology. (Each of the three spoke at his or her major’s assigned ceremony; recorded versions of their remarks were rotated among the other nine.)

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Alumni College Relations Events Faculty & Staff President Students

President announces retirement, launches Legacy Campaign

After nearly a quarter century leading Pennsylvania College of Technology, President Davie Jane Gilmour informed the college community Thursday of her intention to retire next year.

Gilmour, who has spent her entire career in higher education at Penn College – 44 years, the last 23 as president – told faculty, staff and stakeholders that she plans to retire in June 2022, to be succeeded by a new leader who will be selected after a nationwide search.

Fittingly, Gilmour also announced plans for a legacy fundraising campaign that will invest in students as they continue to transform tomorrow throughout the workforce, in hopes that her legacy will reflect the boundless opportunity a Penn College education represents for students.

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Alumni College Relations Faculty & Staff President Students

Student to cap family tradition at Penn College commencement

For Thomas L. Snyder, his graduation at Pennsylvania College of Technology on May 16 will mark more than the end of a rigorous academic pursuit. It will close his family’s chapter at the college, which dates to the Kennedy Administration.

The Weedville native’s lineage is linked to the college’s evolution from a renowned postsecondary technical institute to the second community college in Pennsylvania to its current status as a national leader in applied technology education.

Snyder’s maternal grandfather, Thomas E. Foster, earned a machinist certificate from Williamsport Technical Institute in 1962, and his father, Troy L. Snyder, attended Williamsport Area Community College in the mid-1980s, just a few years before it became Penn College, a special mission affiliate of Penn State.

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Alumni Automated Manufacturing & Machining Electrical Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Students

Penn College student ‘plays’ chess for senior project

A Pennsylvania College of Technology electronics student used a game synonymous with skill to showcase his automation and robotics acumen.

For his senior project, Aaron T. McGinley, of Williamsport, created a virtual version of chess that allows a robot to mimic the game. Users play via a computer screen and a Kuka industrial robot picks up and arranges 3D pieces on wooden chessboards to reflect the on-screen action.

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Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff Students

College part of pioneering $1.8 million scholarship initiative

Pennsylvania College of Technology is partnering with the Brook J. Lenfest Foundation and Philadelphia Foundation for the Lenfest Immensitas Scholars Program, which benefits youth in, or aging out of, foster care.

The innovative large-scale initiative, designed to increase college graduation among up to 100 Philadelphians annually, features participation principally from Harcum College (80 scholars) with additional funding reserved for three institutions: Penn College, 10 scholars; Penn State main campus, five scholars; and West Chester University, five scholars.

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Ceremony celebrates historic gift from alumni businessman

An alumnus’s investment in the next generation of innovators, the literal future of American manufacturing, was spotlighted during the April 27 dedication of the Larry A. Ward Machining Technologies Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Last year’s $1 million-plus donation from Ward, a 1966 graduate in engineering drafting technology, monumentally reshaped the expansive laboratory – one of the oldest on campus, dating to the benefactor’s days as a student at Williamsport Technical Institute and Williamsport Area Community College, the institution’s predecessors.

“A strong advocate for the future of manufacturing in America, Larry is committed to enhancing our automated manufacturing and machining curriculum, lab space and opportunities to prepare students for successful and sustaining careers,” college President Davie Jane Gilmour said. “It is this commitment that has transformed our machining lab, but Larry’s generosity does not stop there. He has donated materials and equipment, sponsored a commencement award for mechatronics students, and hired Penn College graduates and interns as his business grew.”

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Alumni Automated Manufacturing & Machining College Relations Engineering Technologies Events Faculty & Staff President Students

Where campus beauty is a natural fact

An oft-recorded standard from America’s songbook romanticizes “April in Paris,” and poet Robert Browning waxed poetically, “O, to be in England now that April’s there.” At PCToday, we see no need to travel to Europe – or anywhere else, pandemic or no – during this merry month of reawakening, as the sights of the season are plenty gorgeous in our Penn College backyard. Amble across main campus (without even leaving your desktop or device!) and enjoy Earth’s idyllic partnership with General Services.

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