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100-Year Memories Safely Cocooned … Until College Sesquicentennial

The General Services crew undertakes a weighty task.

The final activities of Penn College’s illustrious Centennial observance – the filling, sealing and installation of an institutional snapshot from that 2014 celebration – took place this week in a first-floor corner of Madigan Library. Various historical and commemorative items were loaded into the time capsule on Thursday, and the contents were sealed with argon gas the following day. On Wednesday morning, the high-grade, stainless steel container was maneuvered into a glass-block repository built by the School of Construction & Design Technologies. The time capsule and its archival treasure will remain undisturbed until reopened in 50 years. A montage of Centennial activities, colorfully and energetically composed from a year’s worth of photos, has been incorporated into a video on the Penn College YouTube channel.

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Penn College Centennial Documentary Wins Telly Award

"Working Class"

An ambitious documentary produced by Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA Public Media has received a national honor.

“Working Class: 100 Years of Hands-On Education” recently garnered a bronze Telly Award for outstanding achievement in the documentary category of the 36th annual competition.

Produced to commemorate the Centennial anniversary of the institution, the 60-minute documentary reveals myriad challenges the college has overcome in honoring the dignity of work. Interviews with key officials and national experts and archival photos and video bring to life the college’s enduring commitment to the working class.

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Penn College Awarded Gold for Centennial Marketing Campaign

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s efforts to publicize its 2014 Centennial celebration were honored with a Gold Award in the 30th Annual Educational Advertising Awards, sponsored by Higher Education Marketing Report.

Penn College received a Gold Award in the Total Public Relations Program category for a submission that included a variety of Centennial-related works produced during the 2014 calendar year.

Among the materials submitted for judging were a documentary film, “Working Class: 100 Years of Hands-On Education”; a commemorative book, “Marketing With a Mission: Building the Brand That Became Pennsylvania’s Premier Technical College”; Centennial banners; brochures, posters, fliers, programs and invitations created for various campus events; paid advertisements; a Centennial calendar; website content; and an effort targeting multiple social media platforms.

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College’s Centennial Colloquia Culminate in Panel Discussion

Moderator James E. Cunningham, retired vice president for information technology and business process improvement, notes that campus lectures will continue as the Dan Doyle Science, Technology and Society Colloquia Series. Doyle, faculty emeritus and the college's Master Teacher in 1984, was a driving force behind the college's just-ended Centennial celebration.

Faculty panelists drawn from this past year's Centennial Colloquia Series field a question from the audience. From left are Dorothy J. Gerring and Robert A. Wozniak, associate professors of architectural technology; Lisa R. Bock, assistant professor of computer information technology; Mark D. Noe, professor of English-composition; D. Robert Cooley, assistant professor of anthropology/environmental science; and Craig A. Miller, assistant professor of history/political science.

A biometric image on a smartphone – technology only recently embraced by Bock (third from left) – recalls her September lecture on identity protection.

While recognizing the role of technology in effecting change, Gerring said it is but one factor in converting public will into progressive action.

Nursing major Sadie E. Bebko, of Allegany, N.Y., defends her generation against the suggestion that reliance on technology has left her peers unable to read a map or finish a book. While she and her peers avail themselves of shortcuts, she rebutted, they are more than capable of processing and retaining the complex information necessary to be critical thinkers and responsible citizens.

Six Penn College faculty members, who combined for four enlightening and provocative lectures during 2014’s Centennial Colloquia Series, reconvened on campus Wednesday night for a roundtable recap. The discussion, titled “Riding the Wave of Technological Change: Revolution or Evolution?” was held in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium. The group (Dorothy J. Gerring, Robert A. Wozniak, Lisa R. Bock, Mark D. Noe, D. Robert Cooley and Craig A. Miller) ably kicked around the connection between technology and progress, entertaining questions from moderator James E. Cunningham and the audience.
Photos by Elizabeth S. Greis, student photographer

College’s Marketing Efforts Capture Three ‘CUPPIE’ Awards

Employee, alumnus among college's CUPPIE honorees.

Pennsylvania College of Technology has been honored with three awards in an annual competition sponsored by CUPRAP – The Association of Communicators in Education, including recognition of the institution’s 2014 Centennial celebration.

Public Relations & Marketing at Penn College earned a Gold CUPPIE in the Public Relations Feature Article category, a Gold in the Photography division and a Silver for the college’s overall 100th-anniversary marketing campaign.

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‘Working Class’ Documentary Added to College YouTube Channel

“Working Class: 100 Years of Hands-On Education,” which chronicles the rich and challenging history of Penn College and its predecessors, can be viewed on the college’s YouTube channel. The one-hour documentary – which premiered Jan. 8 on campus and continues to be shown on public television – was co-produced by the college and WVIA Public Media in conjunction with the institution’s 2014 Centennial.

Centennial Documentary Impresses Opening-Night Crowd

President Davie Jane Gilmour welcomes employees, retirees, students and community members to the grand finale of the college's Centennial celebration. Afterward, admittedly near-speechless in admiration, she said the documentary reflects a passion for the institution and a responsibility to build upon its legacy.

With pride born of a college career spanning more than a third of the period covered by the film, Elaine J. Lambert (one of its executive producers) asks co-workers Christopher J. Leigh (left, director/editor/camera) and Thomas F. Speicher (producer/writer/editor/camera) to stand and be acknowledged for their creative efforts.

A sea of supporters, which later rose in a tide of ovation, anticipates the enlightening success story about to unfold.

WVIA President and CEO Tom Currá, co-executive producer, discusses the long partnership between Penn College and the public television station.

Following the premiere, the ACC Auditorium hallways were used for on-camera interviews with key contributors and commentators including Veronica M. Muzic, a former vice president of academic affairs/provost and English faculty member, who was questioned by  Brad L. Nason, associate professor of mass communications and an award-winning contributor to WVIA's National Public Radio arm.

A one-hour documentary that recaps a century of institutional history (and caps Penn College’s yearlong Centennial celebration) met with an enthusiastic and appreciative audience on its initial showing Thursday afternoon. The premiere of “Working Class: 100 Years of Hands-On Education,” chronicling the story of the college and its contribution to the American workforce, was held at 3:30 p.m. in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium. The college co-produced the film with WVIA Public Media, which will broadcast it on public television on a variety of dates beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

On Cusp of Second Century, College Congratulates Final Centennial Class

Faculty onlookers share in the joy of the class speaker's splendid day, captured with the help of chief student affairs officer Elliott Strickland.

Pennsylvania College of Technology held its Winter Commencement on Saturday at Williamsport’s Community Arts Center, honoring Fall 2014 graduates  and ringing down the curtain on a yearlong 100th-anniversary celebration. Student speaker Nicole Marie Reyes-Molina, of Lancaster, a deaf student who received an Associate of Applied Science in building construction technology: masonry emphasis, represented the year’s final Centennial class during the 11 a.m. event. Nearly 300 degrees were conferred by college President Davie Jane Gilmour and state Sen. Gene Yaw, chair of the Penn College Board of Directors, who was surprised with a leadership award during the ceremony.

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Last updated December 20, 2014 | Posted in Alumni, Centennial, Events, Faculty & Staff, President | This gallery contains 70 photos. | Tagged as , , |

Sen. Yaw Honored With Leadership Award at Penn College

State Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors, is presented with the Centennial Leadership Award by Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour at the college's Winter Commencement ceremonies.

State Sen. Gene Yaw was presented with a Centennial Leadership Award during Winter Commencement for Pennsylvania College of Technology, which is celebrating its Centennial throughout 2014.

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour bestowed the surprise award upon Yaw during the ceremony, which was held at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport. The award honors “a legacy of leadership and a continuing contribution to the vitality of the institution during its Centennial anniversary year.”

“For more than three decades – spanning one-third of the institution’s 100-year history – Gene Yaw has served in pivotal leadership roles as solicitor, adviser, advocate, director and chairman of the Board of Directors of Pennsylvania College of Technology,” Gilmour said.

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Centennial Recedes Into History, but Philanthropy Shines On

A spectacular cake, literally "geared" toward the Centennial celebration, is just one of the eye-catching treats.

The Centennial Legacy Celebration, recognizing the donors who help further Penn College’s mission – and showcasing the talented students in the School of Business & Hospitality – was held Saturday evening in the Hager Lifelong Education Center. Invited guests enjoyed dinner in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, bookended by appetizers and a Grand Pastry Buffet in the Keystone Dining Room. The phenomenal success of the Centennial-related Penn College Scholarship Campaign was noted by President Davie Jane Gilmour, who said more than $6.1 million has already been pledged … and more gifts are expected before a final total is announced in mid-January. “This additional scholarship support will help the college pursue its vision of being a national leader in applied technology education,” she told donors, “and it was only made possible thanks to your generous support and commitment to Penn College. The impact of your generosity is already being felt by students, as the (Penn College) Foundation has awarded  more than $600,000 in scholarships this academic year – a 150-percent increase from the start of the campaign!” Support came from many members of the college community, who donated to an existing scholarship or established one of the 71 new funds added over the past three and a half years. The broad-based demonstration of support involved 653 alumni, 439 employees and retirees, 598 friends of the college and 197 industry partners.

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Last updated December 8, 2014 | Posted in Baking, Pastry & Culinary Arts, Business & Hospitality, Centennial, Events, Institutional Advancement, Scholarships | This gallery contains 34 photos. | Tagged as , , |

Gallery Announces People’s Choice Winner for ‘100 Works’

Ronni N. Warner, winner of the People's Choice award for "100 Works! - The Centennial Exhibit," stands next to her winning entry, "Past, Present, Future," a blend of three digital photographs, in The Gallery at Penn College.

The creative work of a Pennsylvania College of Technology student captured the People’s Choice award at the close of “100 Works! – The Centennial Exhibit” at The Gallery at Penn College.

Ronni N. Warner, a junior enrolled in pre-applied health studies, won the honor for her work, “Traveling Through Amelia,” a black-and-white print relating to the exhibit’s “Past, Present, Future” theme.

“This photo, which is actually a blend of three digital photos, reminds me of the theme because I can see the past in the sand and the shells, the present by the footprints imprinted on the sand, and the future in the tree reaching toward the light in the sky,” said Warner, a resident of Muncy and native of Bellefonte. “The blend of the photos reminds me of life as a process, and that process includes all of the elements of this theme.”

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Colloquium Highlights Consideration of Context Over Memorization of Dates

Under the lights of the ACC Auditorium dome (and the glow from the projection screen and students' electronic devices), a sizable crowd gathers for the final Centennial Colloquium.

Craig A. Miller offers an overview of the technological, economic, environmental and cultural issues that surrounded construction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railways – including displacement of American Indians.

Miller responds to an audience question about the ultimate impact of automation on the workforce, optimistically saying that, while technology will continue to alter the way we live and work, humans will always be involved.

The college's Centennial is drawing to a close, but Miller – along with the five other Penn College faculty members who contributed to the enlightening colloquia series – will reconvene for a panel discussion in February.

Past and present meet as Miller time-travels across the stage, introducing his audience to Thomas C. Durant, vice president of the Union Pacific Railroad.

Defining history as a “conversation between the past and the present … and almost always about the future,” faculty member Craig A. Miller delivered the concluding lecture in Penn College’s Centennial Colloquia Series on Tuesday night. The assistant professor of history and political science discussed “Technology, Power and Responsibility” in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium, engaging his audience the same way he challenges his students: “I’m not here to teach you history. I’m here to use history to teach you to be critical thinkers.” So while the presentation was shaped around the construction of the transcontinental railroad, that story served as a thought-provoking springboard to the broader connection between choices and consequences. Cross-country rail service was “truly a technological marvel” steeped in progress and industrial speed, he said, a monumental achievement that was not without fallout. True, it ushered in an era of development and helped the United States become a global economic power. But the territorial expansion also relocated Native Americans under a policy of “assimilate or move,” fostered financial chicanery and altered the workforce. In an informed give-and-take, Miller urged attendees to vigilantly weigh multiple perspectives, to logically and critically analyze the societal price of decisions, and to “accept uncomfortable truths and learn from them.” The hourlong program, introduced and moderated by Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs and provost, was followed by a question-and-answer session and a reception in Wrapture.

Centennial Reception, Concert Say ‘Thanks’ to Scholarship Donors

A full house in the Field House! The Centennial event invited all campaign donors to an autumn buffet. Attendees including alumni, current and retired employees and other friends and supporters, enjoyed such treats as mashed sweet potatoes, a selection of "sliders" and a choice of desserts from the college's fine-dining restaurant.

Surrounded by colorful stage lighting befitting the festive affair, President Davie Jane Gilmour welcomes more than 500 people – including students – to the post-buffet concert at the CAC.

One of the funnier moments of the evening was when the band offered a free copy of its new Christmas CD to the first audience member "to get up here." Two eager fans took the words literally, leaping onto the stage. Erin N. Shaffer (standing in white top), daughter of Myra K. Shaffer, institutional advancement and foundation assistant, was proclaimed the winner (although the band gave a second CD to the other fan.)

Home Free, which received two standing ovations by night's end, takes the stage.

Chris Rupp, who founded Home Free with his brother Adam, signs autographs for young fans in the Capitol Lounge following the show.

In appreciation of their contributions to the Penn College Scholarship Campaign, donors were treated to a casual Saturday evening of tasty and tuneful entertainment. The celebration began with a Le Jeune Restaurant-catered buffet at the Field House and continued at the Community Arts Center with a private performance by Home Free, the a cappella country group that won the fourth season of NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” More than $5.7 million has been donated to the campaign, which, for 2014-15, has already more than doubled the scholarship support to students prior to the start of the campaign in 2011.

Centennial Speaker Upbeat on Technology’s Downside

"Slow down," Alan Lightman tells his audience, a simple and optimistic remedy to overwhelming acceleration and accessibility.

An attentive crowd hears a tailor-made message.

A Centennial throng of students, employees and the public extends to the ACC Auditorium balcony.

Lightman describes a world that is "faster, less patient, louder and more wired" – but one that is not beyond reclamation.

The latest event in a yearlong 100th-birthday celebration

Affirming that the speed of communication governs the pace of life, a visiting physicist, author and educator made a regretful confession to his Penn College audience Tuesday: “I rarely goof off.” No matter the amount of time available – seconds can be spent answering phone messages, minutes are allotted to email responses and hours devoted to work on an article or book – Alan Lightman lamented that he no longer wastes that precious commodity. Contrasting his “long childhood detours through the woods” with his adult status as “a prisoner of the wired world,” he called for a more selective, reflective approach to time management; challenging us, individually and as a nation, to “take the time to think about where we’re going.” While he is far from anti-technology (Skype and other tools keep him connected to his nonprofit Harpswell Foundation), Lightman said society pays a heavy price for its advanced gadgetry. Among them are an obsession with speed and a corresponding impatience with relative slowness, an overload of not-always-useful information, confusing the cyberworld with reality, and the dual absence of silence and privacy. “I have lost something of my inner self,” he said; that quiet “soul space” where imagination, dreaming and exploration dwell. Lightman invoked the philosophy of Francis Bacon and Benjamin Franklin, who only championed technological invention when it served humanity. And it is humans, he said, who have the power to reverse the dizzying course and reclaim the “certain amount of stillness” required to balance societal progress with internal peace. The presentation of “Our Home in the Material Universe” to a packed Klump Academic Center Auditorium, especially written for the college’s Centennial Colloquia Series, was introduced by physics professor David S. Richards (who noted his favorite novel is Lightman’s “Einstein’s Dreams”). The series will conclude Tuesday, Nov. 18, with “Technology, Power and Responsibility,” presented by Craig A. Miller, assistant professor of history/political science.
Photos by Dalaney T. Vartenisian, student photographer

College Holds Centennial Open House

Victoria Krueger, a student ambassador stationed in an information tent by "The Rock," points a family in the right direction.

Penn College welcomed prospective students, their families and friends, and its community neighbors to Fall Open House on Sunday. Helpful employees, students and alumni were on hand throughout the day to enable exploration of academic programs, student life, and the college’s campuses and facilities. The student-focused portion of the day was held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; free transportation was provided to and from the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood and the Lumley Aviation Center in Montoursville. A Community Centennial Event, inviting the public to help celebrate 100 years of adult education, was from 2-4 p.m.

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Last updated October 26, 2014 | Posted in Admissions, Alumni, Centennial, Events, Faculty & Staff, General Information, President, Students | This gallery contains 11 photos. | Tagged as , , |

Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University