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Williamsport Technical Institute Alumni Meet at Penn College

110 alumni, with former W.T.I. director Kenneth E. Carl More than 100 alumni of the Pennsylvania College of Technology forerunner Williamsport Technical Institute — representing a range of years spanning from 1937-65 — gathered at the college recently for the seventh annual W.T.I. reunion.

W.T.I. was founded in 1941 on adult education programs established by the Williamsport Area School District in 1914. W.T.I. (1941-65) is one of two predecessor institutions of Penn College; the other is Williamsport Area Community College (1965-89).

The June 15 reunion was hosted at Penn College’s Roger and Peggy Madigan Library, which opened for students in Fall 2006. In addition to reconnecting with classmates and friends, the W.T.I. alumni toured the 104,000-square-foot building and received library cards they can use at the facility.

Features of the tour included displays of photographs and other W.T.I. memorabilia, as well as a gallery exhibit of woodcarvings by Kenneth E. Carl, former W.T.I. director and W.A.C.C. president.

Carl, who graduated from W.T.I.’s high-school-level drafting program in 1931 and began his career at W.T.I. in 1937 as head of the drafting department, was on hand to greet alumni at the reunion.

New for this year’s event was the recognition (by Barbara A. Danko, alumni relations director) of three W.T.I. alumni for their accomplishments and contributions to their communities.

The honorees are:

  • Donald E. Sheldon, Class of 1948, who became a world-famous bush pilot in Alaska. Throughout his career, Sheldon shared his experiences and expertise with college students studying in the field of aviation. He died in 1975.
  • Harold C. Aderhold, Class of 1954, who retired in 2005 as reactor supervisor and manager of Cornell University’s Ward Center for Nuclear Sciences. Before his career at Cornell, Aderhold worked in reactor design and operation and oversaw the startup of several reactors around the world.An alumnus and guest look at a display in the college archives.
  • William H. Stiles, Class of 1960, who has had a long and successful career in auto racing. His company, Stiles Performance, specializes in race-car magnetos that are supplied to many top race teams nationwide.

Displays of mementos, many of them donated by alumni, were set up around the library.“Penn College lost track of almost all W.T.I. alumni over the years,” Danko said, adding that efforts in the past several years have resulted in more than 1,500 of those alumni being located.

Danko said anyone who attended Williamsport Technical Institute but who does not receive Penn College’s quarterly magazine (One College Avenue) or other mailings, is encouraged to contact the Alumni Relations Office by calling (570) 320-8000, or toll-free (877) PCT-ALUM (877-728-2586); sending e-mail or writing to Alumni Relations Office, One College Avenue, Williamsport, PA 17701-5799.

The eighth annual W.T.I. reunion is scheduled for Friday, June 20, 2008.

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