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On Cusp of Second Century, College Congratulates Final Centennial Class


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.

–  Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor, and Tom Wilson, writer/editor-PCToday

Student speaker Nicole Marie Reyes-Molina, with Sarah S. Moore, her mentor and Disability Services sign language interpreter.
Student speaker Nicole Marie Reyes-Molina, with Sarah S. Moore, her mentor and Disability Services sign language interpreter.

Whitnie-rae Mays, whose widespread campus leadership was reflected in receipt of the President's Award, celebrates her applied technology studies degree on familiar turf.
Whitnie-rae Mays, whose widespread campus leadership was reflected in receipt of the President’s Award, celebrates her applied technology studies degree on familiar turf.

Davie Jane Gilmour presides over the final commencement ceremony of a busy Centennial year.
Davie Jane Gilmour presides over the final commencement ceremony of a busy Centennial year.

Awaiting marching orders in a seasonally festooned Genetti ballroom
Awaiting marching orders in a seasonally festooned Genetti ballroom

Dorothy M. Mathers, associate professor of medical-surgical nursing – this year's recipient of the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award – shares valuable advice for the December graduating class. Among her gems? That proper attitude can mean the difference between job performance and job satisfaction.
Dorothy M. Mathers, associate professor of medical-surgical nursing – this year’s recipient of the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award – shares valuable advice for the December graduating class. Among her gems? That proper attitude can mean the difference between job performance and job satisfaction.

Brian K. Manley, a part-time student for 20 years who finished his degree online, traveled to Williamsport to claim his much-deserved bachelor's degree in automotive technology management. An automotive instructor and cross-country/track coach in the Cherry Creek School District in Greater Denver, Manley traveled – appropriately enough – from the town of Centennial, Colorado, and planned to enjoy the regional sights with his high school-age grandson before returning home.
Brian K. Manley, a part-time student for 20 years who finished his degree online, traveled to Williamsport to claim his much-deserved bachelor’s degree in automotive technology management. An automotive instructor and cross-country/track coach in the Cherry Creek School District in Greater Denver, Manley traveled – appropriately enough – from the town of Centennial, Colorado, and planned to enjoy the regional sights with his high school-age grandson before returning home.

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

A group of transfer students from Hudson Valley (New York) Community College, a mix of HVAC and building automation technology majors, savors the moment.
A group of transfer students from Hudson Valley (New York) Community College, a mix of HVAC and building automation technology majors, savors the moment.

The president presents a once-in-a-lifetime Centennial Leadership Award to state Sen. Gene Yaw, a 30-year advocate of the college and chair of its board of directors ...
The president presents a once-in-a-lifetime Centennial Leadership Award to state Sen. Gene Yaw, a 30-year advocate of the college and chair of its board of directors …

... who, surprised by the honor, takes a moment to let the sentiment sink in ...
… who, surprised by the honor, takes a moment to let the sentiment sink in …

... before expressing his gratitude, as well as his congratulations to the day's graduates.
… before expressing his gratitude, as well as his congratulations to the day’s graduates.

A line of students forms around Kay E. Dunkleberger, among the college employees on hand to help with pre-commencement wardrobe assistance.
A line of students forms around Kay E. Dunkleberger, among the college employees on hand to help with pre-commencement wardrobe assistance.

Graduates entering the auditorium walk a red carpet of sorts, "watched" by beautiful newcomers just beyond the velvet rope.
Graduates entering the auditorium walk a red carpet of sorts, “watched” by beautiful newcomers just beyond the velvet rope.

School of Business & Hospitality students file past a vigilant presence in the CAC lobby.
School of Business & Hospitality students file past a vigilant presence in the CAC lobby.

Monumental surroundings, befitting the occasion ...
Monumental surroundings, befitting the occasion …

... as graduates fill the choicest seats in tribute to their success.
… as graduates fill the choicest seats in tribute to their success.

A curtsy to the crowd is among the crowd-pleasing antics of happy grads.
A curtsy to the crowd is among the crowd-pleasing antics of happy grads.

The day also included fists raised in triumph, both singly ...
The day also included fists raised in triumph, both singly …

... and in tandem ...
… and in tandem …

... acknowledgement to some help from above ...
… acknowledgement to some help from above …

... a "you know who you are" shout-out ...
… a “you know who you are” shout-out …

... a peaceful "V" for victory ...
… a peaceful “V” for victory …

... an all-purpose "thumbs up" ...
… an all-purpose “thumbs up” …

... and indescribable excitement simply too big to contain.
… and indescribable excitement simply too big to contain.

A new alumnus, clad in the varied colors of his academic achievement, offers a contended smile.
A new alumnus, clad in the varied colors of his academic achievement, offers a contented smile.

Veterans and active-duty military personnel stand to receive sustained applause from a grateful audience.
Veterans and active-duty military personnel stand to receive sustained applause from a grateful audience.

A spacious canvas on which is written intensely personal stories
A spacious canvas on which is written intensely personal stories

In remarks as poetic as they were poignant, Strickland introduces Nicole Marie Reyes-Molina ...
In remarks as poetic as they were poignant, Strickland introduces Nicole Marie Reyes-Molina …

... who signed an inspiring message of optimism over misery ...
… who signed an inspiring message of optimism over misery …

... of fearlessness in the face of adversity ...
… of fearlessness in the face of adversity …

... and advocating an embrace of the journey, wherever it leads.
… and advocating an embrace of the journey, wherever it leads.

Members of the 2010 South Williamsport Area Jr./Sr. High School class, Kristina M. Williams (left) and Kelsey L. Beard also graduated from college together on Saturday. Williams earned an associate degree in baking and pastry arts and Beard received her bachelor's in nursing. (Williams' twin sister, Emmalee J., is a graphic design major who helped created the Centennial mosaic on the college's main campus.)
Members of the 2010 South Williamsport Area Jr./Sr. High School class, Kristina M. Williams (left) and Kelsey L. Beard also graduated from college together on Saturday. Williams earned an associate degree in baking and pastry arts and Beard received her bachelor’s in nursing. (Williams’ twin sister, Emmalee J., is a graphic design major who helped create the Centennial mosaic on the college’s main campus.)

Imagine the roar if it were turned up!
Imagine the roar if it were turned up!

The magnificent Community Arts Center ups the grandeur with a Christmas tree reaching for the ornate ceiling.
The magnificent Community Arts Center ups the grandeur with a Christmas tree reaching for the ornate ceiling.

Brittany M. Ottenmiller reveals the persistence that led to her degree in early childhood education - and a job in her field.
Brittany M. Ottenmiller reveals the persistence that led to her degree in early childhood education – and a job in her field.

A graduating senior employs a "selfie stick" to attain the proper vantage for a memento.
A graduating senior employs a “selfie stick” to attain the proper vantage for a memento.

Carol A. Lugg, director of transfer initiatives, meets with soon-to-be Penn College graduates who began their education at other institutions.
Carol A. Lugg, director of transfer initiatives, meets with soon-to-be Penn College graduates who began their education at other institutions.

Stephanie G. Dewalt-Gallagher, who graduated in hospitality management, added a shiny duct-tape bow to her regalia.
Stephanie G. Dewalt-Gallagher, who graduated in hospitality management, added a shiny duct-tape bow to her regalia.

Marie E. Howey, a web and interactive media major, shares her special day with parents Donna and Keven Howey and daughter Maylene Cline.
Marie E. Howey, a web and interactive media major, shares her special day with parents Donna and Keven Howey and daughter Maylene Cline.

A heartfelt moment in the heart of the crowd
A heartfelt moment in the heart of the crowd

The procession forms in The Genetti Hotel before moving outdoors and down West Fourth Street.
The procession forms in The Genetti Hotel before moving outdoors and down West Fourth Street.

Jonathon L. Correll, who earned a bachelor's degree in legal assistant-paralegal studies, enlists the president in unfurling a Sigma Pi fraternity flag.
Jonathon L. Correll, who earned a bachelor’s degree in legal assistant-paralegal studies, enlists the president in unfurling a Sigma Pi fraternity flag.

In a traditional move that humors the audience, Chef Paul E. Mach switches his academic headgear for a Santa hat ...
In a traditional move that humors the audience, Chef Paul E. Mach switches his academic headgear for a Santa hat …

... and embraces faculty colleague Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II.
… and embraces faculty colleague Chef Charles R. Niedermyer II.

Robert I. Mitchell, associate professor of mathematics, presents a diploma to his daughter, Claire N., who graduated in individual studies.
Robert I. Mitchell, associate professor of mathematics, presents a diploma to his daughter, Claire N., who graduated in individual studies.

Following the president's orders, a grad is all too willing to freeze the festivities via photos.
Following the president’s orders, a grad is all too willing to freeze the festivities via photos.

A silent sentinel photobombs School of Business & Hospitality friends.
A silent sentinel photobombs School of Business & Hospitality friends.

Happiness reigns during the postgraduate reunion of new alumni and their supporters.
Happiness reigns during the postgraduate reunion of new alumni and their supporters.

Gifts of the season adorn the Capitol Lounge.
Gifts of the season adorn the Capitol Lounge.

John R. Bartolomucci (second from right), assistant professor of plastics technology, stands in celebration and solidarity with his students.
John R. Bartolomucci (second from right), assistant professor of plastics technology, stands in celebration and solidarity with his students.

Four-year nursing graduates turn their eyes forward, allowing a look at their colorfully appointed mortarboards.
Four-year nursing graduates turn their eyes forward, allowing a look at their colorfully appointed mortarboards.

Nursing grad Adriane D. Maurer is awash in encouragement during a photo op outside.
Nursing grad Adriane D. Maurer is awash in encouragement during a photo op outside.

Technology management grad Marco G. Peralta talks with Joseph A. Tavani, a Honda PACT faculty member.
Technology management grad Marco G. Peralta talks with Joseph A. Tavani, a Honda PACT faculty member.

Juggling the job ahead with an all-important job at hand
Juggling the job ahead with an all-important job at hand

Gilmour signs her congratulations to Reyes-Molina, who also received the Board of Directors Award. Among those watching with pride is Marc E. Bridgens (left), her School of Construction & Design Technologies dean.
Gilmour signs her congratulations to Reyes-Molina, who also received the Board of Directors Award. Among those watching with pride is Marc E. Bridgens (left), her School of Construction & Design Technologies dean.

The cap of nursing graduate Courtney E. Servey is accented by a festive red ribbon.
The cap of nursing graduate Courtney E. Servey is accented by a festive red ribbon.

Cramped quarters prove no obstacle to "self-preservation."
Cramped quarters prove no obstacle to “self-preservation.”

Sporting a Centennial pin on his gown, a student spots a familiar face.
Sporting a Centennial pin on his gown, a student spots a familiar face.

A commencement cupcake tantalizes from atop a baking and pastry arts grad's cap.
A commencement cupcake tantalizes from atop a baking and pastry arts grad’s cap.

A nutcracker flashes its pearly smile, perhaps in honor of the students' accomplishment.
A nutcracker flashes its pearly smile, perhaps in honor of the students’ accomplishment.

Sharing the day with proud loved ones
Sharing the day with proud loved ones

An impromptu photographer moves back to fit a sprawling family in the frame.
An impromptu photographer moves back to fit a sprawling family in the frame.

"Trust me, I'm an engineer!" Former student-athlete Britni M. Fennell, a Wildcat softball player earning degrees in automated manufacturing technology, manufacturing engineering technology and machine tool technology, proves that academics and extracurricular activity can co-exist.
“Trust me, I’m an engineer!” Former student-athlete Britni M. Fennell, a Wildcat softball player earning degrees in automated manufacturing technology, manufacturing engineering technology and machine tool technology, proves that academics and extracurricular activity can co-exist.

As the tassel turns, another group of students instantly transforms into alumni.
As the tassel turns, another group of students instantly transforms into alumni.

Her arms filled with floral tributes, a new alumna makes memories (as well as plans for the day ahead).
Her arms filled with floral tributes, a new alumna makes memories (as well as plans for the day ahead).

A recurring theme among baking and pastry arts majors: Seize the day ... and a cup of joe.
A recurring theme among baking and pastry arts majors: Seize the day … and a cup of joe.

With arms and diplomas raised toward the balcony, graduates prepare to recess.
With arms and diplomas raised toward the balcony, graduates prepare to recess.

A congratulatory message overhangs its street-level audience outside the CAC.
A congratulatory message overhangs its street-level audience outside the CAC.

Temporarily closed to vehicles, West Fourth Street takes on a block-party atmosphere.
Temporarily closed to vehicles, West Fourth Street takes on a block-party atmosphere.

Hagan Way is choked with vehicles as graduates return for a parting shot by the Penn College sign at the main entrance.
Hagan Way is choked with vehicles as graduates return for a parting shot by the Penn College sign at the main entrance.

 

 

 

 

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