WTI Reunion Takes Grads on Round Trip Through History

The Lumley Aviation Center proved to be a popular venue for Friday’s 17th annual reunion for graduates of Williamsport Technical Institute, a Penn College predecessor from 1941-65. Alumni and their guests, totaling about 75 attendees, enjoyed swapping stories, savoring lunch and listening to remarks by President Davie Jane Gilmour. Presentations on forestry, industrial design, athletics and veterans affairs were also on the agenda. Forest technology students Nicholas J. Fedele and Nancy M. Summers shared their passions for the major, as did Erich R. Doebler, laboratory assistant for forest technology. Discussing exciting activities in industrial design were students Dwight D. Alexander, Sean P. Christy and Brett F. Warkoski, and their professor, Thomas E. Ask. Offering insights into the college’s evolving athletics efforts were John D. Vandevere, director of athletics; Lauren S. Herr, a women’s soccer student-athlete enrolled in construction management; and Chris H. Howard, head baseball coach. Chet Beaver, financial aid specialist for veterans services, detailed progress of the Penn College Patriot Scholarship and introduced student veterans on hand to assist with luncheon logistics. Following lunch, Walter V. Gower, assistant dean for transportation and natural resources technologies, took participants on a tour of the hangar, where many reveled in viewing aviation equipment and chatting with students performing various tasks on the tarmac.

– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor

WTI grads, the bedrock on which the college has flourished, proudly assemble for a group photo.

WTI grads, the bedrock on which the college has flourished, proudly assemble for a group photo.

Raymond Eck, ’41, drafting, whose World War II valor was featured in the Spring 2017 issue of Penn College Magazine, shakes hands with the college president.

Raymond Eck, ’41, drafting, whose World War II valor was featured in the Spring 2017 issue of Penn College Magazine, shakes hands with the college president.

Enjoying the Aviation Center surroundings are John Hertel, (left) ’48, agricultural equipment and repair, and ‘49, electric and acetylene welding, and Ralph Mills, ’58, plumbing.

Enjoying the Aviation Center surroundings are John Hertel, (left) ’48, agricultural equipment and repair, and ‘49, electric and acetylene welding, and Ralph Mills, ’58, plumbing.

Attendees enjoy a tour of the hangar, including “93-year-old kid” Carl McDaniel, who took machine shop classes at WTI and playfully engages the camera on reunion day.

Attendees enjoy a tour of the hangar, including “93-year-old kid” Carl McDaniel, who took machine shop classes at WTI and playfully engages the camera on reunion day.

Fedele (with Doebler in the background), shares his summer internship plans – measuring black walnut trees in Nebraska.

Fedele (with Doebler in the background), shares his summer internship plans – measuring black walnut trees in Nebraska.

Many alumni brought family or friends to the gathering.

Many alumni brought family or friends to the gathering.

In his red Patriot Scholarship T-shirt, Beaver discusses various veterans affairs topics.

In his red Patriot Scholarship T-shirt, Beaver discusses various veterans affairs topics.

Kimberly R. Cassel, director of alumni relations, welcomes the crowd to the 17th annual reunion.

Kimberly R. Cassel, director of alumni relations, welcomes the crowd to the 17th annual reunion.

Staffing the beverage station is Jonathan R. Sutcliffe, an Army veteran and manufacturing engineering technology student.

Staffing the beverage station is Jonathan R. Sutcliffe, an Army veteran and manufacturing engineering technology student.

Eugene C. Breiner, ’44, aviation – whose connection to the campus was featured in the Summer 2011 issue of the college magazine – is joined by current aviation students.

Eugene C. Breiner, ’44, aviation – whose connection to the campus was featured in the Summer 2011 issue of the college magazine – is joined by current aviation students.

An animated George Gardner, ’62, carpentry, reminisces.

An animated George Gardner, ’62, carpentry, reminisces.

John Shafer (left), ’50, automotive mechanic, and Robert Fries, ’45, aviation mechanics, enjoy coffee and conversation over a Lycoming engine.

John Shafer (left), ’50, automotive mechanic, and Robert Fries, ’45, aviation mechanics, enjoy coffee and conversation over a Lycoming engine.

Debra M. Miller, vice president for institutional advancement, chats with guests in the gathering space: a second-floor classroom at the Aviation Center.

Debra M. Miller, vice president for institutional advancement, chats with guests in the gathering space: a second-floor classroom at the Aviation Center.

Christy details his General Electric Co. borescope project.

Christy details his General Electric Co. borescope project.

Edward Danneker, ’56, sheet metal, discusses days gone by and current news with former classmates.

Edward Danneker, ’56, sheet metal, discusses days gone by and current news with former classmates.

A “full house” listens to President Gilmour’s comments, which included deep appreciation for helping to form the college’s foundation.

A “full house” listens to President Gilmour’s comments, which included deep appreciation for helping to form the college’s foundation.

The tour moves out onto the tarmac where aviation students engage in lab work.

The tour moves out onto the tarmac where aviation students engage in lab work.

Chalmer Van Horn, (center) ’58, mechanical drafting alumnus and professor emeritus of drafting, enjoys the company of two former students, David Cross, (left) and Arthur Mann, 1965 graduates in mechanical drafting.

Chalmer Van Horn, (center) ’58, mechanical drafting alumnus and professor emeritus of drafting, enjoys the company of two former students, David Cross, (left) and Arthur Mann, 1965 graduates in mechanical drafting.

At every WTI get-together he attends, Mann wears his student ID card – signed by then-Registrar Grant Berry Sr. (whose grandson, Philip G., works in the Registrar’s Office as the external records evaluator).

At every WTI get-together he attends, Mann wears his student ID card – signed by then-Registrar Grant Berry Sr. (whose grandson, Philip G., works in the Registrar’s Office as the external records evaluator).

Vandevere introduces Herr, an accomplished student-athlete.

Vandevere introduces Herr, an accomplished student-athlete.

Alumni and their guests make their way through the buffet line.

Alumni and their guests make their way through the buffet line.

Aaron N. Stabley, an Army veteran and welding student, assists Hertel with luncheon fare.

Aaron N. Stabley, an Army veteran and welding student, assists Hertel with luncheon fare.

An old logo makes an appearance on notepads handed out to alumni.

An old logo makes an appearance on notepads handed out to alumni.

In a treasured WTI baseball cap, James Harmon, carpentry and building construction, enjoys the event with wife, Elaine.

In a treasured WTI baseball cap, James Harmon, carpentry and building construction, enjoys the event with wife, Elaine.

The president makes her way around the room.

The president makes her way around the room.

James Oberlin, powerplant mechanic and airframe mechanics alumnus, engages aviation technology student Jesse L. Pittenger in conversation on the tarmac.

James Oberlin, powerplant mechanic and airframe mechanics alumnus, engages aviation technology student Jesse L. Pittenger in conversation on the tarmac.

 

 

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