Stories told by faculty, alumni and staff. Submit your story or image below.
James E. Middleton chief academic officer
The man who led the development of advanced technology programming at WACC and was chief academic officer during the college's transformation into a special mission affiliate of Penn State went on to become a respected community college president on the West Coast.
"I am firmly committed to the principle of the community college: open access to education, emphasis on the practical needs of the individual."
Dr. James E. Middleton was named president of the College of Marin in California in 1993. He spent a decade there before accepting the presidency of Central Oregon Community College in 2004. He was appointed to the Oregon State Board of Education in July 2012.
Middleton spent 11 years in Williamsport, first as director of integrated studies, then as dean and later vice president of academic affairs. Among his greatest challenges was the development of baccalaureate degrees, while retaining a strong focus on associatedegree and certificate -level programs.
He told the WACC student newspaper in 1985: "I am firmly committed to the principle of the community college: open access to education, emphasis on the practical needs of the individual."
A native of South Dakota, he earned degrees from the University of Iowa, University of Leeds in England, and University of Michigan.
During his time in Williamsport, he credited faculty for much of his success in program development.
"Faculty members have a lot more responsibilities than just standing at the front of a classroom and instructing students. I have a lot of appreciation and respect for the faculty's tremendous contribution in staying current in their fields and revising and developing their information. The college faculty has really been the key to our progress."
Richard Conni recounts his time at WACC
"One day while walking around the old aviation hangar, we happened to notice an airplane sitting in the corner."
The year was 1966. Myself and two other guys (Dennis Schaffer and another classmate) began school in September of that year. Since all three of us just completed four years in aviation in the US Airforce, the very basics being taught toward obtaining our A&P Certificates, were second hand to us. If my memory serves me correctly, our instructors were Art Bauer, Firp Michael and Mr. Frank Pannabaker.
Dr. Bowers Comments on the Legacy of Leaders Book
"Your book has reminded me again, in the strongest possible fashion, of how very fortunate I have been to be a part of the College evolution."
Dr. Bowers came to the College in 1966 and taught Mathematics here for 41 years. He was also Executive Assistant to the President from 1982 to 1993. He received the 2007 Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award and upon his retirement was granted emeritus status. He continues to teach on a part-time basis in the Math Department.
"Your book has reminded me again, in the strongest possible fashion, of how very fortunate I have been to be a part of the College evolution. And you have preserved the "oral history tradition" by having the great majority of the text reflect actual individuals expressing real thoughts and vivid recollections. This makes for exceptionally interesting and effective reading. I have learned much that I did not know, particularly with respect to the roots of Penn College, through your wonderfully successful efforts. You have documented what I believe to be a major theme of the book, namely that different times do indeed call for different styles of leadership, vision and inspiration."
Joseph L. Lockard's Story Historical Harbinger Has WTI Connection
"I started to put him in front of the scope and there it was – this huge echo on the screen."
From his position at the Opana Radar Station in Hawaii, Joseph L. Lockard saw the impending attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
George Logue's Story Neighborhood Mentor
"That was the best advice he ever gave me."
Distinguished alumnus George E. Logue shares the rich story of his success in life. From his early years as a youth influenced by Williamsport Technical Institute's founding director through his years as an entrepreneur and innovator, Logue speaks proudly of his heritage, his legacy, and his long-time connection with the institution.
Robbin Smith's Story Forestry student named to US Advisory Council
"I would be honored to be in your new book Legacy of Leaders"
Learn what's happened with Robbin S. (Schreiner) Smith since her WACC graduation. Also read the original Spotlight student newspaper story about her unique student leadership experience.
Don Warner's Story Mrs. Wheeler's Boys
"Many of us were Mrs. Wheeler's boys, no dorms in those days;"
And so we entered college, with questions, apprehension and a desire to go somewhere. A need to grow in new areas, gain knowledge for a lifetime career and find out where we wanted to get to.
Many of us were Mrs. Wheeler's boys, no dorms in those days; you either found an apartment or stayed in one of Mrs. Wheeler's boarding houses. A lot of us started there and then progressed to apartments in later semesters. She had several houses on Vine Avenue and a main house on Third Street where we all ate three square meals a day.
Fred Gilmour's Story Recollections
Many people recognize Fred Gilmour as the husband of Pennsylvania College of Technology President, Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour. Fred also is the talent behind many College symbols that have endured through years – from the institution's official seal to the mace that leads the procession of every graduating class!
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