Garrett Book wanted a degree.
Twice he headed for college, and twice he felt – almost immediately – that he was not in the right place. He became frustrated. He thought he might never again wear a cap and gown. Then he found Penn College.
"You proved me wrong," he told classmates, faculty and administrators during his May commencement address. "I have never before seen, let alone been part of, a student body with such an inspiring work ethic."
At Penn College, he found fellow artisans who shared passion for their crafts. He found his fit.
"Our education has been involved. It's been engaging. Our education is a reflection of our passion."
"Penn College is different," he said. "Our education has been involved. It’s been engaging. Our education is a reflection of our passion."
Book, who earned an associate degree in ornamental horticulture: landscape technology emphasis, is passionate about landscaping, working outside, and the impact that a healthy ecosystem can have on a larger scale.
His zeal was fed by his instructors, as well as his fellow classmates.
"The professors here are highly motivated, and very well informed on their subjects," he said. "The student really has the potential to get as much as he or she wants to get out of his or her program."
And it was fed by a philosophy that dates to the college’s infancy, when laboratories at Williamsport High School provided adults with practical lessons to accompany theoretical learning in technical fields.
"Penn College has an outstanding ‘hands-on’ approach to education," Book said. "There are theoretical lines of work, and there are practical lines of work, and neither is more nor less important. What is important, however, is that college students of any age who are seeking a degree for a practical line of work receive an education that cultivates experience. Labs allow students to have work experience here, just as real as a paying job, and run into problems that they wouldn't have even thought of asking about sitting behind a desk."
Soon after his May graduation, he began work with Earth, Turf, & Wood, Inc., a Pennsylvania landscape and hardscape installation company.
Garrett Working on the Remembrance Garden
Did you know you can purchase a brick in the Remembrance Garden?