President's Message

As evidenced by the accomplishments of 2014-15, Penn College is a thriving, indispensable institution of higher education. If these are our milestones in 2015, what will our triumphs be in 2020?
President Davie Jane Gilmour greets nursing student Lauren D. Bitting, of Lewistown, and her parents, Jeffrey and Cathy, during Welcome Weekend 2014. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is a thriving, indispensable source of higher education and workforce development. In this issue of One College Avenue, our 2014-15 Annual Report, you’ll read about just a few among hundreds of the year’s activities that set this institution apart.

A project by industrial and human factors design students to develop a soon-to-be-manufactured product for General Electric Co. exemplifies our mission to prepare future job-holders through hands-on technology education. It is just one of many across our campuses.

The story of a part-time physician assistant instructor’s work to heal Ebola patients in West Africa is but one of hundreds we could tell about members of the Penn College family – students, employees and alumni – who commit their skill to improving the lives of others.

In addition to these stories, you’ll see milestones of long-term initiatives – like the 1,000th child to receive free care in the college’s Dental Hygiene Clinic as part of Sealant Saturday.

 

"I urge everyone – students, employees and alumni – to participate, through your daily choices, in writing the next chapter in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s legacy."

 

These accomplishments are the result of daily efforts to live out Penn College’s mission. They show how Penn College makes a difference today. But as I reflect on these accomplishments, I look to the legacy they write for the future. If these are our milestones in 2015, what will our triumphs be in 2020?

Will we be known as a national leader in applied technology education?

I say with confidence that, yes, our distinctive programs will be recognized across the country. I look at the success of our automotive restoration students, whose work has received prestigious awards on the national stage. The unique major prepares a new generation to help fill a void in industry, and this year attracted a video shoot by the “/Drive” channel, an Associated Press story that was featured by 350 news outlets, and a visit by Jay Leno.

Trade journalists from around the world visited Penn College’s centers of excellence in plastics, sharing with industry back home the wealth of opportunities Pennsylvania holds for product-development support through the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center at Penn College, and the riches of knowledgeable graduates from the college’s plastics and polymer majors.

In 2020, will we be known as a college of technology, and not just a technical school?

Penn College truly offers a full college experience. The artwork around campus – much of it developed by students’ hands – is evidence of the holistic education Penn College students receive. We excel at providing hands-on opportunities to test technical theories. But Penn College students also study the humanities: art, literature, history, sociology. Their social and civic lives are nurtured through clubs, activities and volunteer opportunities. Athletics opportunities continue to advance, attracting a new pool of students. In 2015, Penn College won its first North Eastern Athletic Conference Championship. This is the first of something great to come in athletics as we navigate provisional membership in NCAA Division III. Imagine what the Wildcats will do in 2020.

This is who we are as a college in 2015. We have begun our second century on strong footing. But who will we be in 2020? What legacy will we hand to the next generation? As we look to what the future holds, I urge everyone – students, employees and alumni – to participate, through your daily choices, in writing the next chapter in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s legacy.

Davie Jane Gilmour