One College Avenue turns 25
News, Then and Now

A look at how the news in One College Avenue’s premiere issue, which was printed in 1991, compares with the Penn College campus of 2016.

by Jennifer A. Cline, writer/editor-One College Avenue.

In this issue – Vol. 25, No. 1 – we celebrate the 25th anniversary of One College Avenue magazine. When it was launched in 1991, the magazine took its name from the college’s address: the place to be, then-President Robert Breuder noted on the first issue’s first page.

When the first magazine was printed, the college was in a period of rapid change. Just two years before, it had become a Penn State affiliate and adopted its current name, Pennsylvania College of Technology. Enrollment was swelling, new buildings were rising and advances in information technology were beginning to change the world.

Reading the stories in the first One College Avenue provides perspective on the Penn College campus of 2016.

The Capitol Theatre on Fourth Street. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel. Then: The Capitol Theatre on Fourth Street

Community Arts Center. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel. Now: Community Arts Center

One College Avenue’s premiere issue featured stories on construction projects just underway or soon-to-be started: The Capitol Theatre on Fourth Street was under renovation to become the Community Arts Center; the Alvin C. Bush Campus Center was soon to be built on what was then the “southeast rim” of campus; and administrators looked forward to the impact of the Kathryn Wentzel Lumley Aviation Center at the Williamsport Regional Airport (then called Williamsport-Lycoming County Airport) that would replace the college’s 50-year-old aviation building. All of the projects were completed in 1993.

Breuder envisioned the Community Arts Center’s future: “As the largest theater complex outside Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, it will draw people from all over the region. … The theater can bring more people into the downtown, encourage the opening of new businesses and give existing businesses the courage to stay there.”

Since opening in May 1993, the Community Arts Center has hosted 1.37 million patrons for live events and 155,506 for movies, for a total of 1.52 million as of August 2015.

Site of the future Bush Campus Center. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel. Then: Site of the future Bush Campus Center

The Bush Campus Center. Now: The Bush Campus Center

Breuder felt the Bush Campus Center “is probably the building which will most make this institution a college in the present sense of the word.” It was to include food services, a nonalcoholic night club, a fitness center, a bookstore, counseling and advising services, student lounges and a child care facility, as well as instructional areas for fine arts and offices for student organizations.

In 2016, most of those components remain in the Campus Center, which is home to Student Activities, Career Services, Counseling Services, The College Store, Penn’s Inn, CC Commons dining facility, Wildcat Express convenience store, one of two Fitness Center locations, College Health Services, the Multicultural Lounge, and classroom and studio space for graphic design, advertising art and studio arts courses.

The institution’s first aviation center at the Williamsport Regional Airport. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel. Then: Lumley Aviation Center

Lumley Aviation Center. Photo by Larry D. Kauffman Now: Lumley Aviation Center

Plans for the Lumley Aviation Center included laboratories for avionics, composites, turbine engines, electrical and instrumentation repair, hydraulic testing, reciprocating engine overhaul and sheet-metal fabrication, with a paint booth large enough to accommodate an entire aircraft.

Students in three aviation majors – certificate, associate-degree and bachelor-degree levels – continue to use those laboratories, gaining work with such companies as PMI Global Services, Gulfstream Aerospace, and Johnson & Johnson. The most recent donation to the center’s instructional fleet is a Dassault Falcon 20 passenger jet.

In Fall 2015

In Fall 2015, about 51 percent of Penn College students were enrolled in bachelor-degree majors.

Tracie (Shaw) Gotschall. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel. Then: Tracie (Shaw) Gotshall

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer: Photo by Jennifer A. Cine. Now: Chef Charles R. Niedermyer

The first issue highlighted Tracie (Shaw) Gotshall, a 1991 graduate who had won a spot on the prestigious Northeast U.S. Culinary Olympic Team and was, at the time, training for the 1992 International Culinary Competition in Frankfurt, Germany. In the time since, Gotshall has earned many honors, including the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and was executive pastry chef at The Hotel Hershey before taking on her current role teaching baking and pastry arts students at Lancaster County Career and Technology Center.

In 2015, Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, ’00, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts at the college, was among finalists for a spot on the U.S. team at the 2016 “World Cup of Bread Baking,” Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie.

In Fall 1991

Headlines noted that the college had broken the 4,000 plateau for full-time students, with a full-time equivalent of 4,099, a 9.1-percent increase over the prior year’s figure. The college’s “head count,” the total number of full-time and part-time enrollees, tallied 4,741 for Fall 1991.

In Fall 2015

For Fall 2015, the college’s full-time equivalent was 5,122, and its head count was 5,514.

Professor Veronica M. Muzic – Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel. Then: Professor Veronica M. Muzic

Retired Vice President for Academic Affairs-Provost Veronica M. Muzic. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel. Now: Retired Vice President for Academic Affairs-Provost Veronica Muzic

Then-professor Veronica M. Muzic authored a two-page feature on the self-study process of accreditation. Muzic later spent several years as the college’s vice president for academic affairs-provost before retiring in 2006. She continues to advise the president in a volunteer capacity and provides her English professor’s eagle eye to each issue of One College Avenue just before it heads to the printer.

Regis C. Kohler, associate professor of radiography, works on an interactive video project – an “electronic cadaver” to teach the 206 bones in the body. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel. Then: Regis C. Kohler, associate professor of radiography, works on an interactive video project – an “electronic cadaver” to teach the 206 bones in the body.

Students turn in assignments, track grades and sometime watch lectures online. Now: A laptop

Professor Daniel J. Doyle – who has also since retired – offered a three-page feature on the integration of technology in instruction. “The instructors are able to expand their vocabularies to include such terms as multimedia, authoring systems, hypertext, interactive media, CD-ROM, laser and optical discs. These new-found words describe some of the components of the computer-driven learning systems which provide students and faculty with a variety of flexible learning solutions.”

Today, students turn in assignments and track their grades online, while faculty are exploring “flipped classrooms,” moving lectures online for students to watch out-of-class and dedicating more class time for collaborative, hands-on projects.

1991-92 cross-country team: Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel. Then: Return of athletics to the college for the first time since the 1984-85 academic year

Provisional membership in NCAA Division III: Photo by Larry D. Kauffman. Now: Provisional membership in NCAA Division III

The first magazine announced the return of athletics to the college for the first time since the 1984-85 academic year. In the 1991-92 school year, the college fielded cross-country, golf and tennis teams in the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference, which included Penn State commonwealth campuses and community colleges.

In September 2015, Penn College began its second year of provisional membership in NCAA Division III. It is home to 14 intercollegiate sports.

Print design from 1991. Then: Print design in 1991

In 25 years, One College Avenue magazine – and its production – have evolved, from hand-drawn mockups and black-and-white photos, to a graphics-rich publication with an accompanying website that helps the story of Penn College travel ’round the world. This feature was designed by Deborah K. Peters, ’97, graphic designer in the college’s Public Relations & Marketing Office.