Penn College Welcomes 1998 Freshman Class; Gilmour Begins First Year at Helm

Published 08.01.1998


Pennsylvania College of Technology will welcome its 1998 freshman class in an Aug. 15 "Convocation" ceremony that also will feature a ceremonial installation of Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, who begins her first full academic year as Penn College president.

A highlight of the first year of Dr. Gilmour's presidency will be a special "Diamond 10" anniversary celebration. The anniversary commemorates the institution's 85 years of educational services, beginning in 1914 when the first adult classes were offered on the campus site, which was then the Williamsport High School. These classes led to the eventual founding of Williamsport Technical Institute (1941), Williamsport Area Community College (1965) and Pennsylvania College of Technology (1989). The "Diamond 10" anniversary also celebrates the 10th anniversary of the College's affiliation with The Pennsylvania State University.

For the 1998-99 academic year, the first order of business for Penn College students will be Orientation activities, set for Saturday, Aug. 15, through Monday, Aug. 17. Among the activities greeting students are a host of back-to-school sessions, including a "Secrets to Success" course. Social events will be held each night, culminating in an outdoor dance for the new and returning students and a fireworks display for the campus community the evening of Monday, Aug. 17. Classes begin Tuesday, Aug. 18.

New features at Penn College this fall include a number of "healthy" additions, such as women's volleyball, a "fruit smoothie bar," and new health- and wellness-related majors. According to Michael J. Stanzione, coordinator of athletics, women's volleyball will join the Wildcats intercollegiate athletic lineup this fall. "It's a welcome addition to our intercollegiate program as it expands our women's athletics and gives more women the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level," Stanzione commented. Other Penn College intercollegiate teams are men's baseball, women's softball, team tennis, women's and men's cross country, co-ed archery, and men's soccer.

Joining the "team" of edible opportunities on campus is "Coconut Grove," a new "smoothie bar" to be located in Penn's Inn, the student club on the second floor of the Bush Campus Center. "Coconut Grove" will feature frothy beverages concocted with a variety of ingredients, including Freshens nonfat yogurt, fruit juice and fruit. "The facility will have a fun, tropical atmosphere with a combination of potted palm trees and a sunny decor," explained Danielle M. Harris, marketing assistant for Food Services. "The tables will be furnished with handheld video games for the students' entertainment. Overall, we hope to provide a place where students can enjoy themselves while taking a break from classes and studying." A healthy diagnosis also is in store for new majors being introduced for the fall, including a bachelor of science degree in applied health studies and associate of applied science degrees in dietary manager technology and physical fitness specialist.

Applied health studies is a completion program for individuals already certified, licensed or registered in health-care professions. It will prepare health-care practitioners to assume positions of leadership in the dynamic, modern health-care environment.

Dietary manager technology couples a strong culinary background with theoretical and clinical education in nutrition and management, to make the graduate a valuable asset to a professional dietary team.

Physical fitness specialist prepares graduates to become trained business leaders in the physical fitness industry. Courses stress physical fitness, nutrition, psychology and business.

Applied health studies and physical fitness specialist join the majors in Penn College's School of Health Sciences. The dietary manager technology major is part of the School of Hospitality.

In addition to the new majors, The School of Business and Computer Technologies is introducing new educational options focused on travel and tourism and financial planning.

A travel and tourism emphasis is being added to the business management associate of applied science degree. The emphasis provides students with a well-rounded curriculum in travel and tourism, while preparing them to assume various management positions in the tourism industry.

Students enrolled in a bachelor of science degree major now have the opportunity to declare a financial planning minor. Nondegree students may enroll in a similar competency credential. The financial planning minor or competency credential presents the courses required to sit for the Certified Financial Planning certification examination.

With its "Diamond 10" anniversary celebration, Dr. Gilmour's first full year at the institution's helm and the "healthy" additions greeting students, the 1998-99 academic year is expected to be another dynamic venture for Penn College.