Penn College Receives Largest Individual Gift in History

Published 11.01.1998


A Pennsylvania State University alumnus who grew up in the Williamsport area has made a substantial contribution to help fund construction of a new entranceway to the main campus of Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, made a gift of $1 million to Penn State and directed approximately $840,500 to the Penn College gateway project. The remaining amount was directed to the Penn State Glee Club and a scholarship fund to benefit Penn State students.

The gift is the largest private cash donation ever received by Penn College. It also was the first collaboration between Penn College and Penn State's Office of Development and Alumni Relations.

Penn College President Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour declared "The College is humbled by the incredible gift," which is part of the $3.9 million entrance construction project.

"This donor's generosity will make it possible for us to make an improvement to the College that will last a lifetime. For our entire history, we have lived with a land-locked campus. We've often felt the need to apologize for the circuitous route guests needed to travel to reach us. With this gift, we will bring our new entrance to completion and provide a beautiful collegiate gateway to the campus," she said.

The president also acknowledged the importance of the collaboration between officials at Penn State and Penn College in securing the donation. "Not only will this gift open the Penn College campus to the community, it also has opened the way for future gifts to be made through Penn State for the benefit of Penn College," she added.

In October, the Penn College Board of Directors approved funding the entrance with remaining proceeds from a previous bond issue (from the purchase of the former PBI/Campus View property), as well as monies earned from increased enrollments. In addition, the Williamsport-Lycoming Foundation has pledged a five-year, $250,000 grant to support the project.

The main entrance will be visible from the Route 220/180 Beltway, as well as the Maynard Street corridor. Officials expect the revitalization of the once-blighted industrial site will be a boon to economic development in the area. The project is being designed by a Harrisburg architect, Martin Murray.

The remainder of the gift supports travel by the Penn State Glee Club and a scholarship for academically talented undergraduates who have financial need.