Open House Looks to Future Through Past

Published 03.17.1999


"Looking to the Future through the Past" is the theme for Open House '99 at Pennsylvania College of Technology. On Sunday, March 21, the College will honor its rich history spanning most of the 20th century as well as celebrate the technology moving the campus and its students into the 21st century.

Open House '99 will run from noon to 4:30 p.m., at Penn College's main campus in Williamsport, the new Advanced Automotive Technology Center in the Wahoo Industrial Park in the city's West End, Lumley Aviation Center at the Williamsport Regional Airport, and the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood. (Penn College's North Campus at Wellsboro will conduct a separate Open House on Saturday, April 24.) With parking limited at all off-campus sites, visitors can elect to take a shuttle bus from the main campus.

Many activities set for this year's Open House will honor the College's "Diamond 10" anniversary. The special 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 founding of Williamsport Technical Institute in 1941, Williamsport Area Community College in 1965, and in 1989 Penn College, which also is honoring its 10th anniversary as an affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University.

Alumni of Penn College and its predecessors will be returning to campus to join in numerous Open House events, including a dinner the evening before and a breakfast that morning. At 11 a.m., the Parkes Automotive Technology Center will be rededicated to the first president of W.T.I. Dr. Parkes' son, George L., a resident of New York state and a 1946 W.T.I. graduate, is planning to attend.

At 1 p.m., Dr. Kenneth Carl, first president of W.A.C.C., will offer an oral history in the College Library. After his talk, alumni and visitors can reminisce with Dr. Carl. Beginning at 2:30 p.m., the Library will host a "Diamond 10 Reception." Alumni and visitors are encouraged to view the Library's "Diamond 10" displays, including yearbooks, historical photos, and memorabilia. (Blending the past with today's technology, a "virtual exhibit" also will be offered on the Library's Web site. The exhibit will feature photos, text and audio clips from the past.)

Looking toward the future, Open House will offer a visual report on the construction of the campus entranceway project, currently under way between Maynard and Park streets. Materials can be viewed in Penn's Inn, in the Bush Campus Center, and visitors can gain an overview of the site via the nearby Fitness Center. A replica of the new entranceway is being constructed by masonry students and can be viewed in the Building Technologies Center, Room 110.

Also on main campus, visitors can join in a "Passport Through Time" game. By visiting various points on campus and collecting a passport marker at each location, visitors are eligible for a 4 p.m. prize drawing.

Among the highlights of Open House '99 are demonstrations related to the new electronics technology/semiconductor manufacturing major, miniature robots and a labtop-sized robot, a balloon launch, and information on distance learning. Information also will be available on the new paramedic associate degree being offered in collaboration with Susquehanna Health System.

In the School of Health Sciences, the past and present will be celebrated in numerous ways. Dental hygiene will be celebrating its 20th year of existence at the College. Nursing will feature nursing uniforms from the past and, via the Internet, the voice of Florence Nightingale as recorded by Thomas Edison. In occupational therapy assisting, visitors can enter a "time machine" and view the profession's changes through the century.

Among the entertainment on campus for Open House will be Jeff Greenfield, a magician and balloon artist, and Jonathan Edwards, a professional performer who will demonstrate how to use music and movement with children. The College's radio station, WPTC, will be conducting live Open House broadcasts from the station's studio as well as live remote broadcasts from the Campus Center; the station also will be giving away CD's and other prizes.

An array of food options will be available to visitors at the International Cafe, Susquehanna Room, Le Jeune Chef, The Bistro, The CoffeeHouse, Coconut Grove, and Wildcat Express. The College Bookstore also will be open, offering College memorabilia and apparel.

Throughout the day, tours will be given of the College's student residence complexes The Village and Campus View. "Admissions Information Sessions" will be conducted in the Academic Center Auditorium at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.

Counseling and Career Services will present a workshop titled "How to Select a College Major" and make available career-exploration materials in its Career Resource Room.

Open House day will be the first public opening of the Advanced Automotive Technology Center. The facility is home to alternative fuel vehicle instruction, motorsports courses, state emission certification, and a dedicated engine dynamometer testing cell.

At the Earth Science Center, which is undergoing an extensive expansion, the popular heavy construction equipment rodeo and a display celebrating the 100th anniversary of forestry will highlight activities.

The Aviation Center will display navigation systems for every decade from the '50s to the present day. Guests will have an opportunity to operate a weather radar system and passive weather detection system.

Free and open to the public, the annual Penn College Open House is an opportunity for students and faculty to showcase their talents and offer College resources to the community. All ages and interests will enjoy the demonstrations, displays, and hands-on activities in a festival-like atmosphere.

For more information on Open House '99, call Penn College at (570) 326-3761 or the Office of Admissions at 1-800-367-9222. Alumni seeking further details can contact the Alumni Relations Office at 1-877-PCTALUM.