Alumnus Donates Mechanical Drawings to College Archives
A member of the Pennsylvania College of Technology Foundation Board of Directors has donated to the college nearly 200 mechanical drawings completed while he was student at Williamsport Technical Institute, a Penn College forerunner.
David W. Conklin, who graduated from the mechanical drafting program in 1965, said he donated the 197 drawings to the college's archives "so that current students could see how it was done prior to CAD (computer aided drafting)."
Five of the drawings have been framed and placed on display in the drafting and CAD technology department in Penn College's College Avenue Labs facility.
Conklin, of Montoursville, is the owner of C&I Boiler Repair Inc. The company employs about 150 people, offering boiler maintenance, repair and service in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.
Conklin said he has a strong appreciation for the quality, hands-on education he received. He was joined recently on the Penn College campus by one of his instructors and fellow W.T.I. mechanical drafting alumnus, Chalmer Van Horn.
Van Horn said the drawings donated by Conklin are known as "mechanical" drawings because mechanical instruments were used to create images of mechanical parts. Van Horn noted that his drafting students, including Conklin, were required to complete a one-month project in two manufacturing-related shops at W.T.I., choosing from patternmaking, machining or sheet metal shops. He said that gave the students practical experience in reading blueprints and a better understanding of how mechanical drawings are interpreted for manufacturing purposes.
Van Horn completed his studies at W.T.I. in 1958 and received a bachelor's degree in vocational and industrial education from The Pennsylvania State University in 1972. He taught drafting at W.T.I., Williamsport Area Community College (another Penn College forerunner) and Penn College from 1962-91 and holds the title of professor emeritus.
Conklin has served on the Penn College Foundation Board of Directors since 1998. Prior to starting C&I Boiler Repair in 1977, he held positions with L&L Boiler, the E. Keeler Co., and Avco Lycoming.
Both men are past recipients of the college's Distinguished Alumnus Award: Van Horn in 1984 and Conklin in 2001. Both also played key roles in establishing the Alumni of W.T.I. Endowed Scholarship Fund at Penn College in 2002. The fund generated scholarship awards of $1,000 each for two students in the 2007-08 academic year.
Penn College is a special mission affiliate of Penn State, committed to applied technology education. With more than 6,500 students enrolled in bachelor-degree, associate-degree and certificate majors, Penn College has the second-highest enrollment in the Penn State system.