Penn College Presents Diploma Posthumously to Tracy Garis

Published 05.13.2011

Student News

Edward C. and Cheryl A. Garis accept a diploma for their daughter Tracy A. during a Pennsylvania College of Technology commencement ceremony on May 13. Tracy Garis died in a vehicle accident last year. Penn College students raised more than %2435,000 for a scholarship memorializing their classmate from Hellertown.Pennsylvania College of Technologyon Friday presented a bachelor's degree posthumously to a 20-year-old student from Hellertown who died in a traffic accident last year.

Tracy A. Garis was an active campus leader, enrolled in the college's dental hygiene program at the time of her death. She served as a Resident Assistant and Student Ambassador for the college. A diploma was presented on stage to her parents, Cheryl A. and Edward C. Garis, by Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour.

"Her death touched many students, faculty and staff very deeply," Gilmour told those gathered for the first of three Spring 2011 commencement ceremonies at the college's Community Arts Center in Williamsport. "Tracy was an inspiration during her short life, and her death inspired her Penn College friends to remember her in a very special way by establishing the Tracy A. Garis Memorial Scholarship."

Gilmour said the commitment shown by students to raise funds for the scholarship was remarkable. By the end of the academic year, the students had raised $35,823.

"Frankly, I was in awe. I cannot remember ever seeing so many students come together for a common purpose to honor one of their own," the president said. "As an appropriate way to honor a young woman who left such a lasting legacy on our campus, the Tracy A. Garis Memorial Scholarship will be awarded annually to a dental hygiene student who is an active leader on campus. We believe Tracy would have wanted it that way."