Scholarship luncheon provides firsthand look at donors’ impact
"I am overwhelmed by the collective energies in this room to transform tomorrow," President Davie Jane Gilmour said, addressing students, families and donors alike. Announcing that the coming academic year will include the largest total amount of scholarships awarded in any one year during the college's history, she thanked attendees for their significant role in helping students succeed.
Double scholarship honoree Olivia C. Ferki, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major from Richboro, retraced her path from high school to the college – a path she originally was reluctant to follow because her older brother was a student. (Raymond A. Ferki, who earned a bachelor's degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology in May, is an engineer for Honda Motors of America.)
"When visiting Penn College, I shadowed an advanced-level lecture class and lab, and met with the program’s students, faculty members and department chair," she said. "Both faculty and students were passionate about the industry and they all showed a genuine sense of pride about being a part of the (college) community. And suddenly, I realized why my parents had talked me into at least considering plastics at Penn College."
The scholarship awards and the industry connection she enjoys through those donors has aided her growth and spurred her and her classmates to perform at their very best.
"By providing a scholarship to a student, you have built a support system for them to flourish in their studies," she told donors. "You have believed in and inspired students to devote themselves to their education. And, you have provided a gift that I am still unable to truly thank you for through words alone."
Also speaking was Kyle A. Smith, executive director of the Penn College Foundation, who thanked generous individuals and corporate partners for their impact on hundreds of deserving students.
Those interested in contributing to a scholarship fund (or establishing one) may visit or call the Institutional Advancement Office toll-free at 570-320-8020.
– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor
Delicious dining awaits guests in the Field House.
Colorful tulips bring a touch of spring to the special event.
Recipient of the Liberty Excavators Endowed Scholarship, Trevor C. Kulynycn, civil engineering technology, enjoys the day with his parents.
Automotive restoration technology student Adam J. Davis (center) and his parents converse with James Yemzow (left), representing the Gettysburg Region Antique Automobile Club of America Scholarship. In addition to that scholarship award, Davis is the recipient of the Colours Inc. Scholarship.
Kyle A. Smith, executive director of the Penn College Foundation, welcomes the crowd of approximately 300 guests to the second annual Scholarship Luncheon.
President Gilmour delivers opening remarks and tells the gathering the college will award a single-year record of more than $1.1 million in scholarships in 2019-20.
Ferki tells guests, “Scholarships act as a gateway to inspire growth in a student’s academics and passion for his or her industry.” She is the recipient of the SEKISUI SPI Workforce Development Scholarship and the Penn College Foundation Scholarship.
An attentive audience fills the Field House.
Bookended by benefactors, industrial design student Ethan M. McKenzie enjoys the afternoon with Marsha and Michael Cunningham (on left) and David and Linda Kepner (on right). McKenzie is the recipient of the Cunningham Family Scholarship and the H. David Kepner Scholarship. Michael Cunningham and David Kepner are retired, longtime college employees; Kepner continues to work part-time in Information Technology Services.
Building a bright future in building automation technology are Zachary A. Richard, student, and Todd S. Woodling, assistant professor. Richard is the recipient of the Lloyd F. Woodling Memorial Scholarship, established to honor Todd’s father.
The Phillips Family Scholarship recipient Kendra M. Snyder (center), landscape/horticulture technology: landscape emphasis, savors the day with members of the Phillips family (from left): Trey, Annmarie and Judy.
Kaitlyn M. June (center), culinary arts technology student and Zachary Bigelow Memorial Scholarship recipient, poses with her donor, Carolyn A. Miele (left) and son Connor Bigelow.
Cindy R. Emig and Nate Lavalee, heating, ventilation and air conditioning design technology, join forces to recognize the Bruce A. Emig Memorial Scholarship that Cindy endowed to honor her late husband, an assistant professor of HVAC.
Colton M. Long, electronics and computer engineering technology, and his parents pause to make a memory. Long is recipient of the James P. Bressler Scholarship.
Recipient of the Don and Kim Praster Family Scholarship, Caleb J. Barackman (center), shares the afternoon with his scholarship’s namesakes. Barackman is an engineering design technology student. Donald Praster is a retired college faculty member and dean.
A handshake and appreciation are delivered by building construction technology student Matthew D. Yoder (center) to his scholarship’s donors, Tacie and Paul H. Rooney Jr. The Rooneys established the C. Leroy and Evelyn M. Kimble Scholarship in memory of Tacie’s parents. Yoder is also the recipient of Wolyniec Construction Scholarship.
Drew P. Miller (right) extends appreciation to Keith Kuzio, president of Larson Design Group. Enrolled in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration, Miller is recipient of the Larson Design Group/Ken Larson Scholarship.
Ken and Diana Kuhns Scholarship recipient Tyler J. Sones (center), welding and fabrication engineering technology, joins his benefactors, who are retired, longtime college professors.
Marlin and Brenda Cromley Veteran Scholarship recipient Emily J. Jones (center), accounting, enjoys the afternoon with her donors. Marlin is a retired college employee.
Electrical technology student Kelsey M. Streeter shakes the hand Don J. Luke, director of facilities operations. Streeter receives the Penn College General Services Scholarship.
The Allegheny Mountain Region AACA Scholarship is well represented by William Forsht (at left, partially covered by Myra K. Shaffer, institutional advancement and foundation assistant), Jackie Forsht and Patricia Swigart. At right is Brett A. Reasner, dean of transportation and natural resources technologies.
Alumni sweethearts Darryl and Dawn Kehrer traveled from their home in Virginia for the event. The 1972 graduates established the Daniel J. Doyle Scholarship in honor of the college history professor in whose class they met.
The president and student speaker enjoy a post-event photo op with Ferki’s parents.
Zachary J. Kravitz (center) is joined by Joann C. Ertel (left) and Marilyn C. and David W. Seeling (on right). Kravitz, a construction management student, received the Dr. Kenneth E. and Mrs. Marion C. Carl Scholarship, named for Joann and Marilyn’s parents. Their late father was a former president of Williamsport Area Community College and a director of Williamsport Technical Institute, both forerunners of Penn College.