Penn College dedicates UPMC Field, honors corporate partners
As part of Homecoming and Parent & Family Weekend activities, Pennsylvania College of Technology celebrated its new synthetic turf field – “UPMC Field” – and a host of other recent enhancements to its athletic complex, including a new entrance gate, press box and scoreboard.
In ceremonies taking place before Wildcat men’s and women’s soccer matches, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour expressed gratitude for the financial support from M&T Bank (M&T Bank Gate), Pepsi (the Pepsi Press Box), Susquehanna Trailways (the Susquehanna Trailways Scoreboard) and UPMC (the new artificial turf playing surface bearing the hospital system’s name).
“Many of you here today help and empower students through your personal and philanthropic support to earn an applied technology education and develop into successful alumni influencing the communities in which they choose to live and work,” the president said. “Collaborative partnerships transform tomorrow, and it is only fitting that we celebrate and recognize the loyal support of our Wildcat Club members today for the energy they inspire in our coaches and student-athletes.
“We are proud to partner with all Wildcat Club members, and as we gather to commemorate our new turf field today, we give special thanks to M&T Bank, Pepsi, Susquehanna Trailways and UPMC. Thank you for investing in our facilities to create a safe and supportive environment for our current and future student-athletes to thrive.”
“It takes diligence, dedication, and team work for a team to be successful on the field, just as it takes a team of organizations working and playing together to make this city and our region successful,” said UPMC Susquehanna President Steven Johnson. “This field is a symbol of the successful teamwork between our organizations.
“We’re fortunate to have such a strong educational partner in Penn College providing a top-notch learning environment to grow the local leaders of tomorrow,” Johnson continued. “I am proud that UPMC is a part of the Pennsylvania College of Technology team, and we’re lucky to have them on our UPMC team. I look forward to seeing what future goals we can achieve together to continue to make Williamsport and the region a great place to grow, learn, play and live.”
Gilmour also spoke of the positive impact that Division III athletics has had on the full college experience offered at Penn College.
“It is an exciting time for Wildcat Athletics. Our student-athletes have made quite a mark as members of NCAA Division III and continue to set records athletically, academically and through community service,” Gilmour said. “In fact, in the past year, 135 student-athletes had a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Twelve registered a perfect 4.0. Their efforts earned a third-place ranking in this year’s North Eastern Athletic Conference Presidents’ Cup, and our women were awarded the Senior Women Administrators’ Cup, which recognizes community service completed by conference institutions. Our Wildcats volunteered more than 2,200 hours serving our local communities, for which we are very proud.”
The president noted M&T Bank’s advocacy on the college’s Foundation Board of Directors and its scholarship support for students, including 31 consecutive years supporting the Penn College Foundation’s Annual Golf Classic.
She praised Pepsi for a partnership spanning nearly two decades and extending throughout campus, influencing Dining Services, club and organization initiatives, scholarships and, most recently, student-athletes, with its commitment to the Wildcat Club.
Gilmour thanked Susquehanna Trailways for its inaugural support of the Wildcat Club and an agreement allowing for expanded branding reach for the college. The company’s motorcoaches sport Penn College promotional wraps as they transport the college’s athletic teams, as well as other patrons, to sites throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
Finally, Gilmour acknowledged the longtime partnership with UPMC, a leading provider of clinical sites and internships within the college’s School of Nursing & Health Sciences, the sole health care and health insurance sponsor for Penn College Athletics, and a partner in addressing the critical LPN shortages in the Northern Tier region and beyond through the gift of a facility that has become the new permanent home for Penn College at Wellsboro and its Practical Nursing Program.
“We are most grateful for UPMC’s continued investment in our students, an investment that truly transforms tomorrow,” Gilmour said.
For more about the Wildcat Club, which benefits the college’s 200-plus student-athletes and its five athletic facilities, visit the club's webpage.
For more about Penn College, a special mission affiliate of Penn State and a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call 800-367-9222.
– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor;
Larry D. Kauffman, digital publishing specialist/photographer;
Becky J. Shaner, senior manager of donor relations and special events;
and Matt Blymier, assistant director of athletics/sports information director
Bite-size soccer balls make their appearance on Kreitzer’s cake-complementing cupcakes.
The pièce de résistance! Amber Kreitzer’s incredible cake was the talk of the tent! Kreitzer, who earned a baking and pastry arts degree in 2018, is a senior in applied management from Port Trevorton.
The women’s basketball team (to the left) and women’s soccer team oblige a college photographer's request.
Kreitzer is congratulated on her creation by Steven Johnson, president of UPMC Susquehanna.
Snapping a cellphone photo of the soccer cake is, appropriately enough, Christa Matlack, head women’s soccer coach.
A large crowd, including Wildcat Club members, student athletes and business and industry partners, gathers under a tent to hear remarks by the college president (at podium) and UPMC Susquehanna’s president before the official dedication ceremony on the UPMC Athletic Field.
Sugar rush! Enjoying the day’s delights are student-athletes (from left): Momolu Dorley, Trey McCullough and Will F. Sulesky. All are on the men’s basketball team.
The gateway to a new era in Penn College Athletics!
Brian and Michelle Layne, parents of men’s soccer team member, Tanner J. Layne, of Chesapeake, Va., “paws” for a photo with “The Big Cat on Campus.”
Student-athletes distribute UPMC bags and anti-bacterial gel to fans entering the complex.
A variety of food trucks, many owned and staffed by college alumni, offered a range of fine fare to tantalize the taste buds.
Cheesing for the camera before the formal dedication ceremony are members of the women’s soccer team, who formed a path through which recognized partners entered the field.
Making their way onto the field for the dedication ceremony are Ramel Newerls (front left), PepsiCo key account manager; women’s soccer forward Morgan Brooks (front right); and Amy Brooks (behind Newerls), vice president of sales, Susquehanna Trailways.
Johnson passes the ball to McFarland, who then scored a goal for a unique “ribbon-cutting” …
… followed by the pair's hand-to-hand recognition of their "feat with feet."
The pep band, conducted by aviation maintenance instructor Michael Damiani, plays the national anthem.
Student-athletes and the Wildcat, gettin’ wild in the stands
On snare drum: Jahmel Blunt, an engineering design technology student from Scranton
Wildcat blue reflections from the glasses of band member (on quints drums) Jason R. Hollenbach, of Reading, enrolled in building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration.
The stands filled on a gorgeous day ...
Autumn gold gleaming from the instruments of four saxophonists in the pep band
Wildcat Daniel L. Jackson (2) drives the ball during the second half of Saturday's doubleheader.
... spilling a standing-room-only crowd onto the sidelines and end zone.
Eyeing the field of play from atop the bleachers
Colton N. Wartman scores the Wildcat men's only goal in the 1-1 tie.
Standing before the impressive M&T Bank Gate are (from left) Christa Matlack, women's soccer coach; John D. Vandevere, director of athletics; Phil Johnson, M&T Bank regional president; Kyle A. Smith, executive director of the Penn College Foundation; and men's soccer coach Tyler S. Mensch.
With the Pepsi Press Box reflected in his mellophone, Penn College Pep Band member Zakaria O. Osman makes some noise. Osman is a senior in electronics and computer engineering technology.
A handshake with coach Mensch frames the mascot just beyond the net.
Sisters in arms, across the field from the newly dedicated Susquehanna Trailways Scoreboard, prepare to defend their turf.
Madison L. Kistler signals a "thumbs up" on the Wildcat women's winning day.
Intensity, focus and ball control by Morgan Brooks, who segued from pregame participation to on-field hustle
Dominique M. Brown (17), in the midst of Saturday's action
The attractiveness of Penn College's new athletic field is augmented by the natural beauty of its surroundings.
The following 16 images, captured by Kauffman, chronicle the field's progression from March 22 through Oct. 5.