Student competition seeks design concepts for renamed campus facility

Published 11.26.2019

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Courtesy of a generous donation from Larry A. Ward, an engineering drafting technology alumnus, the Machining Technologies Lab will receive all new equipment, paint, lighting and fixtures. Ward’s leadership gift will be permanently recognized, with the Machining Technologies Center being renamed in his honor.

This gift is also sparking a Tomorrow Makers contest, in which Pennsylvania College of Technology students are encouraged to help in designing a fitting sign/sculpture/artwork that includes the name “Larry A. Ward Machining Technologies Center” and tells the story of what takes place within the building.  Students may work individually or in teams of up to five.

Larry A. WardThe contest winner will not only leave a permanent impact on campus; each member of the winning team will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Ward, who founded Packaging Progressions Inc. to design and build packaging machines for the food industry, is preferential to the Larry A. Ward Machining Technologies Center sign/artwork being constructed from stainless steel, because he has donated significant amounts of stainless steel to the college over the years, and all of the equipment that his company builds is made of that material. He would also appreciate a design that conceals the electrical box situated in front of the building.

Students need not have a connection to the automated manufacturing and machining programs to enter the competition. All ideas are welcome. To learn more about manufacturing and machining education at Penn College, as well as contest details, students can visit the Machining Technologies Lab from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, to speak with faculty and fellow students.

Standing outside the future Larry A. Ward Machining Technologies Center, where a new sign – the ultimate winner in a pending student design contest - will designate the ongoing work inside the building, are (from left) Ward; Howard W. Troup, instructor of automated manufacturing/machine tool technology; Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations; Michael J. Reed, vice president for academic affairs/provost; and Loni N. Kline, vice president for institutional advancement.Students may submit design ideas during this open house event, or visit the Larry A. Ward Machining Technologies Center Contest on the student portal page to enter. Deadline for entries is Sunday, Jan. 26, at 10 p.m. EST. Students who are unable to attend the information open house event may email Corporate Relations.

Ward knows firsthand the value of Penn College’s skill-based education, and he hopes to spread awareness of it. He also cares about the future of the manufacturing industry in America and is committed to enhancing the Penn College automated manufacturing and machining curriculum, lab space and opportunities to prepare students for successful careers.

His goal with the design contest is to engage students in developing a sign or sculpture that will demonstrate to all who view it the vital instruction taking place within the Larry A. Ward Machining Technologies Center.

Packaging Progressions Inc., which was established in the early 1990s with five employees and first-year sales of $250,000, has grown into a $30-million-a-year business with a reputation as the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of high-speed interleaving and stacking machinery. The company – along with employee Johnathan T. Capps, who holds an associate degree in mechatronics (2016) and a bachelor’s degree in applied technology studies (2018) – are included in a YouTube video about Penn College's electrical degrees.