President announces retirement, launches Legacy Campaign

Published 05.13.2021

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After nearly a quarter century leading Pennsylvania College of Technology, President Davie Jane Gilmour informed the college community Thursday of her intention to retire next year.

Gilmour, who has spent her entire career in higher education at Penn College – 44 years, the last 23 as president – told faculty, staff and stakeholders that she plans to retire in June 2022, to be succeeded by a new leader who will be selected after a nationwide search.

Fittingly, Gilmour also announced plans for a legacy fundraising campaign that will invest in students as they continue to transform tomorrow throughout the workforce, in hopes that her legacy will reflect the boundless opportunity a Penn College education represents for students.

Legacy Campaign for Penn College“For more than 100 years, Pennsylvania College of Technology has been empowering students to earn an applied technology education – one that leads to success in the global marketplace,” the president said. “So, my answer to the question of legacy is quite simple; it is setting the stage for future leaders, students, alumni and employees for the next 100 years.”

True to the college’s hands-on approach to education, the target of the Legacy Campaign for Penn College is about a collective commitment to the future.

“This campaign is not just about how much money we can raise,” Gilmour said. “This campaign represents an education, a calling, an investment. Instead, here is the goal: Just like the core of our education, we need all hands in to empower our students to create the world we want to live in. I ask you to be champions for Penn College in our beloved community and beyond.”

Davie Jane Gilmour
Gilmour has served as president of Pennsylvania College of Technology since 1998, guiding the institution through a period of robust growth and dynamic innovation while overseeing its development into a national leader in applied technology education.

She joined the college in 1977 as an instructor and curriculum developer in the dental hygiene program. In 1983, she was appointed to the first of many administrative positions including coordinator of dental hygiene, division director for health sciences, and dean of instruction. In 1993, she became the college's highest-ranking academic officer, vice president for academic affairs. In 1996, she assumed the position of vice president for academic affairs and provost. On May 4, 1998, Gilmour became president of the college.

President Davie Jane GilmourDuring her tenure, Penn College has substantially increased its baccalaureate degree offerings and established its first graduate-level programs: a Bachelor/Master of Science degree in physician assistant studies and a Master of Science in Nursing degree in nursing education.

The college's partnerships and support from business and industry have grown exponentially during Gilmour's time as president, as have the number of employers (including many Fortune 500 companies) visiting campus to recruit students at Career Fairs and other events. Penn College's “tomorrow maker” graduates address critical skills-gap shortages in a diverse range of career fields led by manufacturing, health care, plastics and polymers, and transportation.

Gilmour has directed a significant expansion of main campus through construction of a new main entrance, a Student & Administrative Services Center, the Madigan Library, College Avenue Labs, the Center for Business & Workforce Development, the Construction Masonry Building, Rose Street Commons student housing complex, the Field House, UPMC Field and an expansion of the Welding Lab within the Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center.

She has overseen extensive renovations to a number of campus facilities including Klump Academic Center, the Hager Lifelong Education Center, the Thompson Professional Development Center, the Larry A. Ward Machining Technologies Center, Le Jeune Chef Restaurant and Bardo Gymnasium.

Penn College at Wellsboro, a renovated and retrofitted facility donated by UPMC Susquehanna, is serving vital workforce education needs in Pennsylvania's Northern Tier.

Under Gilmour's leadership, and sparked by her advocacy efforts with elected officials, Penn College's state appropriation funding has risen to nearly $27 million.

Gilmour's many community and professional affiliations include: Little League International Board of Directors, member and former chairman; UPMC Susquehanna Health Board, vice chair; Community Arts Center Board of Directors, president; and the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, served as board chairman for two terms, a member of the Executive Committee and Board, and chair of Economic Community & Growth Corporation and the Emerson Project.

Also: the North Eastern Athletic Conference, chair of Presidents’ Council; NCAA Division III Presidents Council, member; First Community Foundation Partnership of PA, board member; and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and its Executive Committee, vice chair.

A banner announcing the Legacy Campaign for Penn College is installed Thursday morning on the Student & Administrative Services Center.Legacy Campaign
The Legacy Campaign for Pennsylvania College of Technology is centered on three impactful areas of giving that support the college’s mission of offering “degrees that work” to empower its graduates for success: scholarships, academics and affinity, and equipment and facilities.

The three campaign initiatives build upon the college’s rich history of meeting local and national technology education needs for over 100 years. More than an institute of education, Penn College is the engine that powers the workforce of tomorrow, as evidenced by its 98% graduate-placement rate; the college’s supporters agree.

Since the onset of the college’s most recent Strategic Plan in 2018, corporate partners, alumni, employees and friends have contributed more than $26 million to support these critical initiatives.

The Legacy Campaign serves as a catalyst to launch the college’s legacy into the future for generations of students who believe in the power of a Penn College education. It offers a launch pad for opportunity, expanding minds and horizons and building the framework for success.

Support for the campaign will further strengthen the college’s mission and its ability to empower students to transform tomorrow.

“Tomorrow truly is in the making at Penn College,” Gilmour said of the Legacy Campaign, “and the future is bright.”


For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.