Penn College president establishes scholarship to help launch campaign
Pennsylvania College of Technology President Davie Jane Gilmour has established a building-to-endowed scholarship as part of the Penn College Scholarship Campaign and in honor of the college’s upcoming Centennial Celebration.
The scholarship, which will generate initial annual awards of $1,000 benefiting full-time students, will be fully funded in 2017.
At an all-college meeting Aug. 15 for faculty and staff, Gilmour announced an initiative to add at least $3.75 million to the scholarship program administered through the Penn College Foundation. The Penn College Scholarship Campaign is being conducted in conjunction with the Centennial Celebration, which will feature a variety of events and activities throughout 2014.
The year 2014 marks a milestone in the institution’s rich history, from the inception of adult education classes in the Williamsport School District in 1914 through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute (1941-65), Williamsport Area Community College (1965-89) and Penn College (1989-present).
The purpose of the campaign is to ensure all students have access to a Penn College education in the next century by providing scholarship support for the financial challenges of college. While 78 percent of Penn College students receive some form of financial aid, less than 10 percent receive privately funded scholarships administered by the Penn College Foundation.
The average unmet need for a Penn College student is $9,200 per year – a gap that is typically filled by loans. The average education-related debt of a Penn College graduate is $31,900. A successful Penn College Scholarship Campaign will increase scholarship awards from the Penn College Foundation by at least one-third.
“We know that a Penn College education provides a significant return on investment, a pathway to a fulfilling career, and life-changing opportunities for our students and their families,” Gilmour said. “Still, we must acknowledge the extreme sacrifice that many students and families make in order to have the benefits of a Penn College degree.
“Our history is filled with stories of sacrifice and success. The Centennial Celebration is an opportunity to both look back at our evolution as an institution and dream about what we can aspire to in the future. The Penn College Scholarship Campaign is our opportunity to help prospective students have access to a brighter future.”