Investments Made, Lives Changed
First scholarship campaign helps students realize dreams

by Valerie L. Fessler, annual giving manager, and Robb C. Dietrich, executive director of the Penn College Foundation. Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, except as credited.

All donors to the campaign were invited to a casual dinner in the college’s Field House, followed by a concert by a cappella group Home Free at the Community Arts Center.Launched to commemorate the college’s Centennial anniversary, the Penn College Scholarship Campaign had a distinct goal: "Invest Now, Change Lives Forever." With the objective to raise funds that would directly support student scholarships – making opportunities available to students that may otherwise not be possible – supporters stepped up in record numbers.

"The success of the Penn College Scholarship Campaign exceeded all expectations," President Davie Jane Gilmour said. "We challenged our alumni, friends and industry partners to commemorate the Centennial by helping students through increased scholarship support, and they responded with pride and enthusiasm.

"Thanks to their generosity, we can offer our students more than double the amount of scholarship aid that we did prior to the campaign. This will help future generations of Penn College students build on the legacy of its past and create an exciting and unlimited future."

Jeffrey C. Comitz. Photo by Marc T. Kaylor.
Jeffrey C. Comitz

Heating, ventilation & air conditioning design technology
West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association Scholarship American Infrastructure Annual Scholarship

"As a student in my 30s, the scholarship awards have helped me to lessen the amount of hours I have to work. I have been able to take those extra hours and dedicate more time to my education and my family. As a result, I have been on the Dean's List every semester and have been awarded Student of the Month honors. Before enrolling at Penn College, I was working a dead-end job and was very uncertain of my future. I have attained a skill set that will help separate me from others in the HVAC field. I now have a bright and promising future ahead!"

Nicole M. Reyes-Molina. Photo by Jami L. Hughes.
Nicole M. Reyes-Molina

Building construction technology: masonry emphasis
Pennsylvania Concrete Masonry Association Scholarship

"Receiving a Penn College scholarship has been a life saver. The donors to the scholarship are supporting and helping me achieve my dreams and goals. I think about their generosity almost daily, and I give thanks because it has helped me financially and made my dreams one step closer. Without them, I would not be here to accomplish my dreams nor make an impact at Penn College. So I want to thank Penn College scholarship donors for their support, for leading me to the right path to achieve my goals, and for helping me to believe that I can do whatever I set my mind to."

Alicia C. Kibler
Alicia C. Kibler

Early childhood education
The Next Centennial Scholarship

"I want to teach children and help them learn and develop in the best way possible. The scholarship that I was so kindly given has helped me with school books and the other materials required for my major this semester. It didn't only help me materially, but it gave me more motivation and hope. Knowing that so many people care about others’ futures, their lives and their roads to success is a wonderful feeling, and it has made all the difference to me."


Students express their gratitude to Penn College Scholarshp Campaign donors.
$6,409,780 Total funds raised.
660, Number of participating alumni. (not including those employed by the college)
30% of employees participating.
75 new scholarships
165% increase in scholarship aid from 2011 to 2014. (from $248,712 in 2010-11 to $658,386 in 2014-15)


Ray Mattie, '84, and his wife, Michelle, established the Mattie Family Scholarship to benefit students in occupational therapy assistant or early childhood education majors. "Being able to assist those students pursuing a career with children holds a special place in our hearts," Ray Mattie said. Photo by Jennifer A. Cline. More than 180 first-time alumni donors contributed to the Next Centennial Scholarship Campaign, which – with a matching gift from the Penn College Foundation – offered one-time scholarships to first-year students from the donors' respective majors.

Alumni demonstrated pride in their alma mater by giving to the campaign in record numbers. From individuals establishing named scholarships to more than 180 graduates who made their first gifts to the college, alumni stepped up to support current and future Wildcats.


Principals of Amerikohl Mining Inc. and the family of Steelyn G. Kanouff, '07, gather near the Donor Wall. The company endowed a $1 million scholarship fund in memory of Kanouff, who was an Amerikohl employee when he died. Photo by Tom Wilson.

Friends have experienced firsthand the value of a Penn College education in the workplace and in the community. Individuals who want to ensure that future students have the opportunity to pursue an applied technology education at Penn College gave some of the largest contributions to the campaign.


Kenneth C. Kuhns, '79, assistant professor of electrical technologies/occupations, and Diana L. Kuhns, assistant professor of mathematics, established a scholarship fund. "It gives me great pleasure to set up a scholarship so that others may benefit from (a Penn College) education," Ken Kuhns said. About a dozen employees of Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Penn College contributed to the newly established Workforce Development Scholarship to benefit students in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. Photo by Jennifer A. Cline.

Employees see every day the impact a Penn College education can have. Faculty and staff alike expressed their continued commitment to students by establishing new scholarships and helping grow existing scholarship funds.