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My WACC reunion

October 13, 2014 - Barb Barrett
This month is dedicated to 'Student Bodies.' Students are busier than ever and have been given some wonderful hands-on opportunities. I was very impressed with the metal art sculptures that adorn the campus of Penn College. As an alumni from the class of '71 (before the faculty strike of '73), I visited the first ever WACC reunion that was part of the PCT's centennial. I did not know that there were 4 name changes. The school was originally part of Williamsport HS then it became the Williamsport Technical Institute from 1941 to 1965 when it was renamed Williamsport Area Community College serving 10 counties. Penn College was established in 1989.

I am sure that many of you have been affiliated with this fine institution in one way or another, over the years. It was a good start for me, but my, has the campus changed and grown. One alumni said he remembers his monthly tuition fee (late 60s) as being only $37 a month, a far cry from today's rates. And housing was a problem. Many, like myself, commuted, and those who didn't found housing on their own. The girls took up 2 floors of the Genetti (then called Lycoming Hotel) and walked to their classes.

While there I met students from all over and became good friends with some from Hughesville and Muncy whom I still remain in contact. Now students have many more opportunities in vocational trades and skills such as welding and computer graphics and even 4 year degrees. The school has evolved to help increase job placement and 85% of graduating students are employed here in Pennsylvania. You will be happy to know that all the yearbooks and newspapers from the school are in digital format and can be seen at


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Former WACC students tour the campus adorned with these life size metal sculptures dedicated during the anniversary centennial ceremony. Known as the "Student Bodies" these art forms will outlive us all, including the students who made them. There are 78 of them. One of them was a Muncy female student who described the experience as fun and challenging.