Alden Trust grant to benefit
physics and psychology
Lycoming’s physics and psychology
departments received a $100,000 grant from
the George I. Alden Trust in Worcester, Mass.
The grant will be used to purchase physics
laboratory equipment and upgrade psychology
classrooms and labs.
Lycoming College is grateful for the
generous and continued support from the Alden
Trust,” said Lycoming President Dr. James
E. Douthat, noting that the College received
a similar grant from the trust a few years ago
for its biology department. “The upgraded labs
will continue to foster a hands-on learning
environment where our students gain valuable
experience while engaging in collaborative
research with our faculty. The grant will
enhance the preparation of students in these
two programs for graduate school and the
many other paths that lead to their professional
The physics department will acquire equipment in the
areas of mechanics, electromagnetism, modern physics and
condensed matter, and thermodynamics. During the last 10
years, 40 percent of the department’s seniors went to graduate
school in physics or astronomy, as compared to a national
average of 35 percent, according to the American Institute
of Physics, and in the same period, 45 percent of majors
have been women, compared to just more than 20 percent
nationally. Because of the department’s emphasis on lab-based
Charter Day celebration
Lycoming College celebrated the 201st anniversary of the
signing of its charter with several events April 1-2. The charter
for the Williamsport Academy, one of Lycoming’s predecessor
institutions, was received April 2, 1811. The College celebrated
its bicentennial during the 2011-12 academic year in recognition
of the school’s opening in 1812.
On Sunday morning, Dr. John F. Piper Jr., Lycoming
historian, led a walk to the gravesite of the Rev. Benjamin
Crever, a founder of the College, at the Williamsport Cemetery
on Washington Blvd. Dressed in period attire and acting as
Crever, he gave a brief history of the man who helped move the
Following the walk, the procession returned to Lycoming’s
quad where excerpts from the charter were read, the alma mater
was played from the Clarke Chapel carillon and a cannon was fired.
At noon on Monday, members of the campus community
strolled along on a 1.3 mile Bicentennial Walking Trail, which
stopped at historic sites around campus. An afternoon reception
again featured an appearance and a few words by Crever, as well
as a celebration cake.
instruction, majors and non-majors alike learn experientially
beginning in the freshman year.
Psychology is consistently one of the two largest majors at
Lycoming. The department enrolls an average of 450 students
per semester, nearly one-third of the student body. Lycoming
is among just 5 percent of institutions nationally that offer
introductory psychology with a laboratory component. In
addition to classroom and laboratory renovation, the grant will
fund a centrifuge and computers, along with built-in cabinets,
benches and tables for the department’s biopsychology lab.
Astronomy and physics professors Dr. Chris Kulp (left) and Dr. David Fisher are shown with some of
the new physics laboratory equipment that was recently purchased through a grant from the George
I. Alden Trust. The items include a study of diode characteristics system, muon physics system and an
apparatus for determining Curie temperature.
Among the campus community members who participated in the Charter
Day celebration were (top photo) Dr. John F. Piper Jr., dean emeritus of the
College and school historian (aka the Rev. Ben Crever), President Douthat,
Tyler Breech ’12 and Greg Vartan ’15 at the Flag Court. At Crever’s gravesite
are Megan Cunningham ’15, Sarah Cox ’13, Stephanie Robinson ’12, Matt
Ruth ’14, Vartan, Laura Klym ’12 and Robert Rinaldo ’13.