Piper to sign new book detailing Lycoming College's 200-year history

Piper to sign new book detailing Lycoming College's 200-year history

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Lycoming College historian Dr. John F. Piper Jr., author of the recently released "Lycoming College, 1812-2012: On the Frontiers of American Education," will hold a book signing on Tuesday, Feb. 7, from 10:45 a.m. to noon in Pennington Lounge, located on the first floor of the Academic Center. Written and printed in conjunction with Lycoming's ongoing bicentennial celebration themed "Into Our Third Century," the book will be available for purchase at the signing and through the College's campus store. It was published by Bucknell University Press.

Piper's more than 40-year association with the College began in 1969, when he became a professor of history. He later chaired the department on several occasions from 1974-92 and served as dean of the College from 1992 until his retirement in 2007. Since then, he has served as Lycoming's historian while working on his book.

The hardcover book is a detailed story about Lycoming College, a national liberal arts and sciences institution in Williamsport, Pa. The College is one of the 50 oldest institutions of higher education in the nation and the oldest that retains a relationship with the United Methodist Church. It has the distinction of having evolved through four different stages of American education and has reached a fifth.

The institution received its charter from the state of Pennsylvania on April 2, 1811, and opened as the Williamsport Academy in 1812. In 1848, a group of Methodists bought the academy and transformed it into Dickinson Seminary, later renamed Williamsport Dickinson Seminary, which, despite its name, was a preparatory school, not a school of theology. In 1929, the leaders of the seminary added a junior college to their school. Junior colleges were a new frontier of American education in the early 20th century, and Dickinson Junior College became the first fully accredited private junior college in the state. After World War II, the junior college became a four-year institution and chose the name Lycoming College. In 2000, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching included Lycoming in its list of 213 national liberal arts colleges.

Founded in 1812 and celebrating its bicentennial during the 2011-12 academic year, Lycoming College is a national liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. It offers 35 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit www.lycoming.edu.