Lycoming is being challenged to ascend to the next stage of greatness.
This isn’t the first time.
That’s why the “Campaign for a Greater Lycoming” was launched last week at a gala event in the Keiper Recreation Center. In my speech that night, I talked about three past leaders of Lycoming, each of whom Dared to Dream, and each of whom inspired the community to take decisive action to create an even greater institution.
In 1848, Ben Crever dreamed of rescuing an ailing academy and transforming it into the Williamsport Dickinson Seminary. Crever engaged a group of Williamsport community leaders to serve on its board; and through their collaborative efforts, they were able to open a school “for the education of youth in the arts, sciences and useful literatures.”
John Long dreamed of creating a junior college division and proposed the construction of a new gymnasium. The community responded to his plea for support, and in 1929 that dream became reality. Again in 1947, Long proposed becoming a four-year institution. The Lycoming College Fund Campaign raised almost a million dollars, largely through small donations from local citizens who considered it important to have a four-year college in Williamsport.
The creation of a truly residential campus was the dream of Frederick Wertz who outlined a sweeping plan that included seven additional buildings and a new athletic field with a stadium. Two financial campaigns fueled this reinvention: In 1957-58, funds were raised for a new science building and the Student Activities Building, later renamed after Wertz himself. The 1964 campaign financed the construction of the Academic Center.
The opportunity to ascend to a new stage of greatness is upon us once more, and to answer the call, our new campaign aims to raise $65 million to propel the College to a position among the nation’s very best liberal arts colleges. We have already raised $45 million.
This campaign has four priorities: 1) leverage our collective strength through the Lycoming Fund; 2) fuel of new generation of Warriors; 3) create the coveted degree of the future and 4) transform the campus. Through the Lycoming Fund, we want to fund, among other priorities, current use scholarships and May term travel scholarships. The second priority focuses on raising a total of $20 million in endowed scholarships. Creating the degree of the future involves investing in enhanced academic experiences, a center for energy and the future, a program in entrepreneurship, and raising the profile of environmental studies through the Clean Water Institute.
The proposed Gateway Building will transform the campus by opening up a new arrival sequence to the College and providing a much-needed new home for admissions. The building will also include a center for Outdoor Leadership and Education, the Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences (career advising and internships, study abroad and undergraduate research) new offices for advancement and alumni affairs, classrooms, a presentation space and study rooms. It will become a new hub of student activity.
I am committed to making this institution even more extraordinary, and our campaign objectives, and the strategies behind them, have been carefully designed to get us there. Will you Dare to Dream? Will you Dare to Do?
If you haven’t visited the newly-launched campaign website, I encourage you to do so now at campaign.lycoming.edu.