2018 Spring LC Magazine

After applying to several prestigious Ivy League schools, all of which were awash in post-war applicants, Zilch acted upon a suggestion by his hometown minister to apply to Williamsport Dickinson Seminary and Junior College (WDSJC) and was accepted. Paul Leinbach ’48, a high school senior from Woolrich, Pa., also became intrigued by the Navy’s invitation, via a promotional leaflet, to become an aviation midshipmen. Inspired by his brother who flew for Pan American Airways during the war and incentivized by the benefits of the Holloway program, Leinbach applied to WDSJC, the alma mater of his mother and brother, preferring its proximity to home. He, too, was accepted. The Lycoming Experience Ninety-eight years after the Williamsport Academy for the Education of Youth was purchased and repurposed as Williamsport Dickinson Seminary, and twenty-five years after it became an accredited junior college, WDSJC became home to five naval airmen recruits who would begin their collegiate and Naval careers. Studying alongside Zilch and Leinbach were Frank Toy ’48 from Riverside, N.J.; Robert Goodman ’48 from Reading, Pa.; and Don Hile ’48 from State College, Pa. Zilch, Leinbach and their fellow airmen recruits were required by their naval contract to prepare for an engineering career, so they concentrated their course- load on math and science classes. Zilch remembers his time at WDSJC fondly. “I don’t know if you could ask for a better environment. There were a lot of good people at the school. A lot of outstanding teachers,” he recalls. Zilch shares that his physics class — one of his favorite classes — presided by Professor Babcock, was often crowded to capacity, even over-capacity, and students who didn’t arrive early enough for a seat had to stand. “I bet that doesn’t happen anymore!” he laughs. For Leinbach, J. Milton Skeath, Ph.D., professor of psychology, stands out in his mind, as the former credits the latter with stimulating his interest in the subject and inspiring him to later major in psychology at Bucknell University. Leinbach and Toy would become roommates in the dormitory known as the “Angel Factory.” “Dickinson Junior College provided a very good experience,” shares Leinbach. “I learned much and made friends. My attention was on my studies, so I was not the life of the party.” Zilch initially lived in the dormitory and according to him, there was only one problem: dinner dress code. “It was required that we had to eat dinner every night with a coat and tie on. The women, too, were required to be dressed up for dinner. We would sit eight people at each table. Being a country boy, I had only one coat. So whenever it got soiled and I had to take it downtown to be dry-cleaned, I had to miss supper because I couldn’t meet the dress code.” The experience would serve Zilch well in the Navy. “They were teaching us more Paul Leinbach Charles Zilch Frank Toy Robert Goodman Don Hile 23 www.lycoming.edu