Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

M&T Charitable Foundation makes gift to Lycoming College advancing STEM education

M&T Charitable Foundation makes gift to Lycoming College advancing STEM education

Phil Johnson (left), President of M&T's Northern Pennsylvania region presents a check to Lycoming College President, Dr. Kent Trachte (right) in support of the first academic building on the college campus since the Heim science building opened in 1989.

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On Friday, August 8, M&T President Phil Johnson presented Lycoming College with a fifty-thousand dollar gift in support of the college’s first new academic building since 1989. Accepting the gift was Dr. Kent Trachte, president of the college.

The gift is made possible through M&T’s philanthropic arm, The M&T Charitable Foundation, which supports a diverse range of civic, cultural, health and human service organizations with financial grants, employee volunteerism and in-kind services.

“Lycoming College is embarking on a remarkable initiative to expand its scientific research capabilities and we are thrilled to support this impressive project,” said Phil Johnson, President of M&T’s Northern Pennsylvania region. “As a community-focused bank, we believe that education is the cornerstone of strong communities. We look forward to working with Lycoming College to enhance educational opportunities and provide state-of-the art research facilities in our community.”

The gift will build and outfit a faculty research laboratory within the Lynn Science Center, which broke ground on June 18, 2014. The $7.9 million dollar facility is situated on the west side of the campus along Mulberry Street and Washington Boulevard and will provide new space for physics, astrophysics, and astronomy. The new facility will be connected to the existing Heim biology and chemistry building, furthering the synergy and interdisciplinary interactions across the sciences. The M&T Faculty Research Laboratory, will be one of four new laboratories in which faculty will conduct their own independent research, allowing for both publication opportunities, and student collaboration. Three of these laboratories will be advantageously positioned adjacent to the upper level student research labs and the fourth will be contiguous with a large classroom on the building’s ground level.

“Lycoming College is grateful for M&T’s long-standing support of our mission and students, said Trachte, “The college is at a defining moment in its STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs and this new facility makes tangible our ongoing commitment to science education. Increasing our capacity to educate and train people in these areas responds to the national call for significant growth in a STEM-educated workforce that is prepared for the types of jobs and skills that are critical to our economy.”  

The centerpiece of the Lynn Science Center will be a new planetarium, the exterior dome of which will be visible from multiple points across campus. Featuring state-of-the-art technology, the planetarium will allow for much more than standard demonstrations. Digital technology will enable interactive teaching and learning experiences across scientific disciplines, and is expected to enhance programs in other disciplines as well, offering, for example, recreated Civil War battles in an Imax-like experience.

The greater Williamsport community will also benefit from the planetarium. The college will host public lectures and events in the new space and has developed plans to collaborate with area elementary and secondary schools to enhance educational opportunities for local K-12 students.

Additionally, the building will support Lycoming’s new collaborative engineering program, offered in conjunction with Binghamton University. Completion of the Lynn Science Center is scheduled for fall 2015.

Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and 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

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