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

Lycoming College dedicates new Founders Plaza

Lycoming College dedicates new Founders Plaza

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Since its founding, Lycoming College has benefitted from the generosity of individuals and families who believe in its mission. On June 4, 2022, Lycoming dedicated its newest addition to campus, the Founders Plaza, a place to honor and celebrate the College’s rich tradition of transformational philanthropy.

“We dedicate this Founders Plaza today as a place on campus that celebrates the spirit of philanthropy, its history of transforming this institution, its power to inspire future donors, and its roll in enabling Lycoming College to execute on its sacred mission of changing lives,” said President Kent Trachte, Ph.D.

The Founders Plaza is made possible by a leadership gift from Rita (Ciurlino) ’84 and David ’75 Detwiler III as a tangible way to permanently recognize members of the Founders Society, Lycoming's most generous philanthropists whose lifetime commitments have influenced the trajectory of the College.

Centrally located on the campus’s historic upper quad where Old Main once stood, the Founders Plaza is surrounded by Clarke Chapel, the Krapf Gateway Center, Lamade Gymnasium, and the Fine Arts Building. The Plaza will serve as a functional space by providing seating for the campus community, alumni, and visitors. The Class of 2020 identified the need for an outdoor classroom and dedicated their Senior Class Gift to incorporating an instructional space into the Plaza.

David Detwiler, a physician, is a current member of the President’s Leadership Council and past president of the Alumni Association Executive Board at Lycoming. Rita Detwiler is the chief enrollment officer at Sweet Briar College. The couple met at Lycoming and have been blessed to be able to give back to their beloved alma mater through the years. They contribute annually to the Lycoming Fund, were leadership donors in support of the Krapf Gateway Center, and established the Shirley J. Detwiler Endowed Memorial Scholarship. It was in 2018 when David first presented his idea for an outdoor recognition space for the College’s donors.

“We will always be thankful to Lycoming for providing a solid foundation that we were able to build upon that allowed us to pursue our passions in life,” shared David Detwiler. “I look forward to seeing how future alumni and new friends of the College can come together in guiding Lycoming College in a way that will continue to make it a bigger, better, and stronger institution of higher education.”

“This Plaza is a beautiful addition to campus that we will all certainly be proud of,” Detwiler continued. He stressed that it is the collective efforts, talents, resources, and time given by all alumni and friends that is the backbone of this institution. “Together, they are bricks and mortar of this Plaza…they are the unsung heroes.”

“Thank you for being a part of today’s dedication. Even more, thank you for investing in Lycoming College in ways that make this day possible,” said Chip Edmonds, Ed.D. ’98, executive vice president of the College. “I invite you to come back to this place often as not simply a place where we acknowledge those who have helped to make this institution what it is, but as an outdoor classroom where learning and intellectual growth continue for a lifetime.”

  • (L to R) Kent Trachte, Sharon Trachte, Rita Detwiler, and David Detwiler

    (L to R) Kent Trachte, Sharon Trachte, Rita Detwiler, and David Detwiler

  • President Kent Trachte

    President Kent Trachte

  • Chip Edmonds

    Chip Edmonds

  • David Detwiler

    David Detwiler

  • David Detwiler

    David Detwiler

  • David Detwiler and Greg Bell

    David Detwiler and Greg Bell

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