Thursday, December 9, 2010

An Archives Kind of Christmas

Christmas archives

The Lycoming College Archives has decked the halls. The Christmas tree is trimmed, yuletide greetings are displayed, and as always...a roaring fire.

Lyco tree

Not only is the Archives exhibiting the holiday spirit, but is offering up a healthy dose of school spirit as well. A multitude of Lycoming ornaments collected over the years hang from the tree branches.

Christmas cards

Also on display are some of the Christmas cards received from the President's Office over the years. Currently cards from President and Mrs. Douthat are represented in the display, as well as from former President Fredercik Wertz. These and many other holiday items can be viewed in the Lycoming College Archives.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back in the Day

Bowling pins

Sports have always played an integral part of life on campus. Like everything else through the years here at Lycoming College, they have evolved and changed. In this photograph from 1870, when Lycoming was in its infancy as the Williamsport Dickinson Academy, children are shown in physical education class where they pumped up their muscles with the likes of batons, bowling pins, and weights.


By 1959 Lycoming had not only grown into a four year college, but the bowling pins were being used in a more traditional manner. Today there no longer is a bowling alley on campus, although we have acquired one of the bowling pins in the archives.

Bowling pin


Another unusual sports sighting from back in the day is this photograph from 1932, of seven female archers poised for target practice out on the lawn.

Football on the quad

Every inch as conspicuous as flying arrows on the lawn was the football field that was located on the quad. In 1962 the David Person field was built, moving football from the quad, scoring a touchdown in 1998 when the 1.95 million dollar Robert Shangraw Athletic Complex was dedicated.

Hilltop gymnasium

Before the Lamade Gymnasium, which became the site for the college's many major athletic events after its dedication in 1980, there was the Hilltop Gymnasium. In this picture from 1924 there is a volleyball net, as well as several pieces of gymnastics equipment.

Swimming pool

A photograph of the swimming pool that was in the Hilltop Gymnasium. The tile pool was twenty by sixty feet and was equipped with a sterilization and filtration plant that necessitated changing the water only four times a year. The Hilltop Gymnasium was dedicated in 1924, and eventually in 1983 the gymnasium was renovated as the Fine Arts Building.

Some sports have fallen off the map; others have emerged victorious- moving to bigger and better facilities as our college has grown.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Welcome Back Party for Alumni!

Homecoming 1958

Homecoming is an annual event held across North American college and university campuses for visiting alumni. There is a flurry of activity held over an entire weekend, traditionally in late September or October. Exactly what goes on during these celebrations varies according to what region in North America alumni are returning to visit, as well as the individual schools’ traditions. In most cases there is a football game involved, a parade, dinners and gatherings for the returning graduates, and of course the crowning of the Homecoming Queen.


The Lycoming football team in action during the Homecoming game from 1954. Lycoming registered their first score of the season that game, but unfortunately were defeated 31-7 at the hands of Geneva College.

Rich Hall 1958

A photograph of Rich Hall taken in 1958 with banners spelling out "Beat Juniata" hanging from the windows.

Parade 1958

Pictured here is the Methodist Student Movement's entry in the 1958 Homecoming parade.


A group of Lycoming students prepares for the 1956 Homecoming dance.

Homecoming Queen

Laurie Jones crowned queen in 1959.

Over the years at Lycoming College the activities commemorating the graduates' returns have changed, but Homecoming and Reunion Weekend remains a vital campus tradition. The schedule for Homecoming and Reunion Weekend for 2010 is available here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Freshman Rules


A portion of every incoming college freshman’s education is spent on learning the meaning of the word, “upperclassman.” At least this was how campus life was according to an article from November 1938 published in the student newspaper, the Dickinson Union.


During this time on campus, the frosh were identifiable by their strict adherence to the rules set down by the governing sophomore tribunal. Over the years, “freshmen rules” curriculum consisted of not being allowed to speak with members of the opposite sex, outlandish attire ranging from black ties to green hair ribbons, as well as the name signs found dangling around their necks. Freshman males could be seen wearing make-up and fingernail polish, while the females were caught with different color stockings and shoes, pigtails in their hair, and clothing worn backward.

Freshman Dink

Although these telltale signs seemed designed to alienate the campus’s newest additions they provided a sense of camaraderie according to an editorial in a later edition of the Dickinson Union. Freshmen not only had a chance to become acquainted with each other, but these traditions gave them a sense of belonging and by following the “rules” there was a unique show of college spirit. An added bonus, according to Dr. J. Milton Skeath, was that: “It can be a lot of good fun. And good fun always promotes mental health.”

Name signs

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Taste of the Avant-garde


It lounges outside the entrance leading into the Academic Center and Snowden Library; Lycoming College’s only open-air piece of art. According to the Lycoming College Magazine (Summer 2009) this mammoth sculpture has existed without an identification plate for nearly thirty years now.


The “Triad” was conceived by Tony Rogers at the end of the spring semester of 1980 as his senior honors project. Rogers told the Lycoming College Magazine: “The name comes from the three ribbon-shaped forms that make up the piece. The transition of the three forms wasn’t a deliberate intent at the onset; it was something I discovered as the piece was being created and the name happened upon that discovery.”

here i am


The location of the “Triad” placed restrictions on its size, shape, and interaction with viewers, although according to Rogers, “The sculpture itself is restricted by the imagination of the viewer.”

Chillaxin Squirrel

And today, whether you pass by this piece and think it looks like a “snail,” or reminds you of an “ear,” or it is the first time you even took notice, “Wow, what in the world? I do not remember seeing that before!” Keep in mind that those are exactly the responses Rogers wished to garner from his unorthodox creation; thirty years later and still open to interpretation.

triad 2

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What's in a Name- the Final Chapter

The Sykes Gate is the main entrance to Lycoming College and named for David B. Sykes, a Williamsport native and 1938 graduate of Dickinson Junior College. Dedicated on September 19, 1999, the gate opens the college to downtown Williamsport.

Building display Sykes Gate

The Commons, built in 2007, was officially dedicated Homecoming Weekend, Octobber 2008. The 29,000 square foot building was designed with facade and landscaping to identify six houses.

The Halfmann House is dedicated to Dorothy Ruth Stecker Halfmann, a graduate of Dickinson Seminary.

The Richard H. Lundy House is dedicated to Lundy, whose construction company was instrumental in campus wide renovations.

The Joyce Lynn House named in honor of Joyce Lynn, wife of Peter Lynn, a 1969 graduate of Lycoming College.

Robert S. Lowry House is named for the husband of Rosanna Lowry. Rosanna is a 1972 graduate of Lycoming College.

The Jack Hollenback House is named for Hollenback, who was a professor of Business Education at Lycoming College. When Hollenback passed away in 2008 the college used the sizeable gift left through his estate to respectfully establish The Jack Hollenback House.

The last house has not been dedicated at this time.

Building display Commons

Dedicated in 1980 the recreation center includes the George R. Lamade Gymnasium. Lamade was a long time publisher of the Grit Publishing Company and a community leader. The building also houses a basketball court, pool, weight room, sauna, and steam bath.

Honors Hall is named for Mrs. Mary Welch. In addition to the Shangraw Performance Hall, the building housed a meditation chapel, offices for the Honors Program, Campus Ministry and Community Service, as well as a kitchen-equipped lounge.

Building display Sykes Gate

The Metzler Gates are named for Dr. Oliver Sterling Metzler, who was a member of Williamsport Dickinson Seminary's Class of 1880 and a trustee of the school from 1911-1944. These gates were dedicated on October 14, 1939. These gates are known as the Graduation Gates because they are opened only once each year, during Commencement weekend.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What's in a Name? Part Two

The archival display on the first floor of the Snowden Library titled, "WHAT'S IN A NAME?" features six of Lycoming College's campus buildings named in honor of men and women who were important to the school and its development over the years. This is the first of an ongoing display to highlight all of our dedicated buildings.

The Gang's all here (e)

Asbury Hall is named for the Reverend Bishop Francis Asbury, known as the father of the Methodist Church in the United States, on the site where the former Flock Mansion stood, whose owners operated the Flock Brewery once located on Lycoming’s campus. Originally a men’s residence Hall; Asbury is now one of the two all-freshmen halls and co-ed since 1971.

Heim, Snowden, and Welch (e)

The Heim Building was dedicated in 1990 as a memorial tribure to Joseph and Clara Heim who were known for their commitment and service to the Greater Williamsport area. The building includes laboratories, reading rooms, a greenhouse, and many other facilities.

Dedicated in 1991 to the memory of a respected civic leader, John G. Snowden, who served as a state senator for 16 years and was chairman of the Republican Committee of Lycoming County, Snowden Library is a center for academic research and liberal arts education. It includes an art gallery on the first floor, the College Archives in the basement, the Methodist Archives on the third floor, as well as a collection of approximately 200,000 volumes.

Asbury, Heim, and Snowden (e)

The Mary L. Welch Theatre, formerly known as the Arena Theatre (1967), was rededicated in 2000 in honor of Mary L. Welch, long-term supportre of Lycoming College and patron of the Arts in Williamsport. Dr. Marshall D. Welch, Mary's husband, made one of the largest donations the college ever received.

Welch, Wesley, and Williams (e)

Wesley Hall was constructed in 1956 as a men's residence hall. The building is named after John Wesley, founder of Methodism, in recognition of the long relationship Lycoming College has maintained with the Methodist Church.

Williams Hall was previously named North Hall, until 1980 when Joseph A. Williams, owner of St. Mary's Sewer Pipe Company and a benefactor of Lycoming College, donated funds to renovate the residence hall. He asked that it be rededicated in honor of his mother, Mary Ellen Whitehead Williams, who had single-handedly raised him and his three siblings after his father's death.

Karla and Julie (e)