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Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour – Profile of a College President

Penn College People Leave a comment September 21, 2016

Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour – Profile of a College President

“People make a difference. People build communities. You and I do it.”

Davie Jane Gilmour is determined to make a difference. In her 18 years as President of Pennsylvania College of Technology, she has made volunteerism a priority because she believes personal involvement is key to building strong communities.

“It will take a great deal of personal commitment and patriotism to restore our confidence, our communities, and our country. The good news is: History is filled with stories of Americans facing challenges and finding new paths to success. Giving up is not the American way.”

Davie Jane Gilmour joins students at Youth Leadership Banquet

Dr. Gilmour lives the American dream. Her parents, a welder and a teacher, taught her to appreciate the opportunities of education and to respect the dignity of work and service.

She began her career as a dental hygienist and accepted a teaching position at Williamsport Area Community College in the 1970s. She was working her way through the ranks of college administration when W.A.C.C. became a special mission affiliate of Penn State in 1989. She was named president in 1998.

“Penn College has, as its core mission, a commitment to helping men and women reach their fullest potential. It is what makes me feel good about doing my job every day. There is an energy and enthusiasm on our campus that is unique and rewarding.”

Beyond her role as campus leader, Dr. Gilmour has achieved international prominence as the Chairman of the Little League International Board of Directors. She is the first woman to chair the organization.

Davie Jane Gilmour speaks on Women in STEM panel

She also is Vice Chairman of the Board of Susquehanna Health, former Chairman of the First Community Foundation of Pennsylvania, President of the Community Arts Center Board of Directors, Executive Committee member of the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce Board, Chairman of the Economic Development and Growth Corporation, and Commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

This range of experience – from higher education to youth sports, workforce development to health care, culture and the arts to business development – provides a broad perspective from which she draws her thoughts about important issues in our communities.

Dr. Gilmour plans to share her unique perspectives on a variety of topics through the Penn College Blog. Her primary motivation, she said, is to encourage others to recognize the importance of making their own contributions to society.

“What makes us unique as individuals is our ability to overcome obstacles, to apply our knowledge and our skills for a purpose, and to contribute in meaningful ways to our families and our communities. Number one, a leader has to be somebody who’s inspiring, somebody who removes obstacles and gets the job done.”

She concludes that the only way to make a difference is to embrace opportunities to grow and to serve.

“Getting the job done often requires us to step outside our comfort zones,” she said. “That is a good thing. Every time we meet a challenge with courage, commitment and compassion, we can make a difference.”


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Pennsylvania College of Technology, a special mission affiliate of Penn State, is a national leader in applied technology education. Penn College offers more than 100 bachelor, associate, and certificate majors to nearly 5,600 students in careers ranging from manufacturing, design, transportation, and construction to hospitality, health, business, and natural resources. Business/industry connections, small classes, industry-standard equipment, and faculty with work experience contribute to strong graduate placement rates. The full college experience awaits those desiring on-campus housing, Greek Life, student organizations, and NCAA Division III athletics.

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Well-rounded global experience

By Cayla Erisman, April 18, 2019

My initial global experience through Penn College affected my life in many positive ways. This was my first opportunity to travel to another country, and I never expected or planned to travel abroad until my college education was complete. As an architecture student, I have been studying buildings and cities across the globe for many years. When I heard about the European Sustainable Building, Historical Architecture and Art (ACH270) course that included a trip to London and Paris in May of 2018, I was immediately interested in the opportunity to study abroad. My interest transformed to reality when we landed in London and instantly started our educational journey. As we navigated our way through London and Paris, I started to recognize buildings and various structures like the Tower Bridge, the Gherkin, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Eiffel Tower, to name a few, all of which I learned about either in high school or at Penn College.

It was truly an amazing feeling seeing such extraordinary architecture and learning more about the history of the structures by physically being there.

In addition to bringing my textbooks to life, being in another country for almost two weeks taught me about the lifestyles and cultures of the cities we visited. We went to a lookout on the 72nd floor of The Shard, in London. The views were breathtaking, and standing that high above the ground was absolutely thrilling! I feel that appreciating diversity is one of the most beneficial aspects from my global experience.

My newfound awareness of culture is going to help me both personally and professionally.

After my experience in London and Paris, I’m confident in my ability to visit any city and successfully navigate my way, since I had the opportunity to lead a small group to various attractions in London. We all had locations that we wanted to visit during our free time, like Abbey Road where the Beatles’ famous crosswalk image was captured. I personally wanted to see the house where part of “The Parent Trap” was filmed, so I found the address and led a small group to these locations. During another free time excursion, I led a group downtown to see some of the architecture like the Gherkin, and then back to our hotel. It was so much fun learning how to navigate this foreign city throughout the week with our tour guide and then using that knowledge to guide a small group on my own.

When I returned from London and Paris, I knew that I wanted to visit more countries as a student. To that end, I am planning to participate in the global experience course, Global Cities: Architecture Ideals, Urban Forms, and Artistic Aspirations (ACH271), that will include travel to Italy in May 2019. I am already excited for the memories and experiences that are to come from my next global experience.

For more information on Penn College global experiences, contact the International Programs Office at

Education, Global Experience, People