WILKES-BARRE — Wilkes-Barre City was very different in 1916.
Coal mining and related industries employed the majority of residents plus Penn State Wilkes-Barre began offering certificate courses in engineering and other coal mining industry-related fields at Coughlin High School.
A century later, Penn State Wilkes-Barre continues to meet the diverse needs of the community.
To celebrate the university’s commitment to the region and the community’s support, a Centennial Anniversary Gala will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 1 at Best Western Genetti’s Hotel & Conference Center in Wilkes-Barre.
To attend the Centennial Anniversary Gala, guests must register before Oct. 19, said Rachel Rybicki, marketing and communications specialist at Penn State Wilkes-Barre. To reserve a seat, call Rybicki at 570-675-9269 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admission to the formal event is $100 per person and will include a cocktail hour starting at 6 p.m., followed by a dinner. The Penn State Glee Club and the Hi Lo’s will provide the musical entertainment. A silent auction will also be held.
Proceeds from the event will go to the new Charles Davis Endowment for Entrepreneurship Fund, to which students may apply in the fall of 2017, Rybicki said. Chancellor Charles Davis will retire later this year.
The university’s campus in Lehman Township has been preparing to celebrate the milestone since last year when the library staff began digitizing hundreds of old photographs found in the attic of Hayfield House.
“It is amazing to see it all come together,” Rybicki said. “We have fantastic sponsors.”
Among some of the photos recovered are a video clip of Edgar Gealy, a Penn State Wilkes-Barre administrator from the 1920s. Centennial organizers decided to meld the video footage with photographs and interviews with former administrators to form a recorded history of the academic institution.
The completed video will be played during the Centennial Anniversary Gala and will feature several campus administrators, ranging from the 1920s to the present, including William Everett, J. Harry May and George Bierly.
“New and old clips were blended,” she said. “The video focuses on the achievements and challenges faced by the administrators, the community support and what the City of Wilkes-Barre was like at the time.”