The College recently announced a partnership with Williamsport-based Alabaster Coffee Roaster & Tea Company to become the exclusive roaster for the Warrior Coffee brand. This new partnership with Alabaster represents yet another step in implementing the commitment in the College’s 2014 Strategic Plan to collaborate locally to the benefit of both the College and the City of Williamsport. It is also another example of the power of partnerships in advancing the College’s goal of becoming one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the nation. We are forming relationships at the local, national and global level in our quest to build a Greater Lycoming.
Our local partnerships have positioned the College as a major contributor to the cultural and social fabric of the region and as a catalyst to economic revitalization. In 2014, we entered into an agreement to lease a property on West Fourth Street from a local developer and converted it into a downtown location for the Lycoming College Art Gallery. Initiated in 2015, the Williamsport Internship Summer Experience program engages more than 20 businesses, non-profits and government agencies. Another notable collaboration emerged in 2016 when we joined with Penn College and the Community Arts Center (CAC) to arrange for the historic and magnificent 2000+-seat CAC to become a primary venue or our performing arts programs, lectures and all-college events. Complementing these high-profile partnerships is an intricate web of less visible forms of involvement by faculty, students and staff — all of which enrich the local community.
The most complex and ambitious of our local partnerships involves the Gateway Project, designed both to create a new entrance to the College and to catalyze the revitalization of the East End of Williamsport. We have worked closely with Senator Gene Yaw ’70, State Representative Jeff Wheeland, Mayor Gabriel Campana, the City Council, the Lycoming County Planning and Community Development Department, private developers and other local businesses. In addition, the First Community Foundation Partnership has provided an historic $1 million grant to support the Project.
Local businesses, banks and non-profits have also supported projects like the Lynn Science Center and the new scoreboard at Shangraw Athletic Complex. Included in this group are M&T Bank, UPMC Susquehanna, Susquehanna Trailways, Planet Fitness, AC Cruz Insurance, R&J Ertel and Merrill Lynch.
Lycoming’s partnerships extend beyond Williamsport, reaching across the nation and around the world. The Warrior Coffee Project provides a great example. Just a few blocks from campus, Alabaster will now roast Warrior Coffee as well as package the coffee to sell at the Lycoming College bookstore, at the local Wegmans supermarket, and for Rusty Rail Brewing Company (owned by Lycoming alumni Paul ’85 and Eric ’90 John) to use in its Wolf King Warrior Coffee Stout. Parkhurst Dining Services, a Pittsburgh based company that is the College’s food service, serves Warrior Coffee at catered events and in the dining hall. Jay Ducote, a New Orleans chef, who is a friend of the project architect Caroline Payne, Ph.D., did a TedX Talk about the Warrior Coffee initiative and sells coffee made from El Naranjito beans on his website. And, at its core, the Warrior Coffee Project rests on a collaboration between Lycoming faculty and students with coffee growers and NGO’s in the Dominican Republic.
To expand our global footprint the College has also signed new international study exchange agreements with universities in Puebla, Mexico; Grenoble, France; and Zhengzhou, China; and signed as an affiliate with Advanced Studies in England located in Bath. Already, students from Puebla and Grenoble are studying on campus this fall. Professor of Biology Jeff Newman will spend the winter and spring of 2018 in South Africa as a Fulbright Scholar helping to increase the use of cutting-edge technology for DNA analysis in South Africa and to further the use of the technology in the field of bacterial classification. He also anticipates creating future opportunities for Lycoming College students to study in South Africa.
Our strategy for recruiting a talented student body that reflects the mosaic of 21st-century America also has partnerships at its center. Working with the highly ranked Houston-based YES PREP network of schools has allowed us to recruit promising scholars from that region. A partnership with SAY YES TO EDUCATION provides the College access to the Buffalo, Rochester and Greensboro, N.C. markets, as well as to schools in Connecticut. Leading access organization MOSTE has been a collaborator in successful recruiting efforts in Los Angeles, and our agreement with NOBLE Charter School Network helps us attract students from Chicago. Finally, we have partnered with national charter network KIPP to recruit students from Texas, California, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, Louisiana and New York.
In our quest to become one of the very best 21st-century national liberal arts colleges, Lycoming College is engaging partners at the local, national and global levels. We are catalyzing economic revitalization and contributing to the cultural and social fabric of the region that serves as our home. Partners from across the nation enable us to recruit a diverse and very talented student body. Exchange agreements with international universities and programs create opportunities for our students and bring students from those universities to study on our campus. Partnerships are a core tactic to realize our dream of a Greater Lycoming.