Penn College, UPMC Susquehanna extend partnership

Courtesy Penn College of Technology Athletics Department –

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Pennsylvania College of Technology’s new synthetic-turf athletic field will bear the name “UPMC Field,” courtesy of a commitment from UPMC Susquehanna that enhances the partnership between the college and the health system.

Penn College and UPMC Susquehanna have long enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship. UPMC Susquehanna Soldiers + Sailors in Wellsboro recently gifted a facility to the college that, following renovations and retrofitting, has become the new permanent home for Penn College at Wellsboro and its Practical Nursing Program, which addresses critical LPN shortages in the Northern Tier region. The new facility allows for a 33-percent expansion of enrollment in the Wellsboro program.

Penn College alumni continue to help UPMC Susquehanna meet vital staffing needs in nursing; administration; hospice care; imaging; information technology; HVAC, engineering and electrical; and marketing and recruitment.

UPMC Susquehanna is a leading provider of clinical sites and internships for students within the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Penn College, and it partners with the college for emergency-response exercises and provides guest lecturers throughout the academic year. The health system is the sole health care and health insurance sponsor for Pennsylvania College of Technology Athletics, and offers athletic training services and equipment to student-athletes.

“We are honored by UPMC Susquehanna’s steadfast commitment to enrich the academic and athletic successes of our students,” said Loni N. Kline, vice president for institutional advancement. “In celebration of this deeply rooted relationship between our organizations, we are proud to recognize UPMC Susquehanna prominently on our campus.”

“Partnerships like ours with the Pennsylvania College of Technology benefit our organizations, our patients and our communities,” said Steven Johnson, president of UPMC Susquehanna.
“Pennsylvania College of Technology’s students become an important part of our highly capable and compassionate workforce providing great service to our patients, and in turn become part of the communities we serve. This is a true win, win, win; a win for the college, a win for the students and a win for the community.”

Construction is underway for the 123-by-85-yard turf field base, drainage and associated improvements on the west end of campus, adjacent to the Field House, with completion expected in time for the start of the Fall 2019 Penn College sports schedule.

Other improvements completed at the athletics complex previously include extended bleachers, a new press box and scoreboard.  In addition to intercollegiate athletics, the complex is used by intramural sports, club sports and Student Activities at Penn College.

“We are most grateful to UPMC for its generous support of Wildcat Athletics and our valued student-athletes at Penn College,” said John D. Vandevere, director of athletics. “The synthetic-turf field is a huge step in furthering the ongoing development of intercollegiate athletics, club sports, intramurals and more, while enhancing the safety of all participants who use the athletic complex for their activities. The new turf field will be a boon to athletic and new-student recruiting.”

An artificial-turf field enables Penn College to expand men’s and women’s sports offerings, serve as a potential hosting site for conference championships and PIAA competitions, conduct camps and clinics, and host students from the Williamsport area and beyond.

Beneath the turf will be a system designed to reduce the impact on athletes. The field permits activity through a variety of temperatures and in wet, dry and frozen conditions. Maintenance costs for the synthetic turf will be significantly less than those for grass.