William Bonenberger 7W9, board chairman, in his keynote Founder’s Day address Thursday evening in the Clara Schrenk Memorial Chapel, said “Isaiah Williamson founded a school that has stood the test of time. It has been leading young men to success for about 130 years. Every year we take 100 freshmen who have few options in life, and three years later we turn out skilled craftsmen who are sought after by employers.”
He added that Mr. Williamson didn’t believe that learning a trade was enough to achieve success. “He also wanted the students to be honest, frugal, and temperate and believed those traits would help lead to success. We teach men about life and we have them live by our core values every day. Williamson is the toughest three years you will ever love. If you don’t feel that way now, you will later on.”
After his remarks, President Michael Rounds presented Bonenberger with a wooden box with a picture of Rowan Hall on it.
In the evening’s welcoming remarks, Samuel Wrightson, vice president of education, said “We are here to celebrate Isaiah Williamson’s 214th birthday. Mr. Williamson did not spend his money on himself, which was atypical. He used his money to help future generations of young men.”
Michael Schneider, senior class president, in his tribute to Isaiah Williamson, said “Williamson College of the Trades is one of the things we are most thankful for, even though we complain a lot. None of us would be as successful as we are going to be if it were not for this school and its core values.”
William Goodworth 8W2, the Alumni Association president, in his tribute said “If Isaiah Williamson were alive today, he would be glad to see his school is still thriving. I never heard any of my classmates say they wasted their time going to Williamson.”
W. Bruce Hustis, first vice president of the Sons of the American Revolution-Philadelphia Continental Chapter, presented the SAR’s William Yearsley 4W1 Outstanding Citizenship Award to Arsenio Kerr 1W8. The award is presented to a junior who has shown outstanding citizenship and the qualities of industry, self-discipline, personal integrity, reliability, and contributions above the call of duty. He also must have a GPA of 3.25 or higher and have fewer than 28 disciplinary points.
The Artisans led the audience in the singing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” to open the evening and closed it with the alma mater. Rev. Mark Specht 7W7 gave the invocation and benediction.
After the program, guests enjoyed a buffet dinner in the dining room prepared by Tim Burbage, food service director, and his staff.