The students and benefactors who have provided annual and endowed scholarships to Williamson students were honored during the 4th Annual Scholarship Celebration Dinner in April.
The event was held in the Rowan Hall dining room and brought donors together with the students they are supporting so they could get acquainted during a dinner which was followed by remarks by several speakers.
Charles Huntoon, in his donor remarks, said there are four reasons why he supports Williamson. “The first is the school’s core values – Faith, Integrity, Diligence, Excellence, and Service.”
Secondly, he is impressed with Isaiah Williamson’s statements and philosophy. “He became an apprentice in a country store and was diligent in investing his money, some of it in real estate. He had a willingness to help people who were trying hard to help themselves. He said that it was seeing boys lounging about the streets, growing up with no education, no trade, and no idea of usefulness that caused him to think about founding the school.
“He was sure that a young man who learned a trade and was honest and industrious would be certain of success in life. It was the trades that made this country great and they are still needed today. Although a lot has happened since the school was founded, some things have remained the same – skilled tradesmen are needed now more than ever.”
His third reason is the spirit of the school. “Anytime I am on campus, it is exciting to meet the students – in the halls, the shops, at a dinner. I feel an excitement. I feel their energy and creativity. I see their desire to achieve and capture the skill necessary to complete the project they are working on.”
Huntoon’s fourth reason is his son Chip, who died tragically in a work accident in 2014. “I know if he were here today he would want to be a Williamson student, laughing and joking with you, and working hard to learn a trade. He lived in Colorado and even though he had a college degree in education, he started his own company and did landscaping, excavation, painting and staining, and property management of all kinds.
“He loved tools and could not leave a hardware store without buying a new tool. He also had the western ‘can do’ attitude. That is to be self-sufficient and figure out how to do things yourself. You don’t call a man, you actually try to do it yourself.
“If Chip was here, he would want me to help out and he would also want to financially support what is going on here.”
In her introduction of Huntoon Arlene Snyder, vice president for advancement, said we are most appreciative of the Charles William “Chip” Huntoon Memorial Scholarship he and his wife Elaine, founded in support of Williamson students.
“Mr. Huntoon has loved Williamson and its mission since first learning of us and his support is greatly appreciated.”
Since 1978, he has been the president and owner of Charles W. Huntoon Appraisal Services, a consulting and appraisal firm, providing appraisals, market studies, and real estate consulting assignments. From 1978 until 2005, he was president and owner of Century 21 Huntoon, a residential brokerage firm.
He teaches at Polley Associates School of Real Estate and McKissock, LLP. Earlier, he was an adjunct instructor at the Pennsylvania State University, La Salle University, and Manor Junior College
He earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA at Syracuse University. He also became a senior residential appraiser at the Appraisal Institute, a certified real estate broker manager at the Real Estate Brokerage Managers Council, and a chartered life underwriter at the American College.
In his welcoming remarks, President Michael Rounds said, “Thank you for taking the time to be with us tonight. It is great to be back face-to-face and having a dinner together after being virtual last year.”
He said there is a lot to be thankful for, including the Joseph and Marion Wesley Student Center, which is under construction, and he thanked the Wesleys for being in attendance. He mentioned the William and Judith Strine Dormitory which is nearing completion and will allow an increase in student enrollment.
He also mentioned two projects that are in the works – the Thomas and Agnes Chapel Mezzanine, thanks to John Heenan, also in attendance, and a 72-bed dormitory which will also provide for an increase of student enrollment.
He said we are anticipating the beginning of Williamson’s newest trade, the Electrical Program fall semester.
There are also plans to overhaul the Machine Tool Technology Program for the fall of 2022 and that funding is at 80 percent of the cost.
In the fall of 2022, 124 freshmen will begin their 1,000-day journey, an increase of 23 students over past years.
He also said that the fall and spring Career Fairs were attended by 206 companies from 15 states and that most of our seniors have multiple job offers.
“The opportunity provided to our students changes the trajectory of their lives and contributes to the overall improvement of the community. This would not be possible without your investments in their future. Thank you for your sponsorship of scholarships for our students.
In her opening remarks, Dr. Michelle Williams, vice president of academic affairs and CAO, said “Let us celebrate both the donors and students who continue to give and to receive. Thank you donors and thank you students.
“I would like to remind you of our great college’s mission, which was conceived by and is possible because of our founder, Isaiah V. Williamson. It is to prepare qualified young men to be respected leaders and productive members of society. To accomplish our mission, each year over 100 students are admitted, many from families with financial need.
“Williamson provides students with a holistic education that includes academic, trade, technical, moral/ethical education, and a living environment based on the Judeo-Christian perspective that fosters our core values.
“We are grateful that we are able to offer this tremendous learning opportunity to students year after year and we are also grateful for the support and generosity of donors like the ones here in this room this evening and those who could not be in attendance. Because of your generosity, we are able to continue to fulfill our mission.”
Shamar Kerr, a power plant technology junior and recipient of the Parents of Sharon Hill, Pa., Scholarship donated by Timothy Gilligan 9W6, in his student remarks, said his experiences at Williamson have taught him what a unique and great opportunity this education is.
“I enjoy learning new things, especially in the power plant program where I get to put them into action. I also enjoy the emphasis on the five core values, especially service. I am at my best when I do things for others because it is not just about me. Being a part of something bigger than myself inspires me to be even better.”
He also appreciates the opportunity to meet with over a hundred employers who are eager to hire Williamson men.
“I am very grateful for the scholarship I have received and for the people that choose to give back to the students through scholarships. You are part of what makes this school thrive.”
Michael Piotrowicz, Williamson’s longest serving trustee and the founder and president of Legacy Advisors, LLC, a premier planning advisory firm, gave trustee remarks where he talked about the continuing need for support from generous funders like the benefactors in attendance and expressed gratitude for all they do for Williamson.
“On behalf of the board of trustees, I say thank you to our donors for your support of our scholarship program and thank you to our students who receive these scholarships. They are hard-working young men who do a great job and are going to make us proud when they become Williamson graduates.
Piotrowicz continued by highlighting our prestigious leadership giving society. “We established the Legacy Society, comprised of donors who give an endowment gift of $500,000 or make an annual commitment of $25,000 for the balance of their lifetime with an endowed gift upon their death of $500,000. I thank all of you who have made this commitment to be Legacy Society members.
The event included a meal blessing by Mark Specht 7W7, chaplain, and closed with him giving a benediction.