The library presented many of the ‘Did you knows?’ of Central Penn during Homecoming

Young woman with light brown hair and clear-frame glasses smiling

By Gabryelle Breski

Knightly News Reporter

As part of Homecoming weekend, the library presented a historical exhibit for alumni to see how the college has grown.

When visitors entered the library, Associate Provost Jared Rife was there to meet them with his display.

Rife began with showing the growth of the college, which began in Harrisburg, in 1881, and the school remained there until around 1970, when the Milano family purchased the land in Summerdale where the college stands today.

The college used to have an East and West wing. The pool and a hot tub were added, as were the apartments in the quad – an area that was once a large parking lot.


Many trophies were showcased from the Learning HUB, where they are kept in a display case. The trophies were shown with photographs of past sports teams. Some of the trophies included a modern United States Collegiate Athletic Association national runner-up and a tip-off basketball tournament. Much of the history displayed appeared to be from the 1990s.

Championship trophies that the men’s and women’s cross country team brought to Central Penn in the early 1990s from the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference (upper left) and upper right. Photo by Gabryelle Breski

The exhibit also showed how far the baseball team has come along. Consider this: In its first year, the team played five games; last season, the Knights scheduled nearly 50 games.

In the center of the sports exhibit were many articles about collegiate athletics cut out of newspapers. The articles were about sports, including volleyball, soccer, gymnastics, basketball, tennis, bowling and skateboarding.

There was a photo of the first basketball team, estimated to have been taken in 1988 or 1989.

Volleyball had a folder filled with older papers about getting a team together to play in a club league. The first year of volleyball appears to have been 1989. Besides the folder of volleyball information, the exhibit presented a binder filled with pamphlets from many of the Education Foundation’s annual golf opens.

Some sports showcased in the exhibit remain at the college. Central Penn brought home a ping pong trophy in the 1980s, too but the school no longer has a team.

Much of the history shown is of people, places and activities around campus, but one place that holds much of the past for Central Penn is the Boyer House. While it has college history, it also has some of the Boyer family history. One of the artifacts of the Boyer family was a scorebook showing that one of the Boyers played on the Summerdale baseball team. The same person who kept the scorebook must have attended a Major League Baseball game on Oct. 1, 1941, because it has Joe DiMaggio’s game statistics for that day.

Central Penn has maintained a rich sports program and student life through its history. Photo by Gabryelle Breski

A librarian’s finds

A Stenograph machine that court reporters used in courtrooms during hearings and trials. Photo by Gabryelle Breski

Library Director Margaret Schachte organized the business part of the exhibit.

Schachte’s exhibit, held at the front of the library, featured many tools used in court, including shorthand-practicing journals and a stenography machine court reporters used.

This part also held older images from the secretarial program that showed older computers.

The other part of the exhibit had many photographs showing student life during the time.

Student life

Professor Amanda Stuckey taught a film class earlier this year that dove into the artifacts in the library that spoke to movies the class was watching at the time. The class members focused on student life from the 1970s to the 1990s. (See the article here.)

“One of the sort of themes or main ideas that the students came away with (and they were the ones who chose which artifacts to display), was sort of how much technology has changed over time,” Stuckey said. “I think socially, it was interesting we saw a lot of pictures of students like hanging out in … common areas.”

One of the students said: “Oh, now we just play videos games all the time in our rooms.”

The definition of how the “social college student” has changed was shown through boards filled with student-life images and writings on each one.

A class Stuckey taught this term was set to make a presentation on Dec. 14 on some historical findings.

Breski is president of The Knightly News Media Club @ Central Penn College.

Comments or story ideas? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.

Edited by media-club co-adviser and blog editor Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi