A move across the bridge

The president is at home in ATEC and glad to be closer to students

Young woman with shoulder-length light brown hair and clear plastic glasses in front of a maroon Central Penn photo drop background

By Gabryelle Breski

Knightly News Reporter


President Linda Fedrizzi-Williams said she’s happy she moved her office early this term from the historic stone Boyer House on the eastern edge of campus to the Advanced Technology Education Center (ATEC), where she can see students pursuing their dreams.

The Boyer House sits along in a field whiskered with trees, with a bridge running over the stream known as Boyer Run, connecting the green grounds of the historic house and Central Penn’s main campus.

President Linda Fedrizzi-Williams takes a break for a conversation with a student — our reporter — in her office in ATEC. Photo by Gabryelle Breski

Just over a month ago, Fedrizzi-Williams moved her office from the house to an office on the third floor of ATEC. Fedrizzi-Williams described the change of location as “an everyday reminder of why I’m here and what I’m doing.”

The president reflected during a recent interview with The Knightly News on what she sees every day. She is proud of the students she can see through her window passing in the hallways to and from classes each weekday, each pursuing a dream.

Fedrizzi-Williams described the Boyer House as “a magical place.” As to rumors that the house is haunted, she said that if it is, it is a peaceful haunting. She continues to make time to walk down to the beautiful sight of the bridge to the house and the large barn that stands next to it.

Although she doesn’t plan to move her office back to the Boyer House, she made the point that the story of the house is not over. For instance, she brought up the idea that has been discussed over some years of the house being turned into a museum that would explain the wide-ranging history of the college.

Another idea is to turn the barn and house into a wedding venue or a general venue for community events. She envisions bringing members of the surrounding community to the college to build and solidify connections.

Specifically, she mentioned the idea of using the Boyer House for small holiday gatherings – in the house or in the barn.

Most important, though, is that the house will be used, but Fedrizzi-Williams said that to define that use will take time.

Before the next chapter of the Boyer House begins, some repairs must be made.

The Boyer House is a piece of Summerdale’s history that has been home to artifacts that explain some of Summerdale’s and Central Penn’s past.

The bridge over Boyer Run, leading from Central Penn’s campus center to the Boyer House (right) and the barn. Photo by Gabryelle Breski

Fedrizzi-Williams said she hopes to have historical artifacts saved in digital imagery and to find a place on the college’s website to present a more complete version of the college’s story. She said she envisions this as a student-led project, as an internship or student job. The artifacts would give students a story from which they could learn the college’s beginnings and trace Central Penn’s journey to today.

Looking to next year

Fedrizzi-Williams said the next year will consist of “refocusing, regrouping and rebuilding.”

She said a focus will be on stabilizing the presence, resources and offerings the college has so the college can continue to grow. She noted that higher education has been through many changes since the COVID-19 pandemic, and the newest focus for the college is to enhance the relationship between the college, and the local community and its residents.

Clubs and athletics
Fedrizzi-Williams said statistics prove that involvement in college activities, such as sports and student clubs, increases graduation rates, and the college must continue to invest in those programs.

“Sky is the limit for clubs,” she said.

Fedrizzi-Wiliams promotes input from students on what they want in clubs and other services.

She also wants to bring more community events to campus to engage students. The events would get more people on campus to engage with one another – online, commuter and on-campus students.

Word of advice

Fedrizzi-Williams advises students to use their voice and speak with “really receptive” Vice President of Student Services Romeo Azondekon about changes they wish to see.

She also urges students to bring suggestions to the Student Government Association, officers of which Fedrizzi-Williams meets with regularly.

The president wants students to be heard and to be understood. She wants students to be able to organize clubs and events that their classmates want to attend.

Breski is president of The Knightly News Media Club.

Comment or story idea? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.

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