Penn State Wilkes-Barre Students At Centennial Gala

A Night A Century In The Making

100 Years of academics, 100 years of success, 100 years of inspiration, 100 years of support; all wrapped up in a milestone evening of celebration of past, present, and future
By: Rachel Olszewski

“I enjoyed being able to represent the student body who contributed or will contribute to the campus' past, present, and future success,” states current student, Jesse Macko. “The highlight of the evening for me was seeing everyone show their support; people who have been able to find success, support, and inspiration from Penn State Wilkes-Barre came out to celebrate.”

The Penn State Wilkes-Barre Centennial Gala event, held on November 1st, culminated a yearlong celebration of the campus’ history.

“The whole evening was unforgettable,” explains Student Government Association President, Gregory Strazdus. “For me, the highlight was watching the entertainment for the evening, the Penn State University Glee Club. I had never had the opportunity to hear them prior to that evening and they were accomplished performers!”

Macko and Strazdus were part of a group of students and young alumni whose attendance was sponsored by area businesses.

“For me having the students there was a highlight,” states Student Activities Coordinator and Centennial Committee Member, Jacqueline Warnick-Piatt. “From current students to recent alumni, to individuals who attended Penn State Wilkes-Barre 30 years ago – there was a vast generational participation. That night we all had one thing in common, our love and appreciation of our campus!”

Ric & Sharon Struthers

Campus Advisory Board member Ric Struthers hamming up the Centennial Gala photo booth with his wife Sharon

Credit: Penn State

In addition to a performance by the Glee Club, guests were able to participate in the custom photo booth, complete with accessories.

“The photo booth made the night amazing,” exclaims current student, Ashlee Harry. “Being able to dress up and hang out with my friends, simply having a great time, was made even better because we were able to document memories in a fun way!”

Former Director of Student Affairs, Kathie Flanagan-Herstek echoes the students’ remarks, “I was deeply impressed with the thoughtful planning and masterful implementation of the evening’s festivities. As I worked for 25 of the campus’s 100 years, I felt strongly pulled to be part of this momentous event; it proved to be a beautiful and most exhilarating evening.”

Photos from the Centennial Gala can be found on the Penn State Wilkes-Barre social media sites.