Williamsport, Pennsylvania is widely known as the home of the Little League World Series but our purpose for swinging through town was slightly less sports-related. (Athletics were, however, mentioned during our time there – more on that in a moment.) No, when our bus pulled into town, the forty other college and independent counselors I was traveling with had one goal in mind:
We were there to visit Lycoming College.
Lycoming is advantageously situated in its corner of Pennsylvania, not only because of the influx of visitors each summer for baseball, but also because Williamsport actually ranks seventh in the nation for cities’ economic vitality – and the new president of the college hopes to further both the mission of the school and of the city by working with officials to continue to expand and revitalize downtown to benefit both. (If you’re an amateur geologist or you like public policy, take note: there is also a substantial shale deposit that contributes heftily to the local economy.)
But let’s not lose sight of what’s happening on campus either:
Lycoming is the type of small liberal arts college where the dean of students sends a weekly update email home to parents of freshman (and welcomes their phone calls if you feel the need). Lycoming is the type of school where career advisors aren’t centrally located so that students have to find them when they need help, but instead the advisors are stationed near faculty offices so that when students approach faculty, the advisors are easily accessible to offer their support as well. Lycoming is also the type of college that invests in making itself affordable to students and who has some midyear “rescue” funds available for enrolled students to help them out should the unexpected occur during the course of the school year.
(It should also be noted that, as a liberal arts institution, Lycoming truly marries disciplines and facilities in very cool ways – case in point, the original campus gymnasium, which is currently a very well utilized, warehouse-like visual arts space.)
And equestrians take heart – Lycoming is home to a rather new, but enthusiastic IHSA hunt seat team that rides out of Summer Breeze Stables in Milton, PA. They also volunteer their time at SunnyBrook Meadows, a nearby therapeutic riding center. (That Lycoming is situated with easy proximity to a thriving city like Williamsport and near vibrant horse country is a unique find in the realm of college campuses.)