Penn College Athletics Is On The Move

Narrator: Pennsylvania College of Technology
is getting a kick out of its full member status with the NCAA. The women’s soccer team’s victory capped a
day celebrating a new athletics era, one that will feature Wildcat-inspired wheels. Davie Jane Gilmour: The bus is to continue
to spread the word about Penn College, so everywhere this bus goes whether it has our
athletes in it or somebody else, they have the opportunity to know about Penn College
and the new Wildcat in town. John Vandevere: It’s going to be a huge recruiting
advantage for us because everybody that we’re driving past–high schools, small towns, other
colleges and universities that we play–are going to see that, “Wow, they really upped
their game.” Danny Hibbs: It was the first thing I saw
when I came out of class and it’s exciting. It makes us look like a legit program. It’s going to be awesome rolling up to schools
in that thing. Narrator: The college has a rich athletics
history and began planning for possible NCAA affiliation six years ago. After completing exploratory and provisional
stages, the 2017-18 school year is the first time Penn College teams can compete as full
members of Division III. Elliott Strickland: It’s been a great adventure. I think it’s been something wonderful for
the college. It has, at its core and the whole reason we
wanted to move to NCAA Division III, it has made a better experience for our students
and our student-athletes especially and that’s what has been really wonderful about it. Gabby Krupilis: It’s actually a really big
deal to me. I think it’s really so competitive even though
it’s DIII. It’s very competitive. I love it. Danny Hibbs: Oh, it’s awesome because it gives
us the opportunity if we win our conference to actually go to NCAA tournaments which is
the ultimate goal. But not only that, you see how big of a deal
it is with all the new banners and NCAA logos all over the school. Lindsey King: We get to go experience the
more competitiveness of the games. So like the soccer games, the volleyball games,
the basketball games. Everything is so much more exciting, at least
for me. Ryan Monteleone: Our students are thrilled
to go participate, be in the student section, paint up and wear different kinds of Penn
College gear, so it’s really exciting. Narrator: There are 15 Penn College intercollegiate
teams, 12 of which compete in the North Eastern Athletics Conference. Thanks to a new initiative, there is an additional
avenue to support those teams and the college’s 200 student-athletes. Loni Kline: The Wildcat Club is a unique opportunity
for us to create a society that recognizes alumni, corporations, friends, staff, fans
who make gifts to our athletics program. Anybody who makes a gift of $50 or more to
an athletic program or general athletics is recognized at different levels within the
Wildcat Club. It will give a boost financially and also
in spirit. Narrator: The Division III spirit is another
reason why the college sought NCAA membership. Elliott Strickland: The Division III level,
they really push academics first. So the level of expectations for our student-athletes
to be good in the classroom is actually much higher now than it ever has been. Davie Jane Gilmour: We’re making students
focus on the values of DIII. And that is their educational experience,
their academic work, their volunteer work, as well as their athletic work on the field. Narrator: Whether on the field, the court
or the diamond, the college hopes to make its mark in Division III sooner, rather than
later. John Vandevere: Just maybe if we are fortunate
this year we’ll have a team that breaks through and wins a conference championship and then
represents Penn College in the national NCAA tournament. Davie Jane Gilmour: You’re going to see a
lot more of Penn College when it comes to the NCAA and Division III. Narrator: For PCToday, I’m Tom Speicher.