WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A U.S. Congressman made a pit stop at a local college Wednesday morning.
Fred Keller, who represents Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional district, toured Lycoming College, learning more about higher education opportunities.
U.S. Congressman Fred Keller spent his Wednesday morning discovering all that Lycoming College has to offer. Congressman Keller, who was recently appointed to the Education and Labor Committee, says this was the perfect opportunity to bring back ideas to Washington.
“Just looking at the commitment and investment of the folks of Lycoming and the vision. That’s a great takeaway that I think we can replicate across PA 12. Not just with our universities but with some of our non-profits and our businesses,” Keller said.
Keller toured the new $12.5 million Krapf Gateway Center, which is part of the transformation and revitalization of the east end of Williamsport. The Krapf Gateway Center will provide a place to welcome prospective students, alumni and the community to campus. It will also house new programs that focus on outdoor leadership and education.
“I think it’s safe to say he was very impressed with our efforts,” Lycoming College President Kent C. Trachte said.
“Some of the alumni from Lycoming College, what they’ve gone on to achieve and then come back home and reinvest in Williamsport, it’s just outstanding,” Keller said.
After the tour, the congressman sat down with Trachte to discuss how decisions made in Washington, D.C. can impact a college like Lycoming. One issue that was put on the table? Pell grants, the funding that is provided by the federal government to assist low-income students in pursuing higher education.
“Since the time that pell grants were originated, they have really not been increased at a rate commenced with the rate of inflation and the cost of higher education,” Trachte said.
Keller says it’s crucial to be able to learn more about these issues and bring it to the attention of his fellow lawmakers in Washington.
“It’s just great to be here again in Williamsport,” Keller said.
Lycoming College has also just wrapped up a three-year campaign raising $79 million to help the institution make even greater strides towards success.