GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – Each week throughout the fall, the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) will highlight one of our conference members and feature two of the institution’s standout student-athletes. This week’s feature highlights Penn College and student-athletes Lauren Herr and Daniel Hibbs.
Penn College was founded in 1914 and is located in Williamsport, Pa. With an enrollment of 5,464, Penn College has been ranked the No. 5 Public School in the North by U.S. News and World Report and offers popular majors such as Nursing and Information Technology. While the campus community boasts many offerings for its students, Williamsport is home to a number of unique features including Millionaire’s Row. Located one block from campus, Williamsport’s West Fourth Street is lined with Victorian mansions resulting from the lumber boom of the 1850’s. During that time period, Williamsport had more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the country and lumber barons began to spend their wealth on luxurious homes.
Student-Athletes at Penn College also enjoy a community with a vested interest in athletics. The entrance of Penn College’s campus features a 100-yard flowerbed and water fountain that resembles a baseball bat and baseball to pay homage to the Little League World Series, which the city of Williamsport has hosted since 1947. This past summer, Penn College student-athletes had an opportunity to work at the Major League Baseball Little League Classic, which was a game that featured the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals at BB&T Park in Williamsport. Within the campus community, the Penn College athletic department unveiled a new logo and a new athletic website this past year as part of the Wildcats’ continuous effort to provide a quality student-athlete experience.
Lauren Herr is a junior defender and three-year starter on the Wildcats’ women’s soccer team. She was a 2016 NEAC First Team All-Conference selection and has been named a two-time NEAC Scholar-Athlete. While Herr has excelled during her time at Penn College, her college career began elsewhere.
“I originally attended Penn State University Park for architectural engineering,” Herr shared. “Coming from a small, conservative town in Lancaster, Pa., the campus of over 45,000 students was very overwhelming. I was looking for something more comfortable and that fit my lifestyle more appropriately. I found Penn College through a friend and discovered the opportunities that transferring would offer me.”
A three-year starter and two-time team captain on the Penn College men’s soccer team, senior Daniel Hibbs found his college decision to be an easy one.
“I knew I had a chance playing on the Penn College soccer team and that is what ultimately drove me to my decision to apply,” Hibbs said. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after high school, but I knew I want to play soccer.”
Beyond the soccer field, Herr and Hibbs have also enjoyed the opportunity to pursue majors at Penn College that provide a variety of career options beyond graduation. Herr is majoring in Construction Management while Hibbs is pursuing a degree in Sports and Event Management.
“Upon graduation, there are a few positions I could take within a construction company such as a project manager or an estimator,” Herr added. “I could also work in the preconstruction department where I could assist in contract review and provide input on design.”
“I wanted to combine my profession with my love for sports, so when I found out Penn College had the Sports and Event Management major I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” Hibbs reflected. “I would like to work for a team or school in the Philadelphia area. The great thing about my major is there are a lot of different jobs and tracks you can choose.”
Both Herr and Hibbs have shown they can successfully balance their various responsibilities and credit their time as a Division III student-athlete with teaching the necessary skills to balance the demands of college life and beyond.
“As a Division III student-athlete, a resident assistant and a member of many clubs and community organizations, life can be pretty hectic at times,” Herr noted. “I have learned how to balance many aspects of my life and being on the soccer team has provided me a network of support that I often rely on.”
“I have grown a lot as a person from soccer while learning a lot about working with a team and being disciplined,” Hibbs added. “I enjoy having a close bond with my teammates and coaches and working towards something every day.”
This past fall, Hibbs and his teammates on the men’s soccer team were able to achieve one of those goals.
“My favorite moment has been making it to the playoffs this year and seeing how much our hard work has paid off and how much the team has grown from last year,” Hibbs said.
Herr’s favorite memory does not revolve around one specific moment, but rather the times spent together with her team.
“I love when we get together for dinner, watch the Penn State women’s soccer team play, or have a weekend stayover for a doubleheader,” Herr shared. “Getting to make connections and relationships with my teammates is meaningful to me. It is something that I will cherish throughout college and the rest of my life.”
To learn more about Penn College and Wildcats athletics, visit pctwildcats.com.
*Information provided by Matt Blymier, Penn College Asst. Director of Athletics & Sports Information Director
The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has fourteen NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Bryn Athyn College, Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University – Abington, Pennsylvania State University – Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Morrisville State College, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Wells College, and Wilson College. Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (M Volleyball), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse, M Volleyball), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse, M Volleyball), Pennsylvania State University – Altoona (M Volleyball), and Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf). The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sports of field hockey and men’s tennis. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.