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Davie Jane Gilmour, PhD, ’93, Health and Physical Education

The Kinesiology faculty saw the value in my work and how it contributed to my educational experiences.

Davie Jane Gilmour

Davie Gilmour is a true embodiment of the American dream. Her remarkable journey from a dental hygienist to the President of Pennsylvania College of Technology is an inspiring tale of hard work, education, and service.

Her parents instilled in her a deep appreciation for education and the value of hard work and service. Starting as a dental hygienist, she later took up a teaching position at Williamsport Area Community College in the 1970s. Her dedication and commitment led her to rise through the ranks of college administration, and in 1998, she was appointed as the President of Penn College. 

Throughout her tenure as President, Davie guided Penn College through a period of remarkable growth and innovation. Under her leadership, the college became a national leader in applied technology education. She expanded the college's academic offerings, introduced graduate-level programs, and pioneered apprenticeship development. By forging strong partnerships with businesses and industries, Penn College addressed critical industry skills gaps through responsive academic programs. The campus facilities and instructional equipment have seen significant enhancements, creating an environment conducive to learning and growth.

Davie’s influence extends beyond the college campus. As the first woman to chair the Little League International Board of Directors, she has achieved international prominence. She also serves as Vice Chairman of the Board for UPMC Susquehanna, Chairman of the Williamsport Hospital Board of Directors, and is actively involved in various community organizations. Her experiences span across diverse sectors, including education, youth sports, healthcare, business development, and culture, giving her a broad perspective on important issues in our communities.

Davie received both a doctorate and a master's degree in health education from Penn State while working full time and commuting back and forth from Williamsport. She greatly appreciated how Kinesiology faculty value her work and how it contributed to her educational experience. One of her greatest memories and accomplishments was her graduation day for her Ph.D. A committee member had told her she would never make the deadline to graduate, and she should consider another semester. Her advisor noted he said that to the wrong student. On graduation day that committee member shook her hand and made sure to tell her he was proud to be wrong. 

Since retiring from Penn College, Davie now owns and runs a consulting firm, DJG Opportunities, which focuses on nonprofit organizations in the areas of leadership development and governance. 

Davie emphasizes the transformative power of education. She firmly believes that embracing opportunities for growth and service is the key to making a difference in our communities.

This profile was published September 2023.