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York College of PA honors retiring president, husband through naming designations

May 30, 2023
GS CCE Exterior

York College of Pennsylvania’s Board of Trustees have named The Gunter-Smith Center for Community Engagement (CCE) in honor of retiring President Pamela Gunter-Smith, and The JL Smith Performance Stage in the Waldner Performing Arts Center in honor of her husband, J. Lawrence (JL) Smith.

The Gunter-Smith Center for Community Engagement recognizes one of the hallmarks of Gunter-Smith’s 10-year tenure: the creation of a stronger connection to York City, marked by the opening of the Center for Community Engagement and Marketview Arts in downtown York, as well as the anticipated Knowledge Park @ YCP on Kings Mill Road. All three facilities provide opportunities for students to engage with the local community through experiential learning and real-world problem-solving.

“Dr. Gunter-Smith is leaving both York College and the York community better places by building bridges between the two that support the students and the community,” said Chair of the York College Board of Trustees Laura Wand. “It is a privilege to create a permanent recognition of her leadership through the naming of the Gunter-Smith Center for Community Engagement in downtown York.”

A former professional actor in the Atlanta area, JL Smith has supported the College’s performing arts programs throughout his time at York College. His financial support of the theatre program allowed for the creation of the JL Smith New Play Festival, which recognizes playwrights through featured performances and a cash prize.

“It is only appropriate to honor JL Smith by naming the performance stage at the Waldner Performing Arts Center after him,” Wand said. “He has wholeheartedly committed his time, talent, and treasure to the students of York College on the stage, on the sports fields, and in everyday interactions. The College community has been very fortunate to enjoy his infectious enthusiasm and support.”