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Ed EliasBy fall of 1950 the York Center consolidated both its day and evening operations Ed Elias
into the Wilson Elementary School on Carlisle Avenue, which it leased from the School District of the City of York, while Allen, now a member of the Center’s Advisory Board, searched for a permanent location for the center.

Also in 1950, Edward M. Elias became the first full-time employee and faculty member at the Penn State General Extension Center in York. At that time the center served twenty-five daytime and 300 evening students. The York Center remained at Wilson until the fall of 1953, when it was moved into the Shiloh Elementary Building.

Ed Elias during early constructionAn important program change took place with the initiation of the two-year Ed Elias during early construction
associate degree programs in engineering technology. The two programs originally offered were electrical technology, and drafting and design technology, the forerunners of today’s mechanical engineering and electrical engineering technology programs.


Elias, considered one of the founders of the campus, recognized the need for a permanent facility. Elias saw that goal begin to become a reality in 1956, when the school’s advisory board provided funds to purchase eight acres of land on Edgecomb Avenue and the construction of the first campus building.

Building Dedication

As enrollment increased, a two-story, 100-by-75-foot, classroom-laboratory-administration Building Dedication
building was constructed. In 1959, the York Center officially became the York campus as part of a general University reorganization which established the Commonwealth Educational System, now known as the Commonwealth Campus System.

Elias served the campus until 1985, helping to bring Penn State York from a part-time extension program that rented space in old elementary schools to a complete undergraduate campus. Since then, York has had three campus executive officers: John J. Romano, Donald A. Gogniat and York ’s current leader, Joel M. Rodney.