February Alumni Newsletter 2023

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Tristan and Melinda Bennett
Class of 2009
 
Melinda met Tristan during their sophomore year as participants in the Intercollegiate Leadership program. They crossed paths again as seniors, while hanging out with mutual friends. He asked her to be his date for homecoming and love soon blossomed.  With Melinda living in Clifford Township, PA, and Tristan in the Bronx, NY, the couple successfully navigated a long-distance relationship for four years before becoming engaged and married. Today, they reside in Forty Fort, PA, where Melinda is a graphic designer and Tristan, a Pennsylvania state trooper. The couple has two beautiful daughters: Giada, 7 and Ella, 5.  
Melinda and Tristan are grateful to Keystone, and they often reminisce about their time and experiences on the campus that provided the foundation for their relationship.
 
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Carol Fontana-Lameo and Rusty Lameo
Class of 1973
 
Carol Palmitessa met Rusty Lameo while listening to Bach and Beethoven in a music appreciation class. The two began dating and became inseparable. They were voted King and Queen at Keystone Junior College’s Homecoming in 1972.
After graduation, Carol began working in Scranton, PA while continuing to pursue her degree in education. Rusty returned to Asbury Park, NJ where he became a police officer.
With time and distance between them, each married someone else and raised families in different states, but they always managed to stay in touch. Fast forward 40 + years. After 31 years as a Professor of Education at Keystone College, Carol called Rusty in the spring of 2015. “Hey, I retired, and I'm moving near my brother in Myrtle Beach, SC," she said. Rusty responded: “Great, I’ll drive up and help you settle in." He was living two hours away in Charleston, working as a code enforcement officer on Kiawah Island.
And as they say, the rest is history. They married in September 2016. Rusty retired three years later, and the couple are enjoying their second childhoods in Myrtle Beach. 
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Michael and Luci McConkey
Class of 2008
 
Luci and Mike met their freshman year, in the fall of 2004 when they crossed paths outside of Davis Hall. The couple spent the next four years dating and making the most of their wonderful college experience. They've now been married for 12 years and have three beautiful children. They said: “We will always remember and cherish our time at Keystone together.” 
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Don Curtis and Sunshine Allen 
Class of 2018
 
Don met Sunshine during their freshman/sophomore years, taking criminal justice classes. They sat next to each other in a senior constitutional law class and started dating in 2017. After graduation, Sunshine moved back home to Maryland, but later returned to northeastern Pennsylvania to be with Don. She took a job at Keystone as marketing coordinator for Sodexo, and after five years of being together, Don proposed. They hope to get married in October 2024. 
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Brian Klatt and Anna Grace Elias
Class of 2021
 
Anna Grace and Brian began their lives together in 2017. Before starting classes in the fall, they joined a Keystone College Facebook group for incoming students and quickly became friends, messaging each other frequently. The couple started dating and continued the relationship throughout their college years. After graduating in 2021, they moved to Scranton and began full-time jobs in their respective fields. Today, Anna Grace and Brian are happily engaged and preparing for their future together.
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Spencer and Kelly Lunger
Class of 2010
 
Spencer and Kelly met as freshmen and enjoyed each other's company, traveling together and playing basketball. They started dating a year later, but parted ways then reunited before senior year. Now, 17 years later, almost 10 of them married with two children, they reside close to Keystone, the place that brought them together. Tidbit: While Spencer always said he was going to marry Kelly, she said, “over my dead body.” Joke is on me….
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Tyler Wilson '15 and Amanda Nielsen '14
 
Tyler met Amanda through mutual friends in 2013. She was working with Student Activities, and he was always in and out of the office. One day in the office, they made a pact to be each other's Valentine (kinda jokingly, thanks Luci!) and ended up celebrating in late April. Through graduations, living in different states, and lots of ups and downs, they managed to stay connected and began a relationship. Fast forward to October 2021, when they got engaged – during a tornado warning, nonetheless. It's crazy to think that 10 years ago they met at a small school in La Plume , and now they are getting married! 
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Shawon and Maggie Gibbons 
Class of 2014
 
 Shawon and Maggie's love story started in August of 2009 when Shawon stumbled upon Maggie's dorm room with the door slightly ajar while searching for a lost friend. Without thinking, he knocked and pushed the door open, hoping to find his friend. Instead, he was greeted by Maggie, who was studying at her  desk. 
They hit it off instantly and over the next few days, they spent time together and bonded over their shared interests. Though Shawon did not come to college planning on finding a girlfriend, he quickly asked Maggie to be “Facebook official” late one night in the Moffat common room.  
Maggie and Shawon dated throughout their entire college career and continued to date after graduation. In October 2015, Shawon and Maggie returned to Keystone for homecoming, and to Maggie’s complete surprise, Shawon proposed on the hill to Harris Hall, the location of their first kiss. Many of their friends from college were there to celebrate this joyous occasion, which made the moment even more special.
Fast forward 13 years, and Shawon and Maggie are happily married with a two and half-year-old son and another son on the way. They still laugh and explore the world together, their love as strong and vibrant as the day they met by accident in that dorm room. They're grateful every day for the chance that Keystone brought them together and for the love that has grown ever since.
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Thank you all for sharing your #KCLOVE

 
Then and Now 
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Good Times Shared at K.J.C. 
September, 1957 eight young women arrived at then Keystone Junior College to begin their freshman year. Little did they know that 66 years later they would still be friends. They were Pat Krisam, Sue Kellerman,  Marty McCloskey, Gail Lenart
Helen Pell, Willie Gehman Joyce Westenberg and Sue Hemple. They went on to have an amazing two years at KJC doing well, creating many wonderful memories and having fun. They even coined a name for themselves,  The Wivels. Don't ask, you had to be there!
After they graduated in 1959, they went off into many different directions but never lost touch. Through a round robin letter they reported the news of their varied lives  good news, bad news, they shared it all. A few times they managed a reunion and picked up just where they left off at their beloved KJC.  Sadly they lost two dear friends, Sue Hemple and Willie Gehman, but their last letters still fly in the round robin letter
Today the friends meet on Zoom once a month and usually end up talking about life at Keystone. "Remember when we ......."
We will be ever grateful to Keystone for bringing us all together for a wonderful education and a lifetime of memories.

Alumni Spotlights
   Austin Burke '70: 
Community Leader, Talented Artist, and Proud Keystonian
 
Since the day he stepped on campus, Keystone College has been an integral part of Austin Burke’s life.
Austin, who retired in 2013 after a distinguished 40-year career as president of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, has been involved with Keystone as a student, a proud alumnus, and, today, as an accomplished artist and art student.
“I have learned so much at Keystone that has helped me in all aspects of my life,” Austin said. “Most of all, I have met so many kind and talented people. It has been, and continues to be, a wonderful association.”
A native of nearby Archbald, Pa., Austin arrived at what was then Keystone Junior College in 1969, eager to continue his education after his service as a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. After taking summer art classes from Keystone’s renowned professor Karl Neuroth, Austin enrolled as a full-time student. In 1970, he received his associate degree in general studies from Keystone and continued his education at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., obtaining a bachelor’s degree in economics and a Phi Beta Kappa key. Upon graduating from Dickinson, he began his career in economic development. 
Click photo to continue reading…
 
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        Tyrone “Ty” Holmes '91: 
Service to Others is Life's Highest Calling
 
As a young man, Tyrone “Ty” Holmes learned essential lessons at Keystone College that guided him throughout his life.
Ty attended Keystone in 1990-91 and went on to a stellar career in two branches of the U.S. armed forces, as well as serving as a police officer in the nation’s second-largest city. He followed those accomplishments with a distinguished career in community and public service. Through it all, Ty looks fondly at his time at Keystone and he cherishes the memories that still remain clear.
“To me, Keystone is such a special place where everyone has value, and people care about you, respect you, and will do anything to help you become your very best,” he said.
Growing up in northern New Jersey, he recalls his initial trip to campus while visiting a friend who was already attending Keystone.
“The first time I walked around the campus, I felt like I was home. It was just so beautiful and unlike anything I had ever seen,” he said. After sitting in on a few classes and meeting several professors, "I knew immediately that Keystone was exactly what I wanted.”
Ty was forced to leave Keystone because of a health issue, but that didn’t stop him from moving on with his life. He joined the U.S. Navy and proudly served for ten years, being deployed on military and humanitarian missions worldwide. 
After leaving the Navy, Ty became a Los Angeles police officer for several years and in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, was recalled to the Navy. He then “switched over” his service to the U.S. Army, being one of the few individuals to serve in two military branches. The decorated combat veteran has been deployed in such dangerous locations as Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Somalia, and Bosnia. He was also part of rescue missions in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The Army eventually assigned him to Tobyhanna Army Depot, near Scranton, where he oversaw budgets and training curriculum. All told, he spent 25 years in active military service.
Since his wife, Margie, is a Dunmore native, Ty settled in Scranton after retiring from the military, where his service to others continues unabated. 
He served as President of the Lackawanna County Branch of the NAACP, a board member of the NEPA Youth Shelter, and a volunteer with Meals on Wheels and the NEPA Boys and Girls Club. Ty's other duties included the Penn State Scranton Advisory Board, A Veteran’s Vision, 2nd Vice President of the Scranton Rotary, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce Skills in Scranton Board, and President of Lackawanna County Pro Bono Child Hunger Outreach Partners. Most recently, Ty became the first Black member of the Scranton School Board. He is the first man of color to win an elected position in the city of Scranton.
Ty attributes his lifelong service to the lessons he learned from his father – lessons that were reinforced during his time at Keystone.
“My father always told me there can be no greater purpose in life than helping others. While everyone has individual goals, we all have an obligation to each other,” Ty said. “That’s really what has driven me my whole life and continues to inspire me every single day. At Keystone, there were so many people who helped me along my journey, and I will always be thankful for that.”
What advice does Ty have for young people today, particularly Keystone students?
“Be grateful for the opportunity you have,” he said. “Your experiences at Keystone will help you for the rest of your life. Take time to enjoy it because it goes by so quickly. Most of all, remember those who have helped and inspired you, and then try to help and inspire others as you go through life.” 
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Dr. John Mansuy '66
 
After graduating from Keystone Junior College with an associate degree in accounting, John Mansuy joined the Air Force where he was an Information Systems Program Manager. During his career, he earned a BS degree from The Ohio State University, and MSE degree from West Virginia University.  After retirement, he joined the Wheeling Jesuit University Business department faculty, earned a PhD in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering from WVU and was Dean of Professional Programs.  John is the author of a book, “Growing Up Small-town.”  John served on the Keystone Alumni Board of Directors and now serves on Keystone’s Board of Trustees.
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Speak soon, friend!
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