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Cedar Crest College Addresses Technological Advancement with Innovative Technology Center 

Blaney Hall on the Cedar Crest College Campus

In a time of rapid technological change, Cedar Crest College is poised to lead with the new Elaine and John Harmon Center for Leadership in Technology. Part of a bold vision to transform technology education, the Center will integrate technology across the College’s curriculum and serve as a hub for educating leaders in the Lehigh Valley on the ethical and socially responsible use of technology to benefit communities.  

Made possible through a generous gift from the estate of beloved alumna Elaine Oberkotter Harmon ’59 and her husband John, the Harmon Center marks a pivotal moment for technological advancement on campus. This transformative gift will also create the Harmon Professor of Leadership in Technology, who will spearhead the creation of the Harmon Center and develop new academic programs in leading fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Digital Forensics, and more. 

John and Elaine Harmon

The Harmons’ legacy of philanthropy and unwavering support spans decades, significantly enhancing educational initiatives across the campus. Their contributions include funding international travel for students and faculty, establishing the John and Elaine Harmon Scholarship, the Harold & Miriam Oberkotter Center for Health and Wellness, the 1867 Chair for Excellence in Education, and the Harmon Hall of Peace in the Miller Family Building. The Harmon Center for Leadership in Technology will stand as a testament to their dedication, preparing professionals to harness innovative technologies responsibly in their careers. It will also address pressing ethical issues, such as the digital connectivity gap that disproportionately affects women and marginalized communities. 

“The Harmons have invested deeply in education at Cedar Crest, building a legacy that strives for a better future through our students. In the age of Artificial Intelligence, what more pressing issue does education need to address than how emerging technologies will reshape our understanding of the world?” says Provost Robert Wilson. “The Harmon gift will fundamentally transform how Cedar Crest prepares students in the creative use of new technologies. Because of them, our students will lead the way for how AI and other emerging technologies can better serve our goals, our relationships with others, and our communities.” 

The Center will also offer continuous education for leaders across various industries and communities in the Lehigh Valley, emphasizing the responsible use of advanced technologies and the importance of bridging the digital divide across racial, socio-economic, and gender lines.  

“John and Elaine Harmon left an indelible mark on our campus through their many generous gifts, including the iconic Harmon Hall of Peace. Their support of our Education Department and study abroad have served to internationalize our campus and support excellence in teacher education,” says President Elizabeth Meade. “I am so grateful to the entire Harmon family for this transformational gift, which will establish Cedar Crest College as a center for excellence in emerging technology.”