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B Y J E R R Y R A S H I D

ent Trachte loves to compete. With that comes

a relentless drive and determination to succeed

in all that he does. And if his past achievements are

any indication, Lycoming College’s future under

his presidency will be eventful and exciting.

Trachte’s competitive spirit was

nurtured in De Pere, Wis., a small town just outside Green Bay.

His father, James, was a social studies teacher and also served

as the boys’ basketball coach at De Pere High School. He

later became school principal and eventually was promoted to

superintendent.

“My mother would always say, ‘Your father has a very public

role, so don’t embarrass us,’” Trachte said.

And he did not disappoint.

Like many teenagers, he loved playing sports. Trachte

became the starting quarterback in football and played both

guard and forward in basketball. He remembers admiring Bart

Starr, the legendary quarterback who led the Green Bay Packers

to multiple NFL championships, including Super Bowls I and II.

Trachte also has a passion for the game of golf. His dad

introduced him to the game at age 11, and he has played

continuously for 40 years, including on his high school and

college teams.

An engaged student, Trachte found time to quench his ever-

growing thirst for knowledge by giving extemporaneous

speeches as a member of De Pere’s forensics team. His articulate

performances earned him trips to the state competition.

“During that part of my life [high school], I lived in a

fishbowl,” Trachte said. “I became accustomed to a life where

they were not many boundaries between public and private life.

I understood that my actions would be scrutinized. Growing up

this way helped to prepare me for the public roles that I have

held in academia.”

Road trip

As a high school sophomore, Trachte was introduced to

the idea of attending an Ivy League institution by his biology

teacher, who also was his football coach. But growing up in a

small town in the Midwest, he admits that he knew very little

about the Ivy League and its stellar academic reputations. He

had assumed he’d enroll in a small college close to home.

As time passed, however, “My good friend, Mike Stickney,

who happened to be the center on the football team, and I both

developed an interest in the Ivy League. We came to appreciate

what it might mean to attend an Ivy League institution,” he said.

“The summer between my junior and senior years, my father

took the two of us on a road trip. We visited Cornell, Dartmouth

and Princeton. Ultimately, I decided to apply to all three of

them and decided to attend Dartmouth. Through my combined

interest in athletics and academics, that door opened up for me.”

And he proudly walked right through. He majored in

government and spent two seasons on the men’s golf team.

Trachte says his interest in studying politics began as a teenager.

In high school, he was captivated by Wisconsin’s 1968 primary

election. President Lyndon B. Johnson had decided to forgo

reelection, and the frontrunners included Hubert Humphrey,

Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy.

K

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LYCOMING COLLEGE 2013 SUMMER MAGAZINE

Prior to his appointment at Lycoming, President

Trachte spent 25 years as a senior administrator

at Franklin & Marshall College.