President Kent C. Trachte Biography
Kent C. Trachte, Ph.D., was named Lycoming College’s 15th president on Nov. 19, 2012, by the Lycoming College Board of Trustees and officially began his duties July 1, 2013. He has spent the last three-plus decades in higher education as a faculty member and senior administrator, most recently serving as dean of the college at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.
Trachte worked for a quarter-century at F&M. He began there in 1988 as dean of freshmen before being named associate vice president and dean of freshmen in 1991. He was promoted to dean of the College in 2003. As dean of freshmen, he collaborated with members of the faculty to create a highly successful first-year residential seminar program. During his term as dean, he worked with faculty, students and administrative colleagues to build F&M’s distinctive College House System, promote internationalization of the campus and deepen and extend the college’s commitment to civic engagement.
Trachte has also led initiatives that have helped F&M become a more diverse and inclusive campus, including serving as liaison to the Posse Foundation, which partners with colleges and universities to identify students with academic and leadership potential and steer them to institutions committed to undergraduate success. He also oversaw greater integration of athletics and recreation into the fabric of campus life. Finally, he raised major gifts in support of the College House Commons, athletic facilities, summer study abroad, a leadership program and F&M’s Life After College Success Program.
Prior to his tenure at F&M, he taught political science at Gettysburg College, Long Island University and Clark University.
A native of De Pere, Wis., Trachte earned a bachelor’s in government from Dartmouth College in 1973, a master’s in international relations from the University of Kentucky in 1975 and a Ph.D. in political science from Binghamton University in 1981.
Trachte’s family includes his wife, Sharon Trachte, Ph.D., who recently retired as an associate professor of French at Elizabethtown College after 26 years of service. She taught introductory and intermediate level grammar/culture, advanced reading of authentic texts, contemporary French society and introduction to French literature. She earned a Ph.D. in French literature from Binghamton University. Their son, Kenyon, and his wife, Lucille, live in New York, where he practices law.