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The Lycoming College Board of Trustees has selected Dr. Kent C. Trachte as the College's 15th president, effective July 1, 2013. He is dean of the College at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. Trachte succeeds Dr. James E. Douthat, who will retire in June after nearly a quarter-century at the helm of the College. The appointment was announced by Peter Lynn, board chair.
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"We welcome Dr. Trachte to the presidency of Lycoming College," Lynn said. "His deep understanding and belief in the benefits and importance of a liberal arts and sciences education have prepared him well to lead Lycoming. He has a proven ability to translate the mission and vision of an institution into both strategic and effective actions. The members of the board look forward to working with him as he leads the College community in ways to further enhance the College's mission, reputation and service to its students. We also extend a very warm welcome to Dr. Trachte's wife, Dr. Sharon Trachte."
"I am humbled and honored by my selection as the 15th president of Lycoming College," Trachte said. "I look forward to building upon the leadership of President Douthat and his many accomplishments during the past 24 years. Lycoming College can approach the next phase of its history from a position of strength that lies in the excellence of its students, the distinction of its faculty, the dedication of its administrative staff and alumni, the commitment of its board of trustees and the prudence with which its finances have been managed. I anticipate deepening the educational excellence embodied in the 'Lyco' experience and moving the College toward even greater recognition."
Trachte earned a B.A. in government from Dartmouth College, an M.A. in international relations from the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. in political science from Binghamton University. He taught political science at several institutions prior to being named dean of freshmen at Franklin and Marshall College. As dean of freshmen, he collaborated with members of the faculty to create a highly successful first-year residential seminar program. In 2003, Trachte became dean of the College. During his term as dean, he worked with faculty, students and administrative colleagues to build F and 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 Franklin & Marshall become a more diverse and inclusive campus, including serving as liaison to the Posse Foundation. 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 and M's Life After College Success Program.
Trachte and his wife, who holds a Ph.D. in French literature, have one son. He and his wife live in New York state, where he practices law.
Lynn, a 1969 Lycoming alumnus, praised the work of those involved in the search process. The 16-person search committee was comprised of trustees, faculty, staff, students and alumni. It recommended four final candidates to the board of trustees, after concluding its review of a nationwide pool of more than 80 applicants.
Lynn also expressed the board's gratitude for President Douthat's service to the College. During his tenure, Lycoming's academic profile was raised to that of a national liberal arts and sciences college, and its overall financial position was significantly strengthened, as illustrated by the growth of the endowment from less than $19 million to $165 million. He also praised Emily Douthat as a committed partner and an exemplary volunteer on behalf of the College.
Lycoming College is a four-year residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., the College fosters academic rigor, a supportive faculty and successful student outcomes. It offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 educational institution by U.S. News and World Report. Founded in 1812, Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation.