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Bishop D. Frederick Wertz, president emeritus of Lycoming College, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 16, in Carlisle, Pa. He served as the college’s 10th president from 1955-68.
“President Wertz is one of the extraordinary figures from our history who has shaped Lycoming College into an exceptional liberal arts and sciences college,” said Lycoming President Kent Trachte. “Lycoming has lost one of its great leaders and visionaries. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and all who knew and will miss him.”
During his 13-year tenure, much of Lycoming’s current campus, including 13 buildings and the Quad, was constructed. In addition, student enrollment more than doubled, and the physical size of the college nearly tripled, a change that included what is now the Shangraw Athletic Complex. In recognition of his leadership of the college, the Wertz Student Center was named in his honor, and in 1969, he was bestowed with an honorary degree. Each year during Honors Convocation, the Bishop D. Frederick Wertz Award is presented to a student who exhibits outstanding dedication and selfless service to others.
President Wertz served with distinction as a bishop of the United Methodist Church from 1968-84. He was a trustee of several institutions and a recipient of a number of honorary degrees. From 1972-76, he served as president of the Commission on Religion and Race; and from 1976-80, he was president of the General Board of Global Ministries.
President Wertz was born in Lewistown, Pa., in 1916. He and his wife, Betty Jean, who preceded him in death in 1999, had four children: Robert, Joanne, Donna ’68 and Elizabeth as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 2, at Carlisle United Methodist Church, 45 S. West St., Carlisle, with Rev. Mira Hewlett co-officiating with various bishops from the Northeastern Jurisdiction.
Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit www.lycoming.edu.