President's message

Lycoming College President Kent C. Trachte

President Kent Trachte

On Nov. 19, 2012, I had the great honor of being named president-elect of Lycoming College. During the intervening months, I visited campus on numerous occasions to meet with faculty, students, staff and members of the board of trustees. Each visit reaffirmed and deepened my initial impression of Lycoming as a special place — one that makes a meaningful difference in the lives of its students and alumni. It transforms people. It prepares them for lives of meaning. It equips them to compete successfully for the opportunities that they seek. It inspires them to contribute to their communities and the world.

As the students and alumni of the college know so well, the faculty of Lycoming College is exceptional. They are engaging teachers, committed mentors and scholars who produce knowledge and creative work. They draw students into learning and prepare them with the skills needed to succeed in a world characterized by rapid change and intense competition. Curious and friendly, the students dream boldly about their futures and they are passionate about Lycoming College. Students come from as nearby as Williamsport and as distant as Vietnam; they embrace both the academic and the residential life of the institution. The administrative staff is dedicated, talented and welcoming; and the trustees are committed to the idea that Lycoming is one of the very best residential liberal arts colleges in the country.

I see Lycoming College as an educational institution with a distinguished past and an exciting future. Founded in 1812 in the aftermath of the American Revolution and the Constitutional Convention, it has played an important role in educating citizens, especially from central Pennsylvania, to participate in our nation’s democracy while also preparing them to enter their professions. The 24 years of President James Douthat’s leadership have been seminal in the college’s history as both the Carnegie Endowment and U.S. News & World Report have recognized Lycoming as being among the nation’s 150 best liberal arts colleges. The trustees and President Douthat have also built a strong endowment that allows us to be optimistic about the college’s future during a time of economic uncertainty.

At Lycoming, students have experiences that produce profound learning that makes a difference during the course of a lifetime. High-impact opportunities can be found in abundance. They include doing research with a faculty member, studying abroad, completing an internship, student teaching and service or community-based learning. The residential life of the college can only be described as vibrant. Lycoming offers students the opportunity to do things like perform with the choir or band, act in or direct a play, lead a club or organization, participate in intercollegiate athletics, volunteer in the community and many other things. At Lycoming, students learn both in the classroom and the residential environment. 

The future of the college is exciting as well. During a recent review of the curriculum, the faculty committed itself to creating more access to enhanced academic experiences and high-impact learning opportunities. We anticipate creating more programs that allow students and faculty to do research together, more possibilities for study abroad, more internships and more opportunities for learning by doing volunteer work in the community.  

The trustees of the college have also committed to important investments in the learning spaces that are required to sustain the excellence of the institution. A comprehensive renovation of Rich Hall – one of our residence halls – will be completed by the opening of the fall semester, and we expect to renovate other residential facilities during the next several years. The College is also in the early phases of planning for a new science and planetarium facility that will expand the Heim Building. This investment will allow us to house all the science departments in a single complex, create dynamic intellectual synergy among the sciences, and introduce cutting-edge technology in astronomy and physics.

I can best sum up my initial impressions by saying that Lycoming College offers students a life-changing adventure at one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country.

During the coming months, you will hear more from me about planning and innovation to continue the tradition of moving toward ever-greater excellence that has characterized the 201-year history of Lycoming.

Thank you for visiting Lycoming. Alumni of the college should be sure to visit our alumni homepage, shop online in our campus store or catch up on Lycoming’s 17 NCAA Division III athletic teams.

Prospective students are encouraged to take a virtual tour of our campus, consult our upcoming events calendar, meet our faculty and students, and visit our library or any of our academic or administrative departments. While this Internet visit will be very informative, I strongly encourage you to come to Williamsport and visit in person. I am confident that, like me, you will fall in love with the idea of joining the Lycoming community. I hope soon to be able to greet you in Williamsport.

Kent Trachte, Ph.D.

15th President of Lycoming College