Dr. Kent C. Trachte, President of Lycoming College

Kent Trachte, Ph.D., was named Lycoming College’s 15th president on Nov. 19, 2012, by Lycoming’s board of trustees and officially began his duties on July 1, 2013. A native of De Pere, Wis., Pres. 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.

Some highlights of President Trachte’s first five years in office include:

  • Launching a first-generation college initiative by forming partnerships with leading national charter schools and access programs, specifically KIPP, Yes Prep, Noble, Say Yes to Education and MOSTE, that has led to enrolling a student body that has become significantly more national, diverse and global;
  • Creating new academic programs in neuroscience (major), medieval studies (major), film and video arts (major), new major tracks in archaeology (Ancient Near East, Classical Mediterranean and Latin America); anthropology (minor), energy science (minor) energy studies (minor); and entrepreneurship;
  • Opening a Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences with expanded internship, study abroad and research opportunities for students, including new exchange agreements in China; Puebla, Mexico; and Grenoble, France; as well as the Williamsport Summer Internship Experience and an innovative model of cluster based career advising;
  • Opening a Center for Energy and the Future;
  • Construction of the Lynn Science Center, which opened in August 2015;
  • Opening the Lycoming College Art Gallery in downtown Williamsport;
  • Creating a new program in outdoor leadership and education;
  • Renovation of four residence halls: Rich Hall, Crever Hall and Wesley Hall and Asbury Hall (bathrooms);
  • Establishing a partnership with the Community Arts Center that expands access to the CAC for the College’s program in the performing arts;
  • Launching the Campaign for a Greater Lycoming and establishing records for the annual Lycoming Fund ($1.485 million) and total cash received $6.139M;
  • Securing $4 million in grants from the national and state governments (1.7 million National Science foundation, $2 million PA RACP, and $300,000 United State Department of Justice);
  • Increase in grants received from foundations with first ever grants from the Mellon Foundation, Hearst Foundations, Booth Ferris Foundation, and Morgan Foundation.

Pres. Trachte currently serves on the following boards and committees:

  • NCAA Division III President’s Council
  • Middle Atlantic Conference President’s Council Chair
  • Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Pennsylvania Board of Directors
  • Lycoming County United Way Board Chair
  • Project Bald Eagle Board of Directors
  • Williamsport-Lycoming County Chamber of Commerce Board
  • Community Arts Center Board of Directors
  • Lycoming College Board of Trustees

Trachte worked for a quarter-century at Franklin and Marshall College before taking office at Lycoming College. He began at F&M 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. Prior to his tenure at F&M, he taught political science at Gettysburg College, Long Island University and Clark University.

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 doctorate in French literature from Binghamton University. Their son, Kenyon, and his wife, Lucille, live in New York, where Kenyon practices law.