President Kent Trachte
Kent C. 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.
During his first semester in office, President Trachte invited the campus community to undertake a highly inclusive strategic planning process. In October 2014, the Board of Trustees adopted a new Strategic Plan: Toward a Greater Lycoming. Setting forth the goal that Lycoming become recognized as one of the very best national liberal arts colleges in the country, the Plan laid out a comprehensive set of initiatives designed to enhance academic excellence: create a distinctive residential environment; enroll a more talented, accomplished and diverse student body; launch graduates into lives of meaning and careers of significance; promote the quality of life; and develop the resource capacity needed to realize the vision.
During Dr. Trachte’s first four years in office, important accomplishments have been achieved in each of the priority areas of the Strategic Plan.
Enhancing Academic Excellence
- Created a universal first-year seminar program.
- Completed construction of the Lynn Science Center, opened in August 2015.
- Opened in fall 2016 the Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences, which coordinates the College’s internship, study abroad and collaborative research programs.
- Expanded May Term travel courses and faculty-student research collaborations
- Secured grant from Mellon Foundation to develop research pedagogy in the humanities.
- Signed articulation agreements with universities in France, China and Puebla, Mexico.
Creating a Distinctive Residential Environment
- Launched a program in Outdoor Leadership and Education.
- Renovated three residence halls and creation of the intellectual affinity living options.
- Built an innovative “clusters” model of career advising.
- Established Williamsport Summer Internship Program (WISE).
Enrolling a Talented and Diverse Class
- Formed partnerships in 2014 and 2015 with leading national charter schools and access programs — specifically KIPP, YES Prep and Say Yes to Education, and MOSTE — to recruit high-talent first generation students.
- Signed College’s first articulation agreement with a community college — Reading Area Community College.
- Recruited Class of 2020 that includes fifty percent of students from outside Pennsylvania, 8.5 percent from California and Texas, 33 percent domestic students of color and five percent international students.
Promoting Quality of Life in Williamsport and Lycoming County
- Collaborated with city and county government and private developers on a plan to revitalize the east end of Williamsport and create a new Gateway to Lycoming College.
- Opened the Lycoming College Art Gallery on West Fourth Street in downtown Williamsport.
- Signed agreement to collaborate with the Pennsylvania College of Technology and the Community Arts Center to provide Lycoming’s performing arts programs with a magnificent new performance space.
- Lycoming College named “Person of the Year” by Williamsport Sun-Gazette.
Developing Resource Capacity
- In FY 2016, raised record $1.28 million through Lycoming Fund.
- In FY 2016, raised record $5.64 million in total cash received.
- Announced a $65 million Campaign for a Greater Lycoming — by far the largest campaign in the College’s history.
President Trachte and Lycoming College have been recognized as national leaders in expanding access for and promoting the success of first generation students from cultural groups traditionally underrepresented in the college-going population. The highly regarded national charter network KIPP has named Lycoming one of Ten Colleges Doing Right by Students. President Trachte has also served as a featured panelist at national convenings organized by the acclaimed Say Yes to Education.
President Trachte currently serves on the following boards and committees: the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania, the Community Arts Center, Project Bald Eagle, the Williamsport-Lycoming County Chamber of Commerce, and the East Third Street Gateway Commission. He is vice president of the board of the Lycoming County United Way and chair of the President’s Council of the Middle Atlantic Conference.
Dr. 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 and was named associate vice president and dean of freshmen in 1991. He served as dean of the College from 2003 to 2013. 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., Pres. Trachte earned a bachelor's degree 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 wife, Sharon Trachte, Ph.D., retired in 2013 as an associate professor of French at Elizabethtown College after 26 years of service. She taught introductory and intermediate level grammar and 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. Along with supporting college initiatives, she serves on the Brandon Park Commission and volunteers for various organizations in the Williamsport community. Their son, Kenyon, practices law and lives in New York with his wife, Lucille.