2014 Lycoming College Spring Magazine - page 15

ycomingCollege’s newest student residence complex has
a brand new name – a name familiar and dear tomany.
The college’s board of trustees officially dedicated theDouthat
Commons onThursday,April 3. During the standing-room-
only ceremony, President Emeritus James andEmilyDouthat
were recognized for their 24 years of service to the college. The
29,000-square-foot apartment-style complex accommodates 85
studentswithin 22 units.
“While this beautiful residence facility represents only one
of theirmany achievements, forme, in somanyways, it reflects
a never-ending devotion to the college,” saidPeterR. Lynn ’69,
board chair.
Douthat responded, “Emily and Iwould like to thank the
trustees for this great honor.We are very humbled and pleased.”
Douthat acknowledged that Lycoming’s success during his
tenurewas the result ofmany peopleworking together for the
betterment of the college. He specifically paid homage to the
three peoplewho served as board chairs during his presidency:
Robert Shangraw ’58, ’04H;ArthurHaberberger ’59, ’11H; and
“It is their leadership that has reallymade the collegewhat
it is today,”Douthat said. “Trustees inmanyways are the
least known individuals on the campus. I think it is important
to remember that these are the peoplewho have guided the
institution. They are individualswho devote their time and
talents to the institution tomake it aqualityplace.These three
people indeedmade a terrificmarkduring eachof their terms.
They represent all of the trustees.”
PresidentKent Trachte spoke about theDouthats’ love for the
institution and how they continue to care for the college like it
was one of their own children.
“When Jim took office, Lycomingwas inmanyways a
fledgling institution,”Trachte said. “With an endowment of only
$17million, it did not have thefinancial strength to survive the
vicissitudes that periodically erupt across the higher education
landscape. Jim had thewisdom to recognize this vulnerability
and the determination, discipline and the tenacity to follow a
strategy for raising the endowment.”
Trachte said thatwhenDouthat retired in June
2013, Lycoming had an endowment
ofmore than $170million.
Today, it stands at
than $200million. He emphasized that on a per capita basis, it
putsLycoming among the top 70 national liberal arts colleges.
DuringDouthat’s tenure, he successfully led efforts to expand
and improve the academic offerings, raiseLycoming’s national
reputation and create afinancial base onwhich to build the future
of the college. In addition to theDouthat Commons, he enhanced
the physical plant by expanding theWertzStudent Center and
constructing theRecreationCenter, ShangrawAthleticComplex
and theMaryLindsayWelchHonorsHall.
“We are all grateful to Jim andEmily for putting the college
in a position to not only survive, but thrive,”Trachte said. “I
am eternally grateful that I have inherited such a strong and
wonderful institution. Sharon and I hope only to emulate the
same love that theyhave shown for this collegeduring their term.”
Speaking on behalf of the student body, Student Senate
PresidentGregVartan ’15 said he really appreciated that the
Douthats created a sense of community for students.
“The name on this building is a symbol for somuch they have
done,”Vartan said. “For students, whether they are from
around the corner, around the country or even
around theworld, this is a place that
we are really proud to call
Residence complex named after president emeritus
TheDouthat Commons dedication ceremonywas heldThursday, April 3, to
recognizePresident Emeritus James andEmilyDouthat for their 24 years of
dedicated service to the college. The apartment-style student residences complex
was one of themany building projects that came to fruition duringDouthat’s
tenure. From left arePeterR. Lynn ’69, board chair, James andEmilyDouthat,
their granddaughter, Evelyn, and children,Mark andAnna.
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