Page II - 2012 Spring Lycoming Mag

President James E. Douthat
The mission of Lycoming
College is to provide a
distinguished baccalaureate
education in the liberal arts.
This is achieved within a
coeducational, supportive,
residential setting through
programs that develop
communication and critical
thinking skills; foster self-
awareness while increasing
receptivity to new concepts and
perspectives; explore literary and
scientific traditions; cultivate an
aesthetic sensibility; elicit social
responsibility; promote racial
inclusiveness, gender equality
and an appreciation of cultural
diversity; and produce leadership
for the institutions of society.
Each student is encouraged to
develop and strengthen virtues
and traits of character that
enable, ennoble and emancipate
the human spirit while deepening
commitment to those values that
undergird civilization.
Mission Statement
Dr. James E. Douthat
Chip Edmonds ’98
Vice President for College Advancement
Dr. Sue S. Gaylor
Vice President for Administration
and Planning
Dr. Daniel P. Miller
Dean of Student Affairs
James D. Spencer
Vice President of Admissions
and Financial Aid
Dr. Philip W. Sprunger
Provost and Dean of the College
Administrative Cabinet
Board of Trustees
Peter R. Lynn ’69
Stanley W. Sloter ’80
Vice Chairman)
Dale N. Krapf ’67
Dr. William E. Evans ’72
Assistant Secretary)
Ann S. Pepperman, Esquire
Assistant Secretary)
Lawrence S. Allison Jr. ’96
Dr. Brenda P. Alston-Mills ’66
David R. Bahl, Esquire
Hon. Marie White Bell ’58
Dr. Robert L. Bender ’59
John R. Biggar ’66
Melvin H. Campbell Jr. ’70
Jay W. Cleveland Sr.
Jay W. Cleveland Jr. ’88
Dr. James E. Douthat
Donald E. Failor ’68
D. Mark Fultz ’80
David D. Gathman ’69
Nancy J. Gieniec ’59
Arthur A. Haberberger ’59 ’11H
Chair Emeritus)
Daniel R. Hawbaker
Daniel R. Langdon ’73
Dr. Robert G. Little ’63
Carolyn-Kay M. Lundy ’63
D. Stephen Martz ’64
Nanci D. Morris ’78
David L. Schoch ’73
James G. Scott ’70
Hugh H. Sides ’60
Cheryl D. Spencer ’70
Linda Porr Sweeney ’78
John S. Trogner Jr. ’68
Marshall D. Welch III
Rev. Dr. Thomas V. Wolfe ’78
Diane Dalto Woosnam ’73
Dr. Dennis G. Youshaw ’61
Emeritus Members
David Y. Brouse ’47
Richard W. DeWald ’61
Dr. Daniel G. Fultz ’57 ’01H
Harold D. Hershberger Jr. ’51
Bishop Neil L. Irons
Rev. Dr. Kenrick R. Khan ’57
Richard D. Mase ’62
Dr. Robert L. Shangraw ’58 ’04H
Emeritus Chairman)
Dr. Harold H. Shreckengast Jr. ’50 ’00H
Emeritus Chairman)
Hon. Clinton W. Smith ’55
Charles D. Springman ’59
Phyllis L. Yasui
President Douthat shares civil rights movement experiences
Lycoming President Dr. James E. Douthat provided a glimpse
into his background during an intimate fireside chat in February
as part of the College’s Black History Month events. He shared
his experiences of growing up in the segregated South, witness-
ing the civil rights movement as a child and a teenager, and later
in life, having private dinners with two of this nation’s most
influential civil rights leaders, Rosa Parks and Ralph Abernathy.
Born in the mid-1940s and raised in Petersburg, Va., Douthat
did not attend an integrated school until his sophomore year of
high school. He vividly recalled “White Only” signs on restau-
rants and public bathrooms and clearly marked, twin drinking
fountains in department stores. The barbecue restaurant near
his home required blacks to enter though its “Colored” door for
takeout, their only option. It was a time when blacks were re-
quired to sit in the balconies of movie theaters. They could not
attend many colleges and universities and were excluded from
certain jobs and professions.
Rosa Parks was expected to sit in the back of the bus,”
Douthat said, “because the city ordinance mandated she do so.”
The U.S. Supreme Court had ruled on the legality of “sepa-
rate but equal” segregation in the late 19
century and did not
overturn its ruling until 1954. Even after the legal tide began
to change, “…blacks were seen to have their place—in Mrs.
Park’s case it was in the back of the bus. Rosa Parks, known as
the Mother of the Civil Rights movement, thought otherwise.”
Douthat was invited to a private dinner with Parks when she
was in her late-60s and living in Michigan. “How do you have
dinner with Rosa Parks and not talk about the bus? Of course,
she shared her experiences in Alabama.” Douthat also recalled
that she had never sought the limelight as a public figure, and
in her later years, she quietly continued to work to improve the
lives of poor, black children in the Detroit area. “She was an
icon in her community
and a major social and
political figure in the
history of the United
States,” Douthat said.
He was later invited
by the same hostess to
a private dinner with
Ralph Abernathy, a
longtime friend
of Martin Luther
King Jr. Abernathy
was with King when
he was assassinated in 1968 at age 39. Following King’s
death, Abernathy took over the helm of the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference, which King had founded, and continued
the movement he and King had worked so hard to build.
Like King, Abernathy was an absolute advocate of non-
violence in the movement,” Douthat recalled. “King recognized
that non-violence could change both laws and culture, as
Mahatma] Gandhi had done in India. Gandhi was one of King’s
heroes.” Douthat added that most people are likely unaware that
Gandhi did not start his protest movement in India, but in South
Africa, where he had lived before moving back to India as a
young man.
Gandhi had always lived in societies where class and/or race
had defined everyone’s future,” Douthat said. “There was no
upward movement within those societies. King studied Gandhi
and of course, he also read the Bible. He knew from the story of
Moses that whether or not you reached your goal, the important
thing is to try. Both King and Moses pointed the way to the
future. Lessons for all of us to remember.”