hen Dr. James E. Douthat
quietly walks away from his
second-floor, corner office in
Long Hall and concludes his 24
year at
the helm of Lycoming College on June
30, 2013, his presidency will be regarded
as one that undeniably transformed
Lycoming into a national liberal arts and
sciences institution.
Douthat is the third-longest-serving
president in the College’s 200-year
history. He has worked with trustees,
faculty, alumni, students and staff to raise
Lycoming’s academic reputation and
create a financial base on which to build
the future of the College.
“A strong endowment is essential in
maintaining and expanding the College’s
academic program,” Douthat said. “It is
not by coincidence that the institutions
with the very highest academic ranks also
have the largest endowments.”
The last several years have been
difficult ones financially for all colleges
and universities. All traditional revenue
sources are down nationally: parental
income, state and federal support,
endowment values, and grants and
gifts. Unlike many other colleges,
Lycoming has not had to borrow from its
endowment or drain other resources to
balance its operating budget. “We did not
plan for such dramatic and widespread
economic turmoil, but we had put in
place a strong financial foundation for the
College,” Douthat said.
Some think Lycoming is in that
position today due to the sound
leadership of Douthat. He dismisses
such a simple explanation and points
to the work of the board of trustees and
the continuing support of alumni and
friends of the College. He also speaks
of his working partnerships with board
chair Peter Lynn ’69, and former chairs
Arthur Haberberger ’59, ’11H and Robert
Shangraw ’58, ’04H. “Success is always
a team effort,” Douthat said.
“I realized shortly after my arrival
in the summer of 1989 that Lycoming
was at a crossroad, both academically
and financially,” Douthat said. “Leading
the College was an exciting challenge. I
pushed early for change, and the faculty,
trustees and others came forward to lead
President James E. Douthat
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