Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

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 time in office include:

  • Launching a first-generation student recruitment initiative based on partnerships with leading national charter schools and access programs, specifically KIPP, Yes Prep, Noble, Say Yes to Education, Uncommon, and MOSTE, that has led to enrolling a student body that has become significantly more national, diverse, and global;
  • Creating new academic programs in computer science (major) biochemistry (major) neuroscience (major), medieval studies (major), film and video arts (major), new major tracks in archaeology (Ancient Near East, Classical Mediterranean and Latin America); anthropology (major), Latin American Studies (minor) and entrepreneurship (minor);
  • Establishing the 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;
  • Construction of the Lynn Science Center, which opened in August 2015;
  • Construction of the Krapf Gateway Center, which opened in October 2019;
  • Construction of Keiper Stadium and UPMC Field, which opened in September of 2022;
  • Construction of Trachte Music Center, which opened in August 2023;
  • Opening the Lycoming College Art Gallery in downtown Williamsport;
  • Establishing the Keiper Center for Outdoor Leadership and Education;
  • Renovation of five residence halls, the Heim Science Building, and the Academic Center;
  • Establishing a partnership with the Community Arts Center that expands access to the CAC for the College’s program in the performing arts;
  • Completion of the highly successful Campaign for a Greater Lycoming, which established records for the annual Lycoming Fund ($1.485 million) and total cash received ($6.139 million);
  • 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 States Department of Justice);
  • Increasing 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:

  • Williamsport Municipal Water Sanitary Authorities
  • Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Pennsylvania Board of Directors Government Liaison (past chair)
  • Lycoming College Board of Trustees

Past Service on Boards

  • NCAA Division III President’s Council
  • Middle Atlantic Conference President’s Council Chair (past)
  • Lycoming County United Way Board Chair (past)
  • Project Bald Eagle Board of Directors (past)
  • Williamsport-Lycoming County Chamber of Commerce Board (past)
  • Community Arts Center in Williamsport

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 the college 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, lives in New York, where he practices law.