Dear Alumni, Parents and Friends,
Since being named the 15th President of Lycoming College, I have had the pleasure of meeting and learning about Lycoming from a number of its alumni, parents and friends, and I am eager to meet and interact with many more of you. Your generous support, ranging from annual gifts to the Lycoming Fund to the establishment of endowed scholarships, is greatly appreciated. It has been critical to building the college's current financial strength, exceptional academic experience and outstanding programs in areas such as the arts, community service and athletics.
Through my interactions with you, I have come to appreciate even more that Lycoming is an educational institution with both a distinguished history and many reasons to be optimistic and ambitious about its future. During what have been called the golden years of Williamsport Seminary, President Gray coined the phrase a "Greater Dickinson" as a way to capture an unrelenting commitment to greater excellence. President Long often invoked a similar theme as the institution navigated the passage from seminary to junior college to senior college. Without question, under the leadership of President Douthat, the college has become a "Greater Lycoming."
Together, we now have the opportunity to build an even Greater Lycoming. With the enthusiastic support of the trustees of the college, we are launching a strategic planning process that will be guided by a vision of renewing and deepening Lycoming's identity as a national liberal arts college, with the objective of achieving recognition as one of the very best liberal arts colleges in the country. While this vision is an ambitious one, it can be realized if we harness our energies, inspire our supporters and exercise our collective imaginations.
As we develop the strategic plan, vital initiatives are already underway. The faculty are finalizing a revision of the general education requirements of the curriculum that will create more high-impact learning experiences such as freshman seminars, internships, study abroad options and research collaboration with faculty. The trustees have authorized the construction of a new science facility and planetarium to the north of the Heim Biology and Chemistry Building. The new building will connect to Heim and house the physics and astronomy programs. The physical proximity among the sciences will enable richer intellectual collaboration and provide Lycoming students with access to an even more cutting edge interdisciplinary curriculum. In addition, the new planetarium will be a modern learning space utilizing the best technology available. Constructing this facility will require the philanthropic support of the college's alumni and friends.
A multi-year renovation of the residential facilities on campus has also been launched. Leveraging the debt capacity realized as a result of the college's strong endowment, the trustees have approved a bond issue that has already made possible a complete interior renovation of Rich Hall, featuring all new plumbing, heating and electrical systems, drywall and bathroom fixtures. This work improves not only the quality of the current student experience, but strengthens our capacity to recruit high-achieving students to the college. Shortly, we will announce the next residence hall to be renovated.
Your gifts and investments in the college will be needed even more as we pursue the vision of an even Greater Lycoming. I ask that you continue to express your belief in Lycoming and the possibilities for its future.
Kent C. Trachte