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Dr. Lewis Evitts Thayne Named 18th President of Lebanon Valley College
06.01.12 |
The Board of Trustees of Lebanon Valley College (LVC) has elected Dr. Lewis Evitts Thayne as the 18th president of the College. His appointment begins August 1, 2012. For the past seven years, Dr. Thayne served as vice president of advancement at Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) in Lancaster.

In announcing the outcome of the trustee vote, Chair Wesley T. Dellinger ’75 said: “It was abundantly clear to our Presidential Search Committee as well as our Board that Lewis Thayne has the vision, the experience, and the commitment to academic quality that Lebanon Valley College needs in a president. He demonstrated that he understands the community; he shares our ideals; and we have the confidence that he can guide LVC into the next successful phase of our history.”

Dr. Thayne, in turn, offered some perspectives about the institution he will soon lead: “I have been deeply impressed by the thoughtfulness, energy, and pride reflected by all constituencies at the College. I truly believe I can make a positive difference at Lebanon Valley College.”

Dr. Thayne’s appointment is the culmination of a nationwide search conducted by a presidential search committee. That committee, chaired by Trustee Elyse Rogers, Esq. ’76, was composed of trustees, faculty, administrators, and a student. Ms. Rogers noted: “We wanted a proven leader with expertise in strategic planning, fundraising, competitive positioning, and fiscal management. Dr. Thayne was the unanimous choice of a very diverse and thoughtful committee.”

Dr. Thayne proved an accomplished leader at F&M, one who transformed an advancement program that produced seven years of record-breaking results while creating innovative programs for alumni and parents. He led efforts to complete successful campaigns for 12 individual capital projects, securing more than $140 million in institutional support, and preparing the college for a proposed $225 million comprehensive campaign. He also served on a variety of campus-wide committees that dealt with diverse issues such as strategic planning, Middle States accreditation, campus master planning, and marketing and external relations.

Before F&M, Dr. Thayne served as vice president for institutional advancement at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga., from 1999–2005. There, he created the first advancement division in the college’s history, leading a staff of 30 in completing a record-breaking $72 million campaign.

His first administrative post in academia was as alumni affairs officer at Columbia University in New York City from 1981–1983. He next served as director of the national alumni program from 1983–1986, and as associate director of development from 1986–1988. Dr. Thayne then served four years as director of annual giving at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, followed by a six-year stint as director of individual gifts at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass.

Throughout his career, Dr. Thayne has maintained an active involvement with the classroom, teaching several first-year seminars. “More than any other experience, these seminars connected me to students, to the world of ideas, and to the mission of a college,” he stated. “The variety of the classes and courses I have taught reflects my dedication to the ideals of a liberal arts education.”

Dr. Thayne spent his early years in northeastern Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Wyoming Seminary. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Rutgers University, Dr. Thayne went on to receive his doctorate in comparative literature at Princeton University. His wife, Dorothy, is an artist and iconographer. They have two daughters, Anne and Julia, and a son, Anthony, who is a sophomore at Dickinson College in Carlisle.

Dr. Thayne assumes his new duties upon the retirement of LVC’s 17th president, Dr. Stephen C. MacDonald. Dr. MacDonald completes eight years of exemplary service as president of LVC. Prior to that appointment, he served six years as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. Under his leadership, the College increased its enrollment to 1,630 full-time undergraduate students. He led the creation and development of a highly successful doctoral program in physical therapy. Dr. MacDonald also oversaw the completion of several major campus building projects, including substantial renovations of Lynch Memorial Hall, the Neidig-Garber Science Center, the Administration Building – Humanities Center, and the Mund College Center.

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