Dr. Lewis Evitts Thayne

Dr. Lewis Evitts Thayne became the 18th president of Lebanon Valley College on Aug. 1, 2012. He served as vice president of college advancement at Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) in Lancaster the previous seven years. 

Thayne proved an accomplished leader at F&M, transforming 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 comprehensive campaign. He also served on a variety of campus-wide committees that handled diverse issues such as strategic planning, Middle States accreditation, campus master planning, and marketing and external relations.

Before coming to F&M, 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 went on to serve in a variety of roles at Columbia during their $400 million campaign, notably as director of the National Alumni Program from 1983–1986 and as associate director of development for Columbia from 1986–1988. Thayne then served four years as director of annual giving at Bucknell University in Lewisburg during the Bisons’ successful $90 million campaign.  He served for six years as director of individual gifts at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass.

Throughout his career, Thayne has maintained an active involvement with the classroom, teaching first-year seminars and several upper-level classes. He has taught at Franklin & Marshall College, Agnes Scott College, Mount Holyoke College, the University of Massachusetts, Bucknell University, Princeton University, and Rutgers University. Thayne has been a guest presenter in courses in comparative studies, classics, English, mathematics, sociology, and comparative literature at these institutions.

Thayne has also volunteered in his local community throughout his career. While at F&M, among other volunteer roles, he was a trustee of the Lancaster Country Day School from 2008–2011 where he co-chaired their Strategic Planning Committee. Thayne was also a resource cabinet member of the United Way of Lancaster County from 2007–2010 where he facilitated their annual campaign for the higher education community.

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, Thayne received his doctorate in comparative literature at Princeton University. His wife, Dorothy, is an artist and iconographer who hold a bachelor's of fine arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and a master's degree in studio art from Rutgers University. They have two daughters, Anne and Julia, and a son, Anthony, who is a junior at Dickinson College in Carlisle.