Presidents of Lebanon Valley College
Dr. Stephen C. MacDonald, 2004-2012
Dr. Stephen C. MacDonald, the College’s 17th president, served eight years as president after having been LVC’s vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty the previous six years. By the time he retired June 30, 2012, MacDonald’s 14 years at the College were marked by major building and capital
projects, the expansion of the College’s academic programs, and the deepening of its relationship with the neighboring community of Annville. He worked with
all College constituencies to raise more than $55 million during the institution’s largest-ever fundraising campaign and oversaw unprecedented growth in the number of incoming freshmen during his tenure.
Dr. G. David Pollick, 1996-2004
Under David Pollick, there were seven straight years of record enrollment and an overall 30 percent increase in enrollment. The College began the Great Expectations Campaign to help advance the College. By his departure, the $50 million goal stood at $42 million. A new student center, Dellinger and Marquette Residence Halls, the Peace Garden, numerous athletic fields, basketball gymnasium, and the renovation of Lynch Gymnasium into an all-academic facility were all projects initiated under his leadership. Seven new graduate and undergraduate degree programs were instituted. Pollick left Lebanon Valley College in May 2004.
Dr. John A. Synodinos H'96, 1988-1996
John Synodinos was originally hired by the College to search for Dr. Peterson's replacement. The College's Board of Trustees decided that Synodinos was the right man for the job. During his presidency, he launched and completed the Toward 2001 campaign, raising nearly $24 million against a goal of $21 million. As previous presidents had done, Synodinos improved the campus through building projects and renovations such as the building of the Vernon and Doris Bishop Library and renovations of the Administration Building, Lynch Gymnasium, and Laughlin Hall. Synodinos also led a major re-design of the campus landscape. Perhaps Synodinos' largest achievement was the Presidential Scholarship program he implemented to automatically award those who rank in the top 30 percent of their class scholarships that cover up to half the cost of tuition. This initiative continues to attract national press and is one of the College's key selling points. Synodinos retired in 1996 and was named president emeritus.
Dr. William J. McGill H’98, 1987–1988
Dr. William J. McGill H’98 assumed the acting presidency in the summer of 1987 after Dr. Arthur Peterson retired due to failing health. As acting president, McGill worked with an architectural firm to establish the framework for a campus master plan that would eventually revitalize the campus by creating several green spaces and other aesthetic enhancements under Dr. John Synodinos. McGill also worked with the board to change their structure so that it more closely aligned with other similar institutions. He came to LVC as dean of the faculty in 1984 after having served as dean and professor at Washington and Jefferson College and a two-year stint with the National Endowment for the Humanities. He retired from LVC in 1998 as senior vice president and dean of the faculty emeritus. The College awarded McGill an honorary doctorate in 1998 and named the College’s baseball stadium, McGill Field, in appreciation of his great work.
Dr. Arthur L. Peterson, 1984-1987
Dr. Arthur Peterson became the 14th president in 1984. Many people described Peterson as a "people person." Unfortunately, Peterson would only be president for three years because of failing health.
Dr. F. Allen
Rutherford Jr. ’37, H’85, 1984
Dr. F. Allen Rutherford Jr. ’37, H’85 served as acting president for several months in 1984. He served on the College’s Board of Trustees from 1969 to 1986 in roles as
president and vice president of the board. A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, Rutherford was a C.P.A. who was principal and partner in two major national
accounting firms. He received an honorary doctorate from LVC in 1985 and two of his children, Frank A. Rutherford III ’74 and Margie Rutherford Gausby ’71,
received their undergraduate degrees from the College.
Dr. Frederick P. Sample '52, 1968-1984
Dr. Frederick P. Sample, president emeritus, took over the reins of Lebanon Valley College prior to the 1968-1969 academic year. The Allan W. Mund College Center, Blair Music Center, Garber Science Center, Silver Hall, and the railroad footbridge were all completed during Sample's presidency. The campus was expanded north of the railroad tracks, the first Spring Arts Festival was held, and football games, which had been played in the Lebanon High School Stadium for many years, were once again held on campus. Several important curricular changes also occurred during Sample's tenure including the creation of the computer science program and the AB music program. He retired at the end of December in 1984.
Dr. Allan W. Mund H'66, 1967-1968
Dr. Allan W. Mund H’66 served as acting president of the College for about 18 months after Dr. Frederick Miller stepped down in 1967 after 18 years as president. Serving without pay, Mund is remembered as among
the most influential acting presidents in the College’s history. During Mund's leadership, both as acting president and member and chair of LVC’s Board of
Trustees, he helped to inspire projects that would help shape the educational environment on campus and throughout the community. Mund also established The
Mund Scholarship Fund which continues to support several students each year. In recognition of his broad efforts, the College named the student center, the Mund
College Center, in his honor and awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1966.
Dr. Frederic K. Miller, 1950-1967
Dr. Frederic Miller took over the presidency in 1950 and managed to advance the College in the same way as his predecessor. Miller initiated the building of Gossard Memorial Library, Science Building, Mary Green Residence Hall, and a new dining hall. The Office of Admission also tightened its standards for incoming freshmen, increasing the credibility of the College. Athletics also prospered greatly during this period, as the men's basketball program won 45-straight home games. After 18 years, Miller left the College. Today, Miller Chapel is named in honor of Miller.
Dr. Clyde A. Lynch '18, 1932-1950
In 1932, Dr. Clyde Lynch '18 became the 11th president of Lebanon Valley College. Lynch began his presidency by cleaning up the men's dormitory, Kreider Hall. Lynch led the College through the Great Depression and World War II. He started a campaign that raised $550,000 for a new Physical Education building. In 1950, Lynch became the second consecutive president to die while still in office. Lynch Memorial Gymnasium, named in his honor, was renovated in 2003. The revitalization converted the gym into several new general-purpose, technology-enabled classrooms.
The Rev. Dr. George D. Gossard H'10, 1912-1932
The Rev. Dr. George Gossard became the 10th president of LVC in 1912. Gossard would serve for 20 years as president of Lebanon Valley College. Under Gossard, the Alumni Gymnasium was built in the Administration Building. The College was used as military barracks during part of his tenure. The College ran into problems with disorder and vandalism, but Gossard managed to steer the College through the early stages of the Depression. President Gossard died while in office. The former Gossard Memorial Library was named after Gossard. The College had bestowed an honorary doctorate on Gossard in 1910, two years before he assumed the presidency.
The Rev. Dr. Lawrence W. Keister, 1907-1912
The Rev. Dr. Lawrence Keister joined the College in 1907 as its ninth president. Keister helped bring stability back to Lebanon Valley College. He renovated the landscape of campus adding more than 1,000 feet of walkways. He renovated buildings on campus and equipped labs with the latest materials. He denied athletic scholarships because he wanted academics to be the primary focus of the College. Keister's major accomplishment was establishing a sound financial base for the College. Keister Hall, a current resident hall, is named in his honor.
Rev. Abram P. Funkhouser, 1906-1907
Funkhouser only served one year as president of the College because of financial problems at LVC. However, Funkhouser Hall, a current college residence hall, is named in his honor.
The Rev. Dr. Hervin U. Roop '92, 1897-1906
The Rev. Dr. Hervin U. Roop became the seventh president of the College in 1897. After the Christmas Eve fire in the Administration Building in 1904, Roop initiated six major building projects. With the financial support of industrialist Andrew Carnegie, these projects included the present Administration Building/Humanities Center and Carnegie Building. While president, Roop increased the number of faculty, reduced the College's debt, increased library holdings, and expanded athletic programs. Roop left the College in 1906. Roop is still the youngest president in College history-taking office when he was only 28.
E. Benjamin Bierman, 1890-1897
Rev. Cyrus J. Kephart, 1889-1890
After Kephart's short term, E. Benjamin Bierman, a former faculty member, took over the presidency in 1890. During his time, the College purchased four acres of land west of the Administration Building to guard against relocation. Bierman was the first president of the College to have his own office. Under Bierman, athletics became a part of college life. This happened first with men and women's basketball in 1893 followed by football in 1897. Bierman served the College until 1897.
In 1889, Rev. Cyrus Kephart became the fifth president at LVC. Kephart served less than a year as president of Lebanon Valley College. He resigned because of personal financial trouble.
Rev. Edmund S. Lorenz, 1887-1889
Edmund Lorenz took the helm in 1887. He was able to move the College forward by expanding existing programs and instituting new programs. Lorenz established a College newspaper, The College Forum, which was an annual subscription, and sold for 25 cents. He expanded the Music Department into the Conservatory of Music. The College awarded six Ph.D.s between 1892-1898 before the College dropped graduate work. Lorenz also tried to relocate the College to Harrisburg, but a stipulation in the charter kept the deal from going through. In 1889, Lorenz was forced to resign because of health problems.
Rev. David D. DeLong, 1876-1887
The third president of the College was 30-year-old David DeLong. He was able to rehire all of the faculty who had resigned following the departure of Lucian Hammond. During DeLong's tenure, the new gymnasium in the Administration Building was built. In addition, a second building was erected for a library, art, natural science, and museum areas. DeLong was the first president to live off campus on Sheridan Avenue. He resigned before the 1887 school year because of college financial woes.
Lucian H. Hammond, 1871-1876
Lucian Hammond was a Greek and literature professor before taking over the reins at Lebanon Valley College in 1871. He instituted single-sex residencies and created two residence halls: Ladies Hall and North College. By 1875, the fourth year under Hammond, the College had its own library with more than 600 books. Hammond struggled with the Pennsylvania Conference to face the financial facts of the College. He also dealt with many other changes the College was going through at that time. He resigned in 1876, along with all of the faculty members except one. Most of the students similarly withdrew from the institution. Hammond Hall, a current residential hall, was named after Hammond.
Rev. Thomas Rhys Vickroy, 1866-1871
In 1866, Rev. Thomas Rhys Vickroy was named the first president of Lebanon Valley College. The United Brethren Minister and educator teamed with George Washington Miles Rigor, first admissions development officer, to guide the College through its early years. Vickroy, a graduate of Dickinson College, was the first proprietor of LVC. Similarly to many other United Brethren schools at the time, the church decided that the school should be leased to a president. Vickroy served as president and Rigor as agent for five years, opening the coeducational college on schedule with 49 students, recruiting a faculty, developing curriculum, adding eleven acres to the campus north of the original "lot and a half ground" on Main Street, and constructing a spacious, four-story building facing College Avenue on the site of the present Administration Building. Vickroy graduated his first class of students in 1870. Under Vickroy, tuition, room, and board was $206.50 per semester. Vickroy served the College until 1871 when his lease was up. He was the first and last proprietor of the College. Following his term, the College abandoned its proprietorial form and became directly governed by its Board of Trustees.