After 23 years, Dr. James E. Douthat has come upon his last year as the president of Lycoming College as his retirement was announced earlier this spring.
When asked what he believes his legacy at the college to be, Douthat said it wasn't up to him. He said that usually years after a president leaves a college that their career is summed up in about three or four statements.
Douthat may not know what those few statements will be, but no one can argue the change and progress that he brought to the college.
Lycoming College President Dr. James E. Douthat, center, shares a moment with biology professors Drs. Ed Gabriel, left, and Mel Zimmerman after signing the Lycoming College Climate Commitment pledge on April 20, 2011. Douthat is retiring at the end of the school year.
The first change that occurred is easily seen as the campus has expanded.
The Commons Residences, Recreation Center and the Robert Shangraw Athletic Complex were all added since Douthat took the presidency at the college. Multiple buildings also were expanded to improve their uses.
But physical expansion is not the only type that happened on the campus as new majors and minors were added.
The school's graduation rate has been recognized by U.S. News and The Washington Monthly.
One of Douthat's goals when taking over was to create a more diverse student body. The college now sees 14 percent of its student population as a minority and students come from 32 states and 14 countries.
To keep the school affordable to many students, the endowment fund has grown significantly under Douthat. The fund had about $19 million in 1989 but has since increased to more than $175 million.
Douthat said that he hopes the college will continue to have success with growing the endowment as to make the school as available to students as possible.