Allentown, Pa. – (July 1, 2010) – Muhlenberg College President Peyton R. Helm has received a new five-year contract. The announcement was made following a recent meeting of the College's Board of Trustees.
In making the announcement, Muhlenberg College’s Chair of the Board of Trustees Richard F. Brueckner ’71 stated that “Randy Helm has provided outstanding leadership to Muhlenberg College over the past seven years. This action recognizes the tremendous strides the College has made during his tenure, the great momentum we have heading into the next five years, and the confidence we have in President Helm’s continued leadership.”
Helm took office July 1, 2003. Under his presidency, the College developed and executed a five year Strategic Plan (2004-2009) and the Board of Trustees is expected to approve a new five-year Strategic Plan at its October meeting. Helm spearheaded the College’s $105 million capital campaign, The Talents Entrusted to Our Care, which concludes June 30.
“There has not been a single day in the last seven years that I did not feel privileged and excited to serve as Muhlenberg’s president,” says Helm. “The prospect of serving the College for another five years is, therefore, absolutely thrilling. What we have achieved since my arrival in 2003 we have achieved together – as a community of trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents who embrace a shared vision and are committed to a single goal: positioning Muhlenberg as one of the nation’s finest private liberal arts colleges.”
Since Helm’s arrival, Muhlenberg has completed construction of its Life Sports Center, a new science building, two major residential facilities and a sizable addition to Seegers Union. Current construction projects include a significant expansion of the Hillel House (opens 2011), the conversion of a former fraternity house into rehearsal space (opens July 1) and another major renovation of Seegers Union, which will include an updated servery, a spectacular campus restaurant with a Kosher meal plan, offices, and greatly enhanced student space. The Union space will be completed in August.
“President Helm has been instrumental in the development of our college, says Samuel Landman ’11, President of the Student Government Association. “He has always been open with students and is accessible on a regular basis. All the decisions that he makes for Muhlenberg are always with the students in mind and he has always been a strong advocate for the College.”
“President Helm is such a prominent part of the Muhlenberg campus,” adds Rebecca Liben ’12, student observer to the Board of Trustees. “As a student who works closely with President Helm, I am honored to see how much he cares about our school, and cares about the students on a personal level. President Helm has always recognized me by name and has always been interested in my experience at Muhlenberg. He always strives to know the students, and is invested in our future.”
In addition to the construction projects, the College added a film studies major along with minors in African-American studies and public health. Eight new faculty positions were also added. The College has continued to have tremendous success on the admissions front, receiving more than 4300 applications for admission in each of the past five years, and enjoying increases in all academic quality indicators.
"Under Dr. Helm's leadership the College has expanded students' options for majors and minors," says Dr. Laura Edelman, professor and chair of the psychology department. "Our facilities have been both updated and expanded. He has been a driving force for curricular change including an emphasis on service learning, expanded research opportunities for students, and a revision of the core curriculum."
Muhlenberg College had an economic impact on the Lehigh Valley of $127 million in 2009. The College has an annual budget in excess of $100 million. Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg College is a highly selective liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.