|• Summer 2003||Magazine Archive & Search • Muhlenberg Home|
New ’Berg President Peyton “Randy” Helm likes to keep his hands full.
Until his appointment by the Muhlenberg College Board of Trustees to take the reins, he’d served as vice president for college relations at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. But his administrative duties couldn’t keep him out of the classroom; he was also a professor of classics, teaching courses like “Homer, Herodotus and the Invention of History.”
His duties on campus couldn’t keep him out of the river, either. “I’ll miss the ability to leave the office and, 10 minutes later, be standing in my waders in the Sebasticook River,” he says of his relocation to the Lehigh Valley.
Although Muhlenberg may not offer the Kentucky native a river for fly-fishing, the campus community has eagerly awaited Helm’s arrival. Some students will get to know him in an introductory history course on the Homeric Epics this fall; others will find him around campus, getting acquainted with the people and places of the Muhlenberg community.
“My first impressions are that Muhlenberg is a very high-achieving place,” says Helm. “The staff work hard, the faculty are gifted and passionate teachers, and the students truly appreciate the educational experience they're getting.”
Helm, who describes himself as a strong writer, a good fund-raiser and strategic planner, a good listener and “pretty good at movie trivia,” answered a few questions to help you get to know him and his family. Keep an eye out for him at your local alumni events and, of course, at Homecoming. He’ll be making the rounds!
Muhlenberg Magazine: What are you looking most forward to about joining the Muhlenberg community?
President Helm: The list of things I’m looking forward to is so long that it’s hard to know what to put first! Getting to know the students and working with the faculty would certainly be near the top of the list, but I also look forward to getting out on the road and meeting alumni and parents and hearing their perspectives on the Muhlenberg experience.
MM: What role do you feel alumni can and should play in the ’Berg community?
PH: For Muhlenberg to fulfill its full potential, a large majority of its alumni will need to be pulling on the oars with the faculty, staff and me. The most obvious role for alumni is to provide financial support - but a strong alumni base does much, much more than that. The alumni need to be loving critics, informed advocates and unabashed cheerleaders for the place. They need to talk it up to friends and family members every chance they get.
MM: What would you like alumni and parents of current and prospective students to know about you?
PH: I have high expectations for Muhlenberg - and that this will play out into high expectations for all members of the community. I'm generally impatient to get things done, even though as an ancient historian I tend to put things in a fairly extended historical perspective. I like to see the humor in things, but I am also pretty passionate about the fundamentally important role education plays in keeping the American promise.
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