Summer 2003 Magazine Archive & SearchMuhlenberg Home




MM: What would your family members like us to know about them?

PH: My wife, Pat, grew up in Colorado, skiing and riding horses. She attended Colorado College, then did graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania. Passionate about music, she is a gifted pianist and teacher of music theory and musicianship, and has passed along her musical talent to our sons Burt and Alec, both of whom are accomplished cellists.

Burt is about to start his senior year at Yale, where he’s double-majoring in English and physics, plays cello in a string quartet, hosts a biweekly radio show (“The Love Zone”) and writes a humor column for the Yale Daily News. Right now he is also working as a research assistant on a book about two 20th-century feminist writers, Dorothy Thompson and Rebecca West, and has lined up a summer internship with the recently infamous Maxim magazine.

Alec is starting his freshman year at Vassar College and hopes to major in film. Right now he is working on a large film project that he will submit to a film festival. He has recently recuperated from playing cello at the Maine All State Music Festival and, now that he has his driver’s license, is driving himself to school and negotiating the treacherous terrain of the Waterville High School parking lot.

MM: What can the ’Berg community expect in the coming years?

PH: This is not a game where the alumni can sit on the sidelines! Members of the Muhlenberg family can expect to be engaged in the future of the College. I plan to be fairly aggressive about reaching out to alumni and parents as well as faculty, staff and students to make sure we have a shared vision of the institution's future that is rational but aspirational. A college community with high standards and a low endowment is going to have to work harder and smarter, and, most of all, work together to achieve the goals we're going to be setting for ourselves.

MM: Are you active in your own alumni association?

PH: Pat has been an active volunteer for admissions and for her class reunion at Colorado College. I am just finishing a term as class delegate to the Association of Yale Alumni and have thoroughly enjoyed it – in part because it allows me to revisit the campus and in part because my son is a student there and I can usually work in a meal with him and his remarkably talented and hungry roommates.

MM: How do you like to spend your free time?

PH: My ideal day of “free time” would be to get up early and go fly-fishing until the fish stop biting, then lie in my hammock by the lake reading a good book. In the evening I would cook a great Italian dinner for Pat, Burt and Alec, after which we’d all sit around and play Risk – and I would win. Remember, we’re talking about an “ideal” day!

Peyton R. Helm

Professional Experience

President, Muhlenberg College

2001 – 2003
Vice President for College Relations
Colby College

1988 – 2001
Vice President for Development
and Alumni Relations
Colby College

1986 – 1988
Director of Development
School of Arts and Sciences
University of Pennsylvania

1984 – 1986
Associate Director of Development
School of Arts and Sciences
University of Pennsylvania

1981 – 1984
Coordinator of College House Programs
University of Pennsylvania

1979 – 1981
Senior Administrative Fellow
Hill College House
University of Pennsylvania

Teaching Experience

1988 – 2003
Professor of Classical Studies
Colby College

1981 – 1988
Adjunct Asst. Professor of
Ancient History and Urban Studies
University of Pennsylvania


Ph.D., Ancient History
University of Pennsylvania

B.A. Archaeology, magna cum laude
Yale University




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