Longtime Muhlenberg College President Peyton R. "Randy" Helm will retire June 30, 2015. The announcement came at the end of the College’s Board of Trustees board meeting this weekend.
Commenting on the announcement, Muhlenberg College’s Chair of the Board of Trustees Richard C. Crist Jr., stated that "Randy Helm has provided outstanding leadership to Muhlenberg for more than a decade. The College has a strong foundation and tremendous momentum thanks to his efforts. The opportunity to build on the success of the past 10 years should be very attractive to an excellent pool of accomplished leaders." A national search for a successor will begin this spring.
Helm took office July 1, 2003. With the exception of DeSales University President the Rev. Bernard O'Connor, he is the longest serving president in the Lehigh Valley.
Under Helm's leadership, the college’s endowment grew from $70 million to $200 million. He also led to completion a $110 million Capital Campaign, The Talents Entrusted to Our Care, states a release from the college.
During Helm's tenure, the college developed two Strategic Plans, completed a new life sports center and new science building, expanded and renovated Seegers Union, built new residence halls, expanded its Hillel House, and retrofitted existing buildings as new facilities for the performing arts, multicultural life, global education, and social sciences. A renovation and addition to 110-year old historic East Hall will be completed next summer. In addition, the college has greatly reduced energy consumption, increased recycling, and strengthened sustainability programs, states a release from the college.
On the academic front, the College began implementing a new curriculum in 2013. Muhlenberg added 10 new faculty positions over the last decade. It also launched majors in film studies and Jewish studies, and minors in Africana studies and public health, and greatly expanded study abroad opportunities, internships and student research opportunities, states a release from the college.
Prior to Muhlenberg, Helm served as vice president for college relations and professor of classical studies at Colby College. He is a graduate of Yale University and received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Helm’s wife, Patricia Burton Helm, is a member of the music faculty at the College.