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Press release provided by the Muhlenberg College Office of Public Relations.
ALLENTOWN, Pa.–(March 24, 2003)–Peyton R. (Randy) Helm has been selected to be the eleventh president of Muhlenberg College. He will assume his duties July 1. He is currently a vice president for college relations at Colby College, where he is also a professor of classics.
Helm replaces Arthur R. Taylor, who was president from August 1992 through July 2002. James Steffy has been interim president since August 12, 2002.
“We had an extremely strong pool of candidates, but Randy stood out and was a clear choice,” said Harvey L. Benenson, chair of the search committee. “His record and leadership skills are exceptional, and the committee was extremely impressed with his achievements and his vision.”
Helm is a 1970 magna cum laude graduate of Yale University. He received his Ph.D. in ancient history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980. Helm served as coordinator of Penn’s College House Program from 1981 through 1984. He spent the next four years in the development office in the School of Arts & Sciences at Penn.
In 1988, Helm was appointed vice president for development and alumni relations at Colby. In 2001, he became vice president for college relations. In addition to his administrative duties, he is a professor of classical studies, most recently teaching a course titled “Homer, Herodotus and the Invention of History.”
“I’m a fervent advocate of liberal arts education as the best possible preparation for lives of leadership, service and life-long learning,” says Helm, “and Muhlenberg is one of the relatively small number of liberal arts colleges that combine a close, nurturing community with dedication to teaching and scholarship. The extraordinary efforts and dedication of Muhlenberg’s faculty, students, staff and board leadership, and their commitment to a shared set of values, have made this College a national treasure.
“Muhlenberg College is very much on the rise,” he says. “It has set records for freshman applications in seven of the last eight years and generated powerful outcomes for its graduates in terms of jobs, and graduate and professional school acceptance rates. This is an exciting environment and I am excited about joining the Muhlenberg community.”
While at Colby, Helm directed a capital campaign that raised $150 million, far exceeding the goal of $100 million. During his tenure at Colby, the college more than tripled its unrestricted gifts to the annual fund, while raising participation above the 50 percent mark.
“We are extremely excited about the future of Muhlenberg College,” says John M. Heffer, chair of the board of trustees. “The College is in a strong position to continue its tradition of excellence. Jim Steffy and the senior management team have done a superb job during the past year, and we expect Randy to provide strong leadership for many years to come.”
Helm is married to Patricia Burton Helm, currently an adjunct assistant professor of music at Colby. They have two sons, ages 20 and 17.
“Randy Helm has been an exceptional leader at Colby for the past 15 years and a highly valued member of the senior administrative staff,” says Colby President William D. Adams. “I will miss his wisdom and experience, and I believe Muhlenberg College is fortunate indeed in its choice.”
Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg College is a highly selective liberal arts college in Allentown, Pa. It is an independent, undergraduate, co-educational institution related to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.