Lewis Thayne has a distinguished record of service and innovation in higher education leadership spanning three decades and across a broad range of institutions. His work in advancement began at Columbia University where he served as Director of the National Alumni Program and extends into his transformative, eight-year tenure (2012-2020) as President of Lebanon Valley College.
As President of Lebanon Valley College, he is recognized for transformative leadership. Thayne built a core strategy around innovation that resulted in exceptional outcomes in enrollment, advancement, and academic program development. He developed signature programs in inclusive excellence and intercultural learning, career discernment and graduate success, and raised the funds to complete award-winning facilities to support distinctive academic programs in the health professions. The threshold challenges of his presidency at LVC were the subject of a cover story in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Lewis is a mentor and advisor to trustee chairs, presidents, heads of school, provosts, deans, and vice presidents. He is known for his holistic approach to strategy, pragmatic and collaborative leadership in problem-solving, and thoughtful engagement with colleagues, trustees, and donors.
Thayne served as Vice President for Advancement at Franklin & Marshall College from 2005-2012 where he raised over $100 million for capital projects. As Vice President at Agnes Scott College from 1998-2005, he planned and implemented a successful $72 million comprehensive campaign. Previously, he held leadership roles in major gifts, planned giving, and annual giving at Mount Holyoke College and Bucknell University.
In his advancement work, he raised funds for endowment, financial aid, buildings, stadiums, programs in support of student travel, equity and inclusion, and annual giving. His experience includes leading trustee workshops on strategy development and campaign planning; faculty, staff, and volunteer leadership training; organizational goal-setting exercises for trustees and leadership volunteers; capital and planned gift solicitation planning; annual giving campaign structure and messaging, public-private partnerships, and presidential communications.
Lewis received his AB and MA from Rutgers University and an MA and PhD from Princeton University in Comparative Literature. In 2017, he was elected to the board of directors of the National Association for Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and the Association of Pennsylvania Independent Colleges and Universities (AICUP). He serves on the board of trustees of his alma mater, Wyoming Seminary, in Kingston PA, and was a trustee at The Paideia School in Atlanta, GA, and Lancaster (PA) Country Day School.