Reading, Pa. – Retiring Albright College President Lex O. McMillan III has been named president emeritus, and the College’s Campus Center has been renamed in his honor.
Albright’s Board of Trustees voted earlier this year to grant McMillan emeritus status effective upon his retirement on May 31, and to rename the Campus Center as the Lex O. McMillan III Student Center. The two honors were announced publicly by Trustee Chairman Jeff Joyce ’83 during retirement celebrations held on May 8 and May 12, respectively.
Also announced on May 12, That Their Light May Shine: The Campaign for Albright College has reached $58.6 million thanks to an anonymous $1.5 million donation. The campaign, which concludes at the end of this month, surpassed its $55 million goal in January.
McMillan will retire as Albright’s 14th president after 12 years at the helm. Both the emeritus honor and the naming honor reflect his unwavering commitment to the College and its students’ educational and co-curricular experience, which has included the implementation of new academic and athletic programs, capital improvements, and a focus on diversity and access.
“Every decision that Lex made on behalf of the College was done in the service of students. Every single one,” said Joyce at the May 12 celebration, noting some of the quieter gestures, such as McMillan and his wife, Dottie, attending theatrical productions, cheering on the Lions at athletic events, and welcoming students into their home for dinner.
“And so we wondered: How best to pay homage to this singular leader who put students before all else?” said Joyce.
Renaming the Campus Center is a fitting tribute. The center is the focal point of student life, housing the Dining Hall, coffee shop, café, bookstore and gathering spaces.
McMillan is only the third Albright president to be elected president emeritus. He joins Dr. Harry V. Masters (who served from 1938 to 1965), and Dr. J. Warren Klein (1932 to 1938).
“Dottie and I are deeply moved and grateful for these thoughtful actions and all the many kind words that we have received from so many,” said McMillan. “Serving Albright College has been a great honor and privilege. We will always carry this place and its people in our hearts.”
Under McMillan’s leadership, Albright has enjoyed numerous academic achievements and recognitions, facilities upgrades and fundraising successes, including the current campaign, the most ambitious in College history. During McMillan’s tenure, Albright has also expanded its pioneering Accelerated Degree Programs to additional sites in Pennsylvania, and earned the recognition as a top 25 school for artistic students by Newsweek. The College has also opened the doors to a new Science Center, the Schumo Center for Fitness and Well-Being, and John K. Roessner III ’61 Hall: The Center for Business and Civic Leadership.
“Lex McMillan ranks among the very best presidents this institution has ever had,” said Joyce. “Albright College will be forever in his debt.”
Prior to joining Albright, McMillan served as vice president for college relations at Gettysburg College, where he was responsible for external affairs, alumni and parent relations, and resource development programs. He previously served as executive director of development at his undergraduate alma mater, Washington and Lee University, and was director of development and director of public relations at Randolph-Macon College.
A civic leader as well as an academic one, McMillan serves on the Division III President’s Council of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and is a member of the advisory council of the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ Wye Seminars. He is a former member of the boards of the Council of Independent Colleges, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania, and the United Way of Berks County. He also formerly chaired the Higher Education Consortium of Berks County and the Middle Atlantic Conference.
Born in Pauls Valley, Okla., McMillan grew up in Decatur, Ga. He earned a doctorate in English from the University of Notre Dame, a master of arts in English from Georgia State University and a bachelor of arts from Washington and Lee.