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What impact did Lex O. McMillan III have on Albright College and/or on you?

After 12 years of dedicated service to Albright College, President Lex O. McMillan III, Ph.D., retired on May 31 this year. In addition to countless accomplishments, which you can read about on page 11, Dr. McMillan touched the lives of more than 8,500 students. We asked alumni—those who were students during his tenure—to share their thoughts on the impact that Dr. McMillan had on Albright College.

“I felt the strongest impact of Dr. McMillan’s tenure after I left Albright and began my work as a college counselor in Philadelphia. I had spent two years working in admission at Albright and struggled as I saw highly talented students from low-income families forced to make a different college decision because Albright was unaffordable. When Dr. McMillan announced Albright’s new policy to meet 100 percent of a student’s demonstrated need I finally saw the opportunity for my students to experience what the Albright community can offer. Since then, 13 of my students have attended Albright and five of them have already graduated! I can’t thank Dr. McMillan enough for dedicating the resources necessary to allow students from any financial circumstance to access an Albright education. I am so grateful that I am in a position to pass on my love for my alma mater to a new generation of Albrightians.” – Jared Epler ’09

“Dr. McMillan believed in me and challenged me to reach a potential greater than I could have imagined. His dedication and love for students is unmatched. Goals are set and dreams are made, but Dr. McMillan has the uncanny ability to think far beyond and bring people along with him. While an undergraduate student and now a proud alumna, Dr. McMillan has been one of my greatest cheerleaders. Thank you, Dr. McMillan, for taking a chance and believing in me, but most of all, for teaching me to be a person of integrity and big dreams.”
– Kelly Cross ’08

“To say that Dr. McMillan left the institution in a far greater position than he found it would be a severe understatement. Using a prolific fundraising effort that weathered the Great Recession, Lex guided Albright through a challenging and rapidly changing higher education landscape. This campaign included the repurposing or construction of at least five major buildings that bolstered Albright’s reputation and ushered it into the 21st century. In my personal interactions over the last nine years, I have come to know him as an accomplished and thought-provoking advocate for liberal arts education. As I reflected upon ‘tougher’ conversations while I was editor of The Albrightian, I recall his positive demeanor and ever-present southern draw offering an atmosphere of hospitality despite resistance to changes that were part of his long-term vision. It was clear that he was amicable to a dialogue, willing to teach something new and focused on what was best for Albright.” – Tyler Parmer ’12

“Dr. McMillan had an unforgettable impact on my Albright experience. When I interacted with him his commitment to improving and making Albright a better place was always evident. I recall every year at the Student Government Association dinner, he would ask the students the “magic wand” question: if there was a magic wand, what would we want to see that would better Albright? I saw first-hand the many things that he made happen based on students’ suggestions. The many other campus improvements made when I was a student and those that have been made since I graduated would not have been possible without Dr. McMillan’s leadership. His dedication, gratitude and contributions to Albright will not be forgotten.” – Victoria Foanio ’14

“I have benefitted from Dr. McMillan’s legacy not only as a student and alumnus, but also as a friend. Under his leadership, the Albright campus underwent a physical and cultural transformation. The campus grew more beautiful and its facilities expanded at an exceptional pace. The College also became a more open, caring and constructive place, thanks to the strong family spirit that he reinforced across the faculty, staff and student body. The Albright I met on my tour in 2005 is no comparison to the Albright before us today. As a mentor, Lex shared wisdom and learnings on the topics of leadership, management and life. He provided constructive and pragmatic advice while also seeking the counsel of others. I learned immeasurably from his example of learned, deliberate leadership, traits I hope to emulate as I grow in my career.” – Simon Foster ’10

“I met Dr. McMillan the summer before my junior year when I gave him his first tour of the campus. He asked me thoughtful questions about campus life and my involvement, which helped me feel better about a new president creating a brighter future for Albright. After my sophomore year, there was so much negative  talk about administration and the future of the College, but Lex created a wave of change that transformed the campus not only physically, but in its Lion pride as well. I left in 2007 confident that he would lift Albright out of its slump and create a bright legacy for future students!” – Natalie Gaspari Wallace ’07

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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