(Posted January 22, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Bill Alexander, vice president for finance and operations at Juniata College, will retire effective Jan. 31 after serving the college in a variety of capacities for four decades. A native of McConnellsburg, Alexander spent most of his educational and working life on the campus of the college. Both of Alexander's parents were Juniata alumni. "Bill Alexander is one of the pantheon of individuals who have had a truly major impact on Juniata," says Juniata President Thomas R. Kepple. "His steady hand on the finances of the College over 40 years in both high stress and good times has meant that Juniata has not just survived but prospered. He kept five presidents in line, and hired nearly 50 percent of the staff currently working at Juniata today. In the early 1990s he oversaw the development of the first comprehensive master plan for the campus that eventually brought about the elimination of 18th Street. When you look around Juniata you see Bill's impact everywhere." He earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Juniata in 1966. He was hired by Juniata as an assistant for institutional research and instructor in economics after graduation and worked at the college while attending graduate school. He earned a master's degree in economics from the University of Minnesota in 1972. Alexander returned to the college in 1972 as director of institutional research, where he oversaw Juniata's statistical and demographic projects until 1976, when he was named college business manager, which, at the time was the chief financial officer position for the college. In 1983 he was named vice president for financial affairs and in 1994 his title was changed to vice president for finance and operations. Alexander also maintained an academic appointment at the college, starting as an instructor in economics. He was promoted to assistant professor of economics and business administration in 1978 and kept his academic appointment until his retirement. "Bill's focus was always on students," says James Lakso, Juniata's provost. "When faced with a tough choice, his sense of the impact on student outcomes always guided his decisions. Bill was the fiscal cop at Juniata. The long-term financial health of the organization depends critically on having a good cop. It's easy to blame the fiscal cop for the 'no' -- if you don't have a realistic understanding of the college's financial circumstances. To do the job for as long as Bill did, required more than anything that others in the organization understood that his honesty and integrity were the characteristics that defined him -- and they did." A resident of Huntingdon, Pa., Alexander has remained active in the community. He is a member of the board of directors for many local and regional companies, including Mutual Benefit Insurance Co., Carriage House Insurance Inc., Select Risk Insurance Co. and MBIC Holdings Inc. He also is a member of the board and treasurer of the Huntingdon County General Authority, positions he has held since 1981. He has served as a member of the board and treasurer of Huntingdon Little League Inc. from 1987 to present. Alexander is married to Sue Alexander, a township supervisor for Oneida Township. The couple has twin sons, Scott, a watershed specialist for the Fulton County Conservation District, and Todd, a stockbroker for Edward Jones.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.