(Posted January 20, 2003)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Thomas R. Kepple Jr., president of Juniata College, has been named as one of four vice-chairs of the Higher Education Committee for Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's transition team.

"I'm delighted and honored to be selected and to serve on this important committee," Kepple says. "I believe Gov. Rendell's appointment came about because of his interest in higher education's ability to assist with economic development. Juniata has several innovative programs in information technology and entrepreneurship, and recently started an ambitious business incubator that will serve Huntingdon County and the surrounding area."

The Higher Education Committee's mission is to establish points of contact with the state's Department of Education and meet with members of Gov. Mark Schweiker's administration. The committee will issue a report to Gov. Rendell, making recommendations to ensure a smooth transition.

The committee will specifically make recommendations to the Governor on higher education issues where the new administration can provide leadership. The other vice-chairs named to the transition team committee are Graham Spanier, president of Penn State University, Art Rothkopf, president of Lafayette College, and Diane Reinhart, president of Clarion University.

Kepple became Juniata's 11th president in 1998. Prior to that, he was vice president for business and community at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. from 1989 to 1998. At Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., he served as director of administrative services from 1975 to 1981, dean of administrative services from 1981 to 1986, and as provost from 1986 to 1989.

A native of Murrysville, Pa., Kepple earned a bachelor's degree in business and economics from Westminster College, in New Wilmington, Pa. in 1970. He went on to earn a master's degree in business administration and a doctorate in education, both from Syracuse University.

Kepple is the founding chair and board member of Tuition Plan Consortium, a nonprofit corporation overseeing the development of a national pre-paid college tuition program for private colleges and universities -- an innovative option for making high quality private education more accessible to students and families. Kepple has also completed extensive work on the development and implementation of early retirement programs for faculty, having co-authored the book "Incentive Early Retirement Programs for Faculty" with Jay Chronister of the University of Virginia.

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