(Posted May 13, 2013)

John Hille, executive vice president for enrollment and retention
John Hille, executive vice president for enrollment and retention

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- James Lakso, provost for Juniata College since 1998 and a member of Juniata's faculty for more than four decades, and John Hille, executive vice president for enrollment and retention, received the John C. Baker Award for Exemplary Service from Juniata College at a recent meeting of the college's board of trustees.

The John C. Baker Award is presented by the Board of Trustees to recognize and honor individuals or organizations for exemplary service to Juniata College. The award is not given annually, but is reserved for appropriate candidates as they arise. Lakso and Hille are the seventh and eighth recipient of the award since it was established in 1997.

"Jim and John have been a major part of Juniata's success," says Thomas Kepple, Juniata College president. "Jim has hired more than 75 percent of our great faculty and John's vision for enrollment and development helped the college stabilize its enrollment and made our capital campaign, Uncommon Outcomes, a success." ?

In 2010, Lakso was honored by the college and countless former students when Juniata raised $1 million to create the James J. Lakso Endowment for Faculty Excellence, which will provide annual funding for faculty development. In addition, the college also named its recently established teaching center the James J. Lakso Center for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

"Jim and John have been a major part of Juniata's success. Jim has hired more than 75 percent of our great faculty and John's vision for enrollment and development helped the college stabilize its enrollment and made our capital campaign, Uncommon Outcomes, a success."

Tom Kepple, Juniata president

He came to Juniata as an instructor and was promoted to assistant professor in 1972 and to associate professor in 1976. He was promoted to full professor in 1981. He also has worked in administrative roles at the college, including stints as assistant academic dean, director of summer sessions, chair of the economics department and academic dean of social sciences.

Lakso received the 2005 Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service and the 1983 Beachley Distinguished Professor Award. He also served as an adjunct business faculty member at St. Francis University and has been a business consultant for such area businesses as Kish Bank. He remains active at St. James Lutheran Church, the Huntingdon Lions Club and Huntingdon County Business and Industry. He serves on the board for Kish Bank.

Lakso joined the Juniata faculty in 1970 after earning a master's degree in economics from the University of Maryland. He continued his doctoral work while teaching at Juniata and earned his doctorate in economics in 1973. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Wittenberg, University in 1967. Lakso was named provost in 1998.

John Hille has been on the executive team at Juniata College since 1998, when he joined the college as vice president for advancement and marketing. He was named executive vice president for enrollment and retention in 2008. He was responsible for the development of the Juniata College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and the Sill Business Incubator from 2003 to 2011, serving as the center's executive vice president from 2003 to 2012.

Hille over saw the college's Uncommon Outcomes campaign, which raised more than $103 million to establish the William J. Von Liebig Center for Science, the renovated and improved Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts, and renovation of historic Founders Hall. The campaign was the largest capital campaign in Juniata history.

In addition, he led the team that raised funds and secured grants for the creation of a new multimillion-dollar Raystown Field Station, including Shuster Hall, the main building, and two modern, yet rustically designed residence lodges. The college's renovation of the college's former science center into Brumbaugh Academic Center transformed one wing into Dale Hall, also used funds raised through the Uncommon Outcomes campaign.

Hille also worked to establish the Bob and Eileen Sill Business Incubator within JCEL and established JCEL's focus on economic development and business formation for Huntingdon and surrounding communities.

Before coming to Juniata, Hille also served as vice president and principal at The Complex Sale, a global consulting firm specializing in serving information technology companies from 1997 to 2002. Before becoming a consultant, he served as president and chief operating officer for SFG Technologies, an international software firm specializing in software for public and private utilities, from 1994 to 1997. He was vice president of the financial systems division of Ross Systems from 1992 to 1994.

Hille started his executive career as founder and executive director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Memphis from 1973 to 1979. He served as director of administrative services for the city of Memphis, Tenn., from 1980 to 1987. He moved to Management Science America as director of industry markets in 1987 and continued to work there as director of strategy and business development when the company was taken over by Dun & Bradstreet Software until 1993.

Hille has been very active within the Huntingdon community, serving as president of the Huntingdon Area Chamber of Commerce and of the Huntingdon Community Foundation, which he helped establish. He has served as president of the board of directors for Huntingdon Area Habitat for Humanity and chaired the advisory board for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Huntingdon. He has been active in the Huntingdon County Partners for Economic Progress and on the advisory board for Pennsylvania Highlands Community College. He received the Church-College Leadership Award from the Church of the Brethren in 2012
He earned a bachelor's degree from Rhodes College, in Memphis, Tenn., in 1969.

The John C. Baker Award is named for John Calhoun Baker, president emeritus of Ohio University and with his wife, Elizabeth Evans Baker, founder of the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata College. A 1917 graduate of Juniata College and a member of the Church of the Brethren, he was a member of Juniata's Board of Trustees from 1936 until his death in 1999.

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