(Posted July 28, 2003)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Thomas R. Kepple Jr., president of Juniata College, has been elected chair of the board of directors for Brethren Colleges Abroad (BCA) for a two-year term that will end in June 2005.

?The Brethren Colleges Abroad program is a vital part of the liberal arts tradition that exists at all the Brethren colleges,? Kepple says. ?At Juniata, our students widen their horizons with an international experience, and the BCA program is an integral part of our mission and that of the other member colleges.?

Founded in 1962 by Juniata College, Bridgewater College, Bethany Theological Seminary, Manchester College, McPherson College, the University of LaVerne and Elizabethtown College, Brethren Colleges Abroad oversees exchange programs in 17 countries for college students from more than 100 U.S. colleges and universities.

Each year, the international universities that feature BCA study centers send about 70 international students and faculty to study at the organization?s affiliated institutions. The BCA program is headquartered at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa. The program offers study abroad opportunities in Australia, Belgium, Cuba, China, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and Wales.

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.