Former Lyon College President Dr. Walter Roettger passes away

by George Jared ([email protected]) 242 views 

Former Lyon College President Dr. Walter Roettger passed away Sunday (Jan. 29) in Syracuse, New York. Roettger served as president of Lyon College from 1998 to 2009.

Under Roettger’s leadership, Lyon earned national recognition for its academic excellence, increased enrollment, added new academic majors, built several new buildings including the Derby Center for Science and Mathematics, finished one capital campaign and launched another, increased the size of its faculty, and created new varsity athletic programs, according to the school.

During his 11 years at the college, Lyon faculty were named Arkansas Professors of the Year nine times. He also strengthened the college’s ties with the community beginning with the College Opportunity Program, which Lyon created with the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB). Lyon has since extended this partnership to other public two-year colleges in the region including Ozarka College, Arkansas State University at Newport, and Arkansas State University at Beebe.

While president of Lyon, Roettger served on numerous local, state, and national boards. He served as chair of the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Batesville Economic Development Foundation among others.

Roettger earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and his doctorate in political science from the University of Colorado. He taught at a number of institutions including Central College in Iowa, Emporia State University in Kansas and Drake University in Iowa. Beginning in 1982, he began an administrative career in higher education that led to leadership positions at the University of Hartford, Bryant University and Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., where he was a vice president and dean of the faculty.

Following his retirement from Lyon, he served as provost and vice president for academic affairs of SUNY Oswego and as an educational leadership consultant at the Registry for College and University Presidents.

Roettger was born in Champaign, Illinois, where his father, a former major league baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals, was the head baseball coach at the University of Illinois. Roettger is survived by his wife, Margaret “Peggy” Roettger, former director of alumni and parent services at Lyon, and son, Dan.