Lock Haven University Council of Trustees Names Building
Lock Haven University’s Council of Trustees recently designated the Health Professions Building as the “Willis Health Professions Center”. Situated on Railroad Street, this building currently houses the University’s Health Sciences and Physician Assistant programs, and is the home of the Greenberg Auditorium. The Trustees’ resolution honors the University’s former president, Dr. Craig Dean Willis, for his contributions to the growth of the University.
Dr. Willis served as president of Lock Haven State College and Lock Haven University from July 24, 1982 through July 31, 2004, retiring with President Emeritus status. During his tenure, enrollment doubled. In addition, the budget of the University grew from $15 million to nearly $60 million, creating an increase in the economic impact of the University on the surrounding communities from $9.5 million to $50 million. Dr. Willis also was instrumental in increasing the size of the landscape of Lock Haven University, with the number of buildings built or acquired increasing from 24 to 48, and included 55 campus renovation projects.
President Willis is considered one of the founders of the University’s Clearfield Branch Campus along with local leaders and state legislators, which provides higher education opportunities to that part of the region. There was an increase of 20 undergraduate programs and the introduction of four new graduate degree programs during the 22 years served by Dr. Willis. “Dr. Willis had a passion for strong academics to serve the students of the Commonwealth. He advocated for the physician assistant graduate program to be offered at LHU, which is now one of the top programs in the nation. The selection of the Health Professions Building was a natural choice to memorialize Craig Willis’ contributions in this way,” says Michael Fiorentino, President of Lock Haven University.
“Dr. Craig Willis gave 22 years of commendable service to the University, and many initiatives, capital campaigns, scholarship opportunities, and general improvements to the facilities, programs, and the fiscal health of the University was implemented during his tenure. It is fitting to honor such a distinguished friend of LHU,” Fiorentino adds. Dr. Willis commented, “I am thrilled and delighted to receive this distinguished honor, yet mindful of the fact that everything accomplished was a team effort. I thank everyone involved.”