Dr. Mark H. Erickson became the fourth president of Northampton Community on July 1, 2012. His inauguration took place on October 4 during a week of festivities celebrating the 45th anniversary of Northampton's founding.
Dr. Erickson has strong ties to the communities Northampton serves. He earned a doctorate in educational leadership at Lehigh University, where he received the Mathew W. Gaffney Award for Academic Excellence. He served in several important positions at Lehigh including dean of students from 1990-1999, associate vice president and executive assistant to the president from 1999-2001, and vice president for administrative and government affairs from 2001-2005.
In 2005 he was named president of Wittenberg University. During his seven years at the nationally-ranked university he was credited with facilitating the development of new academic programs, expanding international exchange opportunities, and fostering a close and mutually beneficial relationship with the city of Springfield, Ohio.
At Northampton Dr. Erickson will focus on listening to and engaging community and government leaders, encouraging innovative programs that meet community needs, providing a personal connection to students and serving as the College's chief cheerleader and fundraiser. Currently he serves on the Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, the Lehigh Valley Partnership Board, Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation Board and the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park Board of Directors.
His interest in the presidency stems from his long-standing admiration for the work of the College and its impact on the community, coupled with a lifelong passion for education and community engagement and his affinity for Northampton's commitment to access, its student-centered focus and its entrepreneurial spirit.
"Northampton is an amazing community," he says, "a place without pretense, grounded in the values of the communities it serves and committed to making a difference. I am honored to be following in the footsteps of the three strong presidents who preceded me and energized by the opportunity to work with its boards, staff, students, alumni and community supporters to write the next exciting chapter in its history."
A native Nebraskan, Erickson earned a bachelor's degree in American history at Princeton University and a master's degree in education at Harvard University where he specialized in administration, planning and social policy. He undertook additional studies in world religions and pastoral care at Harvard Divinity School.
When he was at Lehigh, his wife Lin worked at Northampton as director of the National Training Center for Microelectronics, director of the Advanced Technology Center and associate dean of community education. She became the first executive director of the Da Vinci Science Center and is now the chief development officer at The Air Force Museum Foundation. The Ericksons are the proud parents of two grown children, Sarah and David.