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Colonel Mark Volk was already a hero before he came to Lackawanna College. His accomplishments, bravery, and leadership in the United States Army preceded his tenure as the College’s Executive Vice President and President, and by the time he joined LC in 2004, his career was already distinguished in every possible way. He was already a full Colonel who served in many countries and capacities and saved many lives during the September 11th terrorist attacks.

His impact was just beginning.

President Mark Volk made just as large and lasting of a contribution to Lackawanna College and our regional community as he made during his outstanding career as an army officer. During Mark’s tenure at the College, his achievements were voluminous – starting our first bachelor’s programs, growing enrollment by 25% over the last three years alone, opening new satellite locations, starting online courses and degrees… the list goes on.

As for his team – almost 500 strong – we’ll remember Mark Volk the leader and mentor even more than his outstanding accomplishments. Here are a few of the things we’ll remember:

  • His open door, always, to all students, parents, and staff.
  • His humility and tendency to give credit to everyone else in the room.
  • His off-the-cuff sketches…. The arrows, windmills, big bullets, and little bullets.
  • His philosophy of supporting his staff, allowing for mistakes, and encouraging us all to grow and to always tell him the truth, no matter how great or ugly.
  • His wild socks, terrible Christmas sweaters, and surprise tattoos.
  • His genuine joy while congratulating each and every student at graduation.
  • His ubiquitous selfies.
  • His willingness to hear new (often crazy) ideas and give us the freedom to try them.
  • His calmness, wisdom, and grace under the most challenging circumstances.

And most of all, we’ll remember his genuine belief in the power of individuals from all walks of life, backgrounds, ages, colors, religions, and orientations to accomplish amazing things. In Mark’s eyes, greatness is not unexpected or unusual; he believes that everyone has the potential to be a positive change in a world that needs it.  Mark believes in this region, our families, and our students, and his optimism is contagious.

President Mark Volk demonstrates selflessness, integrity, and impeccable character. Our Northeastern Pennsylvania community is lucky he and Lynn became active members who give their time and energy to so many organizations.

We thought it fitting for our final Presidential Transition Blog entry to express our personal gratitude to our friend. Thank you, Mr. President, for sharing your talent and your heart with us over the past 16 years. Mark, we personally wish you a retirement full of joy, relaxation, good books, bourbon, and travel. Know that your legacy guides Lackawanna College tomorrow and every day after, and we’ll be channeling your wisdom a lot! Your impact on both our lives cannot be measured, and we cannot imagine where or who we would be today without you. Thank you. Friends for Life.

Hope started here.

Jill & Erica 

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