BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — Mercyhurst University Associate Director of Athletics and former Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Governance Council member Lauren Packer Webster was appointed Director of Athletics & Recreation at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., Packer Webster, who was selected out of a national pool of highly qualified candidates, will assume her role on August 3.
Packer Webster, who takes over the athletics leadership role following the retirement of Patricia S.W. Epps, will be responsible for the management and development of F&M’s 27 intercollegiate programs, club sports, intramurals, fitness programs and all athletic facilities.
“I am very excited to welcome Lauren to the F&M community,” said Vice President & Dean of Student Affairs Margaret Hazlett. “She stood out in our candidate pool due to her commitment and passion for wellness for all students, sense of competitiveness for our varsity and club programs and her collaborative leadership style in working in partnership with our coaching and administrative staff to strengthen and enhance all aspects of the F&M athletic department.”
Packer Webster brings a wide range of experiences in all aspects of athletic administration. She spent the previous 13 years at Mercyhurst in multiple roles. Beginning in 2008, Packer Webster served as the director of athletic communications, before being promoted to assistant athletic director in 2011 and associate athletic director in 2014. She also has served as Mercyhurst’s senior woman administrator since 2014.
At Mercyhurst, a multidivisional program, she managed all aspects of 22 Division II sports and administration of the Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey programs. The Lakers saw unparalleled success under her leadership with seven straight top-50 finishes in the Learfield Directors’ Cup, including back-to-back years in the Top 20 and their highest rankings in the school’s history. Mercyhurst won national championships in wrestling, women’s rowing and men’s lacrosse along with Top 10 national finishes in numerous sports and twice competed in the world-renowned Henley Royal Regatta.
She served as Mercyhurst’s compliance director, along with authorization and oversight of the department’s $14 million budget. She was responsible for the preparation of required federal, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and institutional reporting and management of student enrollment. She also authored a five-year NCAA grant for a student-athlete wellness director position, and served as a member of the institution’s Strategic Plan Steering Committee.
In addition to her vast experience at Mercyhurst, Packer Webster served at the national level on various committees and organizations. She was a member of the NCAA Division II Wrestling Committee and the Collegiate Water Polo Association Governing Council. She also has served as a NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship Media Coordinator and the Eastern College Athletic Conference Sports Information Directors Association (ECAC-SIDA) New Media Coordinator.
Packer Webster worked with key constituent groups such as parents, alumni, community and industry leaders to support the University mission and Advancement efforts. She managed sport-specific fundraising initiatives and worked with the Advancement Office to identify and cultivate donors for the Laker for Life campaign. Packer Webster, who will similarly work on athletic fundraising and alumni relations at F&M, also assisted with fundraising for scholarships through her volunteer role as treasurer of the Lake Erie chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association.
She served as the department liaison for multiple campus departments and offices, including financial aid, admissions, academic affairs, faculty senate, business office and human resources. Packer Webster created the Women in Sports networking group for students and alumnae at Mercyhurst and helped run the annual Girls and Women in Sport Day celebration.
Before her time at Mercyhurst, Packer Webster served as the director of athletic communications and sports marketing at Allegheny College and the director of media relations for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
She earned her master’s degree in communication studies from Edinboro University in 2006 and a bachelor’s degree in communications and media studies from Penn State in 2004. She returned to Edinboro in 2008-09 as an adjunct professor for the Communications Department as a lecturer for Introduction to Public Relations and Relations Program Design.