CULLOWHEE – Judy H. Dowell, assistant to the chancellor at Western Carolina University for more than 17 years, became only the sixth person in the university’s history to receive one of the institution’s highest honors when the WCU board of trustees presented her with the Trustees’ Award.
Retiring this month after a distinguished career in academics and administration at Western, Dowell received the surprise award, presented only on rare occasion in recognition of exemplary service to the university, as part of the board’s quarterly meeting Dec. 6.
“We, as a board of trustees, really wanted to show our appreciation to Judy for what she has done for this university, for the students, for the faculty, for the administrators, for the staff of the university,” Joseph Crocker, chairman of the board of trustees, said in presenting the award. “Judy Dowell has been exemplary in her service to this university and to the region, not just here on campus, but in Sylva and surrounding towns and cities.”
Past recipients of the Trustees’ Award are Wallace N. Hyde, E.J. Whitmire, Barbara B. Coulter, Ruth C. Shuler and Burton B. Fox.
Dowell, recipient of the 2002 Paul A. Reid Distinguished Service Award for Administrative Staff, has served as assistant to current Chancellor John Bardo, and to former Chancellor Myron Coulter and interim Chancellor John Wakeley.
During the same meeting at which the board honored Dowell for her contributions to Western, it approved the appointment of the person who will soon be filling the assistant to the chancellor position. Dianne Lynch, who oversees equal opportunity programs at WCU, will assume Dowell’s former post on Jan. 1. Lynch came to Western in 1996 from the Jackson County School System administration.
Other administrative appointments approved by the trustees:
- Bill Clarke, former assistant director of A.K. Hinds University Center at Western, was named director of the Ramsey Regional Activity Center and coordinator of university events. Clarke, a member of the National Association for Campus Activities, had been acting as interim director of the Ramsey Center and coordinator of university events since November 2001.
- Elizabeth L. Haynes, program officer and acting executive director of the W.H. Brady Foundation in Maggie Valley, was named grants officer and director of research and graduate studies. Haynes was previously director of technology and learning resources at Haywood Community College.
- Gordon E. Mercer, professor of political science and public affairs at WCU, was named associate dean of the Graduate School. Mercer, a member of the Western faculty since 1980 and former head of the department of political science and public affairs, will remain as director of WCU’s Public Policy Institute.