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Chancellor installation set for March 27; steering committee appointed

A week of activities on campus and across Western North Carolina will lead up to the installation ceremony for WCU Chancellor Kelli R. Brown, which has been scheduled for Friday, March 27.

Editor's Note: Due to the coronavirus, the chancellor’s installation ceremony scheduled for Friday, March 27, and other installation week activities are postponed until further notice.

A recently appointed 30-member steering committee is beginning the task of planning the official installation ceremony for Western Carolina University Chancellor Kelli R. Brown, with a week of activities leading up to the traditional academic ritual scheduled for Friday, March 27.

The committee is co-chaired by Richard Starnes, interim provost, and Melissa Canady Wargo, chief of staff, with membership including representatives of WCU’s student body, staff, faculty and alumni and from the surrounding community.

“This celebration will be designed to honor the traditions of the university’s past and its present,” Wargo said. “The events also will engage members of the university community in imagining the future and embracing the many possibilities and opportunities that it offers.”

The committee will work to plan activities not just on the university campus, but also across the Western North Carolina region that WCU was founded to serve, she said.

In addition to the formal academic ceremony at which Brown will take the oath of office as WCU’s 12th chancellor, installation events will recognize the university’s core values and priorities spelled out in its “2020 Vision” strategic plan, completed in 2012, and its 2018 update affectionately referred to on campus as “2020 2.0,” Starnes said.

“We will use the opportunity of the installation of our new chancellor to showcase the value of Western Carolina University’s high-quality education and the excellence of the academic programs that we offer,” he said.

Members of the installation steering committee are:

  • Grace Battle – former member of WCU’s Board of Trustees.
  • Nick Breedlove – executive director of the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority.
  • Dennis Brown – WCU first gentleman.
  • Gurney Chambers – former dean of WCU’s College of Education and Allied Professions, and representative of the WCU Association of Retired Faculty and Staff.
  • Casey Cooper – member of WCU’s Board of Trustees and CEO of Cherokee Indian Hospital.
  • John Davis – member of WCU’s Foundation Board.
  • Chad Gerrety – WCU associate athletics director for external affairs.
  • Kathy Greeley – member of WCU’s Board of Trustees and owner of Greeley Designs.
  • Yancey Gulley – WCU Faculty Senate representative and associate professor in the College of Education and Allied Professions.
  • Patrick Hinkle – WCU Staff Senate representative and content management system manager in University Marketing.
  • Ed Holland – president of the WCU Alumni Association.
  • Jeff Hughes – WCU’s director of campus activities.
  • Pat Kaemmerling – former chair of WCU’s Board of Trustees.
  • Debbie Logan – assistant professor in WCU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.
  • Stacy MacGregor – WCU’s director of marketing, brand and special events.
  • Kellie Monteith – WCU associate vice chancellor for student affairs.
  • Larry Naylor – member of WCU’s Foundation Board.
  • Ricardo Nazario-Colon – WCU’s chief diversity officer.
  • Ben Pendry – Chair-elect of WCU’s Staff Senate and executive director of advancement services.
  • Jamie Raynor – WCU interim vice chancellor for advancement.
  • David Rhode – WCU Student Government Association president.
  • Alexis Rutishauser – president of WCU’s Graduate Student Association.
  • Sky Sampson – director of WCU’s Cherokee Center.
  • Bill Studenc – WCU chief communications officer.
  • Ashlee Wasmund – WCU Faculty Senate representative and director of the Musical Theatre and Dance Programs.
  • Terry Welch – former assistant to chancellor at WCU.
  • Jessica Woods – current assistant to the chancellor at WCU.
  • Tasha Youstin – assistant professor in WCU’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Joyce Carpenter, executive assistant to the chief of staff, will provide committee support.

Additional information about the installation will be forthcoming, including announcement of an official theme for the week’s activities.


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