Cary resident Rebecca Brown, retired director of budget and management for the North Carolina Department of Labor and member of a family with a long association with Western Carolina University, has been appointed to serve on the university’s Board of Trustees.
A 1971 graduate of WCU with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Brown was appointed by the General Assembly to fill a vacancy created by the resignation last October of former N.C. Sen. Thomas Apodaca of Henderson County.
A former public servant in North Carolina’s Attorney General’s Office and Department of Commerce, she began a term on the WCU Foundation Board of Directors in July 2019 and previously served on the WCU Alumni Association Board of Directors.
She has served as a volunteer on behalf of the university for decades and created an endowed scholarship fund with her husband to provide financial assistance to deserving WCU students. She also has held leadership roles on the University of North Carolina Parents Council and volunteered with UNC Rex Healthcare in Raleigh.
“Mrs. Brown is a strong and vocal advocate for Western Carolina University and is prepared to serve as an engaged and loyal trustee,” said Chancellor Kelli R. Brown (no relation to the new board member). “She advocates for WCU, for the UNC System and for the state of North Carolina. She has shown a true commitment to the university and our campus community.”
Brown’s family has deep roots at Western Carolina, and her family continues to hold property in Cullowhee. Her husband, Frank, is a fourth-generation member of the Brown family (whose land became a portion of the WCU campus) and father-in-law, Frank Brown Jr., served for many decades at WCU, including stints as acting president and interim chancellor.
The General Assembly approved Brown’s appointment Saturday, May 2. Her term runs through June 23, 2023.
The Western Carolina University Board of Trustees is composed of 13 members. Eight are elected by the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors, four are appointed by the General Assembly, and the president of the Student Government Association serves in an ex-officio capacity.