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New Student Convocation 2022 keynote speaker announced

By Marlon W. Morgan

In alignment with the 2022-2023 Campus Theme - Mental Health and Wellness: Awareness, Support, and Community Care - Jacquelyn D. Hallum has been chosen as keynote speaker for the New Student Convocation. The hour-long event will begin at 5 p.m. Aug. 19.

The ceremony will welcome all new students to Western Carolina University and showcase a keynote address by Hallum, a community leader.

Hallum graduated from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University with a degree in business administration and marketing. She completed her graduate work at Pfeiffer University where she received dual master’s degrees in both business administration and health administration.

jacqueline hallum

Jacquelyn Hallum

Hallum’s career in health care spans nearly 40 years. Notably, she has been a key member of leadership for the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville since 1995, where she began as the assistant director of regional outreach programs. Hallum will be retiring this year after serving as director of health careers and diversity education for more than two decades. She was directly responsible for the development, management and leadership of all K-12 health careers and diversity education programs.

Hallum served on numerous boards and commissions including the Asheville City Schools Board of Education, Asheville City Schools Foundation Board of Directors, Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council, Education Committee, Asheville-Buncombe Tech Board of Trustees and currently serves on the Buncombe County Health and Human Services Board, Buncombe County Child Fatality Task Force and the Southern Region National Association of Medical Minority Educators.

Throughout her career, Hallum has received an abundance of recognition due to her service to the community.  She was nominated for the Tribute to Women of Influence Award from the YWCA of Asheville (2006) and received the Francine M. Delany Alumni Award from the University of North Carolina at Asheville (2016). In February 2022, Hallum was honored with the Suzanne DeFerie Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s WomanUP Celebration hosted by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce. The achievement award recognizes WNC women who have excelled in their careers, fostered the growth and development of others and improved our community by sharing their time and talents.

Hallum is known for her extended involvement in her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Western Carolina University Pi Gamma Chapter members plan to be present at New Student Convocation this year in support of her outstanding achievements. Hallum’s remarks will include the importance of college students focusing on their mental health and wellness as they pursue their education and ties in with the 2022-23 WCU campus theme.

Learn more about New Student Convocation and this year’s keynote speaker at

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