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President - January 28, 2019
Recently, I spent a day on the job with Tammy Hilliard-Thompson, who is interim director of WCU's Lawrence A. Dowdy Multicultural Center. Although I knew the center was well-utilized, I was surprised to see just how busy it can get. Designed to promote the academic achievement and personal development of more than 3,700 African-American, Latino/a, Asian-American, and Native American students, the center is a home base for coordination of services as well as a gathering place where students socialize and connect. The day I worked there, every desk, seat, and ottoman was taken.
President - August 23, 2018
Jared Brown has 3,975 students to get ready for college. While he may not be the one buying these students double XL bed sheets or taking them to the doctor for meningitis shots, the work he's doing to help students prepare is critically important.
President - April 01, 2018
At first glance, WCU softball coach Diane Lokey appears to be all business, all the time. Striding onto the softball field the Monday after spring break, she gives a quick greeting to a player then starts reviewing the Academic Book. On a weekly basis, every team member must update "The Book" with current grades and upcoming exam dates and project deadlines.
President - February 01, 2018
During his 20-plus years as an active member of the Carpenters' Union, Jerry Daudert never knew what each week would bring. He might head out on a general construction job on Monday and Tuesday, then do interior trim projects the rest of the week. He worked on day-long tasks and also tackled year-long assignments, such as framing out office space in Philadelphia's Comcast Center.
President - December 01, 2017
Last year, when a student was discouraged and ready to drop out of WCU, a University employee convinced him to work on making new friends and feeling connected. Months later, when the student and his mom came to thank the employee, the young man started the conversation by saying, "Mom, this is the individual who literally saved my life."
President - October 01, 2017
If Andrew Yozviak wasn't WCU's marching band director, he'd probably make a great air traffic controller. As I watched him in action at a recent rehearsal at Matlack Fields, I was reminded of an old movie about air traffic controllers called Pushing Tin. Much like an air traffic controller, Yozviak needs to stay cool under pressure and make split-second decisions in ever-changing conditions. But in Yozviak's case, it’s not DC-9s and 737s, but brass, woodwinds and percussion that he’s pushing to land their notes just right.
President - June 01, 2017
WCU currently has 1,432 permanent employees – 645 faculty members and 787 staff. Some of these jobs -- like assistant professor of economics and college dean – I know a lot about because I have held these roles at the University. But we also have electricians, accountants, librarians, psychologists and counselors, architectural designers, a director of intramural and club sports, even a fulltime piano technician for our collection of 118 Steinway pianos.