• 43°

Catawba’s outgoing president takes job in Kentucky

SALISBURY —Brien Lewis, president of Catawba College for the past eight years, will become president of Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, beginning July 1.

He will be the 27th president in the university’s 240-year history. Lewis, 52, announced his resignation as the 23rd president of Catawba in July, saying he chose not to seek a renewal of his contract. 

William T. Young Jr., chair of the Transylvania University Board of Trustees, said that Lewis’ 20 years in higher education was a key factor in the selection process.

“His experience as a college president, his commitment to students’ personal and intellectual development, and his passion for shaping, delivering and providing access to the finest collegiate experience are all characteristics that influenced our decision,” Young said. “I am delighted that Brien Lewis will serve as Transylvania’s next president. His selection comes with the unanimous approval of both the Presidential Search Committee and Board of Trustees after an extensive national search that included a large pool of highly qualified and distinguished applicants.”

Photo provided by Transylvania University – Brien Lewis, the current president of Catawba College, has accepted a job as president of Transylvania University, located in Lexington, Kentucky.

In a Transylvania news release, Lewis cited the strength of the Kentucky school’s culture, priorities and its willingness to innovate.

“Transylvania should build on its enduring strengths: a highly personal learning environment infused with its core commitment to academic excellence and a powerful sense of community,” he said. 

In a letter to the Catawba faculty and staff Tuesday, Lewis said that he and his wife, Laura, “deeply appreciate the many expressions of support and encouragement we have received in the past few months.” Lewis said he is grateful to the leadership team at Catawba and to all who have been generous with their time, fielding reference calls and answering questions on his behalf.

“As I noted last summer when I announced that this academic year would be my last at Catawba, our family has enjoyed our time here tremendously and we feel that the college has made a lot of progress,” Lewis said. “We look forward to working diligently with each of you during our remaining months here to strengthen Catawba, move the college forward, and prepare for a smooth transition with our successors.”

Bill Graham, chair of the Catawba Board of Trustees, said, “The Trustees and Catawba family appreciate all the contributions that Brien has made to the college and the community and wish Brien and Laura much success in this new endeavor.”

Transylvania University, founded in 1780, is located in downtown Lexington. It’s enrollment is smaller than that of Catawba by a few hundred. Though, Transylvania University has an endowment of more than $190 million. U.S. News and World Report ranks Transylvania as No. 72 for best National Liberal Arts Colleges. Catawba is ranked as No. 8 for best regional colleges in the South.

Lewis became Catawba’s president in 2012 after time at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., as  vice president for development and alumni relations, founding dean of University College, and associate professor of business administration.

A native of Toronto, Canada, Lewis earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina where he was a Morehead Scholar and student body president. He earned his juris doctorate from the University of Toronto and worked as an attorney and mediator in North Carolina before joining Winthrop University.

The Catawba Board of Trustees is conducting a national search for Catawba’s 24th president.

Comments

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras