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Dr. Brian C. Ralph was selected as the 11th president of William Peace University in July 2015 by its Board of Trustees through the efforts performed by its Search Committee, and led by Committee Chair Peter J. Meehan. As president of WPU, Dr. Ralph will oversee a student body of more than 1,000 full and part-time students enrolled in Peace's undergraduate day, evening, and online programs, and an Alumni body of more than 9,000.
William Peace University’s mission is to prepare students for careers in the organizations of tomorrow. Rooted in the liberal arts tradition, the student develops an appreciation for life-long learning, a focus on meaningful careers, and skills for ethical citizenship. Over 90 percent of graduates go on to graduate school or find jobs in their fields after graduation, with the classes of 2013 and 2014 reporting a 97 percent placement rate.
“I look forward to the future of Peace and building its importance as a leader in education,” said Dr. Ralph. “We have a very busy first 90 days focused on several priorities: the hiring of a new vice president for Academic Affairs, meeting Alumni throughout the state and region, getting to know our students, faculty, and staff, and beginning an assessment of Peace’s strengths and opportunities for growth, as well as its history, as we create a vision and road map for the future.”
Dr. Ralph’s career began in the higher education field in 1993 as an admissions counselor for Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio. He was quickly promoted twice in three years to Director of Admissions. In 2000, he accepted the position of Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing for Bethany College in Bethany, WV. Three years later, he became Vice President for Enrollment Management at the Presbyterian-affiliated Queens University of Charlotte.
At Queens, Dr. Ralph oversaw traditional undergraduate admissions, athletics, multi-cultural affairs, health and wellness services, student financial services, student activities, Greek life, and residential life. He also co-chaired the University’s retention committee. Concurrently since 1999, Dr. Ralph has been a part-time senior associate consultant with Ruffalo Noel Levitz, LLC, where he specializes in strategic enrollment planning. He has presented at regional and national conferences and currently serves on the advisory board to the National Small College Enrollment Association.
During his tenure, Queens enjoyed tremendous success with traditional undergraduate enrollment increasing by more than 60 percent. The University also completed a capital campaign which totaled more than $120 million dollars. In addition, they invested over $80 million in new construction and renovations on the campus to enhance the quality of academic and recreational life for its students.
“I am a firm believer that student success begets institutional success,” Ralph said. “As Peace students achieve higher levels of success, the dynamics and opportunities for the university will change as well. Enrollment will continue to grow, philanthropic interest will increase, we will retain and attract talented and dedicated faculty and staff, and the school will achieve financial vibrancy.”
Dr. Ralph has held a number of professional positions over the years, including membership with North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU, 2003-present) where he has served on the Campus Safety and Security Committee (2007-09) and Host of the Carolinas Enrollment Management Conference Planning Committee (2006); the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (2004-present); the American Marketing Association (1997-2010); the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) Public Relations Officers Network (2000-02); the Ohio Association for College Admissions Counseling (1993-03); and the ACT Professional Development Committee (1997-99).
Dedicated to his community, Dr. Ralph has been active throughout his life with several schools, nonprofit organizations, and churches. In 2014, he received the George Williams Award for his volunteer service from the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. Also benefiting from his service has been the Morrison Family and Ballantyne Village YMCA, The Gathering Church where he is an Elder, the Charlotte Sports Commission; Hawk Ridge Elementary School’s School Leadership Team, Hoskins Park Ministries, the YMCA Starfish Academy at Thomasboro Elementary, and Forest Hill Church.
Dr. Ralph received his Bachelor of Science degree from Bloomsburg University, and both a Master in Business Administration and Doctorate of Philosophy in Organizational Communication and Culture from Ohio University. He is also an alumnus of Leadership Charlotte, completed the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University, and participated in the Council of Independent Colleges Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission program.
Dr. Ralph and his wife, Kristen, have been married for 20 years and look forward to bringing their three daughters, Abby, Eden, and Izzy, to Raleigh.