President's Biography


Dr. Brian C. Ralph was selected as the 11th president of William Peace University in July 2015 by the Board of Trustees through the efforts performed by its Search Committee, which was led by Committee Chair Peter J. Meehan. As president of WPU, Dr. Ralph oversees a student body of more than 1,000 full and part-time students enrolled in 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. More than 90 percent of graduates enter careers or go on to graduate school after graduation, with the classes of 2013 and 2014 reporting a 97 percent placement rate.

“William Peace University has an important role to play in higher education” said Dr. Ralph. “We have had a great start on several priorities: growing enrollment, meeting alumni and friends throughout the state and region, and strengthening our academics. I personally am enjoying getting to know our students, faculty, and staff. It will be exciting to undertake a comprehensive strategic planning process so that we can create an exciting road map to our 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 promoted to Director of Admissions early in his tenure. In 2000, he accepted the position of Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing for Bethany College in Bethany, WV. Just over three years later, he became Vice President for Enrollment Management at Queens University of Charlotte (Presbyterian Church (USA)).

At Queens, Dr. Ralph oversaw traditional undergraduate admissions, athletics, campus recreation, the center for active citizenship, diversity and inclusion, 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 served on the advisory board to the National Small College Enrollment Association.

During his tenure, Queens enjoyed tremendous success in both enrollment and athletics.  Traditional undergraduate enrollment increased by more than 60 percent and Royals athletics won their first NCAA Division II individual national championships (now more than 20) and two team national championships in men’s and women’s swimming in 2015. The University also completed a capital campaign which totaled more than $120 million dollars. In addition, Queens 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 our 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 nomination and acceptance to The Fifty Group (December 2015); member of the class of 2015-2016 Leadership Triangle Executive program; board member of the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU), Cooperating Raleigh Colleges (CRC) and Independent College Enterprise (ICE). He has previously served in various leadership and committee roles with the following organizations: North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, the American Marketing Association, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), the Ohio Association for College Admissions Counseling, and ACT.

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 Gathering Church, the Charlotte Sports Commission, Hawk Ridge Elementary School’s School Leadership Team, and Hoskins Park Ministries.

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 and the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University, and participated (along with his wife, Kristen) in the Council of Independent Colleges’ Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission program.

Dr. Ralph and his wife, Kristen, have been married for 21 years and have three daughters, Abby, Eden, and Izzy, along with two Bernese Mountain dogs, Bexley and Zoe.