President Of Four-Year Baccalaureate University Honored
For Her Accomplishments In The Community By Triangle Business Journal
RALEIGH, N.C. – William Peace University (http://www.peace.edu), a private four-year university located in downtown Raleigh, has announced that President Debra M. Townsley, Ph.D., has been named by Triangle Business Journal as a recipient of the 2012 Women in Business Award. The award honors dynamic and exceptional local female business leaders with an established track record of significant accomplishments in the business arena and local community. The publication recognized Townsley and other award recipients at an Aug. 23 luncheon at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham, N.C.
Inaugurated as the 10th president of William Peace University in August 2010, Townsley oversees a student body of more than 700 full and part-time students enrolled in Peace’s undergraduate day, evening, online and Saturday programs, and an alumni body of nearly 9,000. Her efforts as president include an emphasis on reviewing strategies to encourage new course offerings, athletic programs, campus facilities, staff, faculty and enrollment as part of overall expansion activities to accommodate future growth for the university. Under Townsley’s leadership, enrollment has increased 9 percent for the 2012-2013 school year to a total of 791 students. For the fall 2012 semester, the university welcomed 310 new students, an 82 percent increase over the previous year, 33.5 percent of which are male.
Townsley holds numerous professional positions on the state and national levels, including serving as chair of the audit committee and a board member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). She serves as chair of the USA South Athletic Conference and the Cooperating Raleigh Colleges and is a member of the Independent College Enterprise (ICE) board and the NCAA Division III Chancellors/Presidents Advisory Group. In addition, Townsley has received numerous professional honors, including the Jackie M. Gibbons Leadership Award from Vermont Women in Higher Education and Young Career Woman from the Professional Women’s Association of Annandale, Va.
“Being named a recipient of the Triangle Business Journal’s 2012 Women in Business Award is truly an honor and a recognition I carry with deep pride,” said Townsley. “This award could not have been possible without the support and guidance of the alumni, faculty, staff and the board of trustees of William Peace University, and I thank them all for their assistance as we begin implementing changes that will provide more success to our institution in the future.”
William Peace University is located in the heart of Raleigh, North Carolina. It was founded in 1857 as Peace Institute, offering education for boys and girls in primary grades and to women from high school to college. Peace, an all women’s college, became a four-year baccalaureate college and graduated its first bachelor’s students in August of 1996. Exclusively an all-women’s institution for its first 152 years, Peace began offering coeducational evening courses through the William Peace School of Professional Studies in 2009. In 2011, Peace College transitioned to William Peace University began admitting male students to its day program in fall 2012. Its mission is to prepare students for careers in the organizations of tomorrow. On average, more than 90 percent of the university’s graduates are placed in jobs or graduate school within one year of graduation. For more information, please visit http://www.peace.edu.