President’s Biography

Meet Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D., President of William Peace University.

Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D., is the 11th president of William Peace University and took office in August 2015. Dr. Ralph has led a renaissance at WPU.

Student success has improved substantially as first-year retention has increased, students are participating in the National Conference for Undergraduate Research at record rates, and alumni engagement is on the rise. WPU has added 10 new majors and proudly placed 97% of its graduating class in jobs or graduate school within one year of their commencement. Furthermore, the University successfully garnered a $100,000 grant from the Cannon Foundation, and has recently started Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s and Women’s Swimming, and Men’s and Women’s Track & Field (2019). The University was also named a “Top 50 Best Places to Work in the Triangle” by the Triangle Business Journal. WPU was the only university named to the list. Most notably, the University created and started to execute the Believe in Peace Strategic Plan. A bold plan to move the University forward, it has four pillars: Immersive Learning, Innovative Partnerships, Strategic Growth and Distinctive Identity. A new Campus Master Plan was also recently completed – designed to accommodate the anticipated growth and development of the University.

Learn About the Strategic Plan Here

Dr. Brian Ralph, President of WPU.

Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D., is the 11th President of Peace

William Peace University has an important role to play in higher education. We have had a great start on numerous strategic priorities: growing enrollment, meeting alumni and friends throughout the state and region, and deepening our academics. I am especially proud of our students, faculty, and staff. The new Believe in Peace strategic plan is an aspirational and inspirational plan that will move WPU forward in powerful ways.

Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D.
William Peace University President

Signature of Dr. Brian Ralph, President of WPU.

Dr. Ralph’s Career

Dr. Ralph’s career includes leadership roles at Hocking College in Ohio, Bethany College in West Virginia and Queens University in North Carolina. Dr. Ralph has a number of professional affiliations, including The Fifty Group, Leadership Triangle Executive program; board member of the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU), Cooperating Raleigh Colleges (CRC), Downtown Raleigh Alliance, The Alexander Family YMCA, The USA South Athletic Conference and Independent College Enterprise (ICE).

As president of WPU, Dr. Ralph oversees a student body of almost 1,000 full and part-time students enrolled in undergraduate day, evening, and online programs, and an alumni body of more than 9,000. An astounding 97 percent of graduates from the classes of 2015 and 2016 were employed and/or in graduate school within one year after graduation.

Dr. Ralph speaks at Commencement

Dr. Ralph delivers a message to graduates at Commencement

“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 incredible vibrancy.”

Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D.
William Peace University President

Signature of Dr. Brian Ralph, President of WPU.
WPU president Dr. Brian Ralph pictured with his wife and three daughters.

Personal Life

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.

He and his wife Kristen have been married 22 years and have three teenage daughters.