#PeopleOfPeace: WPU Celebrates Contract Extension of President, Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D.
The Board of Trustees of William Peace University is proud to announce a new five-year extension for its President, Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D. Dr. Ralph took office in mid-August 2015 becoming the University’s 11th President, and during his two and a half years at the helm, has achieved great success in leading the University forward.
“In Dr. Ralph’s tenure thus far, he and his team have created and begun to execute a new strategic plan for the University, have established a campus Master Plan for buildings and facilities, and have launched a number of new academic initiatives,” said J. Fredrick Kelly Jr., Board of Trustees Chair. “There is strong enthusiasm among our faculty, an energy and vitality within our student body, and renewed support by a wide range of alumni. The trustees credit Dr. Ralph’s leadership in these matters and could not be more pleased to renew his contract with the school.”
Most notably, Dr. Ralph’s vision has culminated in the Believe in Peace strategic plan, which the campus community launched in fall 2017. The plan positions WPU as one of the premiere private institutions of higher education in the Southeast, promoting growth throughout the region as well as locally in downtown Raleigh and in North Carolina. The plan features four pillars – Immersive Learning, Innovative Partnerships, Strategic Growth, and Distinctive Identity and substantive progress has already been made in each of the areas. In addition, Dr. Ralph has worked with the campus community and local planners to develop a new Campus Master Plan, designed to help the beautiful downtown campus accommodate the new strategic plan and anticipated enrollment growth.
“In Dr. Ralph’s tenure thus far, he and his team have created and begun to execute a new strategic plan for the University, have established a master campus plan for buildings and facilities, and have launched a number of new academic initiatives.”
“I am humbled by the confidence of the Board of Trustees and inspired by the dedication of our faculty and staff – all of whom truly Believe in Peace,” Dr. Ralph said. “Our students are incredible individuals who together, make for an amazing community of learners. It has been wonderful to connect with so many of our alumni and I am excited about their increased engagement in the life of their alma mater. We are all pursuing the same vision – to make this University one of the great places of higher education in the Southeast United States.”
Highlights since Dr. Ralph’s arrival
- Welcomed an increase of 7.5% in new traditional student enrollment in the fall of 2017 and the entering class of 2018 is currently trending up
- Added 10 new academic programs and 10 new faculty positions at the traditional undergraduate level
- Added three new majors to the School of Professional Studies, bolstering the program’s online and evening degree offerings for adult professionals
- Substantially increased alumni attendance at events on and off campus
- Continued strong outcomes in career and/or graduate school placement, averaging a 97% placement rate since 2015
- Created a new Office of Diversity and Inclusion and hired founding director, Stephanie Reed
- Opened a new state-of-the-art athletic training facility in April 2017 (the Pacer Performance Center) for student-athletes as well as the campus community, which houses a fully loaded CrossFit space and fitness equipment
- Partnered with Wake Technical Community College on several articulation agreements, including degree paths for students wanting to major in Business Administration, Business Analytics, Criminal Justice, Exercise and Sport Science, and Simulation and Game Design
- Opened a new 24-hour student hub located above Belk Dining Hall in August 2017 (The Pacer Hub), which features a full-service cafe, an area for special events and presentations, a lounge area, a high-tech meeting room, and a collaboration space for students
- Leveraged a unique partnership with Leadership Triangle (LT), where Leadership & Nonprofit Administration students are mentored by alumni of Leadership Triangle programs
- Added six athletics programs including Men’s and Women’s Swimming, Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, and Men’s and Women’s Track and Field (set to compete in 2019)
- Celebrated the renovation and grand opening of Fay Jackson Anderson ’54 Court in the Hermann Athletic Center in November 2017, home to WPU Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Volleyball. Renovations included a new court, a complete redesign, and additional seating. The project was made possible by long-time donor, leader and former Peace basketball star, Fay Jackson Anderson
- 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
Dr. Ralph serves as the Chair of the Board for Cooperating Raleigh Colleges and Secretary for the Board of Directors for the Independent College Consortium (ICE). He is also a member of the Alexander Family YMCA Board, Downtown Raleigh Alliance Board, Board of Directors for North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities and the USA South Athletic Conference, and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.