WPU Announces Dr. Brian Ralph Will Conclude His Tenure at the End of the 2023-2024 Academic Year

March 22, 2024
Dr. Brian Ralph, President of WPU.

William Peace University announced today that Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D. will be concluding his tenure as president at the end of the 2023-24 academic year. WPU Board of Trustees has appointed Board of Trustees member Dr. Lynn Morton, Ph.D., as president for a two-year term.

Since his arrival as the 11th President in August of 2015, Dr. Ralph’s leadership has had an invaluable impact. Dr. Ralph guided the University through the COVID-19 pandemic with an unwavering commitment to the safety of students, faculty, and staff. William Peace University successfully earned the reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges with zero recommendations, an impressive achievement after meeting rigorous standards. WPU has maintained SACSCOC accreditation since 1947. Under Dr. Ralph’s leadership, the university added numerous academic programs along with six new NCAA Division III programs. The University also established valuable partnerships with Wake Technical Community College, YMCA of the Triangle, and local healthcare organizations through the University’s RN to BSN program. Immersive Learning became an academic cornerstone during his tenure through the incredible work of the university’s faculty.

“William Peace University is a special place that my family and I have had the privilege to call home for almost 9 years. I am grateful for all that we have accomplished together and I want to express my deep appreciation for the faculty, staff, alumni, Board of Trustees, and the many friends of WPU in the Raleigh region for the roles they have played in advancing this wonderful institution.  I am most proud of the Peace students I have had the privilege to know and engage with whether it was at a theater performance, athletic event, research presentation, or a casual conversation on campus. Our students are not only remarkable individuals but also make up a very special community. It has also been rewarding to watch them go on to accomplish amazing things after their time at 15 E. Peace Street.,” Dr Ralph said. “My family and I have enjoyed serving this great institution and we wish William Peace University much success. Lastly, I have known Dr. Morton for over 20 years and know she will work tirelessly on behalf of WPU during her two-year tenure.” 

Dr. Morton will serve as president for the next two years while the university prepares to conduct a national search for the next president. Dr. Morton has been a trustee at William Peace University since 2023 after a long career in higher education.  She served as president of Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC from 2017 until her retirement in 2022, where she led multiple initiatives to increase enrollment, introduced two new scholarship programs to offer greater access to a Warren Wilson education, fostered relationships with the local community as well as regionally and nationally, and had notable fundraising results year over year. Before her presidency, she served Queens University of Charlotte as a faculty member, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and finally as provost of the university. She was awarded the Order of the Longleaf Pine by Governor Roy Cooper after her retirement for contributions to the state of North Carolina.  

Morton says, “It will truly be a privilege to serve Peace University, located on a beautiful historic campus in thriving downtown Raleigh. As a Board member I’ve been impressed to see the intentional ways that Peace draws on its urban location to offer career-focused immersive learning to both traditional undergraduates and adult learners. My heart is in education, and my experiences as a faculty member and administrator in student-focused intimate learning environments like Peace have shown me how this model of education can transform lives.”  

William Peace University was founded in 1857 and is located in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. Peace is a regionally ranked, award-winning educational institution.