WPU Awards Dr. Betty Witcher with Alumni Distinguished Professorship

May 13, 2019
Dr. Betty Witcher and Dr. Lisa Bonner Thumbnail

William Peace University is proud to announce Dr. Betty Witcher as the recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Professorship of the Year Award for 2019. WPU presented the award to Dr. Witcher at Commencement and Alumni Weekend, in recognition for her outstanding involvement and dedication to our campus community throughout her nearly twenty years of working at Peace.

Megan Hoffner presenting Dr. Betty Witcher with the Distinguished Alumni Professorship Award.
Former Alumni Board President, Megan Hoffner presenting Dr. Betty Witcher with the Distinguished Alumni Professorship Award at Commencement 2019.

Dr. Witcher currently serves as the Department Chair of Psychology and Business and a Professor of Psychology. She specializes in Social Psychology, and as a professor, teaches social psych courses and research methods, all while making strides in her research. After receiving this award, Dr. Witcher humbly said, “I’m deeply honored to receive the Distinguished Alumni Professorship Award. I was completely surprised to receive the award and appreciate the Alumni board selecting me.”

Her presence both in and out of the classroom is one of the things that makes her such an impactful professor for WPU students. Dr. Witcher is known for her challenging and topical courses and many students have said that her high standards and demands are what motivated them to live up to their potential and succeed beyond 15 E. Peace Street.

One former student, Merica Ivey ‘16, describes Dr. Witcher’s influence stating, “Dr. Witcher is the perfect example of a professor who not only cares about teaching you in a way that sets you up for a successful career or graduate school but one who cares about how she is developing you as a person.” She continues, “Learning from her was the highlight of my time at Peace, and she will forever be a big reason why I love this school. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

“Dr. Witcher is the perfect example of a professor who not only cares about teaching you in a way that sets you up for a successful career or graduate school but one who cares about how she is developing you as a person… I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

Merica Ivey ‘ 16

As one of the longest-employed professors at WPU, having worked here since 1999, Dr. Witcher has been incredibly involved in shaping the success of the University. She often plays a vital role in crucial campus decisions as her dedication to WPU has led her to serve as a faculty representative on nearly every committee across campus during her tenure at Peace. Additionally, her work as an advisor has assisted many students in navigating their course work, internships, research and anything else life threw their way.   

This Professorship is one of many accolades that she has collected over the years for her impact, she also received the WPU McCormick Teaching Award and the WPU Psi Chi Faculty Advisor Research Grant in 2005, all while serving as an active member in the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and the Psi Chi Nation Honor Society in Psychology. According to her colleagues, there couldn’t be anyone more deserving of all this recognition. 

Dr. Betty Witcher and her colleague, Dr. Lisa Bonner, after receiving her award.
Dr. Betty Witcher and her colleague, Dr. Lisa Bonner, after receiving her award.

Dr. Lisa Bonner, Professor of Biology and friend of Dr. Witcher, described her as “Someone who consistently steps up,” before continuing, “Whether it be through her most recent service as Faculty Moderator, Chair of the Promotion and Tenure Committee, or as Department Chair for Psychology and Business. She [Dr. Witcher] is truly a supportive and compassionate colleague, and I cannot think of a more fitting faculty member to be awarded this honor.”

The Alumni Distinguished Professorship was created during the 1980-82 Commitment to Quality campaign. The award is presented every three years to a faculty member based on their commitment to student success, teaching accomplishments and service to the William Peace University community. The award winner is nominated by faculty peers, selected by William Peace University’s senior leadership and approved by the Alumni Board. The faculty member receiving the award receives a stipend for faculty development and a designated parking space on campus.

To learn more about the Psychology Department and how you could learn from qualified and experienced professors like Dr. Betty Witcher, please visit www.peace.edu/psychology-major/.

For more news and feature stories, search #PeopleOfPeace on social media, or visit www.peace.edu/news.