Past Experience Guiding Future Success

Mar 14, 2024

Pictured above: Sarah Gaskill ‘02, Lyn Erdman ‘75, Kelly Gaines ‘82,  Taylor Shaw ‘12 and Kim Kitchings ‘90 serve on the Board of Trustees for WPU and bring their alumni perspective to the table when working to achieve what’s best for Peace students. 

Each semester, William Peace University and its faculty/staff work diligently to prepare our students for the careers of tomorrow. That dedication requires the commitment of many and the Peace community is grateful for the contribution and leadership of five trustees who also carry the title of Peace Alum. There is a common theme when speaking to these accomplished women about their individual experiences as Peace students – a sense of gratitude for the relationships made and the empowerment a Peace education instilled in their future success.

As Sarah Gaskill ‘02, Head of External Relations for North Carolina FUJIFILM Diosynth  notes, “Peace is just a special place and continues to be a special place.” She encourages alumni who haven’t connected in a long time, to visit campus again. “There are so many things that are exactly the same. And, there is still a place for alums here in a variety of ways to make an impact or still feel their connection to the college.”

Similarly, Lyn Erdman ‘75 reflects on her time on campus noting that, “Peace was a nurturing, supportive learning environment where I was allowed to discover new interests and talents.” This foundation led Erdman to a fulfilling nursing career with more than 30 years of experience in the non-profit and healthcare sectors.

When asked what makes the University a special place, Kelly Gaines ‘82 shared that, “Peace has continued now for more than 40 years, to give me a chance to learn to lead, learn to expand my knowledge and have experiences beyond my wildest dreams. Peace provides an open environment that fosters confidence to be myself.” A former Peace College tennis athlete, Gaines followed her passion and now serves as the Executive Director of the USTA, North Carolina Tennis Association.


Taylor Shaw ‘12, Intranet Content Strategist for Wake County notes that, “The environment at Peace gave me the confidence that engaging opportunities were within reach. Looking back on my four years at Peace, that confidence is still with me. I still have a ‘can do’ attitude.” Shaw presently serves as the Alumni Board President and focuses on engaging alumni from all years with the students and campus.

According to alumna Kim Kitchings ‘90, Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing at Cotton Incorporated,  “With a comprehensive curriculum, sports programs, and study-abroad options, Peace prepares all students, whether they come from a long line of college alumni or are the first in their family to attend college, for future success.” 

While each alumna enjoyed her Peace journey during different decades, there is a common message in all of their experiences. They found confidence, preparation, support, encouragement and success during their years on campus. Now, they come together as trustees and alumni to ensure a similar opportunity for today’s William Peace University students.

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