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President Lexington, KY

Transylvania University has selected William “Brien” Lewis, President of Catawba College, as its 27th president, effective July 1, 2020.

A native of Toronto, Canada, Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar and student body president. He earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto. Lewis worked as an attorney and mediator in North Carolina before moving into higher education at Winthrop University in South Carolina, where he was an associate professor of business administration, the founding dean of University College, and vice president for university development and alumni relations.

Lewis has served as president of Catawba College, a private, liberal arts college in Salisbury, North Carolina, since April 2012. During his eight-year tenure, Lewis oversaw an increase in undergraduate enrollment and improved first-year student retention; led two ambitious and successful fundraising campaigns, while increasing the college’s endowment; and created new academic and athletic programs and improved the campus infrastructure to support them. Lewis has been active in the Salisbury community, acting in local theater productions and serving on the boards of the United Way, Crosby Scholars, and the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, among others.

Kate Barry led this search with Elizabeth Dorr. 


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