Western Carolina’s 12th chancellor was introduced for the first time on campus today.
Chancellor-elect Kelli Brown was welcomed with a standing ovation today in her first address on the Western Carolina University campus. Brown highlighted her commitment to higher education and to first generation college graduates during her speech to faculty and community members.
“It’s one of those things that seems simple but it isn’t simple because then we would all have it. Right? But it’s not that simple so we have to work very hard and WCU does that. That’s one reason I’m so inspired to be here and I can’t wait to begin,” says Brown.
The search for a new chancellor lasted over a year. Brown says she is honored to be the first woman to hold the position.
“It feels wonderful. I want to be a role model for women. I’ve had a lot of opportunities afforded to me so I want to be able to open up those opportunities for other women so that they can succeed in the careers that they want to be in,” says Brown.
She is leaving her position provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Georgia College & State University.
Brown explained that she hopes to build on the leadership of the late Chancellor David Belcher and she has this to say to students and alumni:
“I can’t wait to see everybody just make sure you say hi. I won’t be able to talk to everyone but I’m just so delighted to be here and I can’t wait to get started.”
Chancellor Brown will begin her duties on July 1.
Update: Chancellor Brown highlighted that her father was a first generation college graduate in her speech.