Regarding the Oct. 14 news article “ Peace president to leave after tumultuous tenure”: I am very sad that Dr. Debra Townsley is retiring after five years of service to William Peace University. She has been an inspiration and a role model for many students and alumnae, and it will be difficult to find a successor to match her dedication and determination.
During Townsley’s administration, WPU has introduced new academic programs, made much-needed improvements to the school’s infrastructure and received many awards, including a 2012 MetroBravo “Standing Ovation” award for Best Private College from Metro Magazine.
Townsley and her staff have also participated in many community events and organizations. Students, faculty, staff and involved alumni volunteer for organizations including Stop Hunger Now, Communities In Schools, The Green Chair Project, Raleigh City Farm, the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team and many more.
The William Peace University Singers, formed in 2011, performs at many area events as well as performing benefit concerts for Alliance Medical Ministry and for the Byer family (Oakwood).
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Many alumnae, including me, are delighted with the changes made during Townsley’s tenure and hope that her successor and the Board of Trustees will continue to move our alma mater forward.
Gail S. Pope