Chowan University President M. Christopher White will transition to Chancellor
In a statement released by Board Chair W. Frank Rose, Jr. on September 14, 2017, the Chowan University Board of Trustees announced that Dr. M. Christopher White will transition from the role of President of Chowan University to Chancellor at the end of the academic year. Dr. White will have served Chowan as president for 15 years, a period of the institution’s most significant growth. Including his prior service at another university, his presidential career will have spanned 32 years.
“Chris White’s leadership rescued our school and has truly transformed the University, solidifying its place among North Carolina’s leading colleges and universities,” Rose said.
Dr. White’s tenure as president ushered in a new era of growth and prosperity. When he arrived in July 2003 the school was in dire financial straits. Under his leadership, Chowan emerged with financial strength, completing every fiscal year comfortably in the black. Both the enrollment and the endowment more than doubled, with enrollment currently exceeding 1,500 students for the third consecutive year. For a period of eight years, a new enrollment record was set each year, earning Chowan recognition by a national survey as one of the fastest-growing universities in the nation. The size of the campus almost doubled and every existing building was completely renovated. Twelve new buildings were constructed, including the nine-building student apartment complex named Whites Crossing by the trustees in honor of Dr. and Mrs. White and their families.
The academic program was upgraded to University status and the current faculty is arguably the best prepared in the institution’s history. The intercollegiate athletic program was upgraded to NCAA II and competes successfully in the CIAA and Conference Carolinas. Dr. White is convinced that a significant part of Chowan’s resurgence has been an emphasis on the University’s Christian values. In that vein, the recruiting slogan Faith in your Future embodies the spirit and essence of Chowan University.
“I look forward this new phase in my career and anticipate continued growth and transformation,” Dr. White said. “My focused attention on fundraising efforts will be absolutely necessary as Chowan embarks on the next 170 years.”
Rose is enthusiastic about the recent growth of Chowan University and also the prospects for the future. “We are delighted that Dr. and Mrs. White will continue to be part of the Chowan family,” he said. “He is not retiring, he will merely transition from one role to another.” As Chancellor, Dr. White will advise the new president, work closely with the Development Office in securing major gifts, and continue to be a goodwill ambassador for the University in the region.
Work will begin immediately to select the next president of Chowan University. Dr. White will remain as President until the new leader is identified and will assist the Board of Trustees as requested throughout the transition process.