Locals meet with Western Carolina's new chancellor

  • Western Carolina University Chancellor Kelli Brown was welcomed by Cherokee County alumni and community members on Oct. 8 at ShoeBooties Café in downtown Murphy. Brown is speaking to Tom O’Brien of Andrews and Marion Forsyth of Murphy. Photo by Stacy Van Buskirk
    Western Carolina University Chancellor Kelli Brown was welcomed by Cherokee County alumni and community members on Oct. 8 at ShoeBooties Café in downtown Murphy. Brown is speaking to Tom O’Brien of Andrews and Marion Forsyth of Murphy. Photo by Stacy Van Buskirk
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    Murphy – Local Catamount alumni, friends and community members held a reception on Oct. 8 at ShoeBooties Café downtown to welcome the first permanent woman chancellor of Western Carolina University, Kelli R. Brown, and her husband, Dennis Brown.
    The evening was hosted by Bill Forsyth, 1968 Western alumni and former trustee under three chancellors, as well as Murphy Electric Power Board. Brown, the 12th chancellor at the Cullowhee college, has an academic background in public health.
    She called western North Carolina a special place.
    “On July 1, my first day in the office I had to stop and I felt like I was in the right place,” Brown said. “The whole western North Carolina area and people have been amazing.”
    The chancellor is continuing her tour through the state, while also reaching alumni as far away as Atlanta and Washington. Brown said Western continues to thrive, emphasizing quality and excellence.
    “We will not lose sight of what makes WCU special,” she said. “Small class sizes and the relationship between students and teachers are important.”
    Cherokee County is a large part of the Western Carolina community, with 1,000 alumnus here. Of a student enrollment of 12,167 students at Western, 142 local residents are enrolled.