Gilchrist named Chancellor of Elizabeth City State University
Joni Worthington March 15, 2007
CHAPEL HILL, NC - Willie J. Gilchrist, former long-time superintendent of Halifax
County Schools, has been elected chancellor of Elizabeth City State University by
the Board of Governors of the 16-campus University
of North Carolina. UNC President Erskine Bowles placed Gilchrist's name in nomination
on March 15 during a special meeting of the Board
held on the campus of East Carolina University in Greenville.
Gilchrist, who has served as ECSU's interim chancellor since September 1, 2006, assumed
the new post immediately. He succeeds Dr. Mickey L. Burnim, who stepped down to become
president of Bowie State University in Maryland.
In recommending Gilchrist to the Board of Governors, President Bowles said: "Over
the past six months, Willie Gilchrist has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he
is the right person to lead Elizabeth City State University for the long haul. I can
think of no one who could bring the same breadth of experience or deep personal knowledge
of the educational needs of the region-from students in kindergarten through adult
learners. As our University continues with work with DPI and our
community colleges to develop a seamless educational system here in North Carolina,
Willie's experience will be absolutely invaluable. That belief has been affirmed by
students, faculty, alumni, and community leaders, all of whom have benefited from
his long-time connections to the region, his extensive administrative experience,
and his sound
judgment. No one can question Willie's love for and devotion to his alma mater, and
we are most fortunate to retain a leader with such
determination, integrity, and commitment."
Chancellor Gilchrist stood at the podium, as the audience applauded, and pledged to
make his alma mater stronger and more resourceful.
"I'm elated to have the title of chancellor and I'm looking forward to working with
faculty, staff, alumni and the citizens of the Albemarle. I'm looking forward to collaborating
with the community colleges in our region and strengthening relations with other universities
in the UNC System," Chancellor Gilchrist said.
"I extend sincere thanks to the ECSU Board of Trustees, members of the search committee,
students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Jacqueline and I are looking forward to serving
ECSU as its chancellor and first lady."
Gilchrist holds an undergraduate degree in health and physical education from ECSU
(1973), a master's degree in administration from Brockport State University in New
York (1975), and a doctorate of education in administration from Nova Southeastern
University in Florida (1998). He has completed additional graduate work at Virginia
After graduating from ECSU, Gilchrist spent four years as a teacher and counselor
in the Rochester, NY, public schools before returning to northeastern North Carolina.
He began his administrative career as an assistant principal at Eastside School in
Jackson in 1977 and was soon promoted to assistant principal of Gumberry High School.
He was named principal of Gumberry High in 1979, and after three years in the post
was named principal of Northampton County High School-West in Gaston. After 11 years
in that post, he was recruited to serve as associate superintendent of schools for
Northampton County. Less than a year
later, in May 1994, he was named superintendent of Halifax County Schools, overseeing
a rural district serving nearly 5,500 children. He stepped down from that post in
August 2006 in order to take on the
assignment as interim chancellor.
In 2001, Gilchrist was elected by the NC Senate to the UNC Board of Governors, the
policy-making body for the 16-campus University of North Carolina. Before resigning
from that seat last fall, Gilchrist chaired the Board's Committee on Educational Planning,
Policies, and Programs, the Task Force on Teacher Supply and Demand, and the Gardner
Award Committee. In addition, he served on the Committee on University Governance,
the Committee on the Future of Information Technology, and several other ad hoc committees.
In addition to his work on the Board of Governors, Gilchrist has served on the Governor's
More at Four Committee, the Governor's Education First Task Force, the Halifax County
Airport Authority, the Halifax-Warren Smart Start Board of Directors, and the boards
of the Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Halifax Development Commission, and
the BMB Shelter Home.
Active in professional and civic organizations, Gilchrist has received numerous awards
and other recognitions for his contributions to
education and service to children. A 1994 recipient of ECSU's Outstanding Alumni Award,
he has also been named Middle-level
Superintendent of the Year by the NC Middle School Association (2003), Halifax County
Schools Administrator of the Year (1999), Region 3 Superintendent of the Year by the
NC High School Administrators Association (1998), and Principal of the Year for Northampton
County Public Schools (1986, 1992-93).
Gilchrist and his wife, Jacqueline, have one daughter and two sons, all of whom are
Elizabeth City State University was founded in 1891 as the State Colored Normal School.
Elizabeth City State University granted its first bachelor's degrees in 1939 and was
renamed Elizabeth City State Teachers College that same year. A part of the
16-campus University of North Carolina since 1972, ECSU today enrolls nearly 2,700
students and offers 37 baccalaureate degree programs, three master's degree programs,
and a pharmacy program in partnership with the
UNC-Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy. ECSU is one of 16 public institutions in
The University of North Carolina system.
The oldest public university in the nation, the University of North Carolina enrolls
more than 202,000 students and encompasses all 16 of
North Carolina's public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees. UNC campuses
support a broad array of distinguished liberal-arts
programs, two medical schools and one teaching hospital, two law schools, a veterinary
school, a school of pharmacy, 11 nursing programs, 15 schools of education, three
schools of engineering, and a specialized
school for performing artists. Also under the University umbrella are the UNC Center
for Public Television with its 11-station statewide
broadcast network, and the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation's first
public residential high school for gifted students.
For more information about ECSU, contact
Associate Vice Chancellor LaTanya Afolayan
1704 Weeksville Road
Joni B. Worthington
Associate Vice President for Communications
Â Â & Special Assistant to the President
The University of North Carolina
910 Raleigh Road
P.O. Box 2688
Chapel Hill, NCÂ 27515-2688
Phone:Â (919) 962-4629
FAX:Â (919) 962-5463