Dr. Bill Seymour, vice president for administrative services at Maryville College, has been named president of Lambuth University in Jackson, Tenn.
The announcement was made today following a vote of the university’s board of trustees.
“Lambuth University is excited about Dr. Seymour being elected president of this institution,” said chairman Michael E. Keeney. “We believe he is committed to the small-college, liberal arts education and possesses the leadership qualities that will enable him to provide stability to Lambuth for years to come.”
Seymour expects to begin his new job in early November.
Founded in 1843, Lambuth is a liberal arts institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Current enrollment is approximately 650.
“Becoming a president has been a professional goal of mine, and I’m excited to have this opportunity,” he said. “At Maryville College, we teach our students a lot about vocation and calling. Higher education is my vocation, and I’m pleased to be called to this new opportunity to serve as president of Lambuth University.”
Hired at Maryville College in 1995 as vice president and dean of students, Seymour is the longest-serving vice president under President Dr. Gerald W. Gibson. He came to Maryville from Wesley College in Dover, Del., where he was dean of students for four years. He was also dean of student life at Austin College in Sherman, Tex., for three years.
He holds a Ph.D. in higher and adult education and M.Ed. degree in counseling and personnel services, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He earned his bachelor’s degree from State University of New York at Oswego.
As dean of students at Maryville College, Seymour was integral in the planning of both Beeson Village and the Bartlett Hall Student Center and in the development of the student development curriculum, the crisis management plan and numerous other policies and committees.
During his tenure, the College’s athletics department added new sports and helped organize the Great South Athletic Conference.
He also helped plan numerous new events that are now held annually, including a leadership awards ceremony, the Senior Etiquette Dinner and Senior Celebration.
In 2004, Seymour was named vice president for a new administrative services division, which meant overseeing the College’s physical plant, conference and events services, food services, bookstore and post office operations. In that capacity, he developed a strategic planning process for the physical plant operation, completed a comprehensive facilities condition analysis and implemented a computerized work order system. He supervised projects included in the $20 million Campus Improvement Plan, the exterior renovation of Anderson Hall and the $47 million construction of the Clayton Center for the Arts, which is expected to open on the MC campus during the spring of 2010.
“I invite the campus to join me in congratulating Dr. Bill Seymour on being named president of Lambuth University,” President Gibson wrote in a memo distributed to the campus today. “Bill has served on the Maryville College Cabinet during a period of great progress, and I am deeply grateful for his contributions over so many years to the advancement of this College.
“I wish him and his wife, Catherine, all the best as President and First Lady of Lambuth.”
Gibson went on to explain that Seymour’s areas of responsibilities would be split between Dana Smith, the College’s vice president and treasurer, and Vandy Kemp, MC’s vice president and dean of students.
Seymour said that leaving the community is the most difficult part of accepting the new job.
The couple are members of New Providence Presbyterian Church, where Bill serves as an elder. His civic involvement includes the Kiwanis Club of Alcoa and the Blount County Habitat for Humanity’s board of directors. For three years, he wrote a bi-weekly column on higher education for The Daily Times. This year, he has chaired the board of directors for United Way of Blount County.
“Maryville and Blount County have been more my home than anywhere I’ve lived,” he said. “Catherine and I have become very invested in this community and have many dear friends whom we will miss greatly. Moving will be a tough transition that we haven’t had to experience in many years.”