North Carolina Wesleyan College’s Board of Trustees has announced that Dr. Dewey G. Clark, a 1982 Wesleyan graduate and chairman of the college’s Board of Trustees, will succeed James A. Gray III as president of the four-year, liberal arts college in Rocky Mount.
Gray recently announced plans to retire at the end of the 2013-14 academic year in May. He came to Wesleyan as its sixth president in June 2009 and will remain involved with the college to concentrate on several ongoing initiatives.
In announcing the selection of Clark as the college’s next president, Will Lassiter, vice chairman of Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees, said, “As we explored the leadership requirements of the college at this time, our discussions led us to conclude that the obvious choice is Dr. Clark. In our opinion, he has a unique set of skills and experience that perfectly equip him to handle the task at hand.”
Thomas A. Betts, former chairman of Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees and chairman of the presidential search committee, said, “Not only does he bring a fresh set of eyes to old and tired problems, but his management style is inclusive and decisive. He is a proven visionary and strategic leader who is results-driven. Those strengths coupled with his undeniable devotion to Wesleyan is what put a smile on our faces and reinforced that we had made the correct call. We are confident in our decision.
Betts commented, “I know that Will Lassiter, Dewey Clark, and I all agree that Jim Gray’s shoes were hard to fill, but we think we have.”
Dewey Clark earned his bachelor’s degree at Wesleyan in business administration and history and his master’s degree in business administration from Campbell University. He completed his doctor of business administration with a concentration in management from Argosy University. Since 1990 he has held executive positions at MBM Corporation in Rocky Mount. Since 2003 he has served as executive director of strategic planning.
“I am humbled and honored by this opportunity to return to my alma mater as president,” Clark said. “With 32 years of experience in business and education, I feel I am uniquely qualified to lead Wesleyan to the next level. I will approach this challenge with the same passion and dedication that I have given MBM throughout my career. Given President Gray’s May retirement and my current obligations, I will transition to the role of president sometime next year, yet to be determined. Wesleyan has been blessed with exceptional faculty, staff, and students. I look forward to partnering with them in the coming years.”
Clark came to Wesleyan as a student in the fall of 1978 as a first generation college student. He graduated in 1982 with a double major in business administration and history. Since then he has continually been associated with the college in various ways. After graduating from Wesleyan, he immediately went to work in the Admissions Office. While there, he was nominated for Wesleyan’s Alumni Board. He joined and eventually served as president from 1996 to 2000.
Advancing from Wesleyan student to employee to instructor, Clark has taught a course in operations management at Wesleyan more than 20 times. Recently he began his fourth term on the Board of Trustees, previously serving as vice-chairman, and remaining as chairman of the finance committee.
He has been active in the community in many organizations and has been recognized with numerous service awards. He is an active member of Englewood Baptist Church.
Clark lives in Wilson, N.C., with his wife, Suzanne, and children, Blakely and Nicholas.