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Events set for UVa-Wise Chancellor Henry’s inauguration

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise will inaugurate Donna Price Henry as its eighth Chancellor on April 22. A variety of events are scheduled during the month to celebrate the traditional induction that marks a leadership change at a college's highest level.

HenryShe was elected Chancellor of The University of Virginia's College at Wise by the University of Virginia Board of Visitors on December 7, 2012 and assumed office on January 18, 2013. As the College's eighth Chancellor, she is responsible for leading UVa-Wise and its constituents in fulfilling its mission of student success and service to Southwest Virginia and the Commonwealth.

The inauguration offers UVa-Wise the opportunity for the campus community to come together for a common purpose, to honor the past, and to plan for the future.

“Minds on Opportunity. Hearts on Service.” is the theme for the inauguration, which fits well with the College’s mission to make higher education accessible and to produce graduates who make a difference in their communities through service.

A liberal arts education at UVa-Wise arms alumni with the intellectual curiosity for a lifetime of learning that promotes business and civic engagement in areas that better society. A UVa-Wise degree transforms lives for generations to come, and the inauguration events are designed to showcase the many ways a liberal arts education accomplishes the College’s mission.

The celebration begins on April 14 with Founder’s Day. The traditional day that honors Thomas Jefferson for his foresight and dedication to higher education by building the University of Virginia has a twist this year as the Student Government Association and the Alumni Association throw a birthday party for Mr. Jefferson. Some of Mr. Jefferson’s favorite foods will be served before students begin an afternoon of fun activities.

An Interfaith Reflections event is set for April 16 in the Chapel of All Faiths so the campus community can come together as a whole and express individual spirituality.

On April 17, Stephen Greenblatt, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and the Cogan University Professor of English and American Literature and Language at Harvard University, will lecture on campus as part of the inauguration activities.  The lecture is made possible by the Glenn and Jere Noel Blackburn Endowment for the Humanities Series.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni will honor Chancellor Henry with the Cavaliers Care: A Day Of Service on April 19. Various organizations and individuals will work on community projects on campus and in the surrounding area to promote service to others.

The inauguration ceremony takes place on April 22. The event will feature an inauguration fanfare composed by Professor Donald W. Sorah and performed by the UVa-Wise Quintet.  Maurice Manning, professor of English at Transylvania University, will read one of his poems about Appalachia and its culture.

The ceremony includes a Charge to the Chancellor issued by University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan and Calls to Service by other dignitaries.

Roy McTarnaghan, president emeritus of Florida Gulf Coast University, will deliver the keynote address before University of Virginia Rector George Martin formally installs Chancellor Henry. The College’s eighth chancellor will then deliver the inaugural address.

The University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors will attend the inauguration and will meet in Abingdon on April 23.

On April 25, UVa-Wise and Emory and Henry College will participate in the Undergraduate Research Symposium, an annual event that spotlights academic research in a variety of disciplines.

Chancellor Henry’s Biography

Chancellor Henry is active in the community and Virginia. She serves on the Wise County Chamber of Commerce, Southwest Virginia Public Education Consortium, Cove Ridge Foundation and Advisory Committee, Powell River Project, Southwest Virginia Health Authority and LEAD Virginia. She provides leadership to the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the Mountain East Conference for athletics.

A biologist with extensive experience in higher education, she spent 16 years in a variety of positions at Florida Gulf Coast University. She was a founding faculty member at FGCU, was faculty senate president and served as a member of the University Board of Trustees. Henry served as dean of the FGCU College of Arts and Sciences, an assignment that demanded meticulous strategic planning and leadership that allowed the College to grow rapidly while continuing to improve academic quality.

Chancellor Henry earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also minored in Spanish. She earned a Doctorate in Physiology from Thomas Jefferson University. Chancellor Henry is a professor of biology on the UVa-Wise faculty.

Henry is married to Allen Henry, a pilot for Federal Express. The Henrys have twin daughters, Jessie and Margaret.