Dr. Wayne B. Powell
Lenoir-Rhyne University President
Dr. Wayne B. Powell has served as President of Lenoir-Rhyne University since December 2002. He originally came to Lenoir-Rhyne in June 2000 as the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs.
Before that time, he served as associate dean and later as dean of the Graduate College at Oklahoma State University from 1992 to 2000. In that position, he was chief administrator of the institution’s 4,600-student graduate program. From 1980 to 2000, he served as a Professor of Mathematics at Oklahoma State during which time he taught mathematics and conducted research on ordered structures, universal algebra, and abstract language theory.
Dr. Powell received his bachelor’s degree in 1971 from Texas Lutheran University, where he majored in mathematics. He received his master’s degree in 1973 from Texas A&M University, where he majored in mathematics and minored in computer science. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1978 from Tulane University.
Dr. Powell currently serves on the Boards of the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce, Frye Regional Medical Center, Project Potential, the Hickory Museum of Art, the Champions of Education, and the Catawba Valley Executives Club. He is an active member of the Lake Hickory Rotary Club. He is Chair of the Presidents’ organization of the Lutheran Colleges and Universities of the ELCA.
Dr. Powell is a lifelong Lutheran and a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hickory. His wife Joyce volunteers in a number of programs in the community, including the Hickory Choral Society, the Service League, and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. They have three children: Dr. Jennifer Powell is a professor at Gettysburg College working in molecular genetics; Kevin Powell is a software specialist at Pioneer Agricultural Company in Des Moines; Rachel Powell is in her first year of medical school at Emory University.