Board of Trustees

The governing body of Lenoir-Rhyne University, the board of trustees, is responsible for upholding the mission and vision of the university.

A group of people stand outside of a building on a sunny day


Madeleine Dassow '75, Chair
Boyd Wilson '74, Vice Chair
Katherine Esch '70, Secretary
Janie Peak '73, Assistant Secretary
Jearld Leonhardt '69, Treasurer


Dr. Edward (Eddie) L. Beard, Jr. ’85
Hickory, NC
President and CEO, Catawba Valley Medical Center

The Rev. Mark Bernthal (LTSS ’86)
Vero Beach, FL
ELCA Pastor, Our Savior Lutheran Church

Perrell D. Bess, JD ’06
Charlotte, NC
Attorney, VP Compliance and Operational Risk Specialist

Dr. Steven (Steve) R. Carter ’74
Pinehurst, NC
Anesthesiologist (retired)

The Rev. Dr. Eric Childers
Charleston, SC
Senior Pastor, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church

The Rev. Dr. Rachel L. Connelly (LTSS ’90)
Walhalla, SC
ELCA Pastor, St. John’s Lutheran

Madeleine S. Dassow ’75
Greensboro, NC
Businesswoman/Former Teacher

Marvin S. (Eddie) Edwards, Jr.
Hickory, NC
President & CEO, CommScope, Inc.

Katherine B. (Kate) Esch ’70
Hickory, NC
Civic Leader

The Rev. G. Scott Homesley ’83
Abingdon VA
ELCA Pastor, St. John Lutheran Church

Margaret Jackson ’69
Newton, NC
Business Owner (retired)

Gabrielle Kelly ’01
Charlotte, NC
Executive Search Consultant, Coleman Lew Canny Bowen

Dewyone (Pedie) King ’96
Hickory, NC
King Suzuki of Hickory

Dr. Leslie Lambert
Roanoke, VA

Jearld L. Leonhardt ’69
Newton, NC
Retired EVP and CFO of CommScope, Inc.

Hansel (Hank) McCrorie ’60
Hickory, NC
McCrorie Family Vineyards, LLC

Joseph P. (Joe) McGuire
Asheville, NC
President, McGuire Wood and Bissette P.A.

Katherine F. McKenzie ’69
Wilmington, NC
Executive VP and Chief HR Officer, Citizens Financial Group (retired)

The Rev. J. Stephen Misenheimer ’76 LTSS ’82
Knoxville, TN
Retired Lutheran Pastor

Isaiah (Ike) F. Oglesby ’91
Greensboro, NC
Broker/Owner, Oglesby Realty

Corie Pauling
Davidson, NC
Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, TIAA

Janie Parks Peak ’73
Gastonia, NC
Retired High School Teacher, LR Education Department

Chris Peek
Gastonia, NC
President and CEO CaroMont Health

The Rev. Dr. Timothy M. (Tim) Smith
Salisbury, NC
Bishop, NC ELCA Synod

Michael Thomas, JD
Hickory, NC
Partner: Patrick, Harper, Dixon

The Rev. Christopher D. Webb ’93 LTSS ’97
Hickory, NC
Senior Pastor, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

Dr. Fred K. Whitt
Hickory, NC
President, Lenoir-Rhyne University

Boyd Wilson, Jr. ’74
Hudson, NC
Executive VP, Broyhill Investments, Inc.

Ex Officio Membership

Dr. Fred Whitt, Lenoir-Rhyne University President
The Rev. Dr. Timothy M. Smith Bishop, NC Synod, ELCA
The Rev. Richard Goeres, Interim Chair, LTSS Advisory Council

News & Events

Giving a reading for the Visiting Writers Series, former poet laureate Tracy K. Smith provided a demonstration of the power of poetry to process the human condition in the past and present.

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Biology professor Carly York, Ph.D., investigates the value of curiosity-based science and its role in building better relationships between scientists and the general public.

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