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Winthrop VP Brien Lewis Named Catawba College President

Brien Lewis, Winthrop University’s vice president for university development and alumni relations, was announced today as the 23rd president of Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C.

Lewis has held many titles at Winthrop since his arrival in 1999 as executive assistant to the president and secretary to the Board of Trustees. He took over leadership in 2007 of the Winthrop University Foundation and offices of Alumni Relations and Development, as well as the work of the Real Estate Foundation. These offices work with the university’s alumni and supporters to fulfill the university’s Vision of Distinction and strategic plans.

In his role as vice president, Lewis managed preparation for “Distinction: the Campaign for Winthrop,” which was launched last October. That capital campaign — the second in Winthrop history — already has fulfilled $35.7 million of its $50 million goal.

Winthrop President Anthony DiGiorgio noted that, “When Brien came to Winthrop a dozen years ago to interview for his first position here, he shared with us that he aspired to become a college president someday. Today is the day he fulfills that aspiration, so his Winthrop family is understandably very proud of him.”

Lewis served as the first dean of the University College from 2003-07. He served as chair of the President’s Task Force on the Nature and Character of the University to help make long-range plans for Winthrop. In addition to his administrative roles, Lewis has taught employment law in the College of Business Administration and introduction to law in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Carolina as a Morehead Scholar and a law degree from the University of Toronto.

The timeline for Lewis’ transition to Catawba’s Salisbury campus and plans for succession at Winthrop have not yet been decided. Lewis is the fourth member of the Winthrop executive staff to be selected for a chief executive position at least partly on the strength of the VOD planning process and opportunities for replicating it.

Catawba, a private liberal arts college affiliated with the United Church of Christ, currently has an undergraduate enrollment of 1,300.


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