By Mary Bates

This story was published in the 2022 Owl & Spade Magazine

Bill Christy ’79 is no stranger to the Warren Wilson College community. From graduating from the College in 1979 to serving on the Board of Trustees for 12 years and as Chair of the Board for four years, Christy has been a passionate alum and supporter of the College.

He is also no stranger to filling interim positions at Warren Wilson. During his senior year, at age 22, he became the Interim Director of the Work Program Office when the supervisor left unexpectedly.

Now, following a 32-year career in law, Christy has stepped in as Interim President of the College while the Board of Trustees conducts a search for the next president. He assumed the position May 15th of this year, following Dr. Lynn Morton’s retirement.

“It’s certainly not a position I applied for or campaigned for, or something I ever saw myself doing,” Christy said. “I was approached by the Board once Lynn informed them she was going to retire, and was asked if I was interested in considering it. The more I thought about it, well, if the Board felt like I was the right choice, I certainly would consider it, because of course I love Warren Wilson and am dedicated to it.”

Christy grew up in the Haw Creek area of Asheville. Following his graduation from Warren Wilson, he received his MAT English degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and spent three years teaching in public schools in the Durham area. He graduated with honors in 1989 from North Carolina Central University School of Law and was admitted to the North Carolina Bar. He then attended the University of Florida where he was awarded an LLM in Taxation in 1990. He practiced law in Durham for five years before moving to Black Mountain to found Stone & Christy. He retired from that firm in late 2021.

As Interim President, Christy seeks to build on momentum that is already happening at the College.

“This is not a time when we can lie back or pause,” Christy said as he reflected on the progress the College made during Morton’s presidency from 2017 to 2022. “My number one goal is to keep doing what we’re doing and not to slow down.”

During her tenure, Morton and her leadership team created multiple initiatives to increase undergraduate enrollment, including expanding Athletics and entering the process to become a NCAA Division III school. The College introduced two free-tuition scholarship programs to offer greater access to a Warren Wilson education (NC Free Tuition and Milepost One), fostered community relationships both regionally and nationally, and had record-breaking fundraising results year-over-year. The College also launched a strategic plan that resulted in a new mission statement.

Having achieved enrollment growth and increased financial stability in the past five years, the College is in a good position to attract the next leader to take the school to the next level of excellence. The Board of Trustees began the search for a new permanent president this past summer. They aim to have the new president on campus by or before the fall semester of 2023.

The Presidential Search Committee consists of representation from the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, and one student. The committee engaged a search firm to conduct and assist in the process of identifying a large pool of candidates.

“We’re moving forward with enthusiasm,” Christy said. “Hopefully the best days are ahead. There are great people here doing wonderful things.”

This story was published in the 2022 Owl & Spade Magazine