Chowan’s new president visits Murfreesboro Council

Published 4:39 pm Friday, April 19, 2024

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MURFREESBORO – Dr. Rosemary Thomas visited Murfreesboro’s Town Council during their meeting on Tuesday, April 16 to bring a message of continued community relationships between the town and Chowan University.

Dr. Thomas began her tenure last month as Chowan’s new president. A West Virginia native, she previous served in leadership positions at other universities, including Davis and Elkins College, Florida Gulf Coast University, Salisbury University, and more.

She is the 24th president of the 175-year-old university, and the first woman to hold that position.

After being introduced to town officials, Dr. Thomas addressed the council to speak on the university’s plans for the future. She noted how supportive the town has been for Chowan and its students.

“The town is so welcoming. Everyone has always said Chowan means so much to this community,” she said of conversations she has had during her time in Murfreesboro so far. “Good times for us means good times for you, and vice versa.”

Dr. Thomas described the university-town relationship as “seamless,” and she planned to continue strengthening that going forward, through efforts such as more community engagement by students.

“Our students need to be involved in what’s happening in your homes, in your businesses, and in this community,” she said.

She acknowledged that student enrollment is currently smaller than it has been in previous years, but they plan to continue to grow while focusing on three main things: faith, family, and the future.

Dr. Thomas also explained Chowan’s new status as a “life skills university,” something which she noted will help students make up for disrupted learning during the pandemic. With a more intentional focus on life skills, students can face the future with more confidence.

“I do believe the future is bright for Chowan. I want us to become the hometown university for all sorts of towns around here,” Dr. Thomas said.

“Hold firm to that faith, come find your family here, and have faith in the future that this university is here to stay,” she concluded.

Following her remarks, Murfreesboro Mayor Hal Thomas thanked her for her presentation.