Peace College names new president

The Peace College Board of Trustees on Friday named the head of a Massachusetts college as its new president.

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Peace University President Debra Townsley
RALEIGH, N.C. — The Peace College Board of Trustees on Friday named the head of a Massachusetts college as its new president.

Debra Townsley, who has served as president of Nichols College in Dudley, Mass., since 1998, will succeed Laura Carpenter Bingham as Peace president. Bingham, who has headed the women's college for 12 years, will retire on June 30.

Fred Kelly, chairman of Peace's presidential search committee, said Townsley emerged early in the process as a leading contender for the post.

"After meeting with her several times here in Raleigh, it was evident that she not only met, but exceeded, all the criteria we established for the college’s next leader," Kelly said in a statement. "We could not be more pleased to welcome her to Peace.”

Townsley will become the 10th president of the 153-year-old college.

"Peace College is an impressive institution with a strong heritage in fostering the academic, professional and personal success of women,” she said in a statement. “I am delighted to be able to offer my experience in and commitment to higher education to help shape the future of Peace College and the students it serves.”

Prior to joining Nichols, Townsley worked at a number of colleges and universities, including, Saint Michaels College in Vermont, Northern Virginia Community College and Marymount University of Virginia, which was a women’s college at the time. Early in her career, she was a senior consultant and project manager at Booz, Allen & Hamilton Inc. and a marketing support representative for IBM.

A native of Florida, she holds a bachelor of science in business administration with concentrations in marketing and management from American University, a master of business administration from George Washington University and a master of arts in psychology and a Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Vermont.

Bingham, who was the first alumna to head Peace, announced her retirement last fall. Under her leadership, Peace completed its transition to a four-year baccalaureate institution, expanded its campus and facilities, strengthened its academic programs and set record enrollments.

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