Vet Voices

New West Liberty president eager for his new role on the Hilltop

Ohio County

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – With the new year, there’s hope for a lot of changes. 

Not just around the country, but here in the Ohio Valley. 

West Liberty University is ushering in a new era of leadership, with new President Dr. W. Franklin Evans on campus, eagerly taking his place in his new home on the Hilltop

I am pleased, certainly honored, but also humbled at this opportunity.

Dr. W. Franklin Evans, President, West Liberty University

Dr. W. Franklin Evans said he hoped for the chance to become West Liberty University‘s 37th president after his first visit to campus

Now that the role is his, he’s focused first and foremost on the students. 

I certainly want the students to know that I am a caring, compassionate and concerned president. Although I may not physically be able to interact with all of them, certainly I’m looking forward to having some some smaller interactions with groups.

Dr. W. Franklin Evans, President, West Liberty University

Evans says he’s committed to carrying on the university’s current strategic plan, while also keeping it financially stable, and providing quality programs for student success. 

I want to make sure that we’re able to not only recruit students, but the ones that we have there that we serve their needs and be the best academic institution we can think of, so that we will equip them with skills so that they certainly can get jobs, be employed and make a difference. 

Dr. W. Franklin Evans, President, West Liberty University

In the university’s 183 years educating students, Evans is the first president of color. 

He said he’s excited, honored and hopes he can turn it into a way to bring more attention and diversity to the Hilltop. 

Hopefully it will put me in some other arenas so that we can get the institution’s name out there and that this will be a place that’s welcoming and that folks just can’t wait to get to West Liberty and be a part of this family. 

Dr. W. Franklin Evans, President, West Liberty University

Evans was previously the president of Voorhees College in South Carolina and has 25 years of experience in education.

He said after spending all of his life in the South, he’s ready for a change.

I’ve been in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, those schools, for all of my professional career in higher ed, so I was wanting to move to another region, another state. West Liberty just seemed to fit the bill for me.

Dr. W. Franklin Evans, President, West Liberty University

Evans is living at the alumni house on campus, and will soon move to the President’s home Colonial Heights after some minor renovations.

Throughout the move to West Virginia, he said he’s been pleasantly surprised with how kind and helpful people have been.

To get here to West Virginia, and find people to be really friendly, that just took me by surprise. Not just cordial, but really and truly friendly. Going out of their way to be helpful and assist, that has just blown me away and so I’m just excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

Dr. W. Franklin Evans, President, West Liberty University

And the opportunity to be part of a university family that Evans is eager to get to know, even if he has to connect with students virtually for now. 

2021, despite some of the challenges and trials that lie ahead, I’m just grateful for this opportunity and hopefully to move West Liberty to the next level.

Dr. W. Franklin Evans, President, West Liberty University

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