Mihalyo to lead D&E

Davis & Elkins College will have a new leader this July, when President G.T. “Buck” Smith will hand the reigns to Chancellor Michael P. Mihalyo Jr.

Smith, who plans to voluntarily step down June 30, will continue to serve the college as president-emeritus and college advisor.

The news was announced Friday evening, during a faculty dinner in the Myles Center for the Arts, after the regular spring meeting of the college’s board of trustees.

“I am just so happy and honored to serve a place I love like many students have come to love (the college),” Mihalyo said in a phone interview Friday evening.

He called the job an “enormous responsibility” and said he looks forward to a smooth transition to the role of president.

“I not only have just really become so attached to the students and staff, but also the greater community. This is home. I am happy to be able to serve my home.”

President-elect Mihalyo came to D&E in August 2011 as provost and chief academic officer. In March 2012, he was named chancellor, with responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day administration of the college as well as representing and acting on behalf of the president.

He holds degrees from Duquesne and West Virginia universities and is an accomplished keyboard artist.

“Since coming to D&E, Michael has demonstrated repeatedly his extraordinary capacity to ‘get things done’ with insight and clarity, touched by his warm humanity. It will be a privilege to continue working with him,” Smith said.

Mihalyo is widely experienced as a teacher and higher-education administrator. Before coming to D&E, he served as chairman of the Division of Fine Arts at Brevard College and as vice president of academic affairs, provost and dean of faculty at Bethany College. He also served as vice president for academic programs of the Appalachian College Association, a consortium of 35 private liberal arts colleges and universities.

At Friday’s meeting, the trustees also elected June B. Myles, presently board vice chairwoman, as chairwoman of the board. She will succeed Paul S. Stirrup, whose term on the board also concludes June 30 after five years in that lead role.

Stirrup will continue on the board as chair-emeritus, effective July 1.

“The college’s administrative and board leadership will essentially remain the same – we will all just wear different hats. It is a sign of the college’s strength that we have within the present leadership team seasoned persons who can lead us into the future,” Stirrup said in announcing the appointments.

Myles first was elected to the board in 2000 and has served in a variety of capacities. She also was awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters. A resident of Redding, Conn., and Elkins, she is president of Myles Lumber Co. She also serves on the boards of Davis Trust Co., Davis Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Randolph County Community Arts Center.

“By all accounts, the past five years have witnessed a remarkable turnaround in the direction, spirit, academic program, student life, enrollment, finances and facilities of Davis & Elkins. Though not without continuing challenges, it would seem we are in the strongest overall position since the college was founded 109 years ago,” Stirrup said, noting the future looks equally bright.