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Dr. Douglas M. Orr, Jr.

Dr. Douglas M. Orr, Jr., is the fifth President of Warren Wilson College. Appointed in July 1991, the Greensboro, NC, native holds a BA degree from Davidson College and an MBA and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Warren Wilson College is a unique liberal arts college near Asheville, NC, characterized by its triad program of an interdisciplinary curriculum, a 15-hour per week work program required of all students, and a 100-hour community service requirement for graduation. Also, the College has just launched Warren Wilson WorldWide, a cross-cultural international experience provided for every student. The College has received national recognition for its distinctive educational approach as a values-centered college, founded 100 years ago by the Presbyterian Church. Many of the students also carry out public service commitments in third-world countries. The 1100-acre mountain campus has a diversity of students from 25 countries and 40 states, with the international student population comprising 7% of the student body. Special programs of the College include Appalachian Studies, Pre-veterinary Medicine, Forestry, Environmental Studies, Intercultural Studies, Social Work and Outdoor Leadership in partnership wit h NC Outward Bound School. It has received a number of national recognitions, including the Princeton Review's "Best 300 Colleges" listing. A large percentage of Warren Wilson graduates go on to graduate school or enter service professions such as teaching, Peace Corps, ministry, and other non-profit organizations.

Before coming to Warren Wilson College, Dr. Orr served as Vice Chancellor for Development and Public Service and Professor of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In that position, he developed award-winning fundraising programs; was a principal planner for University City, the mixed use planned community adjacent to the campus that received the annual award for innovation from the Association of American State Colleges and Univerities; launched WFAE-FM, the University's award-winning NPR affiliate, and the nationally syndicated "Thistle & Shamrock" Celtic music program now carried in 300 cities. He helped initiate the Urban Institute that includes such service programs as a small business incubator center, staff support for community citizen's community and various multi-county regional projects. Additionally, he expanded athletic opportunities for men and women students, initiated an Outward Bound-type wilderness program and the university's international travel seminar program

In Dr. Orr's professional role, he has been a recipient of UNC Charlotte's Teaching Excellence Award, and his professional publications have focused on cultural and urban geography, including Land of the South and the just published North Carolina Atlas: Portrait for a New Century, by the UNC Press.

His present and previous board involvements include the Appalachian College Association, Association of Presbyterian Colleges & Universities (past chair), North Carolina Association of Colleges and Universities (past president), North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (Secretary), Council of Independent Colleges, North Carolina Progress Board, the National Commission on the Status of Women in Higher Education, Board of Trustees of Johnson C. Smith University, the Asheville and Charlotte Chambers of Commerce, Western North Carolina Development Association, the Urban League, the University Research Park, North Carolina Outward Bound School.

Photo by Karen Tam