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Dr. Charles Lea has been appointed as Special Assistant to the President for Adult Education and Professor of Educational Leadership, according to Welch College president Matt Pinson. Lea will assume his responsibilities on a part-time basis.

Lea recently stepped down from a position as executive director of the Hendersonville, Tennessee, campus of Union University. As founding director, he launched nine campus-based degree programs on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Before his work with Union, Lea served 16 years as Academic Vice President at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee.

“Dr. Lea was one of the first Sumner County leaders I met when we started looking at our new campus site in Gallatin a decade ago,” said Pinson. “Since then he has become a dear friend who really believes in the mission and vision of Welch College. He’s a stellar example of Christian leadership in higher education. We’re so happy to have him help us launch a whole new adult studies program, through which adult learners in Sumner County can finish their degree in a Christian community of faith and learning. Dr. Lea loves Sumner County, and he loves Welch. What a great combination for us going forward!”

Lea, who received his Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Vanderbilt University, has spent more than forty years in higher education and community leadership, most of that in Sumner County.

“I am honored to begin a new work in Sumner County with Welch College. It has been my legacy to work with the Sumner County community to expand higher educational opportunities,” Lea said. “The work at Welch will be a culminating event as I am blessed to introduce a residential graduate and undergraduate college with a strong Christian heritage to Sumner County.”

“I look forward to working with the highly successful administration, faculty, and staff at Welch to fill unique educational gaps and strengthen existing offerings for adults,” Lea continued. “I am especially fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with one of the region’s most respected Christian leaders, Dr. Matt Pinson. I look forward to joining the Welch team and offering my best insight to advance the mission of Welch and meet the needs of the greater Sumner County community. Welch students will impact our community in many positive ways, and the presence of a residential college with a vision to grow will be an exciting new addition to the existing higher education landscape.”

Lea will begin his work with Welch starting this month. The college, which is completing construction of its new campus on its 66-acre site in the Station Camp area, is slated to start classes there in February of next year.

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