Western Carolina University Hosts Ceremony for Revamped President’s Residence

Credits: Biltmore Beacon

Following extensive renovations, the William Carey Wheeler House is set to once again serve as the residence of the University’s President.

Since his inauguration in 2022, President Dr. Ben Burnett has been committed to living on campus and enhancing his presence within the university community.

“Cultivating campus pride, fostering spirit, and recognizing the accomplishments of our students are priorities for me. I believe that one effective way to achieve this is by having the President’s family reside on campus, allowing us to be actively engaged with them,” remarked Burnett.

University of Western Carolina (Credits: Western Carolina University – Blog)

Constructed in 1962, the house has been home to several university presidents over the years, though it has remained unoccupied by a president for nearly three decades.

Throughout its history, the building has housed various university departments and offices. In 2006, it was dedicated to Donna Duck Wheeler, a revered alumni director, and her husband Milton Wheeler, both of whom were dedicated supporters of William Carey University.

“We have chosen to retain the name ‘Wheeler House’ as a tribute to the unwavering dedication of Milton and Donna Wheeler to William Carey and its students,” Burnett explained.

Burnett emphasized the importance of building relationships with students, expressing his belief that effective leadership entails being present and accessible.

“My leadership style is rooted in personal connection. I thrive on interactions with people, and I value the relationships I build with students.

Our campus layout facilitates interaction, allowing me to attend events, dine in the cafeteria, and engage with students during athletic events and on-campus activities,” he elaborated.

An open house was held following the dedication ceremony, providing an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to tour the newly renovated residence and witness the University’s commitment to enhancing campus life.

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