Wingate University announced Wednesday that Rhett Brown will be its new president.
Brown is the school’s vice president for student life and enrollment services and a Wingate alumnus from the mid-1980s.
“I am deeply humbled, tremendously excited,” Brown told a gathering at the university where he was named to the post. “I am honored to have your confidence.”
This is the first time in 23 years the Union County university will have a new leader. Last spring, President Jerry McGee announced he would retire at the end of the school year this May.
Brown was among four finalists in early March. The university didn’t identify the finalists, but said all were from higher education institutions in the Southeast.
About 200 people had applied for the job to be Wingate’s 10th president, according to the university.
Wingate is a private university that was founded in 1896. It has about 3,000 students split between its 400-acre main campus in Wingate, and campuses in Charlotte and Hendersonville.
McGee is the longest-tenured university president in North Carolina now, Wingate said. He has said the time felt right for him to step down. He wanted to spend more time with his family, and said he was leaving the university in good shape.
McGee served as president longer than anyone else at Wingate.