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UNC Board of Governors Features All-Female Leadership

Originally published by University of North Carolina News

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors is under new leadership, with an all-female slate of officers for the first time in UNC System history.

The board unanimously elected Wendy Murphy as the new board chair, Kellie Hunt Blue as the vice chair, and Pearl Burris-Floyd as the secretary. Their officer terms begin July 1, 2024.

This marks the first time that the board will be led entirely by women. Each brings a wealth of board experience and deep connection to the UNC System.

Murphy, a former teacher, earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She was appointed to the UNC Board of Governors in 2017 and has served as vice chair since 2019. Before joining the UNC System board, Murphy was a member of the UNC Wilmington Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2015, where she served two terms as board chair. Murphy resides in Wallace, NC, where she is involved in hospitality businesses as part of Murphy Family Ventures.

“I’m honored to be elected chair at a time when three women will assume leadership roles as Board officers for the first time in history,” Murphy said. “This is a critical moment for higher education, and I’m blessed to serve alongside Vice Chair Kellie Hunt Blue and Secretary Pearl Burris-Floyd. Together, we have meaningful experience on university boards in North Carolina, and I know we will always keep students at the forefront of our minds when making decisions about the university.”  

Blue earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and previously chaired the UNCP Board of Trustees. She still lives in Pembroke, where she now serves as the county manager for Robeson County. She also served as the county’s finance director and assistant finance director. She was appointed to the UNC Board of Governors in 2017.

Burris-Floyd was appointed to the Board of Governors in 2015 and has served as secretary since 2018. A resident of Dallas, NC, she was the first African American elected to the Gaston County Board of Commissioners and served as a state House of Representatives member in 2009-11. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Pfeiffer University and an honorary doctorate from Mt. Calvary University School of Divinity.

The UNC Board of Governors elected the new leaders in May. Murphy, Blue and Burris-Floyd will each serve two-year terms in their leadership positions.

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