Presidents Forum

Since 2011 NC Campus Compact has convened presidents and chancellors to discuss the role college and university leaders play in developing and institutionalizing higher education community engagement. The Forum is typically held on the same day as the PACE Conference.

12th Annual Presidents Forum – February 9, 2022
[Now virtual!]

Due to the current surge in COVID cases, and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to move the Presidents Forum online. All registrants will receive the links to access the sessions the week of January 24.  We remain grateful to President Nido Qubein, and his team, for all their efforts to host the event. We look forward to gathering at High Point University for the 2023 Forum.

We will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of NCCC. To register contact nccc {at} elon(.)edu.

Special thank you to Elon University for sponsoring the keynote speaker.

Keynote speaker: Eric Liu, CEO, Citizen University and Civic Evangelist

Eric Liu Oct 2016.

“Democracy works only when enough of us believe democracy works”

Liu is one of the country’s most sought-after speakers on citizen power, civic health, the future of democracy, and American identity. His inspirational 2019 main stage TED Talk, based on his work at Citizen University, received a standing ovation and more than topped one million views in less than a month. His two previous TED Talks, on power and on voting, have been viewed three million times. Recently, Liu has been elected to membership in the American Academy of the Arts and selected to be a 2020 Ashoka Fellow.

Liu, son of Chinese immigrants and former White House speechwriter, is the CEO of Citizen University, a nonprofit working to foster a culture of powerful, responsible citizenship. He also directs the Aspen Institute’s Citizenship & American Identity Program and is a correspondent at His eight books include You’re More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen, and the national best-sellers The Gardens of Democracy and True Patriot. His first book, The Accidental Asian, Notes of a Native Speaker was a New York Times Notable Book featured in the PBS documentary, “Matters of Race.” Liu’s latest book is Become America: Civic Sermons on Love, Responsibility and Democracy, which grows out of the Civic Saturday phenomenon that Liu and his team pioneered and has now spread nationwide.

Liu served as a White House speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and later as the President’s deputy domestic policy adviser. He has also served as a board member of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Washington State Board of Education and the Seattle Public Library and is co-founder of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. He is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.

Keynote Speaker: Demetri Morgan, Ph.D., Chair of the Higher Education Program and Assistant Professor at Loyola University Chicago

Photographed by Thomas | © 2020 TK Photography |

Dr. Morgan’s research explores the relationship between postsecondary education, shifting socio-political realities, and outcomes for minoritized groups. Accordingly, Dr. Morgan centers the anti-deficit pursuit of educational equity in all his projects, ranging from student political engagement and activism to governance and boards of trustees to STEM education. As a critical structuralist, Dr. Morgan leverages organizational and management theories along with qualitative or multiple-method research designs to produce research that illuminates how people experience and navigate through macro-systems, policies, and organizational cultures. This approach manifests as a commitment to research and practice that promotes realizing enhanced democratic engagement and political learning opportunities that support a dynamic and inclusive society.


2021 Presidents Forum [Virtual]
Host: NC Campus Compact Executive Board 


Thomas A. Stith III, President, North Carolina Community College System

“Promoting Democracy and Civic  Engagement During Turbulent Times”

William V. Flores, former president of the University of Houston–Downtown, current manager of the UHD Masters of Nonprofit Management Program
Katrina S. Rogers, President of Fielding Graduate University
Editors of Democracy, Civic Engagement, and Citizenship in Higher Education: Reclaiming Our Civic Purpose

The Role of Higher Education in Addressing Racial Equity
Paul Pribbenow, President, Augsburg University

A Culture of Caring: Intentionally Love Students to Success
Russell Lowery-Hart, President, Amarillo College

2020 Forum (10th Anniversary)
Host: President Connie Book, Elon University


Dr. Domagal-Goldman, Executive Director, The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge
Higher Education’s Role in Cultivating Democratic Engagement
Dr. Jenna Robinson, President, The Martin Center for Academic Renewal
Policy Solutions to the Critical Issues in Higher Education (pictured)

Presidential Panel: Reflections and Recommendations from Former Campus Leaders
Moderator: Carol Quillen, President, Davidson College
Leo M. Lambert, President Emeritus, Elon University
Kenneth Peacock, former Chancellor, Appalachian State University

2019 Forum
Host: Chancellor Frank Gilliam, Jr., UNC Greensboro


Dr. John B. King, Jr., president and CEO of The Education Trust
Toward Educational Justice: Student Success and Civic Engagement
Dr. Mildred García, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
Jeremy Anderson, president of the Education Commission of the States
Key Ed Policy Trends in 2019 and the Impact of the 2018 Midterms

2018 Forum
Host: President Jo Allen, Meredith College
Location: Raleigh


Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities
Presidential Leadership in a Post-Truth Era
Dr. Matthew Hartley, Professor of Education, Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education and founding Executive Director of the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy (AHEAD) at the University of Pennsylvania
Knowledge for Social Change: Creating Democratic, Civic and Community-Engaged Institutions.

Panel discussants: Justice Bob Orr, lawyer and former Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and Dr. David McLennan, Professor of Political Science, Meredith College
Can they say that? The role of higher education in promoting free speech and civility

Sponsors: The Piedmont Service Group (Awards Sponsor) and Aramark (Resource Sponsor).

2017 Forum
Host: Chancellor Harold Martin Sr., North Carolina A & T State University
Location: Greensboro


Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO of the Lumina Foundation
What Now”: North Carolina’s Opportunity to Reimagine Postsecondary Education
Dr. Alicia Dowd, professor of education at Penn State University’s Center for the Study of Higher Education
From Diversity to Equity: Engaging the ‘Race Question’ in Higher Education
Dr. Andrew Seligsohn, President of Campus Compact
Why Our Students, Our Communities, and Our Democracy Need Us to Change Our Institutions

Panel discussants: President Bill Ingram, Durham Technical Community College;
President Carol Quillen, Davidson College; Chancellor Elwood Robinson, Winston-Salem State University; Chancellor Jose Sartarelli, UNC Wilmington; and
Chancellor Harold Martin, Sr. (moderator)

Topic: Examples of promoting equity and inclusion

Sponsors: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Aramark Facility Services

2016 Presidents Forum
“Partners in Progress: Presidents, Institutions, and Communities”
Host: President Nido Qubein, High Point University
Location: High Point


Pat McCrory, Governor of North Carolina
Gene Chasin, chief operating officer of the national non-profit Say Yes to Education
Dr. Steve Dubb, director of special projects at the Democracy Collaborative

Panel discussants:  Chancellor Steve Ballard, East Carolina University; President Stephen Scott, Wake Technical Community College; President Steven Solnick, Warren Wilson College

Topic: Institutionalizing and expanding civic and community engagement

2015 Forum
“Creating a Culture for #ServiceYear in North Carolina”
Host: President Leo Lambert, Elon University
Location: Elon

Retired General Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan and the former commander of the nation’s premier military counter-terrorism task force, Joint Special Operations Command and Chair of the Board of Service Year Alliance
Making a year of full-time service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for young Americans of all backgrounds

Presidential Panel discussants:

Richard Brodhead, Duke University; Carol Quillen, Davidson College; Taylor Reveley, College of William & Mary; Randy Woodson, North Carolina State University; Leo Lambert, Elon University (moderator)

(pictured l to r: Brodhead and Quillen)

Philanthropy/Business panel participants: Dave King, CEO, LabCorp; Kristy Teskey, Executive Director, John M. Belk Endowment; Nancy Cable, President, Arthur Vining Davis Foundation; Tom Brinkley, Executive Director, Student Professional Development Center, Elon University; Harold Martin, Chancellor, NC A & T State University (moderator)

Service Year alumni panel participants: Tabitha Blackwell, Campbell University alum (AmeriCorps); Patti Baynes, NC State alum (College Advising Corps); Jarrod Lowery, UNC Pembroke alum (U.S. Marine Corps and AmeriCorps); Sara Pasquinelli, Elon University alum (Teach for America); Drew Stelljes, Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and Leadership, College of William & Mary (moderator)

See complete highlights here. 

2014 Forum
February 5, 2014
Host: Chancellor Gary Miller, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Location: Wilmington, NC


Chancellor Linda Brady, UNC Greensboro
Chancellor Harold Martin, NC A&T State University
Topic: Building a Sustained Higher Education and Business Collaboration: Opportunity Greensboro 

President Richard Guarasci, Wagner College
Topics: Maximizing Economic Development and Community Engagement Impact on Staten Island & Leading an Anchor Institution deeply committed to Community Engagement

Maureen Curley, President, Campus Compact
President Richard Guarasci, member, Campus Compact Executive Board
Topic: Campus Compact Moving Strategically Forward: North Carolina and National

Jason Mangone, Director, The Franklin Project
MacKenzie Moritz, Associate Director for Strategic Partnerships, The Franklin Project
Topic: The Franklin Project: Making Possible a Year of Service 

Dr. Jody Kretzmann, co-founder and co-director of the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute, Northwestern University
Topic: Higher Education Linkages that Build Vital Communities

Andy Chan, Vice President, Office of Personal and Career Development, Wake Forest University
Topic: How to get a job with a philosophy degree: Transforming higher education to prepare students for life

Dr. Barbara Holland, Researcher and Consultant
Topic: The Strategic Value of Engagement: Creating a Culture of Engagement

President Leo M. Lambert, Elon University and member of the North Carolina Campus Compact Executive Board
Topic: Setting our Course for the Future

Photo:  Members of the NC Campus Compact Executive Board (Leo Lambert, Elon; Jo Allen, Meredith; Ken Peacock, Appalachian State University; Nido Qubein, High Point University; Kyle Carter, UNC Pembroke; James Anderson, Fayetteville State University; Gary Miller, UNC Wilmington; Lisa Keyne, NC Campus Compact) Photos by: Jeff Janowski/UNCW.

2013 Forum
Host: President Leo Lambert, Elon University
Location: Elon, NC


Dr. Peter L. Levine, Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Director of The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE), Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Tufts University

Roundtable discussions:

President Jo Allen, Meredith College, moderator

American Public Higher Education and the Value of Place:  New Frontier
Chancellor Gary L. Miller, University of North Carolina Wilmington & NC Campus Compact Board member

The Strategic Value of Engagement: Creating a Culture of Engagement

Judith A. Ramaley, President Emerita and Distinguished Professor of Public Service at Portland State University in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government and President Emerita of Winona State University

Creating a Culture of Engagement in North Carolina: The Strategic Value of our Compact
Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock, Appalachian State University, NC Campus Compact Executive Board Chair (pictured in top photo to the left)
President Garrett D. Hinshaw, Catawba Valley Community College & NC Campus Compact Executive Board Member

Setting our Course for the Future
Chancellor Kyle Carter, University of North Carolina Pembroke (pictured in bottom photo to the left)

2012 Forum
“Intensifying Engagement: Presidents talking to Presidents”
February 15, 2012 (held in conjunction with NC Campus Compact’s 10th Anniversary Celebration)
Location: The Friday Center, Chapel Hill, NCHosts: NC Campus Compact Executive Board


Dr. Caryn McTighe Musil, Senior Vice President, Association of American Colleges and Universities
Dr. Mark Gearan, President, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Chancellor Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University

Panel discussants: Chancellor Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University; President Mark Gearan, Hobart and William Smith Colleges; President Brian Murphy, De Anza College

Moderator: Dr. Leo M. Lambert, President, Elon University & NC Campus Compact Executive Board member

Panel discussants: President Scott Ralls, NC Community Colleges (pictured); 
President Carol Quillen, Davidson College (pictured);  
Chancellor Phil Dubois, UNC Charlotte

Introductions: President Julianne Malveaux, Bennett College
Moderator: President Mark Gearan, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

2011 Forum
“Service as a Solution”
February 9, 2011
Host: President Leo Lambert, Elon University
Location: Elon, NC


Nicole Gallant, Director, Learn & Serve America, Corporation for National & Community Service

Panel Discussants: President Scott Ralls, NC Community College System; President Tom Ross, University of North Carolina; President Hope Williams, NC Independent Colleges & Universities

Moderator: President Garrett Hinshaw, Catawba Valley Community College & NC Campus Compact Executive Board member