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Changes on the DavidsonLearns Board of Directors

by | Jun 20, 2023

DavidsonLearns, the center of lifelong learning the Davidson and North Mecklenburg areas, welcomes students from all surrounding cities and towns. Open to adults, DavidsonLearns provides intellectually challenging courses and relevant cultural events to a vibrant community of learners.

As the 2022–2023 academic year concluded in May, DavidsonLearns bid best wishes with sincere appreciation to three departing members of its Board of Directors, while welcoming four new directors to the leadership.

New members of the DavidsonLearns Board (l to r): Polly Kimmel, Ben Klein, and Pamela Harris-Young. (Monica Galloway photo)

Wynn Mabry, Kathy Pearce, and Allyson Ray joined the Board in 2017 and have served continuously since. New directors are Ben Klein, Pamela Harris-Young, Polly Kimmel, and Bob Cameron.

The three retiring directors led DavidsonLearns to meet major challenges, growing the curriculum from 19 to 42 annual course offerings, tripling annual enrollment from 260 to 776, and increasing membership from 165 to 400, all despite the disruption of the Covid global pandemic.

Allyson Ray served as treasurer for four years and chaired the Spotlight Events committee for three years.

DavidsonLearns Executive Director Jake Jacobs said, “Allyson not only kept the finances sound but made sure the details were well understood by the board. She took our Spotlight Events to the next level, combining innovation and collaborative, coordinating successfully with the town, Davidson College, the Davidson Scholars program, and the Music at St. Alban’s concert series. Our events were both online and in person and covered a wide variety of topics.”

Kathy Pearce served as president of DavidsonLearns for the past two years, and as secretary then secretary/treasurer for three years prior to her presidency. Mike Booe, taking the gavel from Kathy as of June 1, said that her extensive background in business and nonprofits made her exceptionally qualified to lead DavidsonLearns.

“She guided the revision of bylaws, led the transition to a new website and registration system, and championed numerous other initiatives during her tenure,” Booe said.

Wynn Mabry, M.D., served as president of DavidsonLearns from 2018 to 2021. Following his retirement from the Air Force as Major General and subsequent service as the Mecklenburg County Homeland Security Director and Public Health Director, Mabry was uniquely qualified to lead DavidsonLearns through the Covid crisis.

“We all remember the sudden pandemic lockdown and how community needs for adult education radically changed,” said Jacobs. “With his deep medical and public health expertise, Wynn was able to collaborate with fellow board members to safely implement online and hybrid courses and events.

“The board will miss each of these capable and hardworking volunteers and owes them a considerable debt of gratitude. Fortunately, they all plan to continue taking DavidsonLearns courses and to support the organization in other opportunities.”

With its four new members, the DavidsonLearns Board of Directors is now preparing for the 2023–2024 academic year. Watch for course information in mid-July, followed by online registration beginning at 10 a.m., Monday, August 7.

For more information, visit the website or email.


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