Thought Leaders

Great minds converge on campus

Photos by Emmanuel Figaro '18, Peter Lorenz, and Adam Taylor

In fall 2018, UNC Asheville welcomed authors and artists, historians well-versed in the past and creative makers of the future, as well as higher education experts, including our eighth Chancellor Nancy J. Cable. In welcoming everyone to campus, we gleaned knowledge and shared wisdom, further defining UNC Asheville’s role as a leader in the liberal arts and sciences. Here, we share a few of their words. Read more about events on campus and in the community at

"Here you had the chance to learn the basic marks of a truly well-educated person and professional: critical thinking; a knowledge that a better set of questions is more useful and more worthy than to have all the ‘right’ answers; that writing and speaking clearly have value for your life as well as for your job prospects; and that having curiosity about how and why things work is many more times valuable than to learn workplace skills alone that may be extinct in but a few years.” -Nancy J. Cable, UNC Asheville’s Eighth Chancellor at the December 2018 Commencement 

The monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery returned to campus Oct. 22-26 as part of their "The Mystical Arts of Tibet" world tour.


Chancellor Cable meets with our neighbors from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, including alumna Lynne Harlan ’88.


UNC Asheville Interim Provost Karin Peterson, Interdisciplinary Research Leaders and community collaborators Je’Wana Grier-McEachin, executive director of the Asheville Buncombe Institute of Parity Achievement (ABIPA), Ameena Batada, associate professor of health and wellness at UNC Asheville, UNC Asheville Chancellor Nancy J. Cable, student researcher Dasia Jefferson ’20, a UNC Asheville health and wellness major from Charlotte, and Jill Fromewick, research scientist at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) announce a $350,000 Interdisciplinary Research Leaders (IRL) grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


 Appalachian studies scholar William H. Turner gives the Jesse and Julia Ray Lecture at the fifth annual African Americans in WNC and Southern Appalachia Conference.


Culinary historian Michael Twitty in conversation with Professor of English Erica Abrams Locklear at the annual Farm-to-Table Dinner on the Quad.


Visiting writer and founding member of the Affrilachian Poets Frank X Walker speaks at the Reuter Center on Sept. 25.


"The definition of higher education is going to be your ability to understand what is your role in changing our world or what is your role in leading…. That is why you are all here. When you put together your applications, you got accepted to one of the premier institutions in the country. They expect you to lead. They expect you to walk out of this place not just with a GPA but with a GPS and an idea about how you plan on leading.” -Wes Moore, author of "The Other Wes Moore," UNC Asheville’s 2018 summer reading selection, speaking in Lipinsky Auditorium