Jackson State’s Seymour Chosen for WestStar

Jackson States Dr. William (Bill) Seymour has been selected as one of WestStars incoming 34 new inductees.

Seymour services as interim vice president for Student Services at Jackson State.

Per their website, WestStars mission is to identify, encourage and equip community-minded people who want to become more involved, want to help West Tennessee become a better place, and are willing to accept assertive and dynamic leadership roles.

Participants learn new leadership skills and develop strategies for assisting communities in solving problems and maximizing potential. Participants also become part of a growing network of other leaders who, through mutual support and assistance, shape the future of West Tennessee, it explains.

The introductory session was held Thursday, December 13. One tow-day session will follow for each month from now until June.

When asked what he hoped to gain from this experience, Seymour responded, To learn about ways to advance the mission of Jackson State in our service area. Jackson State serves 14 counties in West Tennessee, so I am looking forward to making many meaningful contacts throughout the region that will help us serve our students better.

The issue that concerns him most in West Tennessee is educating citizens to obtain the skills necessary to fulfill the job opportunities in a rapidly changing workforce. Through WestStar, he hopes to develop strategies with key partners to increase educational completion and close existing employment gaps.

Seymour was likely selected because of his past leadership record plus his potential to contribute the to advancement of West Tennessee. He previously attended Leadership Blount when he lived in East Tennessee and the Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

He first came to Jackson in 2009 as President of Lambuth University and served in that capacity until their closing in 2011. He successfully worked with community leaders to transition the campus to the University of Memphis. Seymour first moved to Tennessee in 1995 to serve as an executive at Maryville College. At Maryville College, he first served as Vice President & Dean of Students for nine years. He later served five years, as Vice President for Administrative Services.

Seymour is originally from Dansville, New York and attended SUNY at Oswego receiving a B.S. in Psychology in 1979. He received his Masters in Education at the University of Missouri specializing in Counseling & Personnel Services in 1981. Bill received his doctorate in 1989 also from the University of Missouri in Higher & Adult Education. Bill is also a graduate of the 2003 Institute for Educational Management at the Harvard University, Graduate School of Education.

He has been very active in national and regional professional organizations. Twice he was recognized by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) for outstanding performance as a Senior Student Affairs Officer. He has authored and presented over 30 papers on higher education topics and written numerous columns on college life for local newspapers.

He has had a strong history of community service and involvement. Here in Jackson, he is a member of Jackson 1st United Methodist Church and sings in the Chancel Choir. He is also a member of the Jackson Rotary Club and the Jackson Choral Society where he serves on their Board of Directors. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club of Jackson as well as the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce. He has also served on the Jefferson Award Selection Committee. In Blount County Seymour is a 1999 graduate of Leadership Blount and served as Board Chairman for Habitat for Humanity as well as the United Way. He was also a member of community concert bands and choirs.

Bill and Catherine Seymour have been married for 30 years. Catherine is a teacher with the Jackson-Madison County Schools. They have twin daughters who are 28 years old. Jessica and Dan Strunk live in Knoxville, TN. Blair and David McLeod live in Nashville, TN and have one daughter, Magnolia.