President Chris Wood
The Davis & Elkins College Board of Trustees has named Chris A. Wood, 51, as the College’s 15th President, effective Aug. 1, 2016. He succeeds G. T. ‘Buck’ Smith, who will again retire as President-Emeritus after serving six of the past eight years as President.
A native of Huntington, West Virginia, President Wood graduated magna cum laude from West Virginia Wesleyan College where he was named Outstanding Senior. His graduate degree is from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University, with further graduate study at the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy.
He served as vice president for advancement at Wesley College in Dover, Del., from 2009 until his appointment as president at D&E. During his time there, total giving increased more than 400 percent. Having designed and implemented Wesley’s first major comprehensive capital campaign, as President of D&E he now oversees not only the entire college enterprise, but also successful completion of the $25 million McDonnell Challenge and the College’s $100 million Secure the Future Campaign.
After serving several United Methodist pastorates in Illinois and Maryland during a 13-year period, Wood returned in 2000 to West Virginia, where he served six years as executive and program director of Mission West Virginia, Inc., a nationally recognized organization that initiates and oversees collaborative work across the Mountain State between governmental agencies, community organizations, the private sector, and faith-based organizations. Before going to Wesley, he served three years as vice president of advancement at the University of Mount Olive in North Carolina.
The President and his wife, Lisa (Messinger) Wood, also a Huntington native, have been married 29 years and have two daughters, Lacey, 22, and Lexi 18. They reside in the D&E president’s home, Hearthstone.