Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management to Retire
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.— After nearly four decades of serving students as an administrator at several colleges and universities throughout the country, Dr. James B. Ewers, Jr., vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, will retire at the end of the year.
Ewers, who arrived at EWC in 2009, swiftly began to change the landscape of the College’s student affairs division through signature programs and cultivating an environment of trust and service among the student body. His philosophy was based on the notion that “students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
This approach led to the implementation of programs such as Student of the Month, Student Organization of the Month, peer-to-peer counseling initiatives and an increase in student activities, advocates and ambassadors throughout the campus.
However, Ewers believes his highest accomplishment over his three-year tenure is that he played a role in inspiring the faculty and staff—as a leader in the administration—to strengthen their commitment to caring for the social, emotional and spiritual needs of the students.
“I have been blessed to have worked with people who share the same student-centered values as I do,” Ewers stated.
He also brought a style of leadership known as “Management by Walking Around.” On any given day, Dr. Ewers could be seen at various sectors of the campus helping and guiding students, whether it be the residence halls, the cafeteria, the library, the gym or essentially anywhere in between. This was simply one of his approaches to making himself available and relatable to students on a daily basis.
“When students routinely see you, they begin to build trust and comfort with you,” Ewers said. “My DNA is programmed for student engagement. I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, feel like I was doing my job if I was confined to my desk all day.”
Dr. Ewers has received many distinguished honors and awards throughout his career. He was selected as a Kellogg Fellow in 1998 and is a recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Peace, Justice, and Equality Award. Other awards include being inducted into the Atkins High School (Winston-Salem, NC) Athletic Hall of Fame and recognition from the Ohio House of Representatives for his commitment to community service and diversity. Most recently, the Winston-Salem Board of Education voted unanimously to name the Atkins High School tennis courts in his honor.
He also has been, and will continue to be, a featured writer for several publications such as Diverse Issues in Higher Education and Black College Today.
Even in retirement, Dr. Ewers plans to stay close to Edward Waters College and be a champion of its mission for the next several years. “I believe in EWC’s mission and purpose; and I believe EWC is poised for greatness,” Ewers stated. “I’ll still be around and spreading the good news about Edward Waters College.”
He also plans to continue a life of faith and service by getting involved with programs that support families.
“In this next chapter of my life, I plan to continue to be an advocate for strong families and children by supporting their road to success,” Ewers said. “You can’t have an enriched life without giving back.”
Published December 13, 2012