Graduate School News

Distinguished alumna award to be presented to Dr. Debra Wehrle Stewart on University Day

September 25, 2008

Debra StewartDr. Debra Wehrle Stewart will receive a Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Award as part of the University Day Ceremony on October 12, 2008. Stewart received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1975. She has since become a national spokesperson for graduate education in America and was named president of the Council of Graduate Schools in July, 2000. Prior to her service at the Council of Graduate Schools, Stewart was Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Graduate School at North Carolina State University. She also served as Interim Chancellor at UNC-Greensboro (1994) and as graduate dean and then vice provost (1988-1998) at N.C. State. The Council of Graduate Schools is the leading U.S. organization dedicated to the improvement and advancement of graduate education. Its over 500 members award over 90% of all U.S. doctorates and approximately 75% of all U.S. master’s degrees.

Stewart's service to graduate education includes chair of the Graduate Record Examination Board, the Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education, the Board of Directors of Oak Ridge Associated Universities, and the Board of Directors of Council of Graduate Schools. She also served as vice chair of the ETS Board of Trustees, as Trustee of the Triangle Center for Advanced Studies, as a member the American Council on Education Board and several National Research Council Committees. She currently serves on the National Research Council Board on Higher Education and the Workforce, the National Research Council Committee on Educational Paradigms for Homeland Security, and advisory boards for the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate, the Responsive Ph.D. Project, and the Task Force on Immigration and America’s Future.

Stewart received her Ph.D. in Political Science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her master's degree in government from the University of Maryland, and her B.A. from Marquette University where she majored in philosophy. In November 2007, her leadership in graduate education was recognized by the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie with an honorary doctorate.

The Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Awards will be presented during the University Day celebration on October 12 following the installation of the new chancellor, Dr. Holden Thorp. The installation ceremony will include a performance by the UNC Ceremonial Band followed by the procession of hundreds of faculty, students, staff, alumni, visiting dignitaries and leaders.

More information on the University Day celebration