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Catawba College Announces Russell L. Smyre, Sr. as New Executive Director of Facilities

November 16, 2021

Category: Staff

russellsmyre2021.jpgCatawba College announced the appointment of Russell L. Smyre, Sr. as the new executive director of facilities after a national search. Smyre began with the College on November 1. 

“I am so pleased to have Russell join us at Catawba College,” Lauren Cox, Vice President for Finance and Administration said. “He is the right leader for our facilities department at a very exciting time. Russell brings a skillset and innovative approach committed to excellence. I know he will have as positive impact on the facilities teams and the College as a whole.” 

Smyre will oversee the management of the facilities teams and of capital projects. He brings with him over 30 years of leadership and management experience in building effective relationships across a diverse platform of industries. He has a wealth of knowledge in all phases of construction projects from planning, design, and closeout.    

“Every great organization consists of two defining qualities – great people and great culture,” stated Smyre. Catawba College has demonstrated these traits by fostering a culture of care for their community. I am fortunate to inherit a great team who has already achieved success. My goal is to build people and buildings of purpose, and add value to the Catawba family as we pursue excellence in the areas of facilities. Facilities management is a unique profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process, and technology.” 

Prior to his position with Catawba, Smyre most recently served as the Director of Facilities at Gaston College. He served in a similar role at Livingstone College. He also served as an Iredell County building inspector. 

Smyre is a NC licensed general contractor and has a wide variety of experience with capital projects. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Masters of Arts in Human Services, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Organizational Leadership. 

Smyre lives in Salisbury with his wife, Dr. Patricia Smyre. They are the proud parents of four adult children. He is a lifetime learner who enjoys being a husband, father, mentor, and vacationing with his family and three amazing grandchildren. 


About Catawba College
Founded in 1851, Catawba College is a four-year, private, liberal arts college conveniently located in Salisbury, N.C. Ranked as one of the best regional colleges in the South, Catawba is a learning community providing students unique opportunities to discover their vocation, calling, passions, and purpose as they prepare to reach their highest potential. The College offers more than 70 undergraduate and three graduate programs allowing students to explore diverse interests and create their own academic pathway. Additional information is available at

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