Catawba College Welcomes Dr. Lee F. Ball, Jr. as Executive Director of the Center for the Environment

Catawba College is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Lee F. Ball, Jr. as the new Executive Director for their Center for the Environment. Ball brings a wealth of experience, expertise, and a strong commitment to sustainability education to his new role. He will begin his tenure at Catawba in early January 2024.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Ball to Catawba College as the Executive Director of the Center for the Environment,” said David P. Nelson, Catawba College President. “His extensive background and dedication to fostering a culture of environmental stewardship make him the perfect fit to guide us into a new era of sustainable growth and impact. With Dr. Ball’s leadership, we are confident we will continue our momentum in growing a sustainable campus and establishing our campus as the leading small environmental college in the southeast.”

As the Executive Director, Ball will play a key role in advancing Catawba’s commitment to environmental sustainability, fostering research, and promoting community engagement. In 2023, Catawba College became the 13th college in the nation and the first in the southeast to meet carbon neutrality goals as certified by Second Nature and seven years ahead of the College’s 2030 Carbon Pledge.

“I am incredibly excited to join the Catawba College community at this junction in the school’s history,” said Ball. “I am really looking forward to meeting the faculty and staff and can’t wait to work with Catawba’s amazing students. I am also eager to strengthen Catawba’s position as one of the most sustainable colleges in the country.”

Ball has an impressive background of achievement in higher education operational sustainability. Most recently, Ball has served as the Chief Sustainability Officer at Appalachian State University (ASU) since 2015. There, he played a pivotal role in advancing sustainability initiatives. He is an effective facilitator, collaborator, systems thinker, and environmental problem solver. He has held numerous leadership roles at ASU, including sitting on the ASU Chancellor’s Cabinet, serving as the lead team administrator of ASU’s Solar Vehicle Team, and Chairing AUS’s Climate Action Planning Committee.

Throughout his career, Ball has demonstrated a passion for environmental education, sustainability, and community engagement. His diverse professional experiences include roles as a Senior Lecturer and Research Analyst in addition to his current role. Ball has also contributed significantly to environmental education through his work as a Naturalist and Instructor at Appalachian State Camp Broadstone and as Education Director/VP of the American Bear Association.

In addition to his academic and professional achievements, Ball has a proven track record of making a positive impact on the organizations he has been a part of. His expertise in sustainability, combined with his hands-on experience in various educational and leadership roles, positions him as an ideal leader for Catawba’s Center for the Environment.

Ball holds a PhD in Sustainability Education from Prescott College, an MA in Environmental Education from the University of New Mexico, and a BS in Natural Science from Less-McRae College.

Ball will be moving to Salisbury with his wife and five furry friends.

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