The N.C. General Assembly has reappointed the first woman elected principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and a Highlands homebuilder to the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees.
Joyce Conseen Dugan and John R. Lupoli will serve their second consecutive four-year terms on the WCU board, effective July 1.
Dugan retired from the Cherokee Central School System in 2011 after a lengthy career that included stints as a teacher’s assistant, teacher, director of federal programs and superintendent. In 1995, she became the first woman elected principal chief, an office she held for four years. After leaving public office, Dugan began working at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, becoming the casino’s director of public, government and community relations.
Dugan earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from WCU. She received the university Alumni Association’s Professional Achievement Award in 1996 and was placed on the Honor Roll of Peak Performers in the WCU College of Education and Allied Professions.
Lupoli is owner and president of Lupoli Construction. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the N.C. Small Town Main Street design committee, and former chair of the N.C. Small Town Main Street economic restructuring committee.
Lupoli is an active supporter of Highlands Playhouse and The Bascom, a nonprofit center for the visual arts. He was the 2012 recipient of the N.C. Small Town Main Street Award for Design for Highlands’ town square renovation project and a 2011 recipient of a grant from the N.C. Main Street Solutions Fund awarded by the N.C. Department of Commerce.
The reappointed trustees and four newly selected board members will be sworn in at the board’s quarterly meeting Friday, Sept. 15. The WCU Board of Trustees is composed of 13 members, including eight elected by the UNC Board of Governors, four appointed by the General Assembly, and the university’s Student Government Association president, who serves in an ex-officio capacity.