The Chancellor's List is an honor and designation that recognizes the exemplary accomplishment of Undergraduate students who have earned a 3.8 GPA during the previous semester at WCU. Students who have earned this prestigious award are role models as university citizens, having demonstrated their commitment to academic and personal excellence. These students understand that while it is important to excel in the classroom, it is equally important to engage with their community – on campus and in the region – and to make a difference in the lives of those around them. It is with great pride that we recognize Chancellor’s List recipients for their hard work and commitment to success!
Qualifications for Chancellor's List Award:
This celebration and reception is hosted each semester, in September and February. Each celebration features remarks from the Chancellor and Provost, in addition to an inspiring keynote address. Distinguished speakers and leaders, known for their accomplishments, grit, and dedication to success, share diverse perspectives and personal passions. A reception follows the remarks, during which students pick up their certificates and enjoy refreshments.
TJ Eaves earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and law at Western Carolina University in 2012 before obtaining his Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2015. As a student, Eaves was elected Student Government Association President at Western Carolina University for the 2011-12 academic year where he served on Western Carolina University’s Board of Trustees. Eaves has also served on the Alumni Board of Directors and the College of Business Advisory Board. He has been highlighted for his successes many times over as a notable alumnus of Western Carolina University.
After serving as an assistant district attorney with the Wake County District Attorney’s Office in Raleigh, NC. for nearly four years, Eaves bolstered his legacy at WCU further when he returned once more as one of three attorneys responsible for providing legal advice to university serving both students and employees. As part of the WCU legal team, Eaves specialized in policy development, crises management, Student Affairs and Athletics legal matters. His main practice areas included international affairs, contracts, emergency preparation, student affairs, litigation, policies and regulations, the Umstead Act, FERPA, threat assessment, athletics, media, property, law enforcement, and records retention.
Prior to joining The Forge Companies in 2023, Mr. Eaves served as General Counsel to Superior Cranes Inc., a large regional construction company. He also served on their Executive Leadership Team at Superior Cranes Inc. Eaves now serves as Associate General Counsel for Forge Consulting LLC and its affiliates. His various responsibilities include managing legal and regulatory matters impacting The Forge Companies, which consist of two insurance agencies, an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm, a Tennessee state-chartered Trust company, and a bookkeeping/payroll processing firm. With Forge Consulting, Eaves identifies and analyzes legal issues involving corporate governance, labor, and employment, responds to cybersecurity events and trademark and intellectual property disputes, and drafts key documents such as third-party contracts, corporate resolutions, and other corporate compliance documentation.
TJ Eaves has dedicated much to WCU over the years in leadership, service, and support “to give back to the university that gave [him] so much.” Western Carolina University is pleased to welcome him as the Fall 2023 Chancellor’s List event keynote speaker along with his wife, Natasha, and two children, Brayden, and Lyla.
Preston Blakely is an Asheville native, but has called Fletcher, NC home for over 20 years. Blakely received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from UNC Greensboro in Political Science adjoined with African American and African American Diaspora Studies. He then continued his academic pursuits at Western Carolina University, attaining his Master of Public Affairs in 2019.
Blakely is presently the youngest mayor of Fletcher, N.C. and one of the youngest ever to be elected as mayor in North Carolina.