Mark Land is first alumnus elected chair of UNCSA Board of Trustees

The UNCSA Board of Trustees has elected a new slate of officers for 2022-23, including the first alumnus to chair the board in the school’s history.

Dance alumnus Mark Land, of Winston-Salem, who served as vice chair last year, was elected chair. Peter Juran, also of Winston-Salem, was elected vice chair. And Drama alumna Rhoda Griffis, of Atlanta, Georgia, was elected secretary. The officers were elected unanimously in a regular meeting held virtually earlier today.

Land succeeds Ralph Hanes Womble, who had served as chair since 2018.

The election of Land marks a milestone for the UNCSA Board of Trustees, which now counts four alumni as voting members and one, ex officio. In addition to Land and Griffis, voting members include alumni Jeffery Bullock (Dance), head of the Hollins University M.F.A. in Dance Program, and Paul Tazewell (Design and Production), Tony and Emmy award-winning costume designer. Alumna Beth Petty (Dance and Filmmaking), head of the Charlotte Regional Film Commission, is an ex officio member.

Joining the board of trustees this fall as a voting, ex officio member is rising fourth-year student Kayli Kimerer, who was elected student body president in March. From Kansas, she is studying stage management in the School of Design and Production. She also is involved in the UNCSA Student Ambassador Program, is a Student Cohort Leader, and serves on the College Advisory Board of Winston-Salem. Kimerer succeeds Jenna Cusack, who graduated in May.

More about the officers

Mark Land

Mark Land headshot

Mark Land

Mark Land was a student in the School of Dance from 1976-78. He danced professionally with the North Carolina Dance Theatre for two seasons before joining UNCSA as manager of the school’s student employment office, “Applause,” in addition to working on the school’s annual fund.

For nearly a decade in the 1990s, Land served as alumni relations director at UNCSA before beginning a career in Wachovia Bank’s Charitable Services division and, later, serving as managing director for Wells Fargo Bank’s Center for Planned Giving.

He was the senior managing director at Foundation Source, the nation’s largest provider of advisory services for private foundations, until his retirement in 2016.

He also served on the boards of YMCA of Northwest North Carolina, Samaritan Ministries and the RiverRun International Film Festival.

Land recently received the 2022 UNCSA Giannini Society Award, one of the highest honors the school bestows, which is given annually to members of the society in recognition of their service and support. It is named in honor of the school’s first president. A longtime volunteer and supporter, Land served on the search committee to select UNCSA’s new chancellor in 2014. Land also established a scholarship in the UNCSA School of Dance in memory of his late wife, UNCSA Dance alumna Pat Land, which has provided vital support for emerging artists.

Peter Juran

Peter Juran headshot

Peter Juran

Peter Juran is a legal counselor and litigator in Winston-Salem, advising business clients in all manner of legal issues, including commercial, contractual, employment, real property and construction disputes. He earned a B.A. in philosophy and religion from Colgate College before studying at Duke University, where he earned an M.A. in philosophy, as well as his Juris Doctor (J.D.). 

Juran formerly served on the UNCSA Foundation Board of Directors for six years before joining the board of trustees in 2021. He has also served on the boards of directors of Leadership Winston-Salem, Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County, Hospice and Palliative Care Center, and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art.

Rhoda Griffis

Rhoda Griffis headshot

Rhoda Griffis

A native of North Carolina, Rhoda Griffis has made her home and galvanized her professional career in the Southeast market. She is a professional working actress with more than 40 years and 250+ credits in film, television, theater, commercials, voice-overs and print. Her career includes such memorable roles as Jacqueline Kennedy in “Love Field,” Rikki Coleman in “Runaway Jury,” Beth in “The Blind Side,” Lenore Baker in “Army Wives,” Paula in “Drop Dead Diva,” Viv in “Fear the Walking Dead,” Judge Bachab in “Just Mercy” and Judge Mayhew in “Ozark.”

Griffis received her B.F.A. from the School of Drama in 1983. She was a member of the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival acting company for seven seasons, and toured the East Coast teaching Shakespeare in schools. Between acting work, Griffis charges her artistic batteries teaching on-camera acting, theater and voice-overs and assistant directs in the Fine Arts Department of The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia. She joined the UNCSA Board of Trustees in 2021.

Contact Media Relations

Get the best news, performance and alumni stories from UNCSA.

July 20, 2022