Dr. Melissa Taverner has been named president of Lyon College in Batesville, the school announced Friday.
Taverner had served as interim college president since August. She is the 19th person to serve the college as president.
“I want to thank the board of trustees for this honor,” Taverner said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to continuing to strengthen the College’s mission while expanding opportunities for students through our strategic initiatives. I’ve had the pleasure of working with exceptional faculty, staff and students at Lyon during my time as provost, and I’m excited to collaborate with them in this new role as we work toward not only preserving the Lyon legacy but also ensuring the college’s bright future.”
Since becoming interim president in August 2021, Taverner has overseen the initial steps of a transition to NCAA Division III for Lyon’s sports teams; worked to add graduate programs; and helped oversee a partnership with the White River Medical Center and White River Health System (WRHS) on a proposed RN-to-BSN nursing program at Lyon, which could start up in 2023.
Taverner joined Lyon in 2017 as provost and dean of faculty. Before joining Lyon, she served in various roles over the course of 22 years at Emory & Henry College in Emory, Va., including associate professor of biology, interim vice president for academic affairs, college dean, chair of the Division of Natural Sciences and the Department of Biology, as well as director of assessment.
She received her Ph.D. in environmental science from the University of Virginia, her master of science in virology from the University of Reading in England and her B.A. in biology from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.