Women's Leadership Colloquium logo

2022 Women’s Leadership Colloquium

Date: March 18, 2022

Time: 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., reception following

Location: John S. Burd Center for the Performing Arts



Enjoy an afternoon of information and inspiration at the eighth annual Women’s Leadership Colloquium, hosted by The Women’s College of Brenau University. Join students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of Brenau as we celebrate the GOLD Program’s “L” year theme, Leadership: The Joy in Doing, with conversations about the unique potential and challenges of women’s leadership. Three successful, passionate women will share their stories, advice and innovative vision for others who lead or aspire to lead during this uplifting, motivating event.

Keynote Speaker
Belle S. Wheelan, Ph.D.
President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Alumni Association Speaker
Robin Dudley
Retired health care teacher, Brenau University trustee and owner of R.A. Dudley Nurseries

Featured Speaker
Cay M. Drew
Leadership development facilitator for IBM

WLC Host
Dr. Debra Dobkins
Dean of The Women’s College

This event is made possible in part by support from Onward Reserve, Grace-Gaskins Women’s Studies Endowment Fund and the Brenau Alumni Association Lecture Series. For more on how you can support the Women’s Leadership Initiative, contact Matt Thomas, 770-718-5309, mthomas@brenau.edu.

2022 Speakers

Belle S. Wheelan, Ph.D. – Keynote Speaker

Belle WheelanBelle Wheelan is the president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and is the first African American and the first woman to serve in this capacity. 

Wheelan has held numerous roles in a career spanning more than 40 years, including faculty member, chief student services officer, campus provost, college president and Virginia secretary of education. In several of those roles, she was the first African American and/or woman to serve.

Wheelan received her bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in 1972 with a double major in psychology and sociology; her master’s from Louisiana State University in 1974 in developmental educational psychology; and her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984 in educational administration with a special concentration in community college leadership. 

She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including six honorary degrees. She holds and has held membership in several local, state and national organizations. Wheelan is also the mother of an adult son, Reginald.

Robin Dudley, Trustee – Alumni Association Endowed Speaker

Robin DudleyRobin Smith Dudley, R.N., is a retired health care science teacher and has served as a Brenau University trustee for the past 20 years. Dudley, her husband, Mike, and son, Bennett, are sixth-generation family owners of R.A. Dudley Nurseries in Thomson, Georgia. The Mike and Robin Smith Dudley Nursing Scholarship was established in 2000 to annually honor Brenau University rising senior nursing students. 

Dudley graduated from Brenau and what was then the Hall County School of Nursing in 1978 and later earned a teaching certificate in health care science from the University of Georgia. She taught health care science at Thomson High School for 30 years. In 2008, Dudley was one of 10 finalists for Georgia Teacher of the Year. She is a 2015 recipient of the Masters in the Art of Nursing Award in Gainesville, Georgia, and the 2016 Alumna Service to Brenau Award, and was inducted into the Brenau University Alumni Hall of Fame in 2020.

She continues to play an active role in R.A. Dudley Nurseries and serves on numerous educational and health care boards.

Cay M. Drew – Featured Speaker

Cay DrewCay M. Drew is a leadership development facilitator for IBM, helping leaders accelerate growth, both for themselves and for the people they lead. She helps high potential women, executives and managers build on their leadership strengths with new skills to enhance their own careers and the company culture.

While delivering courses, workshops and one-on-one coaching full-time at IBM, she also runs workshops at academic institutions, including Georgia State University and the University of North Georgia, where she addresses MBA classes on an array of leadership topics. Drew graduated from Stanford University with a degree in English.

Drew and her husband, John, have two adult sons, Ben and Jeff. In her spare time, Drew enjoys hiking, traveling and the arts, including visual arts and literature.

Register for the 2022 Women’s Leadership Colloquium


Register for WLC


Past Colloquium Speakers

Watch videos of the past colloquium speakers and of performers
on our YouTube channel and our Vimeo page.

“Join our group of smart, successful women for an afternoon of information and inspiration. Now more than ever it’s vital that we come together to advocate for women and their leadership.”

– Dr. Debra Dobkins,
Dean of the Women’s College and WLC Host

Dr. Debra Dobkins headshot

Questions? Contact Andi Savage at alumni.news@brenau.edu