About the First Lady
First Lady Beth Searcy is a vibrant member of Barton’s leadership team. Searcy has demonstrated her passion for the student experience over more than two decades through employment across eight institutions focusing on academic success, enrollment management, and student engagement. Searcy has consulted on close to 150 college campuses, led education abroad trips on four continents, and taught Public Speaking and College Transition courses.
A first-generation college student from Virginia Beach, Va., Searcy relates to the Barton experience as a beacon in Eastern North Carolina and believes in the power of education to change lives. She completed a bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric and Communication Studies at the University of Virginia, a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration at the University of South Carolina, and doctoral coursework in Educational Leadership at the University of Nebraska. She is a certified facilitator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and holds certificates in Focus Group Leadership, Beyond Tolerance inclusion, and Title IX advocacy.
Searcy champions education and women’s leadership on an international scale. She served on the Board of Trustees for the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation, established to remove barriers to education for women and children worldwide, and was a two-term International President for Delta Gamma Fraternity and subsequently honored with the prestigious Cable Award and Oxford Award. She remains a resource for the National Panhellenic Conference, the largest consortium of collegiate women’s leadership in the country and consults on student development and college access.
Locally, Searcy is Past President of Wilson Art’s Board of Directors and sits on the Southern Bank Board of Directors for Wilson County and the Sidekix Board of Directors. She is a steward of the Little Free Library #103396 and a member of NC Omicron chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, an international society for key women educators. She is active in The Book Club, one of the oldest book clubs in North Carolina, and is an applicant with the Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Patrol. In 2017, she was recognized in Wilson Woman magazine for her civic engagement and impact.
At Barton, she is active with the College’s fundraising and outreach initiatives and serves as host for official events at the Barton-Graves House. She has collaborated with BB&T’s Women’s Information Network and Wilson Medical Center to host a women’s leadership consortium, and with Wilson 20/20 and the Wilson Family YMCA to offer College Matters, a program promoting college access. She has been an advocate with the Young Leaders Academy and the Student-Athlete Leadership Academy. She seeks to mentor Barton undergraduates and coach students regarding purposeful living, healthy relationships, and community engagement.
She describes herself as a lifelong learner, avid reader, travel enthusiast, and social networker. She is the partner of Dr. Douglas N. Searcy, Barton College’s 12th President. They have two adult children: a daughter, Caroline Faith, who is a student at Wake Forest University, and a son, Carter Gray, who graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and works for Lenovo in Cary. Her life’s motto is Do Good, Be Kind, Have Faith.