Dean of Students Staff
W. Marichal Gentry | Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Students
Contact Dean Gentry
W. Marichal Gentry is the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students at the University of the South, Sewanee. He was appointed to this position in July, 2015.
Prior to becoming Dean of Students at Sewanee, Dean Gentry served at Yale University as the Associate Vice President for Student Life and Senior Associate Dean of Yale College. He came to Yale in 2007 from Middlebury College, where, for eight years, he served as the Associate Dean of the College, Acting Dean of Students Affairs, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, and Acting Registrar.
Before returning to higher education, Dean Gentry worked in Consumer Banking for what is now known as Wells Fargo. For six years he counseled young children and families undergoing treatment at Duke University’s Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program.
Dean Gentry currently serves on several advisory boards, including the international advisory board for Student Affairs at the University of Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico, and on the 100 Men in Black Gospel Chorus, Inc. of the Triangle area in North Carolina.
Dean Gentry has been awarded several honors for his work with young people and for his service in the field of higher education.
Dean Gentry is a 1986 graduate of the University of the South at Sewanee, where he earned a B.A. in Social Science/Foreign Language (Political Science/French). He went on to earn a master’s of social work degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1994), focusing on Families and Children.
Dean Gentry also has earned a certificate of completion from the Institute of European Studies in Paris, France (1985), and two certificates of completion from Harvard University’s Institute for Higher Education: The Management Development Program (2006), and the Institute for Management in Leadership in Education (2012).
In his spare time, Dean Gentry enjoys listening to music, writing, storytelling, documentary filmmaking, and watching college basketball.
Becky Spurlock, Ph.D. | Senior Associate Dean of Student Life
Contact Dean Spurlock
Dr. Becky Spurlock is the Senior Associate Dean of Student Life at the University of the South, a position she has held since June 2014. Prior to serving Sewanee, Dr. Spurlock served as the Associate Dean of Students at Belmont University. She came to Belmont after working at Trinity University in San Antonio for eight years, first the Director of Career Services and later as the Director of Campus & Community Involvement. Earlier in her career, she worked at Texas State University, St. Mary's University and the University of Texas at San Antonio. As a first generational college student, she believes in the transformational power of higher education.
An educator, sought after speaker and leader in the field of Student Affairs, she regularly speaks and consults on developing community, gender differences, leadership, strategic planning, and assessment. Dr. Spurlock has 20 years of experience in Student Affairs—with duties that have included residence life, academic advising, career counseling, Greek life, student activities and student unions, the first-year experience, conduct, and Title IX. A high energy speaker, Dr. Spurlock is known for her ability to engage audiences, address difficult topics, and connect through humor.
Trained in narrative analysis and as a qualitative researcher, Dr. Spurlock uses stories to connect, teach, and deepen relationships. Dr. Spurlock has a Ph.D in Higher Education Administration from Texas A&M University as well two degrees from Texas State University, a B.S. in Recreational Administration and an M.Ed in Counseling and Guidance. Dr. Spurlock has served on the NASPA Board of Directors, is the Past Region III Director, and has recently been appointed to the NASPA Center for Women Board of Directors. She is also the recipient of the John Koldus Award for Outstanding Service to NASPA Region III. NASPA is the leading voice for the Student Affairs Profession worldwide.
Assistant to the Dean of Students