Allan Belton was appointed by the Pacific Lutheran University Board of Regents to serve as the University’s 14th President as of April 3, 2019.
Prior to that he was the Acting President, and before that he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, responsible for the University’s administrative functions including Business Operations & Finance, Human Resources, Facilities & Construction Management, Information Technology, and Risk Management. Allan joined PLU in 2015 as the University’s Chief Financial Officer.
Prior to joining PLU, Allan enjoyed a 25-year career with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he served most recently as Managing Director and Chief Operations Officer for global treasury management. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration and an M.B.A. from Washington State University.
Allan is married to Melinda Krotz Belton, PLU Class of 1991; they live in Gig Harbor with their three children.
Joanna Gregson, Ph.D.
As Provost, Joanna Gregson, Ph.D. leads the academic division on an interim basis and collaborates with, supports, and advises the President’s Council and Acting President Allan Belton on strategic planning for the academic division, including advising on new academic initiatives, faculty affairs, and advancing the academic mission and intellectual positioning of PLU.
Gregson joined the Department of Sociology at PLU in 1998. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Western Washington University, and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She was promoted to the rank of Professor in 2012.
As a faculty member, Gregson has taught and conducted research in the areas of deviance, gender, and qualitative research methods. Over the span of her career, she has published on such topics as teenage mothers, incarcerated mothers, and divorced women. Since 2010 she has been conducting participant observation research with the authors of romance novels, examining the gendered aspects of the career and how women experience writing what has been described as the most popular, least respected literary genre.
At PLU, Gregson has a long record of faculty governance and leadership experience. She has served on and chaired the Campus Life Committee, the Rank and Tenure Committee, and the Governance Committee, and has served as Chair of the Faculty, Vice Chair of the Faculty, and Faculty Secretary. Her service record also includes chairing the Department of Sociology and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.
Gregson was honored with the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2005, the Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring in 2011, and the PLU Mortar Board Society “Top Prof” award in 2017.
Joanna Royce-Davis, Ph.D.
Dr. Joanna Royce-Davis comes to us from the University of the Pacific, where she most recently served as Dean of Students in the Division of Student Life. In her 15-year career at the University of the Pacific, she has served as Associate Professor in the Benerd School of Education; Interim Vice President for Student Life; Assistant and Associate Vice President for Student Life; and as Associate Director of the Career Resource Center.
Dr. Royce-Davis earned a Certificate in Student Affairs Law & Policy from NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education in 2013; a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Syracuse University in 2001; an M.A. in Counselor Education from San Jose State University in 1994; and a B.S. in Special Education with an emphasis in Community and Mental Health Counseling from Indiana University in 1990.
Among her notable accomplishments, Joanna directs the graduate program in Student Affairs at the University of the Pacific. She has also served as lead or co-designer for multiple strategies focused on undergraduate student success, including the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Student Success essay; First Year Experience signature programs, including MOVE (see Pacificmove.org), which received the 2012 NASPA National Gold award; and the Retention Action Network.
In 2013, Dr. Royce-Davis received the Podesto Award for Excellence in Student Life, Mentoring, and Counseling, and in 2012 she was awarded the Cavanaugh Distinguished Service Award from the University of the Pacific. In 2009, she received the NASPA Region IV Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Service as a Dean, and in 2006 she was named a Pacific Woman of Distinction. She also received the Martin Luther King, Jr., Opening Doors award in 2005.
Daniel Lee most recently served as Vice President of External Relations for Lutheran World Relief, an international relief and development organization with programs in approximately 35 countries, serving more than 7 million people annually. As the chief fundraising, donor relations and constituent engagement executive, Dan set the strategic direction of all external-facing efforts and guided LWR through their three most successful revenue generating years to date.
Prior to his role as Vice President, Dan lead LWR’s annual giving program and spearheaded the first comprehensive re-branding and website redevelopment process in more than 10 years. As Senior Director of Marketing for LWR, Dan implemented numerous fundraising and communications initiatives, including the creation of LWR’s highly successful alternative giving program.
Dan received his B.A. in Communication from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota. A former outdoor ministry chaplain, Dan has committed much of his career to working with, and on behalf of, faith communities. Dan seeks to passionately connect the Christian life of faith with his extensive global perspective to further the university’s mission of educating students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care.
Lace M. Smith
As Associate Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Lace M. Smith leads the MarCom division on an interim basis. Smith’s teams include the design group, content development, as well as web design, customer service and Lute Locker. Smith is responsible for the development and implementation of a content strategy that integrates website, social media and digital campaigns with print and external communications. This strategy aims to raise the visibility of PLU and inspire connection with prospective students and their families, current students, alumni, donors, influencers/thought leaders, and community members.
Smith joined Student Involvement & Leadership at PLU in 2005. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in studio art from the University of Puget Sound and a MBA from PLU.
Smith most recently served as the Executive Director of Content Development at PLU and was directly responsible for curating adaptive and sharable content that can be centrally managed and delivered through evolving sets of media.