About PLU

University Officers

Allan Belton

Allan Belton was appointed by the Pacific Lutheran University Board of Regents to serve as the University’s Acting President as of June 1, 2017.

Prior to being appointed Acting President, 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.

Acting President Allan Belton

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 Acting Associate President and Academic Counsel, Joanna Gregson, Ph.D. collaborates with, supports, and advises 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. Given their respective areas of expertise, Allan and Joanna divide some of the tasks typically associated with the president and contribute equally to others.

Acting Associate President and Academic Counsel Joanna Gregson

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.

Rae Linda Brown, Ph.D.

Rae Linda Brown, Ph.D., has joined Pacific Lutheran University as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. Brown comes to PLU from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, where she most recently served as associate provost for undergraduate education.

Brown earned a B.S. in Music Education from the University of Connecticut in 1976; an M.A. in African American Studies and Music from Yale University in 1980; and a Ph.D. in Musicology from Yale in 1987. She was also an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow at Pomona College from 2004-05.

Rae Linda Brown, Ph.D., has joined Pacific Lutheran University as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Earlier in her career, Brown served as the Robert and Marjorie Rawlins Chair of the Department of Music at the University of California, Irvine, where she oversaw the development of the university’s new jazz program and final completion of a new Music and Media building in 1999. Also at UC Irvine, she served as faculty assistant to the executive vice chancellor and provost, where she functioned as dean of the eight interdisciplinary programs reporting to the provost’s office, including Asian American Studies, African American Studies, Women’s Studies, Latin American Studies, Chicano/Latino Studies, History of Philosophy, Transportation Science, and Global Peace and Conflict Studies. She is a noted scholar of Florence Beatrice Price, the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer, and the first to have a composition played by a major orchestra.

During her eight-year tenure at LMU, Brown led the internationalization of the curriculum and restructuring of the study away program, including the establishment of a mission-based program in Cordoba, Argentina, and undergraduate research initiatives with the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Beijing Center. She also established LMU’s first domestic exchange programs with Spelman College and Morehouse College, two of the oldest and most important historically black colleges.

In addition, Brown led efforts to restructure LMU’s Academic Resource Center, Disability Support Services, the University Honors Program, and the Office of National and International Fellowships, as well as providing administrative leadership for the development and implementation of a new core curriculum. In conjunction with the office of Student Affairs, she led the implementation of a three-year university retention strategic plan.

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.

Joanna Royce-Davis

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.

Donna Gibbs

Gibbs most recently served as managing director, and helped establish the west coast operations, of Bluetext, a Washington, D.C.-based digital marketing and strategic communications firm that counts among its clients Google, Adobe, Cisco and Intel. Before joining Bluetext, Gibbs lived and worked in Malta and Barcelona, Spain, where she served as chief marketing officer for emerging mobile media companies.

Prior to moving abroad, Gibbs served as senior vice president for consumer marketing and ecommerce at PlanetOut, a leading media and entertainment company based in San Francisco. She also helped lead the company to a successful IPO in 2004.

Donna Gibbs

Earlier, Gibbs was executive vice president at The Weber Group (later Weber Shandwick Worldwide), where she managed six offices and participated in managing key enterprise accounts including Adobe and Gateway Computer.
Gibbs has also served as vice president of corporate communications at Nike, where she was chief communications strategist and spokesperson on a wide range of issues including regulatory concerns, production sourcing and labor practices, mergers and acquisitions and financial performance during one of Nike’s most rapid periods of global expansion.

Prior to Nike, Gibbs was director of public relations at Mattel, Inc., where she was a member of an integrated brand marketing team devoted to reaching the billion-dollar milestone for Barbie worldwide sales. Gibbs began her corporate career at Apple as a public relations manager.

Gibbs graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications arts and sciences from Michigan State University. Gibbs and her husband live in Gig Harbor with two spoiled standard poodles. She is a long-time volunteer for Meals on Wheels and National Public Radio.

Daniel Lee

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.

Daniel Lee

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.