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Alabama State University Selects New President

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Release Date: Dec 20, 2013

By unanimous consent, the Alabama State University Board of Trustees will extend an offer to Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd to become the next president of Alabama State University.

During its December 20 meeting, the Alabama State University’s Board of Trustees selected Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd to serve as its new president. Boyd marks the 14th president to serve in the position in the school’s 146-year history. The Board selected Boyd after a nearly year long search process. Boyd will succeed Dr. William H. Harris, interim president and president emeritus.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley presided over the meeting, during which each of the three candidates was interviewed individually for approximately an hour, fielding questions from trustees on issues ranging from experience and leadership style to expansion of the University's academic and athletic programs. Onlookers at the meeting included ASU faculty and staff, student government officials, members of the governor's staff, and a slew of media outlets. The meeting was broadcast live on some television stations.

After a short deliberation, the Board voted unanimously to select Boyd.

The Board recognized that Boyd also was the consensus choice among the University’s student body, as expressed in a letter by SGA President Sharod Campbell. The Board also authorized the Board Chair and Executive Committee to negotiate a contract for presentation to the full Board. Boyd received a standing ovation from the Board and the gallery when she returned to the boardroom after her selection.

“We are proud to have selected an accomplished, capable, nationally recognized leader with the skills and experience to move Alabama State University forward,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Elton Dean. “Dr. Boyd is the embodiment of what is great about ASU. As an ASU graduate, she will serve as a daily reminder to our students that ASU is preparing them to impact the world; as a Montgomery native, she is the representation of what makes Montgomery the Capital of Dreams; and as a leader, she has the vision and drive to lead ASU to Vision 2020 and beyond.”

Governor Bentley agreed, stating that “I think Dr. Boyd will make a great president. She has my full support and I will not interfere unless asked.”

Boyd currently serves as an engineer and executive assistant to the Applied Physics Laboratory chief of staff at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C., where she has worked for the past 33 years.

Boyd is a former Miss Alabama State University and an initiate of ASU’s Beta Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She earned a B.S. in mathematics from ASU and became the first African-American to earn a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Yale University. She also holds a doctoral degree in ministry from Howard University.

Boyd continues to be a trailblazer, as she is the first female president in ASU’s history.

Her history of leadership is extensive. She served as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., chaired the Johns Hopkins Diversity Leadership Council, and was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the Barry Goldwater Foundation for Excellence in Education.

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