A presidential search process at Alabama State University that has been filled with drama and discord ended Friday afternoon with surprisingly little of either. ASU’s board of trustees, with Gov. Robert Bentley present and in place as board president, voted unanimously to select Gwendolyn Boyd as the university’s next president. When Boyd agrees to contract terms within the coming weeks, she will be ASU’s first female president and the school’s 14th president in 146 years.

“We’re going to take this university to the next level, and we’ll do it together as a family,” Boyd said shortly after learning that she was the board’s choice. “I got my training at Alabama State. I’m the prime example of what this university can provide. I think that means something. I think it meant something to the board and the ASU community. I’m so proud and humbled by this, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Boyd, who earned a bachelor’s degree from ASU and a masters degree in engineering from Yale University, was selected over state Sen. Quinton Ross and Brigadier Gen. Sam Nichols. All three candidates went through public interviews with the full board on Friday.

“I think it was fairly obvious that she was the best candidate for the job,” said board chairman Elton Dean, who brought the motion to select Boyd as president. “She has the right answer to every question all the time. She’s just a very impressive lady, and I think it was obvious by our vote that the board agreed.”

Dean said the fact Boyd was a female candidate didn’t play a role in the selection.

“We went into this process looking for the best candidate to lead this university,” Dean said. “That’s what we’ve found. We’re living in a different time now. A person’s sex doesn’t have any bearing on the job they can do, and we selected Ms. Boyd because she’s the best choice.”

Following the vote on Boyd, as the board meeting was still in session, Dean noted that her selection “brought tears” to his eyes because it excited and united much of the ASU community. Boyd was the overwhelming choice among students for the job, and a number of alumni and sorority groups at ASU had also written letters of support for her. Read More