See below for the statement to the to the Wilberforce University Community from Chair of the Board of Trustees Mark Wilson
Life is a series of comings and goings and we must at times say farewell to those who have occupied precious status in our lives. If we are fortunate, we may also simultaneously welcome a new and promising chapter. This is the rhythm of life that touches us all.
Since 2016, President Herman J. Felton, Jr. has led Wilberforce University with vision and strategic thinking and action. Under his leadership, Wilberforce has embarked on a bold path to reclaiming institutional prominence as defined by the Wilberforce Renaissance. President Felton has served Wilberforce University as president with distinction and hard work and the University has grown stronger and more confident in its future under his leadership.
President Felton has begun a significant transformation here at Wilberforce and his work is complete. President Felton has announced that he will depart Wilberforce University to pursue an opportunity that will continue his work in the HBCU community. The Wilberforce University Board of Trustees and the University family wishes to express their sincerest appreciation and gratitude for Dr Felton’s leadership at Wilberforce. A presidential transition is always an uncertain and uneasy time as the University community says farewell to a beloved president. Presidents, however, are temporary guardians of the institutional legacy and future. It is the University community that represent the heart and soul of Wilberforce and who are responsible for advancing and supporting our mission of teaching, learning and service. Wilberforce University has existed since 1856 having faced good times and challenging times always transcending the challenges and embracing a future with confidence and audacity. In 2017, this resolve and intention for greatness is undiminished.
The Wilberforce University Board of Trustees has been especially intentional and strategic in developing a presidential succession plan to assure continuity of leadership and an uninterrupted continuance of the institutional transformation established under President Felton. To that end, the Wilberforce University Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to appoint current Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Elfred Anthony Pinkard as the 22nd President of Wilberforce University to succeed Dr. Herman J. Felton, Jr. Dr. Pinkard is a seasoned administrator who is uniquely qualified for the position as he has worked closely with Dr. Felton in developing the path forward for the University. The incredible and exciting momentum occasioned by the Wilberforce Renaissance will continue unabated. Our current president, Herman J. Felton, Jr. will work closely with incoming president, Elfred Anthony Pinkard to facilitate and support a smooth and seamless transition of presidential leadership.
Wilberforce University is assured a vibrant and secure future if as a University community of alumni, students, administrators, staff, and faculty we collectively commit to hard and honorable work on behalf of this venerable institution.
In 1865, if Daniel Payne and the men and women of goodwill who believed in a vision for Wilberforce University could consider the burned embers of a destroyed campus and remain undeterred and certain about a wonderful future, we will do no less as we face a future of challenge and opportunity. This is the fierce and proud legacy that we have inherited and will continue to guard and execute.
We wish you a safe and joyous holiday and look forward to all good things for you, your families, and Wilberforce University in 2018.