Wilma Mishoe, the first woman to lead Delaware State University as president, announced her retirement Thursday morning after a little more than a year. 

Her retirement will be effective Dec. 31. On Jan. 1, Tony Allen will take over as president. Allen is executive vice president and provost of the university, roles he’s held since 2017. 

Mishoe officially assumed her role in July 2018, having served as interim president since January 2018. She is the eleventh president of Delaware’s only historically black university. 

Mishoe practically grew up on Delaware State’s campus. Her father, Luna Mishoe, became the university’s seventh president when she was 12 in 1960 and the family lived on school grounds. The school’s longest-serving president, Luna Mishoe led the school until 1987. 

“There was something special about growing up surrounded by eager students headed off to class each day, and listening to the faculty and administrators guiding them,” Mishoe said in a letter to faculty and students. “That experience led me into my life’s work.” 

Drawing on her personal and administrative experiences, Mishoe is a leader who lives and breathes HBCUs, Allen said in an interview with the News Journal. 

“None of the university’s achievements over the past two years would have been possible without the graceful, powerful leadership of this president,” He said in a press release. “She carries a legendary last name, but she is her own powerhouse and will forever be the grand dame of Delaware State University.” 

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