Since earlier this year, The Board of Trustees at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee had been searching for new president to lead the school. It was a virtual process that ultimately narrowed down 78 candidates to just one. Finally, Dr. Vernell Bennett-Fairs, Ed.D. has just officially been appointed the College’s 13th President.

According to local station ABC 24, Dr. Bennett-Fairs has over 25 years of experience in higher education, most recently serving as vice-president of Student Affairs at Delta State University in Mississippi for four and a half years. She truly revitalized Delta State University during her time there. Her list of accomplishments include increasing student enrollment, reconfiguring the college’s scholarship budget and assisting in attracting students from over 50 countries. Dr. Bennett-Fairs also served in a similar role at HBCU, Kentucky State University, where she instituted innovative recruitment strategies such as a coordinated recruitment program and faculty teaching days in high schools. Her leadership focuses on collaboration, relationships and student-centered strategies.

A Message from LeMoyne-Owen College Board of Trustees Chairperson, Patricia Covington, regarding the search for and selection of the College’s 13th President.

“We selected Dr. Bennett-Fairs because of her vast experience in higher education and we are especially impressed with her student recruitment successes,” said Johnny Pitts, LOC Search Committee Chair. “LeMoyne-Owen College is poised to continue to advance with her at the helm.”

During her new tenure as president, Dr. Bennett-Fairs will be responsible for providing executive leadership with overall responsibility for strategic planning, fundraising, administration, and management of all aspects of the College’s components. Her appointment follows Dr. Carol Johnson Dean’s tenure as the College’s interim president for nearly two years.

“The Board of Trustees commends the Search Committee for conducting a stellar search process and selecting such a qualified candidate in Dr. Bennett-Fairs,” says Patricia Covington, LOC Board of Trustees Chair. “We are looking forward to even more transformative work for LeMoyne-Owen College under her leadership.”