|Judith Jamison, photo courtesy of Andrew Eccles|
|Chancellor Debra Saunders-White|
|Judge Penny Brown Reynolds|
Published: Tuesday, March 04, 2014
North Carolina Central University (NCCU) will install Dr. Debra Saunders-White as its 11th chancellor at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 4, during ceremonies at McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium on campus.
Saunders-White will deliver an Installation address, and a Chancellor’s Reception will take place on Brant Street Plaza immediately following.
Saunders-White is the first woman appointed to the permanent position of chancellor at NCCU and the second female chancellor to serve at any of the University of North Carolina system’s five historically black universities. She was elected by the UNC Board of Governors on February 8, 2013, and began her duties at NCCU on June 1, 2013.
Before her appointment as chancellor, Saunders-White was assistant secretary for the Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. She previously worked as assistant provost for technology and vice president for technology and chief information officer at Hampton University, and later as vice chancellor and interim associate provost at UNC Wilmington.
Before entering higher education administration, Saunders-White spent 15 years in the corporate sector. She joined IBM in 1979 as a systems engineer and soon transitioned to marketing, where she assumed increasing levels of managerial responsibility for IBM’s higher education, finance, and public-sector marketing. By the time she left the company in 1994, she had earned numerous awards for customer engagement and other accomplishments.
A Hampton, Va., native, Saunders-White earned her bachelor’s degree in history in 1979 from the University of Virginia, where she was a DuPont Scholar. She earned a master’s of business administration from The College of William & Mary in 1993 and a doctorate in higher education administration from The George Washington University in 2004.
“Chancellor Debra Saunders-White’s installation is undoubtedly a momentous occasion in the history of the University,” said Dr. Dwight D. Perry, chair of the NCCU Board of Trustees. “NCCU is positioned to make a singular contribution among institutions of higher education, particularly in the South. Chancellor Saunders-White's vision, knowledge, and skill will assure that we have the leadership necessary to achieve this potential."
During the Installation ceremony, Saunders-White will receive the University Medallion and take the Oath of Office. University of North Carolina President Tom Ross will preside over the Installation.
The university has planned a full week of events, from March 28 – April 5, to celebrate the Installation of NCCU’s first female permanent chancellor. The following activities are free and open to the public.
Jamison is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, among them a prime time Emmy Award, an American Choreography Award, the Kennedy Center Honor, a National Medal of Arts, a “Bessie” Award, the Phoenix Award and the Handel Medallion. This year, she became the 50th inductee into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The full schedule of Installation events can be found at www.nccu.edu/installation. Media wishing to cover any of the events should contact the NCCU Office of Public Relations at 919-530-6295 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Installation, follow the university @NCCU.