The prestigious DePauw University has announced the appointment of its first African American as its president, Dr. Lori S. White, who would sit at the helm of the Indiana-based liberal arts school. Her appointment came unexpectedly from the institution who has never had either sex as the president.
In a statement released by the school, she would resume duties to lead DePauw to its glory starting from July.
According to reports, Dr. White has sacrificed over three decades of her career to the improvement of student development at higher education institutions.
Anterior to the announcement, she worked as the vice chancellor for student affairs at Washington University in St. Louis. Also, she held prominent position revolving student support at San Diego State University, the University of Southern California and Southern Methodist University.
Dr. White, who has various book chapters and articles in her name has also conducted research revolving student experience on college campuses. She has served on several boards including the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and the Association for Sustainability in Higher Education.
Dr. White’s new position would make her responsible for pushing the institution’s initiatives surrounding diversity and inclusion forward, evolving DePauw’s liberal arts and sciences programs and leading the university to the path of change while keeping its students’ needs at the core of its objectives.
Excited Lori succeeds Mark McCoy, who has been in the office since 2016. Dr. White, who is also an alum of the University of California, Berkeley also holds a doctorate from Stanford University and has studied at Harvard University.
“Throughout my career, my dedication has been grounded in what I believe are the distinctive values of liberal arts universities such as DePauw,” she said.
“More than ever, our world needs people, who are creative thinkers, problem-solvers and innovators that understand the value of diversity, consider ideas using an interdisciplinary lens and are confident enough to challenge the status quo.”
Dr. White’s was appointed at a time when there is a need for more diversity in higher institutions. According to a study conducted by the American Council on Education, it revealed that a mere 5 percent of college presidents are women of color. With the rate of female appointments since the year began the tally is expected to rise in no time.