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‘My President Is BLACK’: Temple University Selects First Black President In School’s 137-Year History

Temple University is turning a page in its history book with the confirmation of the 137-year-old institution’s first Black president-elect. Dr. Jason Wingard was selected following a 10-month search and a unanimous vote in his favor from the Temple Board of Trustees.

The “momentous day” of June 8 was marked by an outpouring of support and congratulatory messages across the university’s social media accounts.

Dr. Jason Wingard will become Temple University’s 12th and first Black president on July 1. @templeuniv/Instagram

“Looks like a slam dunk hire. We’re lucky to have him.”

“My President is BLACK 🔥🔥👏🏾👏🏾”

“We love to see it 👏🏾👏🏾 👏🏾,” wrote others on Instagram.

Come July 1, Dr. Wingard will become the institution’s 12th president. The former vice dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School will succeed the current president of five years, Dr. Dick Englert.

“I am honored by the board’s selection and excited to lead one of the nation’s premier urban research universities,” Dr. Wingard said in a statement shared on Temple’s website. “Temple will continue to provide its diverse and talented community of learners an unparalleled, accessible opportunity to leverage a best-in-class network of faculty and academic resources in support of dynamic and lifelong professional goals.”

Dr. Wingard most recently served as dean and professor of the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University. A native to West Chester, Pennsylvania, Dr. Wingard is no stranger to the Philadelphia academic institution that boasts more than 17 schools across eight campuses, 600 academic programs, and 37,000 students.

He shared during a press conference that his ties to Temple were deeply rooted and sentimental. “Over 40 years ago, I began coming to this campus and this community with my father who was in graduate school at Temple University,” he recalled. The father of five said he spent many nights walking the campus, talking and playing with kids in the neighborhood, and cultivating relationships with Temple faculty and staff.

“I had a long, long history with Temple, and I really enjoyed that initial foundation. It became the pinnacle for me, it became this magical place, but to be here today I’m proud, because I always looked at Temple as a wonderful place,” he continued. 

Mitchell L. Morgan, chair of the Temple University Board of Trustees, considers Dr. Wingard to be both a “dynamic and innovate leader” who will help lead the school into the future. “[Dr. Wingard] is extraordinarily qualified to lead our university in the 21st century,” said Morgan. 

He continued, “Dr. Wingard recognizes that higher education is changing, and his unique combination of academic and business success, together with his skills in the fields of leadership development, organizational strategy, and the future of work, make him a compelling choice to lead Temple into an exciting future filled with promise and new opportunity.”

The trailblazing president’s leadership acumen includes teaching and senior leadership posts at Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania. He also served as Goldman Sachs’ chief learning officer. Dr. Wingard holds a B.A. in sociology from Stanford University, a master’s in education from Emory University, an Ed.M. in technology in education from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. 

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