With the backing of newly re-elected Barack Obama, John Silvanus Wilson Jr., who served as the executive director of the president’s White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, has been named the new president of Morehouse College.
Wilson will be the 11th president in the Atlanta school’s 145-year history. He will follow Robert Franklin and be tasked with maintaining the college’s reputation while making advances in fundraising, graduation rates and retention.
A 1979 graduate, Wilson is no stranger to Morehouse. In 2007, he and Calvin Butts, pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, were finalists for the presidency, which went to Franklin.
Wilson was unavailable for comment Monday, but in a video statement he said he was excited about being “invited” to lead his alma mater.
“With that extension of an invitation, I extend to you an invitation to partner with Morehouse College for a new future … we can create together,” Wilson said. “I have a great ambition for the future of Morehouse and I invite you to join me in making that future a reality.”