Morehouse College has a new president, John Silvanus Wilson Jr., who was the executive director of President Obama’s White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
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.
At the White House Initiative, Wilson tried to strengthen the capacity of the nation’s 105 recognized black colleges by working with the White House, federal agencies and private corporations to secure funding. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Obama, who called on Wilson to continue “to inspire more of our nation’s youth to pursue higher education,” raved about the hiring.