Wilmington University’s First Presidential Inauguration Honors Dr. LaVerne T. Harmon

On March 8, 2018, Wilmington University hosted the first presidential inauguration in its nearly 50-year history.

Dr. LaVerne T. Harmon, who was named the University’s fourth president on July 1, 2017, was honored in a celebration at the Chase Center on the Riverfront that included a formal procession of trustees, distinguished guests, and faculty and staff.

Program highlights included an invocation by Rev. Dr. Christopher Alan Bullock, pastor of Canaan Baptist Church of Delaware; a welcome by Board of Trustees Chairman Joseph J. Farnan Jr.; and a keynote address by Dr. Kenneth L. Ender, the president of William Rainy Harper College. An excerpt was read from a letter from U.S. Senator Tom Carper, who was in session, and a proclamation was sent from Representative Stephanie T. Bolden. Several members of Wilmington City Council were in attendance, as well as leaders from nonprofit, corporate and academic sectors. U.S. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, who was also in session, made a special effort to attend part of the festivities.

Wilmington University President Emeritus Dr. Jack Varsalona presented his successor with the University Key. Also, Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jim Wilson, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Erin DiMarco, and Student Government Association President Shekinah (Kye) Reynolds offered remarks representing WilmU’s faculty, staff and students, respectively. Dr. Harmon delivered a poignant speech that detailed her vision for Wilmington University and her admiration for her family, friends and colleagues.

Musical selections included “The National Anthem,” sung by WilmU alumnus Lieutenant Kevin Pierce, as well as John Ness Beck’s “Consecration,” performed by Gary Seydell, the University’s assistant director of Academic Advising.

Dr. Harmon is the first African-American woman to be named the president of a university or college in the state of Delaware. While a pioneer and visionary, she is committed to preserving Wilmington University’s mission of providing quality education to all who seek it and leading a student-centered staff dedicated to transforming the lives of a growing and diverse student population. Under her leadership, we will move forward together.

The program was live streamed and may be viewed at http://blog.wilmu.edu/lth18/.