Wilmington University President Dr. LaVerne Harmon was honored by the A. Philip Randolph Institute Delaware Chapter for its “African American Women Firsts for the State of Delaware” event as part of its 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast on June 17, 2023.
Themed “Celebrating King as We Honor Coretta,” the annual breakfast honored highly successful African American women in Delaware who have excelled in industries such as education, politics, government and law.
“Dr. Harmon was selected for this honor because she is a trailblazer, and she has changed the trajectory of many lives before and after she became the President of Wilmington University,” says WilmU alumna Dr. Nakishia W. Bailey, president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute Delaware Chapter. “She is a stakeholder in the University, the county, and the state. Dr. Harmon is a humble servant and has impacted generations to come.”
“I am grateful to be honored among so many women I admire,” says Dr. Harmon. “All of them have given selflessly of their talents and knowledge. I have the privilege of leading Wilmington University, an institution I believe in deeply, so this is a special honor I will cherish.”
“[Dr. Harmon] is a trailblazer, and she has changed the trajectory of many lives before and after she became the President of Wilmington University.” — Dr. Nakishia W. Bailey
Leading the event were Mistress of Ceremonies Jennifer Thompkins, CEO and president of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, and keynote speaker State Representative Sherry Dorsey-Walker. Special homage was paid to Dr. Bailey’s father, the late Wilson Williams Jr., the former president of the APRI-Delaware chapter. He passed away on Feb. 4, 2022.
Other honorees included Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, State Representatives Dr. Stephanie Bolden, Madinah Wilson-Anton and Melissa Minor-Brown, Wilmington City Council President Hanifa Shabazz, State Senator Marie Pinkney, former State Treasurer Velda Jones Potter, Wilmington Mayor’s Office Chief-of-Staff Tanya Washington, Esq., and New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer Vanessa S. Phillips, Esq.
The A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) is a national organization for African American trade unionists that advocates for social, labor, and economic change at the state and federal levels. It operates 150 chapters in 36 states.