Lily McNair Named Tuskegee President

Lily McNair, a provost and senior vice president at Wagner College in New York City, was moments ago announced as Tuskegee University’s eighth president – the first woman to lead the iconic private HBCU.

Dr. McNair was announced to the campus community as the unanimous selection by the Tuskegee Board of Trustees, who will come to Tuskegee with research and executive stops at Spelman College, the University of Georgia and Vassar College.

“When we launched our presidential search last October, our goal was to identify someone who could champion both Tuskegee’s historic legacy and her place in the future of higher education. Our Board of Trustees is confident that Dr. McNair brings to Tuskegee the precise skill set required to ensure we continue thriving as one of the nation’s leading HBCUs.”

A clinical psychologist, Dr. McNair will be the third presidential appointment at the university in the last eight years, following a generations-old culture of long presidential tenures throughout Tuskegee’s 136-year history. Tuskegee’s first five presidents collectively averaged a 25-year term of service, but former president Gilbert Rochon resigned in 2013 after just three years, and Brian Johnson was not renewed at the end of his three-year contract in 2017.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected to serve as the eighth president of Tuskegee University,” she said. “The historic contributions of the university’s students, faculty and alumni are well known and valued throughout the nation. I very much look forward to building on the legacy of my predecessors so that Tuskegee University will ascend to even greater heights in the years to come.”

Dr. McNair is a graduate of Princeton University, and earned her doctorate in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She will begin her tenure on July 1.

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