Black Excellence: Temple University Elects First Black President In School’s 137-Year History

by Duke Magazine

Temple University is changing the long-standing narrative of its school leadership for the first time in 137 years by electing Jason Wingard as the first Black president of the institution. He was selected following a 10-month search and a unanimous vote in his favor from the Temple Board of Trustees.

Dr. Wingard will be assuming office as the 12th president of the institution on July 1. The former vice dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School will succeed the current president of five years, Dr. Dick Englert.

“I am honored by the board’s selection and excited to lead one of the nation’s premier urban research universities,” Dr. Wingard said in a statement shared on Temple’s website. “Temple will continue to provide its diverse and talented community of learners an unparalleled, accessible opportunity to leverage a best-in-class network of faculty and academic resources in support of dynamic and lifelong professional goals.”

Dr. Wingard recently served as dean and professor of the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University. A native to West Chester, Pennsylvania, he is not a newbie to the Philadelphia academic institution that boasts more than 17 schools across eight campuses, 600 academic programs, and 37,000 students.

He shared during a press conference that his ties to Temple were deeply rooted and sentimental. “Over 40 years ago, I began coming to this campus and this community with my father who was in graduate school at Temple University,” he recalled. The father of five said he spent many nights walking the campus, talking and playing with kids in the neighborhood, and cultivating relationships with Temple faculty and staff.

“I had a long, long history with Temple, and I really enjoyed that initial foundation. It became the pinnacle for me, it became this magical place, but to be here today I’m proud, because I always looked at Temple as a wonderful place,” he continued.

Mitchell L. Morgan, chair of the Temple University Board of Trustees, considers Dr. Wingard to be both a “dynamic and innovate leader” who will help lead the school into the future. “[Dr. Wingard] is extraordinarily qualified to lead our university in the 21st century,” said Morgan. 

He continued, “Dr. Wingard recognizes that higher education is changing, and his unique combination of academic and business success, together with his skills in the fields of leadership development, organizational strategy, and the future of work, make him a compelling choice to lead Temple into an exciting future filled with promise and new opportunity.”

Dr. Wingard’s leadership acumen includes teaching and senior leadership posts at Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania. He also served as Goldman Sachs’ chief learning officer. He holds a B.A. in sociology from Stanford University, a master’s in education from Emory University, an Ed.M. in technology in education from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. 

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