Marcus Jones Named First Black President Of Northwestern State University

by Duke Magazine

Dr. Marcus Jones was named the 20th president of Northwestern State University, becoming the first Black president in the history of the institution, KATC reports.

The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System voted unanimously to name Jones as the next president on Monday.

Jones was one of the two finalists along with Kim M. LeDuff, University of West Florida vice president of the division of academic engagement and student affairs, who were considered for the position.

Throughout his 23 years of being affiliated with the school, Jones had held several positions such as a professor of business law and international business, vice president for university affairs, and executive vice president for university and business affairs. Also, he’s been serving as the interim president since July of 2021.

“Northwestern is home to me. I know Northwestern and Northwestern knows me,” Jones said in a statement. “This is about fit and timing for Northwestern, and I will hit the ground running.”

“It’s a historic day for Northwestern State,” UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson said. “Marcus is an authentic leader of character, integrity, and vision. His familiarity with the community, his passion for student success, and his commitment to excellence will advance our alma mater for the next generation.”

Gov. John Bel Edwards released a statement congratulating Jones on his appointment.

“Congratulations to the new president of Northwestern State University Marcus Jones, who is making history today as the first Black president of the university,” the statement read. “Earning his undergraduate degree at Northwestern, his master’s degree at Grambling, and his law degree at Southern, Mr. Jones is a testament to Louisiana’s higher education institutions. Mr. Jones has served the NSU community for many years, and I have no doubt he will continue to succeed in his new role.”

Jones will officially begin his new role as president on November 15.

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