Wilberforce University Welcomes Herman J. Felton, Jr., as the 21st President..
Dr. Felton, whose appointment was announced by the Ohio school Monday, becomes the 21st president of the nation’s oldest private historically black college and university (HBCU), succeeding Dr. Algeania Warren Freeman, who announced her retirement earlier this month.
Felton’s commitment to HBCUs has spanned his professional career. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from UNCF-member institution Edward Waters College. He earned his J.D. from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida and served in the United States Marine Corps for eight years. Most recently, Felton provided oversight of all day-to-day operations for UNCF-member institution Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC, in his role as senior vice president, chief operating officer and vice president of institutional advancement.
“President Felton is not only a proud product of an HBCU, but he has spent his career advocating on behalf of HBCUs, so we are confident he will succeed at the helm of Wilberforce,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF president and CEO. “UNCF has thoroughly enjoyed working with Dr. Freeman, and we truly wish her well in her retirement as we heartily welcome President Felton on board.”
Prior to Livingstone, Felton was the director of development at Murray State University in Kentucky. He is co-founder of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation (HELF), an organization that ensures that the nation’s HBCUs identify and cultivate a pipeline of highly skilled and principled leaders. UNCF and Dr. Lomax have supported the efforts of HELF as a new wave of presidents have taken leadership roles at private HBCUs in recent years.
“President Felton is devoted to preserving the legacy and integrity of these historic institutions by ensuring that the next generation of HBCU presidents is successfully groomed to lead, thrive and continue a commitment of excellence in scholarship and service,” Lomax said.
“I’m looking forward to joining the Wilberforce community,” Felton stated in the Xenia Daily Gazette. “It is an honor that the oldest private HBCU in the country has chosen me to lead them into a new era. Over the last two years, I have seen the dedication of all who love and cherish this great university. From the students, faculty and staff, to the ever supportive alumni, what this community has accomplished over the last two years is commendable. I know that with the determination and spirit I’ve seen, we will continue to lead this university into a rewarding future.”