Jason Wingard is making history at Temple University. He’s officially set to become the school’s first African American president in its 137-year-history.
Dr. Wingard, who holds a doctorate in education leadership, had previously served as emeritus and professor of Human Capital Management at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies. He says his new position is giving him a major sense of pride.
“I certainly recognize the significance of this moment and I am very proud of it,” Wingard said, according to The Philadelphia Tribune.
He added: “This is a great time. We have proceeded to a time in our country’s history and this school’s history when I can stand before you as a qualified African American male to lead this institution and I’m excited about it.”
Mitchell L. Morgan, chairman of the school’s Board of Trustees, said Wingard’s appointment as president marks a new chapter in Temple’s history.
“While it is a historic appointment, his outstanding leadership skills and expertise are the most compelling,” he said. “His knowledge of organizational strategies, leadership development and the future of work will help guide our graduates as they compete in the working world to succeed in their working careers.”
Wingard said he chose Temple because of its academic excellence and focus on equity and innovation in learning. His tenure reportedly begins on July 1.
“Number one, I’ll particularly focus on being a chief ambassador where there is a level of excellence that Temple demonstrates through health care, through research and teaching and learning, through athletics and student services,” Wingard said, according to the Tribune. “I want to bring a level of prioritization to telling the story about how good Temple has been doing and the wonderful successes that we have.”
Wingard succeeds President Richard M. Englert, who is retiring after 45 years with Temple.
“My years at Temple have taught me that this university is constantly evolving, while remaining true to its mission,” Englert said. “I have every reason to believe that Dr. Wingard will find the faculty, staff and students excited for the future and ready to move the university forward. I wish him well and look forward to working together to ensure a seamless transition.”