Apr 5, 2024 - News

🎉 JCSU's new president welcomed with fanfare

woman talking at a podium

Valerie Kinloch is Johnson C. Smith University's 15th president. Photo: Courtesy of Johnson C. Smith University

A week of ceremonies for new Johnson C. Smith president Valerie Kinloch will crest today when she's inaugurated at 10am at the Charlotte Convention Center.

Why it matters: This is a key moment, and key leader, in JCSU's 157-year history, Axios' Michael Graff writes. Charlotte's top business and philanthropic leaders have united around the school, pledging $80 million and setting a goal of making it one of the nation's top 10 historically Black colleges and universities.

Between the lines: Kinloch's been on the job since August, and has been meeting with community leaders all over the city. She's also been assembling her own leadership team, including hiring a full-time athletics director, Denisha Hendricks.

Zoom in: The celebratory week has already included a symphony concert and a luncheon with Foundation For the Carolinas CEO Cathy Bessant, building up to today's inauguration at the Crown Ballroom.

  • The Friends of the Library has a community celebration tonight, followed by an inaugural gala Saturday night. Former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt will also be honored at the gala.

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