April 19, 2022

For the 1st Time Ever, a Black Woman is President of the Largest University in Maryland

Valerie Sheares Ashby

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has been around since 1966. Now, over sixty years later, the presidential position of the university will be taken by Valerie Sheares Ashby. Ashby is the first Black female to obtain this prestigious position. 
According to NBC's WBALTV, Ashby is taking up the mantle from former President Freeman Hrabowski. Prior to reaching this new title, Ashby was the dean of Duke University's Trinity College of Arts and Sciences.

Ashby mentions to NBC while discussing this achievement, "I've been the first and only many times woman, the first person of color, the first woman person of color. I am accustomed to only and first, so it's the nature of the world is in which I live in."

Although she doesn't plan to take any new directions with the school in her care, Ashby does share that she plans to further the advancement of the vision that was previously set in place by her predecessor. It seems this kind of rise in diversity in leadership roles throughout education is a welcome change by many, among students and staff.