Botwc Firsts

DePauw University Names The First African American Woman President in the School’s 180 Year History

DePauw University Names The First African American Woman President in the School’s 180 Year History

Well it is Women’s History Month!

Dr. Lori S. White was just named the 21st president of DePauw University, the first African American woman president in the school’s 180+ year history, Tribune-Star reports. 

White was elected unanimously by the Depauw University Board of Trustees, which includes alumni, current faculty members and staff, students and administrators. She comes to DePauw from Washington University in St. Louis, where she served as vice chancellor for student affairs, just one of her many titles held during a 30 year career in education. White also formerly served as professor of practice in the WashU Department of Education and clinical professor of education at Southern Methodist University in Texas. White will not only be the first Black woman president at DePauw, she will also make history as the only African American woman leading a university in the state of Indiana. 

Kathy Patterson Vrabeck, chair of the Board of Trustees spoke on White’s new appointment saying, “Throughout her career, Dr. White has brought a student-centered approach to her work and the work of the institutions she has served. She understands that the student experience is best served when academics, co-curricular experiences and residential life are considered holistically. Dr. White’s ability to engage authentically with all constituents has contributed greatly to her success at world-class institutions. She is a team-oriented leader who is engaging, energetic and passionate about the liberal arts, access and student success. The Board of Trustees is delighted to welcome Dr. White as our 21st president and looks forward to the future of our institution under her leadership.” 

The Stanford alumna comes from a long line of educators, her father, Joseph L. White, was renowned as the father of Black psychology and the first African American to receive a doctorate in clinical psychology from Michigan State. Her sister, Lisa D. White, is also in education as a geologist, serving as the director of education and outreach at the University of California Museum of Paleontology and her husband, Anthony Tillman, is assistant provost for student success at Wash U. 

“I am beyond excited to serve as DePauw’s 21st president and join countless others who have passed beneath Depauw’s iconic arch into a world of endless possibilities.. I’ve been deeply impressed by this community of extraordinary faculty who challenge students to think and learn broadly, supportive staff who care about each student’s experience and students and alumni who exemplify the transformational impact of a DePauw education. I know from my first awe-inspiring moment in East College that I wanted to be part of DePauw’s history, tradition, passion and values that are truly ‘gold within,’” White said. 

Dr. White is set to take office July 1st.

Congratulations President White! Keep spreading your Black girl magic!

Photo Courtesy of Joe Angeles/WUSTL