Berea College chooses its first female president
Posted at 4:45 p.m. on Monday, November 14, 2022
The Berea College Board of Trustees has named Dr. Cheryl L. Nixon the 10th president of the Madison County school, Berea College, becoming the first woman to hold the position in the college’s 167-year history. institution.
Nixon is currently provost and vice president of academic affairs at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Previously, she served as vice provost, chair of the English department, and director of the graduate program at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
After receiving a unanimous vote from the Berea College Board of Trustees on Saturday, Nixon said she was humbled and honored to be chosen.
“Berea is an inspiring model of what higher education can and should be. I share Berea’s focus on inclusive excellence, having dedicated my career to serving underserved students. I have worked in rural and urban settings to provide opportunities for students who often do not see themselves in higher education. “
She also highlighted Berea College’s unique strengths, saying, “Berea’s service to its students is grounded in the inspiring values of The Great Commitments. Berea is a rare institution because she leads with her heart – she’s not afraid to articulate courageous values. Add to that the Labor Program, which puts these values into action every day by taking pride in working together. There is no other college that connects learning with belief and action in the same way, and it is a true honor to join this community of deeply committed thinkers and doers.
The Berea College Board of Trustees launched a presidential search process earlier this year after President Lyle D. Roelofs announced his upcoming retirement. A search committee comprised of students, faculty, staff, and administrators worked diligently to evaluate applications from a pool of 125 applicants.
“Finding a president for Berea College is a huge but intimate task,” said board chair Stephanie Zeigler. “Not only must the person have attained academic excellence and intellect to rise in their field, but they must also be truly compassionate to care deeply for everyone on our campus. Our president must be a true believer and an advocate for equality, access, and the transformative power of education.I am profoundly happy to say that Dr. Cheryl Nixon is all of this and more.
Nixon will take office on July 1, 2023. Berea College enrollment is 1,652 undergraduate students.