Women are making history at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) from Alabama to Texas.

Last month, Ruth J. Simmons was inaugurated in Texas becoming the eighth President of Prairie View A&M University, and the first woman to hold the position.

Since Tuskegee University’s founding in 1881, it has been under the leadership of seven presidents — the first of which was Booker T. Washington, who led the institution from 1881 to 1915.

After Dr. Lily D. McNair was unanimously selected by the Board of Trustees, she will become Tuskegee University’s eighth president — the first female president of the institution in its 136-year history.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected to serve as the eighth president of Tuskegee University,” she said. “The historic contributions of the university’s students, faculty and alumni are well known and valued throughout the nation. I very much look forward to building on the legacy of my predecessors so that Tuskegee University will ascend to even greater heights in the years to come.”

McNair, who is currently provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Wagner College in New York City, will begin her duties at Tuskegee on July 1, 2018.

A clinical psychologist by training, Dr. McNair’s higher education career includes other academic, research and executive appointments at Spelman College, University of Georgia, the State University of New York at New Paltz, and Vassar College.

A native of New Jersey, McNair holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Princeton, and master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

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