New WU president to address first convocation


WILBERFORCE — The start of this school year for the nation’s first, private historic black college/university also signals a first for the university’s new president.

Dr. Vann R. Newkirk, the newly selected president of Wilberforce University, will deliver the first convocation address for the 2023-2024 academic year. His address will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 17 inside the Alumni Multiplex, 1055 N. Bickett Road.

Newkirk began his tenure at Wilberforce in July after serving as interim associate vice president of Alabama A&M University in Huntsville. He is a former provost and president of the historic Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Traditionally, convocations are campus events that bring the campus community together with inspirational messages. The event will also feature presentations by members of the university’s Royal Court, the Student Government Association, the Hounds of Sound university band ensemble, and the university choir.

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