Dr. LaVerne T. Harmon was inaugurated as president of Wilmington University on March 8—International Women’s Day—thus becoming the first African-American female to be named president of a Delaware college or university. The ceremony took place at the Chase Center on the Riverfront.
A 29-year employee of the University, Harmon was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees in July of 2017. She becomes the fourth president of the school, succeeding Dr. Jack Varsalona, who retired last year after serving as president since 2005.
Harmon holds a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. She held numerous positions while earning undergraduate and graduate degrees from Wilmington University, then maintained her full-time position while earning her doctorate. She held key roles in the University’s internal operations, planning and strategic growth. She served as assistant to the president, director of Human Resources, director of Student Affairs and Alumni Relations, and vice president of Student Affairs.
Wilmington is among the fastest-growing universities in the country. From fiscal year 2007-2008 to fiscal year 2016-2017, the school’s unduplicated headcount grew from 12,071 to 20,480, an increase of 70 percent.