First woman president of Delaware State University stepping down after two years

Wilma Mishoe has been named the first permanent female president of Delaware State University. She has been interim president since January. The bust next to her is of her father Luna, who was the school's president from 1960 to 1987.

Wilma Mishoe (Courtesy of Delaware State University/Philadelphia Tribune)

This article originally appeared on The Philadelphia Tribune.

The first woman to lead Delaware State University will leave her post after less than two years.

Wilma Mishoe, 70, will step down from the historically Black university at the end of the year, according to the university’s website.

Mishoe, who had been the first woman to head the university’s board of trustees, left retirement to become interim president in January 2017 after the departure of then-President Harry Williams. Tony Allen, the university’s provost and executive vice president, told The Associated Press that Mishoe had expected to help “stabilize” the school and then return to retirement.Allen will take over as president on Jan. 1, according to the university’s website.

Mishoe was officially appointed to the top job in June 2018.

She was the 11th president of the university and the second Mishoe to hold the job: Her father, Luna Mishoe, was president of the university for 27 years.

Mishoe was not immediately available for comment.

But in a letter to the university on Wednesday, she said, “To be President, headquartered on the campus where I grew up, was not a possibility that I had ever thought of, but it has been both an enormous honor and a true privilege.”

Mishoe’s retirement caps a 44-year career in higher education.

When Mishoe steps down, the university’s student enrollment will be nearly 5,000, the largest in the school’s 128-year history.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

mdonofrio@phillytrib.com (215) 893-5782

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