BOV Welcomes New President, Honors NSU Employees

The Norfolk State University Board of Visitors introduced the University’s seventh president to community, business, educational and elected leaders May 23 and recognized the hard work and dedication of NSU’s students, faculty and staff.

“This is a grand celebration,” said BOV Rector Joan G. Wilmer ’99. “This is a joyous occasion, especially for many of us here who have personally been involved with the conceptualization in shaping the life of the University.”

Wilmer noted that one of the most important responsibilities of a university governing board is the selection of the university president and said that the board was delighted that Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston has accepted the invitation to lead Norfolk State. “With more than 30 years of higher education leadership,” said Wilmer, “Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston has spent a lifetime leading change at some of the nation’s most respected institutions of higher education.” Wilmer let the audience and Dr. Adams-Gaston know that she has the board’s support. “Dr. Adams-Gaston, we welcome you and support you as you assume the presidency,” said Wilmer.

In response, Dr. Adams-Gaston, told those gathered that Norfolk State University is where she is ordained to be. “You have filled my heart with joy tonight,” she said. “You have created for me the knowledge that I have come home.”

Looking forward, Dr. Adams-Gaston set the stage for what is ahead and the work that is to come. “As we prepare for the next chapter of the Spartan story, let us reflect on what kind of university we will become.”

 “It will take the effort of every one of us in this room and those who are not with us tonight. To work hard to fulfill our mission,” she said. “Much of this work will be challenging, and we must encourage one another to bring our best in order to get the job done.”

 “Today and every day you will have my unwavering commitment to this university that it will continue to be a place of hope, excitement and discovery,” Dr. Adams-Gaston pledged. “I promise that I will work hard every day. I will work smart every day. I will work with each of you every day,” she said. “I will work hard to ensure that Norfolk State University — The Norfolk State University — becomes all that it is destined to be. We have a mission, and we shall fulfill that mission.”

It was a night of fellowship and recognition. Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander delivered the keynote address, which expressed – as he did much of the evening – his willingness to develop partnerships with the University. “We see the future in Norfolk State as a strategic partner in economic development, workforce development, job training and urban planning, and the many, many other ways that Norfolk State can contribute to the city of Norfolk.”

 As part of the program, the BOV also recognized three University employees and a student for their dedication and diligence in service to Norfolk State.

The honorees are as follows:

Ideal Spartan (Student Leadership)

Astra Armstrong’19
2018-19 President, Student Government Association

A & P Faculty Leadership

Michelle D. Hill ’96
Executive Director, Alumni Relations and Annual Giving

Staff Superior Service

Tammy Q. Johnson
Administrative Office Specialist III
Department of Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science

Teaching Faculty Excellence

Dr. Aprilfaye Manalang
Assistant Professor, Department of History and Interdisciplinary Studies