Dorothy C. Yancy, the former president of Johnson C. Smith University, has been named interim president of Shaw University in Raleigh, effective immediately.

Yancy becomes the first female president in Shaw’s 144-year history.

“Dr. Yancy’s qualifications as a university president are second to none anywhere in the nation, or in the world for that matter,” Willie E. Gary, the famed attorney and chairman of Shaw’s board of trustees, said in a statement.

Yancy was president of JCSU for 14 years before leaving in June 2008. She raised more than $145 million in two capital campaigns. She also increased JCSU’s endowment from $14 million to $53 million.

Yancy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and social science from Johnson C. Smith, a Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Ph.D. in political science from Atlanta University (Georgia), with further study at the University of Singapore, Hampton University, Northeastern Illinois University (Chicago), Northwestern University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

She was the first woman to become a Benjamin E. Mayes Lecturer at Morehouse College. In 2008, she was inducted into the Women’s History Hall of Fame by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs and the Levine Museum of the South.

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