After a yearlong search, Fisk University has announced its next president.
On Tuesday, Sept. 12, the university’s board of trustees declared Agenia Walker Clark the HBCU’s 18th president. According to The Tennessean, the appointment makes Clark the third female to lead the university as she replaces interim president and board member Frank Sims, starting on Nov. 6.
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“To serve a new generation of brilliant, socially minded students—not unlike their counterparts of decades past, like W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, John Lewis, and Dr. Diane Nash—is surely the honor of my lifetime,” Clark said in a news release from the board. “No institution of higher-ed has a richer legacy— or a richer promise for the future—than Fisk.”
The longtime Nashville leader has held roles as a member of the International Women’s Forum; a board member for FirstBank Financial Corp., Belmont University, and Simmons University; vice president of human resources for the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation; senior director of human resources at Vanderbilt University. She is also an inductee in the Academy for Women of Achievement.
“Dr. Clark’s lifelong dedication to improving the lives of young people, along with her unique combination of fundraising and brand-building skills, are exactly what Fisk needs today,” Fisk Board of Trustees Chair Juliette Pryor said in the release. “I know that Dr. Clark’s bold ideas will positively impact our campus community today while assuring a fast-growing trajectory for the future.”
Clark garnered recognition as CEO of the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, a role she held for nearly 19 years. In a news release from the local Girl Scout Council, Clark credited the organization for a “joyous journey” servicing young girls in the community.
“The local Girl Scout Council offered me the opportunity to work with some of the best leaders in this community who have served on its board,” Clark said in a news release from the local council. “Without the board and the strength of the team who makes a difference every day, it would not be possible to serve more than 12,500 girls and 5,000 volunteers.”
The Girl Scouts of Tennessee’s Chief Operating Officer Pam Self will serve as interim CEO as the organization searches for a new leader to replace Clark.
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