FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2007
Contact: Cynthia Blaschak, Chair, c/o Cedar Crest College Relations, 610-740-3790
CEDAR CREST COLLEGE PRESIDENT JILL LEAUBER SHERMAN DEPARTS
DR. BLENDA J. WILSON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF NELLIE MAE AND PAST PRESIDENT OF CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, TO SERVE AS CEDAR CREST COLLEGE’S ACTING PRESIDENT
Allentown, PA — According to Cynthia L. Blaschak, Chairwoman of the Cedar Crest College Board of Trustees, Jill Leauber Sherman resigned from the College for personal reasons on November 7, 2007. Blaschak announced that Cedar Crest Trustee, Dr. Blenda J. Wilson, retired president and CEO of the Nellie Mae Foundation and former president of California State University – Northridge, would serve as acting president of Cedar Crest College. The Trustees will soon engage in an expedited national search for a permanent president.
“Jill came to Cedar Crest with impressive credentials and we had the highest hopes that she would be with us for some time. Her departure is regrettable. I wish Jill the very best,” said Blaschak. "I am indeed very excited that Dr. Wilson has decided to join us as acting president. Dr. Wilson is a Cedar Crest College success story. As a successful Cedar Crest alumna, she is a living testament to the power of a Cedar Crest education. Wilson joins a very strong team already in place. The Trustees, faculty and staff continue their dedication to providing the best possible educational experience.”
Dr. Wilson served as the first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Nellie Mae Foundation from July 1999 until December 2006. During her tenure, the Foundation distributed more than $80 million in grants to educational institutions and non-profit organizations committed to improving access to college. Wilson was formerly the President of California State University- Northridge, beginning there in 1992. In 1998, she became the first woman to head a four-year higher education institution in the state of Michigan as Chancellor of the University of Michigan.
A nationally known speaker on higher education policy issues, Dr. Wilson is a past chair of the former American Association of Higher Education. She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including honorary doctorate degrees from more than 25 colleges and universities including Cedar Crest College. Dr. Wilson currently serves on the Boards of Trustees of Boston College, Western Governors University and Union Theological Seminary. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) and Higher Education Resource Services (HERS). She was a Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston from 2003-2007 and, in 2006, became the first woman and African American to Chair the Board of Directors of the Boston Fed.
She earned a bachelor's degree in English and secondary education at Cedar Crest College, a master's in education at Seton Hall University, and a Ph.D. in higher education administration at Boston College.
“I am very honored to return to Cedar Crest as acting president,” said Dr. Wilson. “Cedar Crest College was very important to me in my career and in my life. I am eager to return to the College and work with my new colleagues — the faculty, students, staff and administration. Serving the College at this time allows me to be a part of a campus that I love.”
# # # #