Centenary University President Dale Caldwell, Ed.D., will be inaugurated as the institution’s 15th president during a formal ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 21. The inauguration will begin at 2 pm in the Sitnik Theater, located in the David and Carol Lackland Center on the University’s Hackettstown campus. Dr. Caldwell’s daughter, Ashley Caldwell, will deliver the keynote.
Since arriving at Centenary on July 1, Dr. Caldwell has been tapped by prominent media to help shape the conversation on critical issues affecting higher education, including the implications of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Affirmative Action in college admissions. In his inaugural address, he is expected to announce a major initiative that will significantly enhance educational access for economically challenged students.
“This is a pivotal moment for higher education leaders across the nation,” Dr. Caldwell said. “Studies have demonstrated that adults with a college degree earn up to $1.5 million more during their lifetimes than high school graduates. At the same time, public confidence in the value of a college degree has fallen to historically low levels. It’s a serious disconnect—and it’s clear that higher education is at a crossroads requiring bold leadership. My presidency at Centenary will address these challenges head on and establish this University as a transformative national model that take students from economic challenge to intellectual brilliance.”
The first African American president in University history, Dr. Caldwell grew up in a family dedicated to racial and economic justice: His father, a Methodist minister, marched with and personally knew Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Caldwell followed his father into the ministry, serving as pastor of Covenant United Methodist Church in New Brunswick.
Dr. Caldwell brings a wealth of experience to his role at Centenary. Most recently, he chaired the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he was also executive director of the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He has also served as deputy commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and is a longtime member and current president of the New Brunswick, NJ, Board of Education. Dr. Caldwell graduated from Princeton University and earned an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate from Seton Hall University.
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