First Female President Inaugurated At New York Theological Seminary & She Is Black

In its 119-year-history, New York Theological Seminary has yet to have a female president. That has recently changed and history has been made on June 3rd as Rev. Dr. LaKeesha Walrond, a black woman, began her role of leading New York Theological Seminary into its new era.

What We Know:

  • Many notable New York figures were in attendance at the initiation service held on Saturday, October 26, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, his wife First Lady Chirlane McCray, Rev. Al Sharpton and the New York NAACP State President Hazel Dukes.
  • According to an official press release from NYTS, Dr. Walrond brings more than two decades of leadership in academia and ministry, all of which will aid her in leading, enhancing the programming, and strengthening the seminary’s reputation around the world.
  • Dr. Walrond will serve as the institution’s 12th president. For over a decade, Dr. Walrond served as the Executive Pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York where she focused on administration, ministry development, and staff supervision.
  • In 2005, Dr. Walrond earned her Ph.D. in Special Education and Literacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds a Master of School Administration with a focus in Educational Leadership and a Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus in Learning Disabilities from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and received her undergraduate degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Dr. Walrond’s dedication has been recognized by many organizations. She has received the NAACP Leadership Award for her work in the African-American Community and many others.
  • Dr. Walrond showcased her personality and confidence in this Insecure parody video below:

As president of NYTS, Dr. Walrond said she is proud “to have the opportunity to show all women that there are still many opportunities to be ‘the first’,” and she hopes that her presidency can serve “as an example of what intelligence, discipline and determination can bring”.