Seven months after Livingstone College President Jimmy R. Jenkins announced his retirement, the school on Thursday announced his replacement — Anthony J. Davis, Livingstone’s current chief operating officer and senior vice president of institutional advancement.
Davis, who graduated from Livingstone in 2001, will become the school’s 13th president.
In a statement released by the college, Davis said he was happy and humbled by his appointment, which was made during the board of trustees’ fall meeting.
“Twenty-one years ago, I started on this journey to become president,” he said. “It is true what poet Langston Hughes said, ‘Dreams don’t die, they are deferred.’”
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As chair of Livingstone’s COVID-19 task force, Davis was credited with leading the school though pandemic restrictions. As chief operating offices, he manages its daily operations. He also supervises Livingstone’s fundraising efforts.
“The Search Committee was very intentional on finding someone that would embrace students, understand the culture of the school and be familiar with the community,” board Chair Bishop Kenneth Monroe said in the statement.
Before working at Livingstone, Davis was vice president for development at the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, a nonprofit organization based in St Louis, Mo., that seeks to increase diversity and inclusion in business.
Davis holds a Master of Arts degree in philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University in Minnesota and a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
When Jenkins, Livingstone’s current president, announced in February that he was stepping down, he said his 38 years as president of various schools had been “exhausting and exhilarating.”
He has been Livingstone’s president for 16 years.
On Thursday, Jenkins said he recognized Davis’ talents and penchant for hard work.
“That’s why I appointed him chief operating officer,” Jenkins said. “In essence, he has been practicing to step into the seat of president.”