Huntington University trustees choose first woman president in school history to follow Dowden


Dr. Sherilyn R. Emberton, incoming president at Huntington University, addresses members of the media on Friday, April 26, as retiring President G. Blair Dowden and Kelly Savage, chair of the Huntington University board of directors, look on. Photo by Andre B. Laird.

After almost a year of searching, interviewing candidates and narrowing the field, Huntington University has finally chosen its new president.

The announcement was made during a press conference on Friday, April 26, at HU.

Dr. Sherilyn R. Emberton, HU's first female president, was chosen as the university's 13th president to succeed retiring G. Blair Dowden, who will step down on May 31.

Dowden and his wife Chris were recognized for their 22 years of service to the university in a ceremony on Thursday, April 25, when the university's science hall was also named in their honor.

Emberton currently serves as provost and vice president for academic affairs at East Texas Baptist University, in Marshall, TX.

She previously served in the same capacity at Lincoln Memorial University, in Harrogate, TN, from 2007 to 2010.

She earned her Bachelor of Science in education and Master of Education from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1979 and 1981, respectively, and her doctorate in education from Texas A&M University-Commerce in 1999.

In introducing Emberton, Kelly Savage, chair of the Huntington University board of directors, said that the Texas native will usher the university into a new era, with emphasis on program development and innovative ideas.

Emberton's list of credentials also includes experience in areas of diversity initiatives and academic program development, having launched graduate programs in counseling, education, law, medicine, religion and sports leadership.

Emberton said that she welcomed the opportunity to be a part of the direction in which the university was headed.
She added that HU's strong tradition was a determining factor in accepting the position.

Emberton, the 13th president in HU's 116-year history, will assume her duties on June 1.

Complete caption: Dr. Sherilyn R. Emberton, incoming president at Huntington University, addresses members of the media on Friday, April 26, as retiring President G. Blair Dowden and Kelly Savage, chair of the Huntington University board of directors, look on. Emberton, HU’s first female president, will assume her duties on June 1.