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Norfolk State University President Resigns

Norfolk State University President Resigns
Dr. Marie McDemmond cites health issues as reason for stepping down

Dr. Marie V. McDemmond announced to the Norfolk State University Board of Visitors that health issues will force her to step down as president of the university. McDemmond indicated to the board that her illness, while serious, is containable with proper care and a much less rigorous schedule.

McDemmond will step down on June 30, after serving eight years as president of Virginia’s largest historically Black university. In 1997, McDemmond became the first woman to lead NSU and the first African-American woman to serve as president of a four-year college in Virginia. At that time she inherited an institution with an operating deficit and a history of under-funding that dated back to the early 1960s. Using her background in financial management, she secured a state loan and instituted fiscally sound management practices. The last installment of the $4.1 million state loan was paid more than two years early. 

Beginning in 1998, McDemmond worked with Gov. Jim Gilmore (1998-2002) and current Gov. Mark R. Warner, the Virginia legislature and the Legislative Black Caucus to secure state operating funds for six new academic programs. During her presidency Norfolk State’s endowment has grown by 65 percent and fundraising across all areas has increased dramatically.

“It has been my life’s work at Norfolk State to bring our institution to the forefront in science and technology and to make it possible for the NSU community to increase its contributions to the economic health of the Hampton Roads area and the entire region,” she says.

McDemmond went on to say, “After a short absence, I plan to return to NSU in 2006 as a tenured faculty member, and I also hope to maintain my close relationship with my colleagues and all of my dear friends at NSU.” 

“Dr. McDemmond will be in our thoughts and prayers,” said Warner. “I congratulate her and the entire NSU family on her tenure.” 

Effective July 1, Dr. Alvin J. Schexnider will serve as acting president of Norfolk State University. The Board of Visitors will begin the search for a new president immediately.

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