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Last updated: April 26, 2013 4:56 p.m.

Huntington University names 13th president

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 Statement as distributed by Huntington University on Friday as written by Ashley C. Smith, associate director for media relations:

HUNTINGTON, Ind. – In a historic moment today, the Huntington University Board of Trustees voted to elect Dr. Sherilyn R. Emberton as the 13th president of the institution.

“Dr. Emberton is a highly-gifted leader with extensive higher education administrative experience, including positions at public, private and faith-based institutions,” said Kelly Savage, board chair. “She will effectively guide Huntington University into the future with innovative ideas for program development as well as ground-breaking strategies to increase awareness of our institution.”

Emberton currently serves as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas. She earned a Doctor of Education degree in 1999 from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She completed her undergraduate study at Stephen F. Austin State University where she received a Bachelor of Science in education degree in 1979. She earned a Master of Education degree from the same institution in 1981.

Emberton is a native Texan who was born in Irving, Texas, near Dallas. She currently resides in Marshall, Texas. Prior to her work at East Texas Baptist, she was the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn. Upon completion of her doctorate, she was hired by LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, to lead its new teacher education program. In 2005, she was named the associate vice president for academic affairs for the institution.

Emberton has extensive experience in areas of diversity initiatives and academic program development, having launched graduate programs in counseling, education, law, medicine, religion and sports leadership.

She is a lifelong Christ-follower who currently attends First Baptist Church in Hallsville, Texas.

Beginning her tenure on June 1, 2013, Emberton becomes the first female president to serve the institution in its 116-year history. She will succeed Dr. G. Blair Dowden who will retire on May 31, 2013.

Dowden became the university’s 12th president in 1991.

Under his leadership, the Christian liberal-arts campus doubled its enrollment, tripled its endowment and constructed or remodeled eight buildings. Academic programs were significantly expanded for undergraduate, adult and graduate students, and some of the university’s largest and fastest-growing degree programs were launched, including nursing and digital media arts. Most notably, the institution transitioned from “college” to “university” in 2005.

Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest, and Forbes.com has listed the university as one of America’s Best Colleges. Additionally, Princeton Review has named the institution to its “Best in the Midwest” list. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The university is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).