Inauguration of new ASU president builds hope for new chapter at - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Inauguration of new ASU president builds hope for new chapter at university

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

She's been on the job for months but Friday, Alabama State University will officially welcome their new president. Gwendolyn Boyd is Alabama's State University's 14th president.  It's no secret it's been a rough year or so for Alabama State with audits, investigations, and resignations. Many students, alumni and staff believe Boyd is the person to usher in a new chapter at ASU with her leadership.    

Inauguration events have been underway all week with a luncheon, breakfast, day of service and gospel concert Thursday night at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome.
               
There are big names in town for Boyd's celebration, including 26 university presidents from across the nation and representatives from 40 universities including Howard and Harvard. Former Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young spoke at a breakfast and another guest, former US Senator Carol Moseley Braun also spoke at the university. She made history being the first African American woman elected. Now, Boyd is the first ASU female president in the university's 147 year history.

"I'm thrilled to be here and thrilled to be a part of the inauguration of Gwendolyn Boyd as the next President of Alabama State University. My message was that every person makes a difference. Every single person can contribute something to make this school a success to giving these people a world class education," Carol Moseley Braun said.

Boyd is leading a University that has seen better days.

Former President Joseph Silver was ousted.

The Governor then ordered an audit of the school's finances and federal and state investigations were confirmed.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has since put ASU on warning.
     
Moody's issued three critical credit downgrades in less than two years, and most recently, Governor Robert Bentley called on the resignations of two controversial board members. One had to be removed.
     
Now the university is faced with extreme financial challenges with more than $200 million in debt, dwindling reserves and major cutbacks on the horizon.

Despite the problems, Boyd argues it's a new day at ASU and it seems many students agree.

"I respect the changes that she's making. I think it's something that the university needs and I pray for her every day. It's time for Alabama State to move to another level and go to higher things so I'm glad for her leadership and I think she's going to do well for the university," said ASU student Annie Ware.

"President Boyd has brought in a warmth and generosity and feeling of good will. She's instilling in everybody that ASU is a place of opportunity and that ASU is a place to draw towards, not away from. That's what I feel a lot of people are gaining from her coming and her presence," added ASU student Chandler McGill.

WSFA 12 news tried to speak to ASU President Gwendolyn Boyd twice Thursday but she declined our requests.

We also asked ASU how much money is being spent on these events and who is paying for it.

A spokesman says the people with the answers to questions are tied up with the inauguration events and they'll work to get those numbers. That will likely be sometime next week, the spokesman said. 

Inauguration events include:

FRIDAY at 11AM: Formal Inaugural Ceremony investing Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd as ASU's 14th & first woman President

Dunn-Oliver Acadome

Free and open to the public

 

FRIDAY AT 8PM: Formal Inaugural Ball

J. Garrick Hardy Student Center Ballroom

Ticketed event. 

 

SATURDAY at 4PM Inaugural Football Classic with the ASU Hornets vs. the Tennessee State Tigers

Tailgating beginning at 1 p.m. 

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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