LaKeesha Walrond Appointed First Black Female President Of NYTS
A minister from Harlem is making history as the first black woman to lead the New York Theological Seminary.
Trustees at the 119-year-old institution introduced the Rev. LaKeesha Walrond as its president on Monday, launching a brand new era in ministerial development that aims to embrace the seminary’s increasingly diverse, multi-faith community.
Walrond, who is set to step into her new role on June 3rd, noted in a press release that she is proud “to have the opportunity to show all women that there are still many opportunities to be ‘the first’,” also adding that she hopes her presidency can be “an example of what intelligence, discipline and determination can bring.”
She continued: “As I assume the presidency, I think about becoming the first female and the first African American female, and the great responsibility that accompanies this historic moment. My hope is to work collaboratively with the faculty, staff, students, and board members to make NYTS a world-renowned theological institution for preparing students for urban ministry. The more I learn about the history of New York Theological Seminary, the more I appreciate its vision — not just for the future of theological education, but for societal matters including education for incarcerated people. The former administrations set a bar that I will strive each day to surpass, as I challenge myself and the NYTS community to make this historic and revered Seminary greater and grander.”
Rev. Walrond brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in academia and ministry to the position and is being heralded as guiding the Seminary into a whole new era.
Tamara R. Henry, Assistant Professor of Religious Education and a faculty representative on the Presidential Search Committee said the following about Walrond in the press release:
“We are delighted to welcome Rev. Dr. LaKeesha Walrond as New York Theological Seminary’s new president and thrilled about the possibilities that await us together as we write this new chapter of our institutional story. As a search committee, we were not only impressed with the breadth and depth of Dr. Walrond’s experience, but also her exceptional capacity as a visionary leader, which will bring a fresh, bold and energizing approach to engaging theological education in the twenty-first century.”