Rutgers University Inaugurates First Black President in 253-Year History

In Summary

Rutgers selected Halloway as its 21st president in 2020, but the inauguration was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jonathan Halloway made history at Rutgers University on July 1, 2020 by becoming the school’s first Black president, reported. 

Rutgers selected Halloway as its 21st president in 2020, but the inauguration was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

RELATED: Marcus Jones Becomes First Black President in Northwestern State University History

Holloway accepted the position in January 2020 after being chosen by the Rutgers University Board of Governors to succeed Robert Barchi, who served in the role for eight years. 

“It’s a great honor to stand before you today. As I have learned over the course of my 18 months in office, this honor does not come freely, nor does it come without its difficulties,” Holloway said in his inaugural speech. 

Newly re-elected Gov. Phil Murphy attended the two-hour event, according to reports. 

RELATED: Saint Elizabeth University Selects First Black Male President 

Holloway’s presidency started right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and forced him to lead the university out of ordinary times. However, he was able to make some changes to help sustained the university during the pandemic, including taking a pay cut for himself and approving a tuition and fee freeze for the 2020-21 academic year. 

Taking office during a pandemic and during an “age of profound social reckoning” has been challenging, he said. ” 

Although it’s only been a year since Holloway’s appointment, he has already improved the university by raising $10 million for the Scarlet Promise Grant program, which helped students experiencing financial crises during the pandemic. 

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