Shared from the 2/23/2019 The Virginian-Pilot eEdition

Norfolk State’s 7th president eyes school’s ‘destiny’

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KAITLIN MCKEOWN/STAFF

Javaune Adams-Gaston smiles after being introduced as Norfolk State University’s new president during a ceremony on Friday.

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KAITLIN MCKEOWN/STAFF

Javaune Adams-Gaston gets a hug from Chesapeake City Councilwoman Ella Ward after being introduced as Norfolk State University's president on Friday.

NORFOLK — Norfolk State University’s new president wants to make the school the “HBCU of the modern world,” she said at a welcoming event Friday afternoon.

Javaune Adams-Gaston will be the university’s seventh president. She comes from Ohio State University, where she was the first black woman to become vice president for student life. While there, she oversaw more than 40 operations.

“Norfolk State is an amazing institution with an amazing destiny,” Adams-Gaston said at the event.

Melvin Stith has served as interim president since November 2017, after Eddie Moore Jr.’s retirement.

Adams-Gaston, who is affectionately known as “Dr. J,” will step into her role at the end of June.

She has held leadership roles at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she was the first black assistant athletic director. She also served as an athletic certification peer reviewer for the NCAA.

Besides being an educator, she also spent more than 25 years in private practice as a psychologist.

On Friday, Adams-Gaston said she aims to improve student experience at Norfolk State. She’d like to meet with students, starting with her first few days on campus, she said.

“I am here as a servant leader,” she said. “I am here to serve the needs of this community because we have so much that we can do together.”

James W. Dyke Jr., who’s on the board of visitors, spoke at a news conference after the announcement. He said they want Norfolk State to be one of the first universities students look to for a great education.

“Where can I go to get a great education in cyber security?” he said. “We want to be on that list.”

Saleen Martin, 757-446-2027, saleen.martin@pilotonline.com

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