The Inauguration of Dr. LaVerne T. Harmon
From Russ Lichterman
The Fourth President of Wilmington University
Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 2:30 PM
Dr. LaVerne T. Harmon became President of Wilmington University in July of 2017 after being unanimously approved by its Board of Trustees. She is the first African-American woman to be named the president of a college or university in the state of Delaware. Dr. Harmon holds a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Harmon began working at Wilmington University in 1989 and held numerous positions while earning undergraduate and graduate degrees from Wilmington University, then maintained her full-time position while earning her doctorate. She held key roles in the University’s internal operations, planning and strategic growth, and her tenacity propelled her to flourish from positions as Assistant to the President to Director of Human Resources; from Director of Student Affairs and Alumni Relations to Vice President of Student Affairs; and from Executive Vice President to President. These diverse experiences and responsibilities prepared Dr. Harmon for the expanding role of university president.
Dr. Harmon is dedicated to the well-being and success of all students. Her greatest strengths are her creativity, determination, and insistence on leading with compassion and dignity. A collaborative leader who thrives on building partnerships, Dr. Harmon created the University’s Leadership Institute and established its Office of Student Affairs. She also advanced its athletics from NAIA to NCAA Division II, and the guidance she provided during those complex negotiations was noted in the Wilmington University Board of Trustees’ official minutes.
Dr. Harmon has earned numerous accolades, including the American Council on Education Leadership Award, the National Association of University Women Educator of the Year Award and the Community Service Award, the Markevic A. Johnson Scholarship Foundation Woman of Distinction Award, the Phi Delta Kappa Educator of the Year Award, and the 2017 Toastmasters’ District 18 Communication & Leadership Award.
proponent of community service, Dr. Harmon is a member of the United Way of
Delaware’s Board of Directors. She also is a board member of Boys & Girls
Club of Delaware,
The Grand Opera House, the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, and the Wilmington Leaders Alliance. Dr. Harmon was instrumental in establishing the Delaware American Council on Education Women’s Network and was a member and Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International. She has mentored for several groups, and also founded the Linda Thomas Scholarship Fund at Wilmington University.
Dr. Harmon is married to Malone M. Harmon, who works as an independent technology contractor with a focus on providing strategic technology analysis and custom solutions for medium- and large-size companies. His areas of expertise include systems implementation, change management, custom application development and project management. Mr. Harmon has recently partnered with LED Lighting Enterprises of Wallingford, Connecticut, as the Delaware-based CEO, with a mission to bring low cost energy LED lighting solutions to customers in Delaware, Philadelphia, Maryland and the Washington D.C. area. Mr. Harmon is also board chairman of the National Student Athletic Society (NSAS), an organization that mentors student-athletes and at-risk youth from middle through high school. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and served during Desert Storm.