Philadelphia's University of the Sciences makes history
PHILADELPHIA - March 22, 2012 (WPVI) -- Philadelphia's University of the Sciences introduced the first woman President in its 191-year history.
Dr. Helen Giles-Gee will become the University of the Sciences 22nd President this summer. She is the first woman and the first African American.
"On behalf of a million and half people and growing, welcome back," announced Mayor Michael Nutter.
Mayor Nutter welcomed Dr. Giles-Gee back to our area Thursday afternoon.
Prior to her current job as President of Keene State College in New Hampshire, she was provost at Rowan University and earlier received the National Award of Distinction from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.
She told the audience she was happy at Keene State and there was only one reason she agreed to leave.
"If ever I would leave a place I loved, it would have to be to a university that actually believed in itself and believed in each other," said Dr. Helen Giles-Gee.
She acknowledged that the University has successfully promoted, through its graduates, innovations in health care, pharmacy and science.
"When we look at the challenges that are facing this nation, let's be real, all of the challenges are being met at this University," said Dr. Giles-Gee.
But she says it's being done with a quiet reputation.
"I'm not a reticent person, and I'm here. When I come, I expect to be your best advocate throughout this country and the world," Dr. Giles-Gee said.
And she reminded the faculty of the promises they made to her.
"Be with me through the tough decisions; be with me as we move forward and drive this university to the top with a recognition that is nationwide," she said.
University Board of Trustees Chairman, Marvin Samson will continue as interim President until Dr. Giles-Gee takes her post this summer.
When she left in 2005, she said she never ruled out, returning to the Delaware Valley.
"I just think it was the right time," said Dr. Giles-Gee. "I was in the right place with the right agenda. So I'm just excited they chose me."
Dr. Helen Giles-Gee has more than 30 years of experience in higher education. She will begin her presidency on July 16th.
She says the University is not as well known as she'd like, and her job is pretty simple.
college, philadelphia, pennsylvania, local/state, lisa thomas-laury
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