Dr. Cheryl Green was invested as Governors State University’s sixth president on September 18. Hundreds of faculty, staff and students witnessed the event. Normally University presidents are invested during their first year in office but due to the pandemic, Dr. Cheryl Green’s ceremony was delayed.
Her new position announced in May 2020, Dr. Green said she was humbled and honored to serve as the university’s next president saying, “In our nation, and in the higher education community, we are currently facing challenging and volatile times. As I explore and embrace the impressive history of GSU and its ability to navigate change, promote academic excellence, and lead by example, I am confident that together we will forge a new direction for our university that will serve as a beacon of hope and determination for our students, fellow educators and our community partners,”
The ceremony featured tributes and congratulations by many including a message from Illinois Governor, J.B. Pritzker. The investiture was performed by Board Chair, Lisa Harrell and Trustee, Jim Kvedaras. Draping Dr. Cheryl Green with the presidential medallion, Lisa Harrell said, “By virtue of the authority of the Board of Trustees, and with the confidence of the full board, we place the official medallion around your neck as an outward symbol of your authority and responsibility as the sixth president of Governors State University”.
The well wishes, congratulations and accolades continued by Dr. Green’s colleagues. Sen. Patrick Joyce welcomed Dr. Green and mentioned that Governors State is the only university in the southland that primarily serves minorities. He praised Dr. Green saying her energy and commitment to improving the lives of students is commendable.
Lisa Harrell called Dr. Cheryl Green a bridge builder saying, she sees her greater purpose and we see it in her interaction with students and staff, faculty, community members and the board. She leads not from position power, but from a space of authority and respect that cannot be demanded but is earned.
Dr. Green received a standing ovation and she spoke about executing new goals for the university including increasing the visibility of the school, expanding the university’s resources and adding more extracurricular activities for students. She reiterated the mission of Governors State University to provide quality and accessible education. Quoting Nelson Mandela, she said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”.
Dr. Green is also a member of the Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., Will County Black Diamond Chapter. The organization is composed of distinguished women throughout the country who are interested in the well-being of all individuals, youth and adults, and in the preservation of values significant to wholesome living.
Danielle Sanders is a journalist and writer living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSanders20 and @DanieSandersOfficial.