Photo Courtesy :

One of the nation’s top historically black colleges has a new president.

John Silvanus Wilson will be the 11th president of Morehouse College. Wilson is the former executive director of President Obama‘s White House Initiative on HBCUs.

According to a press release on the school’s website, Wilson’s appointment follows a nationwide search that was launched after the announcement that Dr. Robert M. Franklin would transition from his role at the end of this year.

“Dr. Wilson has the vision, experience and passion to ensure that Morehouse continues to advance its aim of producing global leaders who will continue to make a difference in the world,” said Robert C. Davidson Jr., chairman of the Morehouse Board of Trustees.

Wilson’s role will include maintaining the college’s reputation and making advances in fundraising  and retention.  A 1979 graduate of the college, Wilson returns to his alma mater with more than 25 years of experience in higher education and a successful institutional fund-raising record.

The press release also outlined Wilson’s extensive expertise  in advancing the interests of black colleges through research at George Washington University, his service at Spelman College and his role as director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs.

“John has been a trusted voice, helping my administration follow through on our commitment to strengthen historically black colleges and universities,” said President Barack Obama. “I wish John the best as he takes on this important new role as the president of Morehouse College and as he continues to inspire more of our nation’s youth to pursue higher education.”

Wilson said that he was honored to be chosen to lead his alma mater. He will officially assume the role of president at the end of January 2013.

Follow Melissa Noel on Twitter @noelknowswell