“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 in a media release issued by the college. “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.”

“John has been a leader among leaders, advocating for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and challenging them to be the best they can be,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in the same release. “Morehouse College is fortunate to have John as its next president, and President Obama and I are fortunate to benefit from John’s continuing commitment to reach our national goal of leading the world in college graduates by 2020.”

Wilson, a 1979 Morehouse graduate, comes to the college with more than 25 years of leadership in higher education and a proven track record in institutional fund raising.

In addition, he has extensive expertise in defining and advancing the interests of black colleges through his research at George Washington University, his service on the Spelman College Board of Trustees and as executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

His appointment comes after the January 2012 announcement that Dr. Robert M. Franklin would be transitioning from his role as president at the end of the year. The nationwide search for the right candidate was conducted with professional recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles.

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