October 5, 2023

Fourth Annual Dr. Clifford E. DeBaptiste Frederick Douglass Institute Lecture

brenda allenWest Chester University welcomes Dr. Brenda A. Allen, president of Lincoln University, as the esteemed speaker for the Fourth Annual Dr. Clifford E. DeBaptiste Frederick Douglass Institute Lecture . This free public program takes place Thursday, October 5, at 3 p.m. in Philips Autograph Library in Philips Building.

Hosted by the Frederick Douglass Institute, the lecture is made possible through the generous gift of Dr. Clifford DeBaptiste, the first African‐American mayor of West Chester Borough and a recognized champion of education. His daughter, Lillian L. DeBaptiste ’74, is the current mayor of West Chester Borough.

Dr. Brenda A. Allen was named the 14th president of her alma mater, Lincoln University, on May 11, 2017, and began her tenure on July 1, 2017.

She was previously provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Winston Salem State University (WSSU) from July 2009 through June 2017 as well as a tenured professor of psychological sciences. She was responsible to the chancellor for the overall coordination and effective implementation of academic programs and exercised leadership in promoting quality instruction, research, and service. She had responsibility for developing and administering the academic policies and regulations of the University, and in collaboration with other senior officers, she had lead responsibility for the development of the University’s annual budget and long-term financial plans. She provided oversight and leadership for WSSU’s College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education, the School of Health Sciences and University College. She also oversaw Information Resources (IT and the Library); Institutional Planning, Assessment and Research; the Division of Lifelong Learning; Honors College; Enrollment Management; the Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning; the Center for Community Safety; the Center for Health Disparities; and the Center for Design Innovations.

In a fitting tribute to the great abolitionist, orator, and statesman, the DeBaptiste Douglass Lecture is held annually in Philips Autograph Library next to the University’s Academic Quad and alongside the majestic statue of Frederick Douglass. This statue stands in DeBaptiste Plaza in commemoration of the abolitionist’s last public lecture on WCU’s campus.

Highlighting Dr. DeBaptiste’s life of service and dedication to the West Chester University community, WCU President Dr. Christopher Fiorentino observed, “Our students and those who live in the community are fortunate to be aligned with an individual who is deeply committed to advancing humanity and initiating rich conversations about the legacy of a man whose life merits much reflection. All of us can become well‐rounded citizen scholars by studying Douglass’ example, examining issues of social justice, and improving the present by learning from the past. We are equally proud that West Chester University’s Frederick Douglass Institute will be taking the lead in coordinating these particularly relevant lectures for many years to come.”

Learn more about WCU’s Douglass Institute here.


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