Wiley College to Celebrate Inauguration of Herman J. Felton Jr. as 17th President
UNCF-member institution Wiley College will inaugurate Dr. Herman J. Felton Jr. as its 17th president during an Investiture Service on Friday, March 15, 2019. The service and celebratory events to officially welcome President Felton to his new post at Wiley will take place during the college’s 146th Founders Observance.
Dr. Felton comes to Wiley College from Wilberforce University*, where he served as the school’s 21st president.
Events leading into the investiture service will include a Student Leadership Prayer Breakfast ; the First Lady’s Scholarship Luncheon in honor of Mrs. Katherine Felton; and a Wiley Welcome Mixer hosted by the Marshall Area Wiley Club.
The Friday morning ceremony will include a processional of Wiley faculty, trustees, student leaders, representatives from Wiley’s 30 student organizations, as well as dignitaries and delegates from colleges and universities from around the country.
A host of well-wishers will give greetings and remarks during the ceremony, including Dr. Felton’s mentor, Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr., President of Livingstone College* ; the honorable Larry Hurta, Mayor of Marshall, TX; Texas State Representative Chris Paddie (District 9 in East Texas); Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson, Assistant General Secretary of the Black College Fund for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church; Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President of Benedict College* ; Dr. Billie Hawkins, President of Talladega College* ; and Dr. Lezli Baskerville, President and CEO of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.
Bishop Scott Jameson Jones, Residing Bishop of the Texas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, will give the invocation at the Investiture.
During his inaugural address, President Felton will share his vision for the college and speak to the Investiture theme—Inspirata Procedunt (Go Forth Inspired), a mantra that holds special meaning for Wileyites, as it is taken from the alma mater, “Oh, Wiley Dear.”
Dr. Felton began his service to the college in the summer of 2018, and in just a short period of time, he has achieved significant accomplishments, including spearheading a campaign with college alumni and supporters that has launched the work to renovate and modernize the Thomas W. Cole Library and partnering with the Marshall Economic Development Corporation to receive a $100,000 grant to renovate the college’s radio station and a training space for physical education majors.
Felton has also created a Student Health, Counseling, and Wellness Program for the college that is staffed with a full-time licensed practitioner. In addition to his accomplishments on Wiley’s campus, President Felton has immersed himself in the fabric of the Marshall community, where he is a member of the Marshall Rotary Club, the Marshall Chamber of Commerce, and the Citizens Advisory Council.
Prior to his appointment to Wilberforce University, Dr. Felton served as senior vice president, chief operating officer and vice president of institutional advancement for Livingstone College. He also was the director of development while serving as a lecturer in the Government, Law, and International Affairs Department at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from UNCF-member institution Edward Waters College* in Jacksonville, FL, and earned his J.D. from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida. Herman also completed graduate work at Jackson State University, where he earned his Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision.
He is co-founder of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation (H.E.L.F.), an organization ensuring that a pipeline of transformational, highly skilled and principled leaders are identified and cultivated to meet the needs, challenges and opportunities facing the nation’s HBCUs. Dr. Felton served in the U. S. Marine Corps for eight years. He is married to Katherine Anne Felton.
The community is invited to attend the Investiture and the reception. The college will live-stream the Investiture from its website at
For more information on ticketed events and to view the full schedule of activities, please visit the college’s Inaugural web page at.