Dr. LaVerne Harmon
President of Wilmington University
Dr. LaVerne T. Harmon became President of Wilmington University in July of 2017 after being unanimously approved by its Board of Trustees. She is the first African-American woman to be named the president of a college or university in the state of Delaware. Dr. Harmon holds a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Harmon began working at Wilmington University in 1989 and held numerous positions while earning undergraduate and graduate degrees from Wilmington University, then maintained her full-time position while earning her doctorate. She held key roles in the University’s internal operations, planning and strategic growth, and her tenacity propelled her to flourish from positions as assistant to the President to Director of Human Resources; from Director of Student Affairs and Alumni Relations to Vice President of Student Affairs; and from Executive Vice President to President. These diverse experiences and responsibilities prepared Dr. Harmon for the expanding role of university president.
Dr. Harmon is dedicated to the well-being and success of all students. Her greatest strengths are her creativity, determination, and insistence on leading with compassion and dignity. A collaborative leader who thrives on building partnerships, Dr. Harmon created the university’s Leadership Institute and established its Office of Student Affairs. She also advanced its athletics from NAIA to NCAA Division II, and the guidance she provided during those complex negotiations was noted in the Wilmington University Board of Trustees’ official minutes.
Dr. Harmon has earned numerous accolades, including: the American Council on Education Leadership Award; the National Association of University Women Educator of the Year Award and the Community Service Award; the Markevic A. Johnson Scholarship Foundation Woman of Distinction Award; the Phi Delta Kappa Educator of the Year Award; the Toastmaster’s District 18 Communication & Leadership Award; the Educator of the Year Award from the Nu Upsilon Chapter of Omega PSI PHI; a Girls Inc. Strong, Smart & Bold Award; the Associazione Regional Abruzzese Delco 2018 Person of the Year Award; the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce Women's Leadership Award; and The NAACP Martha Evans Excellence in Education Award (Wilmington branch).
An ardent proponent of community service, Dr. Harmon is a member of the United Way of Delaware’s Board of Directors. She also is a board member of Boys & Girls Club of Delaware, The Grand Opera House, the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, and the Wilmington Leaders Alliance. Dr. Harmon was instrumental in establishing the Delaware American Council on Education Women’s Network and was a member and Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International. She has mentored for several groups, and also founded the Linda Thomas Scholarship Fund at Wilmington University.