Clarence Armbrister Named Johnson C. Smith President

Clarence Armbrister, a veteran executive with stops at high level research institutions and in civil service, was today announced as the 14th president of Johnson C. Smith University.

JCSU Website

We are a private liberal arts university with proud HBCU traditions and a future aimed at diversity. We enroll approximately 1,600 highly talented and motivated students from various backgrounds. Our faculty and staff members are equally as unique, coming from all over the world.

Officials lauded Armbrister’s experience in a range of fields, including education, law and finance, as the motivation behind his selection.

“Mr. Armbrister’s diverse career experience provided the competitive edge in a nine-month search,” said JCSU Board Chair Shirley J. Hughes. “We believe his varied background in education, finance, government and law brings an exceptionally broad lens to the increasingly complex demands of the changing landscape in higher education today.”

Armbrister comes to Charlotte from Girard College, a Philadelphia college prep boarding school where he served president, after a long career in senior vice-presidential roles at Temple University and Johns Hopkins University. The former treasurer for the City of Philadelphia is no stranger to HBCU presidential searches, having recently been named as a finalist for The Lincoln University of Pennsylvania’s search, and a finalist for North Carolina Central University’s chancellor search in 2007.

Armbrister says he is committed to leading Charlotte’s flagship HBCU into the next phase of its distinguished history.

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected as the 14th president of Johnson C. Smith University, which throughout its 150-year history has improved the lives of its students and contributed to the growth of Charlotte,” Armbrister said. “I am especially looking forward to working with the Board, the faculty, staff and administration to position JCSU as one of the finest institutions of higher education in the country that meets not only the needs of its students, but those of the communities it serves—locally, regionally and globally. This will build upon the unparalleled success of Dr. Carter’s work to establish JCSU as a premier independent 21st century new urban university.”

Armbrister, a baccalaureate graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and University of Michigan law school alumnus, will begin his tenure on Jan. 1, 2018.

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