The Norfolk State University Board of Visitors held a special meeting on Monday (Jan. 28) where the board took action on several board policies and held elections for three BOV officer positions.
The board elected NSU Interim Rector Joan G. Wilmer to serve as permanent rector of the Board of Visitors. Wilmer, of Hanover, Maryland, is a 1999 Norfolk State graduate who has more than 20 years of experience as a human resources executive. She is the first woman to serve as rector since former BOV member Teresa H. Carrington in 1998. Wilmer had previously served as vice rector prior to the resignation of former Rector Dr. Byron L. Cherry, Sr. in 2018.
The board also elected Dr. Deborah M. DiCroce to serve as vice rector. DiCroce is the president and chief executive officer of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. She has more than 30 years of experience as a higher education leader and is the former president of Tidewater Community College and Piedmont Community College. DiCroce was reappointed to the Board of Visitors in 2018 and has served two previous terms on the board.
This marks the first time in the BOV’s 50-year history that two women will serve as rector and vice rector. The NSU Board of Visitors has been in operation since 1969.
“It is an honor to serve on the Board of Visitors and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board as we collaborate and build upon NSU’s mission of providing a quality educational experience for our students,” Wilmer said. “As we work towards this shared vision, we will also work to redefine the HBCU experience at Norfolk State.”
In addition to the rector and vice rector posts, the board elected Devon Henry to serve as secretary of the NSU Board of Visitors. Henry is CEO and president of Team Henry Enterprises, LLC, a contracting firm based in Newport News. Henry is a Norfolk State University graduate and has served on the board since 2016. He is a 2013 Distinguished Alumni recipient and is a longtime donor to the university. The terms for all three officer positions will expire on June 30, 2021.