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Charisse Gillett named president of Lexington Theological Seminary

Lexington Herald-Leader
July 8, 2011
For the first time in its 146-year history, Lexington Theological Seminary will be led by a woman.

Charisse Gillett was named the seminary's 17th president Thursday morning at a special meeting of the school's board of trustees. She will take office Sept. 1.

Gillett will be the first woman and the first African-American to hold the top post at the seminary.

Her selection follows the recent naming of the Rev. Canon Carole L. Wade to be the first female dean and rector at Lexington's Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral.

Gillett said it was an emotional moment when the trustees informed her she had been selected to lead the Lexington seminary.

"I was aware that I would be the first woman and the first African-American to be president, but my prayer was that my skill set and knowledge were part of what made me an attractive candidate," she said. "I am excited about the future of the seminary, and the students and congregations we will be able to touch in the years to come as our program continues to grow in dynamic ways."

Gillett had been the seminary's vice president for administration and special projects since February 2010. Before that, she was a seminary trustee and an officer on the board.

Gillett holds a doctorate in education from Northern Illinois University. She has held administrative posts at Transylvania University, Midway College, Robert Morris College and the University of Northern Iowa.

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