WILBERFORCE, Ohio (WDTN) – A historic university enjoyed a more peaceful Founders’ Day, after last year’s was marked by protests and a boycott.
Wilberforce University celebrated its 158th anniversary on Tuesday. The first ever private African-American university in the county has seen declining enrollment in recent years, but leaders believe things are turning around.
“Things have improved,” says Student Government President Eddie Scott. “It’s been a slow improvement but it’s been an improvement.”
The school is in the process of finding a new president after the previous one retired last year. A search firm has been hired to help in the process.
Student concerns over the university’s future led them and faculty members to protest outside the Founders’ Day event last year and boycott the event inside.
This year the event that included no protests of any kind and students attended.
Keynote speaker Tracy Maxwell Heard, Minority Leader of the Ohio House of Representatives, believes Wilberforce has better days ahead.
“Wilberforce, it’s resurrection time,” she told the crowd of hundreds.