Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr., president of Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina, has announced that he will retire on July 1. He has served as president of the historically Black college for the past 16 years.
Prior to being named president of Livingstone College in 2006, Dr. Jenkins served as president of what is now Edward Waters University in Jacksonville, Florida, where a gymnasium there bears his name. Before that, he was chancellor of Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, where a science building is named in his honor.
“Having labored 38 years as a college and university president has been exhilarating and exhausting,” Dr. Jenkins said. “There is a strong sense of melancholy in the realization that a long career is ending, yet to quote Kenny Rogers, you have to ‘know when to hold them and know when to fold them’ – and I believe the time has come.”
Dr. Jenkins is credited with saving the college from closure from its accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Today, the college boasts reaffirmation of accreditation for the next 10 years without a single recommendation.
“Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins became president during a very critical time in the college’s history,” said Bishop Kenneth Monroe, chair of the board of trustees. “Yet, he accepted the position with the attitude that he would be on a mission – a mission to transform the college’s deficits to a college designed and dedicated to overcome the odds and produce great leaders.”
Dr. Jenkins is a graduate of Elizabeth City State University. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in biology from Purdue University.