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Dr. David Black announces his upcoming retirement

On November 18, Eastern University’s Board of Trustees announced that, after 15 years of service, Dr. David R. Black will be retiring.

Having battled health problems and being apart from his wife during his tenure at the University, Black has decided to join her in Florida.

“(My wife and I) decided years ago that, once it became easy to live apart, that would be the time to return to one another,” Black said. While confident in this decision, he is nonetheless visibly upset when he talks about leaving Eastern and says that he will deeply miss working for the university.

Black’s entire life has been dedicated to the service of others. As he puts it, he was “born into movements.” His parents were educators that had participated in both the labor and civil rights movements. In a time when a liberal arts education was available only to the privileged, his parents taught him that an education should be accessible to all—a sentiment that he carried into his work as an educator.

 

In 1996, Black began to work with Reverend Luis Cortes, Jr., with whom he formed the Nueva Esperanza Center for Higher Education. Now known as Esperanza College of Eastern University, the school offers members of the Hispanic community of Philadelphia a faith-based education.

 

Black has sought to make education and the tenants of faith, reason and justice available for all. He has worked tirelessly to fundraise for scholarships, grants and other ways to make education at Eastern a bit more affordable. To extend the possibility of an education to working adults, he has also pushed to offer more classes online.

Another one of Black’s passions has been the formation of an educational program for students with learning differences. He is sure that the advancements he has made will live on after his retirement under the auspices of Bettie Ann Bringham and Douglas Cornman. As he explains, “no good thing will cease to be.”

In spite of his many successes, Black was reluctant to speak about them, and instead chose to focus on the improvements he was not able to make. He wishes he could have been a better communicator in getting his points across.

 

In the coming months, the university will begin the process of looking for Black’s successor. Student and faculty forums will be held to identify and define the qualities that the next president should have. Members of the forums will identify and define the qualities that the next president should have. As Eastern embarks on this process, Black assures that he will not depart until a new president has been chosen.

Black has loved the Eastern community and would like to leave students with some words of wisdom that were given to him by his parents: “Be careful in the use of first person pronouns, because life in Christ is not about us.”

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