For the first time in the 121-year history of Miles College, a woman will lead the school.
Thursday, the historically black liberal arts college held a ceremony at its Fairfield campus to officially announce Bobbie Knight as the school’s interim president. Knight will take over for Dr. George T. French Jr., who is leaving the school to become the president of Clark Atlanta University.
“This was no easy task to find a replacement,” said Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, chair of the Miles College board of trustees. “His (French’s) vision has renewed and revived our campus.”
Knight, who has served as a member of the board of trustees since 2017, will begin serving as the school’s interim president Aug. 17. Jefferson-Snorton said the board is blessed to have someone as equally gifted as Knight serve as interim president while board members conduct a formal search for French’s permanent replacement.
“The board is excited that Dr. Knight would be willing to come out of retirement,” Jefferson-Snorton said. “Her extensive career in key administrative positions at Alabama Power have prepared her for the work that needs to be carried forward at Miles. She has made a mark on this community that sets her above others as a community and a corporate leader.”
French echoed the praise for Knight.
“It gives me great pleasure to turn over the reins to my friend,” French said.
Knight told the crowd she intends to use her business background to help Miles College maintain its fiscal soundness and grow.
“We must utilize expense management to ensure we are good stewards of the institution’s funds,” Knight said. “We will not round corners.”
Knight said she will also encourage school leaders to look for innovative ways to increase enrollment, retain students and increase the school’s graduation rate.
“I have continuously prayed for the wisdom, strength and courage it will take to lead this institution with integrity, compassion and a servant’s heart.”