President Libby named Higher Education Woman of the Year

Stetson University President Wendy B. Libby, PhD, recently was named Higher Education Woman of the Year and honored as an Influential Woman in Business.

President Wendy Libby receives the Higher Education Woman of the Year award from The Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Volusia/Flagler Business Report at an awards luncheon Oct. 2. Photo courtesy of the News-Journal

Libby received the honors from The Daytona Beach News-Journal and its Volusia/Flagler Business Report at an awards luncheon on Oct. 2 at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach Shores.

As the News-Journal recounted in an article, the luncheon had a few humorous moments, such as when it was erroneously stated that Libby was retiring as president of Stetson in February of this year.

“I just got a terrific shock,” Libby joked upon receiving her award, “because I’m not retiring until the end of June (2020). Maybe I’ll just go to the beach house now and call it quits.”

Libby said receiving the award underscored the privilege of living “in a county like Volusia where we hold up higher education all the time. We are all making it better for the generations that will come after us,” she said in the News-Journal article.

Libby became Stetson’s ninth president in July 2009 and a search now is underway for her replacement. The Presidential Search Committee recently announced that it has identified a small number of outstanding candidates for the Stetson presidency and expects to announce the university’s 10th president in November.

exterior of Rinker Welcome Center
The Marshall & Vera Lea Rinker Welcome Center is among the new buildings added during President Wendy Libby’s tenure.

Since Libby’s arrival, undergraduate enrollment has risen nearly 50 percent to an all-time high of 3,183 this Fall semester. Total student enrollment across Stetson’s four campuses reached 4,429 in Fall 2019.

During her tenure, Stetson has added new academic programs and buildings, renovated the Carlton Union Building, and recently completed a $200 million comprehensive campaign, “Beyond Success – Significance,” which raised money for student scholarships and other student initiatives, faculty and academic support, capital projects and endowment.