Huntington University to inaugurate its 13th president

Sherilyn Emberton
Dr. Sherilyn Emberton
Inauguration Reception Donors
Shown, from left to right, are President Sherilyn Emberton, Thomas Allred, PHD Inc. director of operations, Marty Songer, PHD Inc. board member.

Watch the inauguration ceremony live on YouTube, beginning at 2:30 p.m. (EST) on Friday, October 4, 2013.

HUNTINGTON, Ind. One short statement set into motion her presidency and established the pride she has in Huntington University: "Today is a great day to become a Forester."

Three months ago, Dr. Sherilyn Emberton entered Huntington as the 13th president of the institution. She follows a long line of successful leaders, and with that in mind, she went immediately to work creating her own legacy.

At 2:30 p.m. Oct. 4, Emberton will be inaugurated as Huntington's president. The ceremony will take place in the Zurcher Auditorium of the Merillat Centre for the Arts. A presidential commissioning service, planned and directed by students, will be held on Oct. 3 at College Park Church in Huntington.

"I want to make Huntington University a better place," Emberton said. "I want to make it a place to equip fantastic young people for the Lord."

During the inauguration ceremony, Emberton will give an address and will be welcomed by representatives from higher education and the United Brethren Church as well as members of local, state and national government, including U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) and Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson.

The official inaugural address will be shared by Dr. Bud Austin, former chancellor of LeTourneau University; Dr. Dub Oliver, president of East Texas Baptist University; Dr. Eugene Habecker, president of Taylor University and the 11th president of HU; and Dr. G. Blair Dowden, immediate past president of HU.

A reception will be held immediately following the ceremony in the upper level of Habecker Dining Commons.

Emberton previously served as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas. She earned a Doctor of Education degree in 1999 from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She completed her undergraduate study at Stephen F. Austin State University where she received a Bachelor of Science in education degree in 1979. She earned a Master of Education degree from the same institution in 1981.

Emberton is a native Texan who was born in Irving, Texas, near Dallas. Prior to her work at East Texas Baptist, she was the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn. Upon completion of her doctorate, she was hired by LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, to lead its new teacher education program. In 2005, she was named the associate vice president for academic affairs for the institution.

Emberton has extensive experience with diversity initiatives and academic program development, having launched graduate programs in counseling, education, law, medicine, nursing, religion and sports leadership. In addition to her background in higher education, she extensive knowledge of the business field, having worked as a broker and owner in real estate development and management companies over a 10-year period.

Emberton has been recognized by her peers and colleagues with the Robert H. Selby Award for Teaching Excellence awarded by LeTourneau University; the Outstanding Leadership Award by the Texas Association of Colleges of Teacher Education; the John O. Stephens Outstanding Alumnus Award from Stephen F. Austin State University; and the Meritorious Service Award by the National Association of Academic Deans.

She began her tenure at HU on June 1, having succeeded Dr. G. Blair Dowden who retired on May 31. He served the university for 22 years. She is the first woman to serve as president of Huntington in 116-year history.

The inauguration ceremony, dignitary luncheon and reception are sponsored by local companies and organizations, including PHD Inc. with special thanks to Marty Songer, board member, and Thomas Allred, director of operations; Sodexo; iAB Financial Bank; Dr. Ron Baker and Evelyn Baker, family of HU's 10th president, Dr. DeWitt Baker; DeBrand Fine Chocolates; College Park Church; SilverTowne Mint with special thanks to 1971 alum David Hendrickson; Clounie Landscaping Inc.; and Huntington Nursery & Florist.

For more information about the inauguration, visit