A 30-year employee of St. Petersburg College rode an overwhelming tide of public support to be named the school's first female and first black president.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that 53-year-old Tonjua Williams was named recently as the school's new leader.
Williams will take the reins amid faculty discontent and financial unease, facing down a projected $6 million to $10 million shortfall with little support from a state Legislature that favored state universities this year. She also takes her place among the region's institutional heavyweights, overseeing a school with some 40,000 students and nearly a dozen campuses and centers.
SPC, the state's first two-year college, has grown into a school with more than 100 career-focused programs, including bachelor's degree tracks far cheaper than those of state universities.
Williams graduated from Clearwater Christian College and later received her Master's in Education from the University of South Florida and a Doctorate in Education from Barry University.