Former Centre professor to speak at opening convocation in August

Published 6:08 am Tuesday, August 7, 2018


Centre College

Nayef H. Samhat, president of Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, will be the featured speaker at Centre College’s opening convocation on Sunday, Aug. 26. His topic will be the importance of civility on college campuses.

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The annual ceremony marks the official start of the academic year and offers an opportunity for the whole college to meet the new members of the faculty and new first-year students.

It will be a homecoming for Samhat, who taught at Centre from 1996 until 2009. He was Frank B. and Virginia B. Hower Associate Professor of Government and International Studies and associate dean at the College when he was tapped to be provost and professor of political science and international studies at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, in 2009. He became Wofford’s 11th president in 2013.

During his time at Wofford, he has developed a strategic plan and led the college through three major construction projects, a re-evaluation of the general education curriculum, an assessment of and re-commitment to diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus, and the start of a comprehensive capital campaign.

Samhat currently serves on the executive committee for the Council of Independent Colleges national board of directors and on the national board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. He represents the Southern Conference (the nation’s fifth-oldest NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association) on the NCAA board of governors and the NCAA Division I board of directors.

A native of Detroit, Samhat holds a B.A. in international affairs from George Washington University, an M.A. in international affairs from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University.

Samhat is married to Prema Samhat, who will join him for the return trip to Centre’s campus in Danville. They have three daughters: Alia, Jehan and Leila Samhat.