Shaw University introduces Irma McClaurin as the new president.

She will be the first female president at the historically black college in Raleigh.

Before accepting the position at Shaw, McClaurin was associate vice president for system academic administration at the University of Minnesota, and executive director of the Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center in Minneapolis.

McClaurin was introduced during a grand ceremony on Shaw's campus that included singers, dancers and even a red carpet.

A number of community leaders and Shaw representatives welcomed the 15th president including interim president, Dorothy Yancy.

"Take this wonderful and very special place to the next level," said Yancy. "Best wishes to you and remember I'm just a phone call away if you need me."

Her hiring comes as the school struggles with debt which in the summer of 2009 was reported at $20 million.

There was no talk of the past financial woes at the university during the ceremony on Thursday.

McClaurin is known for being a fundraising whiz and she's hoping to turn around the college's financial troubles by creating new partnerships.

"We have to be strategic in looking for new partnerships and corporations have always been a good fit," explained McClaurin.

Students seemed excited about the new leadership.

"I want Shaw University to become a more prestigious university than it already is and I think President McClaurin can help accomplish that goal," said Ulysses Hall.

The school's last named president, Clarence Newsome, left the university amid a financial crisis in 2009. He held the position for six years.

There was even a reported move to oust Willie Gary as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, but he still holds the position.

Written By Maggie Alexander
Article Republished Courtesy of NBC17