Wood, who is 41, previously served as vice president for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity at San Diego State. He attended Sac State and earned both his bachelor’s degree in Black History and Politics, and his master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership.

“I know what Sac State is capable of doing,” he said in a prepared release. “I was a Black male, former foster child, first-generation college student who struggled with food insecurity and housing insecurity, and was able to graduate because of the incredible people and systems of support that were in place.”

During his time as a student at Sac State, Wood served as a board member for the student governmental body, Associated Students Inc. University officials said he met his wife, who also attended Sac State, at the Hornet’s Nest — which is now known as the University Union.

After earning his master’s at Sac State, Wood continued his education, earning a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Arizona State University.

He began working as a professor at San Diego State in 2011, where he has operated as a co-director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab, chief diversity officer and member of the president’s cabinet. In 2017, he became the first Black faculty member named a Distinguished Professor at San Diego State.

Sitting President Robert Nelsen announced plans to retire in July last year. Nelsen, who is 70, served as president of the university since 2015 and saw a 187% increase in 4-year graduation rates.

Wood will take over as president on July 16, according to the university.

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