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Carmen Ambar was named the first African-American president of Oberlin College, an institution known for opening its doors to Blacks and women in the 1800s. It is the oldest liberal arts college in the United States and is the first college to admit African-Americans.

Ambar, the school’s 15th president, is just the second woman to hold the post.

Ambar was born July 3, 1968 in Little Rock, Arkansas. She attended Georgetown University for undergraduate studies and holds degrees from Princeton University and The Columbia University School of Law. In 2002, Ambar was named Dean of Douglass College, part of the Rutgers University network in New Jersey. Her appointment made her the youngest dean to lead the school.

Currently, Ambar is the president of Cedar Crest College, a private liberal arts women’s college in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She has held that post since her inauguration in 2009. Known for her commitment to education and retaining students, Ambar aims to bring her strong record of success to Oberlin’s halls when she begins this fall.

Ambar is married to Saladin Ambar, a politics professor at Rutgers University. They are the parents of triplets.

PHOTO: Oberlin College

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Little Known Black History Fact: Carmen Ambar  was originally published on