By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The University of the Sciences introduced its new president Thursday afternoon. The appointment is historic in more ways than one.

“I am so excited and proud to be named your president.” For that, Dr. Helen Giles-Gee received a standing ovation.

The Alabama native is the first woman and first African-American to ever be appointed to the position. But, she is no stranger to Philadelphia, having received her bachelor’s, masters and PhD from Penn. She was provost at Rowan University and at one time, took classes at U. Sciences.

“It’s always an honor when an institution you attended comes back and asks you to come and be considered in a different capacity.”

She says, although she is humbled by the significance of her appointment, her focus will be on showing what she can do.

“I hope I can represent those who are women and who are African American and assure them that this is a job that they can have because they can do this job.”

Giles-Gee says she accepted the post to raise the profile of U. Sciences at a time science and healthcare is at the forefront.

“Just to be a part of that right now, at this time, in this nation, is exciting.”

Mayor Michael Nutter and Councilwoman Janie Blackwell were among the dignitaries that attended the announcement ceremony on U. Sciences’ campus.

Dr. Giles-Gee will take her post on July 16th of this year.

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