This year, leaders in the House and Senate were able to work out their differences and pass the bill.
House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, got choked up Monday as he remembered Henderson's legacy.
"Herb Henderson was a great man. He was also a very good friend of mine, and I loved him very much," Thompson said. "It's an honor to be able to do this for him."
Thompson credited Delegate Clif Moore, D-McDowell, for pushing the bill to create the office each year.
"There were a lot of people who worked very hard on this, and Clif was willing to lay himself down in front of a train," Thompson said.
After the Senate removed funding for the creation of the office in 2011, Moore spoke on the House floor, accusing Senate leaders of being either racist or sexist for pulling the funding.
Moore later apologized and said a misunderstanding over the funding drove the Senate's action. He then worked with Senate leaders to ease concerns.
Stuart earned a master's degree in counseling from Marshall University, and a doctorate in counseling education from Virginia Tech. She has worked at jobs in higher education, counseling, project development, mediation and consulting in the area of cultural diversity over the course of her career.
Stuart said the office is designed to assist not just racial or ethnic minorities, but anyone who thinks they've been denied a voice or access to opportunities in society.
"My hope is that we will move forward and serve our constituents throughout the state and make sure that every individual has an equal opportunity," Stuart said.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at jared.h...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5148.