The HBCU Presidential Spotlight Series is sponsored by the Office of the President and CEO, Founder Demetrius Johnson, Jr., at HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) introduces chancellors and presidents who currently serves a Historically Black College or University. This initiative recognizes those individuals who serves our nation higher ed institution daily, changing and educating lives while producing the next generation of leaders.

Tony Allen, Ph.D., President of Delaware State University.

Committed to a vision of making Delaware State University the most diverse, contemporary HBCU in America, Tony Allen became the University’s 12th President on January 1, 2020. He succeeded Dr. Wilma Mishoe, the first female chief executive in the institution’s history.

“I consider Delaware State University to be one of the most important institutions in the country,” Tony said on his first day in office. “I don’t choose those words lightly. Few institutions specialize in providing access to a four-year, comprehensive education to students who lack every advantage except sheer determination to do better for themselves and their families.”

Delaware Governor John Carney added, “Tony understands that the University’s role today is helping to build our workforce, while having both a social and economic impact on Delaware.”

Tony had previously served as Delaware State University’s Executive Vice President and Provost since July 2017. As Chief Academic Officer of the nation’s #4 public HBCU (as ranked by US News & World Report), he led a faculty of more than 220 professors in 18 academic departments, serving over 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

In two-and-one-half years as Chief Academic Officer, Tony implemented a reorganization of the University’s academic colleges and the professional advising unit. Under his leadership, the University has developed new impact-oriented organizations including the Center for Neighborhood Revitalization and Research and the Center for Global Africa, while materially expanding the institution’s global partnerships in China, Poland, Jamaica, and across Africa.

During that period, the University’s funded research portfolio increased from $19 million to $23 million (7th among HBCUs) and the institution’s chartered Early College High School graduated its first two classes, sending 52% of those students to Delaware State University with an average of 40+ college credits already earned.

He has labored tirelessly to raise public awareness and build or expand new partnerships for Delaware State University. Public and nonprofit endeavors have included the City of Wilmington, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Executive Leadership Council. Simultaneously, the University has been expanding corporate partnerships with JPMorgan Chase, Corteva, Exelon, Apple, the FMC Corporation, and many others.

This work has not gone unnoticed. In 2018, Tony received the Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic Civic Leadership in Higher Education Award, and in 2019 the Delaware Barristers Association honored him with its Excellence in Education Award for his “leadership and outstanding contributions to the field of education,” which has “demonstrated a true social commitment to social justice and equality for all.”

Of Tony’s tenure as Provost, Board Chairperson Dr. Devona Williams said, “Tony has materially strengthened our academic and research enterprise. He has a complete understanding of the challenges and opportunities in higher education, and particularly what it takes for students at a Historically Black College or University to succeed in academics, in establishing a career, and in life.”

Previously, Tony led the corporate reputation group at Bank of America and was responsible for developing programming to influential media elites, national social justice advocates, academics and elected officials and their staff at federal and local levels. He was also responsible for ongoing reputation analysis and related research; led communications for the bank’s Consumer, Commercial Banking, and Wealth Management businesses; and co-chaired the Global Marketing & Corporate Affairs Diversity & Inclusion Council. He started his financial services career as an Executive Vice President at MBNA America.

Tony’s career has been primarily characterized, however, by his lifelong commitment to public service, including service as the Founding President of both the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League and Public Allies Delaware. In the former position, he received the National Urban League’s highest honor, the Whitney M. Young Award for Advancing Racial Equality. From the foundation he provided to Public Allies Delaware, the organization has graduated more than 1,000 young adults as “Allies,” who have provided more than 1 million hours of public service to Delaware communities.

Within the field of public education in Delaware, Tony chaired the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission and its predecessor organization, while also serving on the Board of Directors for the Rodel Foundation. His work there was instrumental in providing the starting point for the newly appointed Redding Consortium for Educational Equity. He currently co-chairs the Greater Kent County Workforce Education and Skills Development Group.

Tony has served twice as the Chairperson for the United Way of Delaware’s $20 million annual charitable campaign, and is Chair Emeritus of the National Urban Fellows. He held a position on the transition teams of both Governors Jack Markell and John Carney, and was a speechwriter for then-U.S. Senator Joe Biden.

He holds a 1993 Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Delaware and a 1998 Master’s Degree in Public Administration in Nonprofit Management and Community Development from the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College (CUNY). He completed his academic journey at the University of Delaware’s Joseph R. Biden Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration by earning a 2001 Ph.D. His dissertation was on “Devolution and Intergovernmental Decision-Making: The Delaware Welfare Reform Experience.”

Over the past 15 years, Tony has been an active scholar and lecturer in the field of public policy and educational reform. In 2002, he began that career with the study Handgun Violence in Delaware for the Urban League and collaborated with Dr. Leland Ware on The Geography of Discrimination: Hyper-segregation, Isolation, and Fragmentation within the Black Community. In the ensuing years, he has contributed multiple articles on similar subjects, including “Much is Required” in the Urban League’s 2017 Report on the State of Black America.

Tony has maintained an active speaking schedule on behalf of Delaware State University and the overarching vision of educational access for all. He recently appeared at the Apple “Educause” Conference in Cupertino, California; keynoted the Ellucian Conference for Historically Black Colleges and Universities; appeared at the National Orientation Director’s Association (NODA) HBCU Summit; and addressed the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), among others. Among his many international appearances, Tony has given the Commencement address at Ningbo University of Technology in China, as well as keynoted the Convocation for Adunkele Ajasin University in Nigeria.

As Tony said in the video released on New Year’s Day 2020, “I am a first-generation college student. My father never completed 11th grade; my mom raised me as a single mother. They believed so strongly in education that it never occurred to me I had any other choice except to go forward as far as talent and opportunity would take me. Providing low-cost, high-quality education not only to the best and the brightest, but especially for those who are locked out or underserved, is not just Delaware State University’s history, it is WHO WE ARE. Our doors always have and will be open to everyone, regardless of skin color, national origin, the god they worship, who they choose to love, or how much money their family makes.”

Why did you want to become a College/University president and why at an HBCU?

I consider Delaware State University to be one of the most important institutions in the country. I don’t choose those words lightly. Few institutions specialize in providing access to a four-year, comprehensive education to students who lack every advantage except sheer determination to do better for themselves and their families.

How does it feel to serve as a College/University President?

It is a unique and high honor and one I take with great humility.

What is your definition of leadership? What have been your leadership priorities as president?

I believe in the power of “WE.” To be successful in any complex enterprise, you have to surround yourself with talented people; given them clear, overarching directives and as many resources as possible; and then set them to work. Initiative and innovation are rewarded, and accountability is essential. Without an environment of mutual personal and professional respect, you can achieve little. I am blessed with an exceptional team at this University at all levels, and sometimes my biggest challenge is to make sure they make time to take care of themselves and their families.

When I was first appointed, I gave everyone my “It all Matters” philosophy. Click here: https://delawarebusinesstimes.com/news/people/90-in-90-tony-allen/.

What does HBCU mean to you? Are the HBCU institutions relevant to the higher education space?

To state my position unambiguously: Delaware State University’s future centers on always embracing our HBCU heritage, and having our actions testify every day that we are among the most important institutions in the world, literally building “a more perfect Union” and educating better global citizens.

Our core mission has not changed in 129 years: find young people who are as bright, energetic and driven as any in the world, and pay special attention to those who don’t realize their power and promise. Provide them an exceptional education and never let them forget where they come from, or the ones who made the sacrifices to give this opportunity. Whether they are Dreamers from Georgia or first-generation students from Georgetown, we are the place to call home.

Last fall, I wrote to the Delaware State community to say that I was profoundly grateful to God for affording me the enormous, life-changing opportunity to serve this University, and to be entrusted with a leadership role in finding our collective place of continued usefulness and honor in the world. For each of us at Delaware State University, doing so requires that we be better tomorrow than we are today, work harder – and smarter – than we have before, and strive without fear… TOGETHER.

What are the three goals you are planning to accomplish for the 2020/2021 academic year?

  1. Growth through innovation – ensuring that we continue to attract talented students from a wide-array of backgrounds on campus, virtually around the world.
  2. Building a culture of unwavering customer service.
  3. Putting the students at the center of everything we do.

How important is it to you for students to receive their education while attending an HBCU?

Today, there is a clear juxtaposition between the enormous possibilities of Black economic and political power and the continued bifurcation of mass incarceration of young Black men, the destabilization of densely populated urban centers and the deeply divisive opportunity gaps and lower wages for African American people writ large. Those tensions are rooted in the prospects of a well-education American citizenry and a belief, or lack thereof, that our country is better positioned for the future if every segment of society sees success as a link to that of their fellow citizens. As such, HBCUs in general, and Delaware State University in particular, play a profoundly substantive role.

What is the most interesting challenges of working as an University President and in the space of higher education?

Taking advantage of the University’s unique assets and identity, pursuing a long-term strategy that offers a big vision for the future, attracting a variety of financial and programmatic stakeholders and balancing a longstanding commitment to underserved and non-traditional students with initiatives that enhance its contributions to scholarship, service, social justice and economic empowerment.

What has been the proudest moments of your presidency so far?

Graduating our first class of DREAMERS. 

As you may know, Delaware State University is the #1 national school of choice for DREAMERS (children of undocumented immigrants under DACA), and we currently enroll about 175 of them. During the Fall of 2017, there was a strong move by the administration to eliminate the protections that DACA has provided these students, most of whom were brought to the United States at an age younger than six, and who have known no other country. Delaware’s senior United States Senator Tom Carper had been—and continues to be—a fierce champion for these students. He came to campus to meet with the Dreamers and update them on the progress of the fight. It was an announced meeting, but not originally intended as a large public gathering. Our students, faculty, and staff decided otherwise, and left classes and offices in the middle of the day in numbers exceeding 1,000 to come out and stand with our Dreamers, to communicate a very simple message: “You are part of our community, our family; we love you and will support you come what may.” I hope to be here for many years, but that expression of love and solidarity may be unmatched in my tenure.

What are the two or three initiatives that most excite you as you look forward to your future as president?

One cannot overstate the power of a community of talented scholars and professionals – students, faculty and staff alike – who make significant and continuing contributions to the world around them and who carry forward the identity and priorities of the university they represent. Delaware State University is such an institution.

Why should students choose to attend your HBCU institution?

Our mission is to produce capable and productive leaders who contribute to the sustainability and economic development of the global community. Done right, this kind of education represents the hope of a great country, because it testifies that people, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, or who they love, can be made equitably competitive in a smaller, more connected world.

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About Delaware State University

DSU enjoys a long history as one of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Founded in 1891 as the State College for Colored Students, DSU is proud of its heritage as one of the country’s first land-grant educational institutions. Today, the institution is a welcome center of learning for student from many backgrounds. DSU’s current population includes a 63% African-American enrollment and an increasing number of Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian and other international students. For more information, visit www.desu.edu.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund 

HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a nonprofit advocacy educational organization that is mission to support the significance and raises funds for scholarships, initiative programming, and for public and private HBCUs and MSIs. HCF remains today as a strong advocacy for students and higher education. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

The HBCU Presidential Spotlight Series is sponsored by the Office of the President and CEO, Founder Demetrius Johnson, Jr., at HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) introduces chancellors or presidents who currently serves a Historically Black College or University. This initiative recognizes those individuals who serves our nation higher ed institution daily, changing and educating lives while producing the next generation of leaders.

Dr. Kevin James serves as the Interim President of Morris Brown College, a historically black college located in Atlanta, Georgia founded in 1881. In this role he leads as CEO and is responsible for leadership and management of all aspect of college operations and responsibile for the development and execution of the vision and strategic direction for the college in concert with the Board of Trustees. In his nearly 21-year career as higher education administrator, faculty member, executive business leader, and motivational speaker, Dr. James is committed to improving his community through education and empowerment. He has served in various executive-level roles in higher education and the non-profit sector. Prior to his current post as Interim President, Dr. James served as Interim CEO of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc., Internationally headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The mission of 100 Black Men of America is to improve the quality of life and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans. A native of Columbia, S.C., Kevin attended South Carolina State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and Social Sciences from Winthrop University; a master’s degree in Business Management Leadership, and Organizational Effectiveness from Troy State University; and a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He is also a graduate of the Higher Education Institute at Harvard University.

Why did you want to become a College/University president, and why at an HBCU?

I particularly wanted to work at an HBCU because no other organizations affects the black middle class like these institutions. HBCUs educate the minds of a large percentage of minorities who are going to move this country forward!

At the end – and the beginning – of the day, our work is all about the students. The important work of academic leaders is to assure educational quality and improve institutional effectiveness. My vision is to fully restore Morris Brown and serve as the premier model for shaping and ensuring the quality of higher education throughout the college and community. Ensuring quality through the accreditation process and improving the quality through the accreditation process and improving the quality of the educational product that our academic departments yield, and to safeguard and improve student learning outcomes will be my focus as President, while also ensuring fiscal stability.

How does it feel to serve as a College/University President?

I am honored to have been selected by the Morris Brown Board to serve at the helm of Georgia’s only HBCU started and funded by black people; being named president will allow me to strategize future growth and directions from a longstanding viewpoint. I look forward to continuing this great work in collaboration with the board of trustees, students, staff, alumni, and other shareholders to resurrect this historic college back to prominence. We will continue working to obtain accreditation, ensure financial stability, build a strong relationship with alumni, and grow enrollment through the “Hard Reset.”

What is your definition of leadership? What have been your leadership priorities as president?

“Leadership is influence, nothing more nothing less.” John Maxwell

My priorities as the leader of Morris Brown College have been accreditation, financial stability, and governance.

What does HBCU mean to you? Are the HBCU institutions relevant to the higher education space?

The Higher Education Act of 1965 defines an HBCU as any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans.

HBCUs are synonymous with culture, quality, special attention to black students, diversity, success, the arts, and pride just to name a few. Unlike the other HBCUs operating in Georgia, which benefited from the financial backing of their white founders, Morris Brown College was founded in 1881, when the African Methodist Episcopal Church decided to open a school for black students after the Civil War. It was the first (and only) institution of higher education to be owned and operated by and for African Americans in Georgia, and over the course of the next century, it became a vehicle for advancement within the African American community.

What are three goals you are planning to accomplish for the 2020/2021 academic year?

Three goals that we are planning to accomplish for the 2020/2021 academic year include the following:

  1. Candidacy for accreditation with the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
  2. Financial Stability/Increased fundraising
  3. Improved Governance

How important is it to you for students to receive their education while attending an HBCU?

I am an executive leader who is student-centered first and foremost. For this reason, for many years I have wanted to become a President at an HBCU. Under my direction, students, faculty, and staff will be led through transparency and integrity. My style of leadership requires me to be quantifiable, visible in the community, and have an open-door policy. I am approachable and value diversity and multicultural competency. I am bridge builder who has the savvy to bring people together, thereby eliminating silos. Students at Morris Brown will not just be educated, but will be able to compete in this global society against graduates from any institution.

What is the most interesting challenges of working as an College/University President and in the space of higher education?

The most interesting challenge of working as a college president is the number of hats one must wear to be effective. The college presidency is 50 jobs rolled into one. According to an article posted in the Chronicle of Higher Education entitled, “The Toughest Job in the Nation/The College Presidency,” the author argued several points of why the job is challenging. From experience, I agree with many of his perspectives. In the article it was noted that through survey, presidents were asked specifically, what frustrated them. The top frustration among both pubic and private college leaders was the lack of financial resources. This has been Morris Brown’s number one issue. Additionally, college presidents answer to a very large number of outspoken constituencies including students, staff, faculty, trustees, alumni, and in many cases, political leaders – none of which can be ignored. My most interesting challenges of being Morris Brown College President has been resolving problems with no resources. It has been challenging; however, we have been successful thus far. I believe, if there is will, then there is a way.

What has been the proudest moments of your presidency so far?

The proudest moments of my presidency so far has been the wins that have pushed us closer to fully restoring the institution. We are excited about the future of Morris Brown College. Morris Brown has made wonderful progress within the last thirteen months. The state’s approval (Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission {GNPEC}, which authorizes and regulates the operations of in-state nonpublic and out-of-state postsecondary colleges and schools operating or offering instruction in Georgia) is a clear sign that Morris Brown College is headed in the right direction and gaining momentum for its future. Moreover, we have led negotiations with the AME church to remove a 4.2 million-dollar debt which clears a pathway towards accreditation. Moreover, MBC has received over 1 million dollars in grant funding toward the restoration of iconic Fountain Hall. Additionally, the institution has made tremendous progress with accreditation, governance, rebranding of the institution, partnerships, and fiscal stability. We have provided bold leadership to address problems.

What are the two or three initiative that most excite you as you look forward to your future as president?

I am excited about Morris Brown Colleges’ future. We will continue working to obtain accreditation, ensure financial stability, build a strong relationship with alumni, and grow enrollment through “The Hard Reset.”

To accomplish our goals, we have identified six strategic priorities:

  1. Institutional Sustainability: through gaining accreditation and developing sustainable resources that enable the achievement of the College’s mission.
  2. Strategic Enrollment Management: by practicing effective enrollment management to optimize student access, retention, program completion and success through relevant programming, high-quality instruction, and comprehensive educational support services;
  3. Organizational Excellence: through promoting an organizational culture that encourages excellence and success by developing and supporting individuals, teams, and processes that contribute to the effective and responsible management of teaching and learning, student success, human resources, facilities, services, technology, and finances;
  4. A Market Response Institution with Innovative Academic Programs by strengthening existing market-relevant programs and developing workforce development, continuing education, and professional education programs to prepare its students with 21st century skills;
  5. Technology and Integrated Learning Space: by strengthening our technology infrastructure to provide educational and workforce opportunities, improve student access and utilization, and advance the College’s operational effectiveness; and
  6. Maximizing Strategic Partnership Opportunities: by expanding our brand, which is mission critical to ensure the success and sustainability of our institution, as strategic partnership opportunities are pivotal to increasing our visibility in the community and scaling reach and impact.

Why should students choose to attend your HBCU institution?

Morris Brown College is truly at a crossroad in its history. The institution is diligently working to reemerge to its prominence, utilizing strategic planning, which will lead to accreditation and sustainability. Morris Brown’s goal is to become a candidate for accreditation by October 2020. if selected as a candidate school, the institution will be eligible to apply for Title IV Funding (Federal Aid) for students. The College is proud of its tradition of serving the educational needs of the best and brightest young minds, while simultaneously providing educational support to students who might not otherwise receive the opportunity to compete on the college level. New students will be a part of a rich legacy and literally be part of history as Morris Brown College is fully restored!

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About Morris Brown College

Morris Brown College provides educational opportunities in a positive and nurturing environment that will enable its students to become fully functional persons in the global society. The College prepares graduates to live meaningful and rewarding lives, thereby enabling them to make socially constructive and culturally relevant contributions to society. For more information, visit www.morrisbrown.edu.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund

HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a nonprofit advocacy educational organization that is mission to support the significance and raises funds for scholarships, initiative programming, and for public and private HBCUs and MSIs. HCF remains today as a strong advocacy for students and higher education. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

 

 

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher learning that were established on or before 1964 with the intentions of making education available for freed slaves. Today, many of those institutions continue to grasp that value while also serving minority and diverse populations. HBCUs are dominant to the higher education sector, uplifting and playing the role as backbone institutions.

For more than 140-years in history, HBCUs are studied to having a student-centered background. Faculty and staff are categorized to provide a nurturing family-oriented atmosphere. HBCUs are also considered to have become institutions that serve low-income, first-generation, and academically underprepared students. Though those students were previous or are label as “at risk of not entering or completing college,” however, HBCUs continue to strive to maintain their beliefs and mission to turning those students into scholarly leaders.

The majority of the nation’s HBCUs were established independently by an educator, slave, or black founded church and then turned over to the state because of economic conditions; it is essential that we take an active interest in giving back and supporting their missions. Today, there are various ways to give, but the most vital needs are monetary. There has been a calling for years for all alumni, Greeks, supporters, corporations, and organizations.

Each year, state and federal appropriations are frequently cut from various HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions, subject by state. The first institutions targeted are HBCUs or MSIs, and for multiple reasons play a much factor in the decision. Also, each year chancellors and presidents come before law markers to ask for continuous monetary support for their institutions.

Though your giving will not support the total institution expenses and operational costs, however, it will be meaningful to assisting a student and providing a reduction toward their educational cost. When you invest in higher education, specifically an HBCU, you are paying back homage to those who died advocating for African-Americans to have an education. Even if you do not support monetary wise, you can contribute to other ways, which include; recruiting, supporting athletics, and positively promoting your favorite HBCU.

Your contributions will attract others who may have an interest in supporting, prospective students, and legislators that will be mindful of how your HBCU existence is well needed in today’s society. And, in this day and time, your support is much needed and well appreciated. Always remember, your HBCU institution was there by your side since day one, molding you into the scholar and leader that you presently are today. It academically prepared you to step into life after college, the working world.

Note that there are corporate organizations and foundations support HBCUs; UNCF, TMCF, Tom Joyner Foundation, HBCU Campaign Fund, and Club 1964, Inc. Visit your HBCU’s official website and find more information on ways to give directly.

I genuinely appreciate your support of our HBCUs and MSIs. Let’s keep them alive; we shall not close the doors of another historically black institution.

 

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” – Bill Gates.

The dynamics of higher education in America today are driving the demand for a new set of skills and capabilities for tomorrow’s leaders. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) provide quality education to low-income, first-generation, and academically underprepared students. Those institutions of such also serve a diverse population while maintaining the role as the backbone of educational institutions for more than 140-year history.

As President and CEO, Founder at the HBCU Campaign Fund, a non-profit that advocates for HBCUs and MSIs, leadership plays a substantial role in the management of the day-to-day operations of an institution. This third select group of individuals has proven their responsibilities for shaking policies, changing perspectives and making decisions that affect millions of individuals in the higher education sector and the daily needs of an HBCU or Minority-Serving Institution.

Below, HCF has compiled a list of ten chancellors and presidents that currently serve an HBCU or MSI who is a dominant and influential leader that presently displays the following responsibilities in the progress of moving their institutions forward.

President Zaldwaynaka Scott

10. Zaldwaynaka Scott was unanimously voted by the Board of Trustees’ to serve as the 12th permanent president of Chicago State University and assumed the role on July 1, 2018. Under her leadership, CSU has a renewed focus on growing student enrollment, building the school’s regional and national reputation for scholarship and academic research, improving the resources and opportunities available to the student body, and increasing alumni and community engagement.

Prior to her current role, President Scott spent more than 16 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois where she served as Chief of the General Crimes Section. She also served as Illinois’ first Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Governor and Public Universities. President Scott has taught at some of the nation’s most competitive law schools, including Northwestern University School of Law, The University of Chicago Law School and John Marshall Law School. She also served on the Board of Visitors at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and was the Board’s elected Vice President of the Chicago State Board of Trustees from 2010-13.

President Scott’s peers rank her among the nation’s top lawyers, resulting in her inclusion in Chambers and Partners USA, U.S. News Best Lawyers, Women in Business Law Guide, The Best Lawyers in America, Lending Lawyers 2015, Top 10 Women in Criminal Defense and Illinois Super Lawyers.

President Scott holds a law degree from Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Dr. Patricia G. Sims

9. Dr. Patricia G. Sims was named as the fourth president of J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College in Huntsville, Alabama, in December 2018 by the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees. Under her leadership, Drake State is transitioning to become the premier training destination for businesses in greater Huntsville.

Dr. Sims has 25 years of experience in K-12 and higher education. Most recently, she served as dean for the College of Education at Athens State University after 12 years as an administrator for the Alabama Community College System. Before that, she was the director of student services management and dean of instructional and student services at Drake State for more than 12 years. She has also served as a teacher and principal in the Huntsville City Schools Systems.

Dr. Sims was featured in the May 2019 issue of Business Alabama Magazine, representing a diverse field of industry and education, recognizing her work as president.

Dr. Sims holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of West Alabama, a master’s degree in secondary education from Alabama A&M University, and a doctorate in educational leadership and organizational development from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Dr. Kevin W. Cosby

8. Dr. Kevin W. Cosby was named the 13th President of Simmons College of Kentucky (SCKY) in 2015. Two years later, the college returned to its original campus. In the 13 years of his tenure, he has led the institution in generosity and vision, as demonstrated by his refusal to accept a salary from the college. Under his visionary direction, SCKY was granted accreditation by the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) in February 2014, expanded its campus and added three new degree programs, and was officially designated as the nation’s 107th Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in April 2015. Prior to Simmons College, Dr. Cosby has held administrative and teaching assignments at Kentucky State University, the University of Louisville, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary. Additionally, his exceptional oratorical skills have garnered lecture engagements at universities and institutions all over the world, including Harvard University.

Since 1979, Dr. Kevin Cosby has served as Senior Pastor of St. Stephen Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Due greatly to his practical and dynamic Bible teachings, the congregation has grown from 500 to approximately 14,000 members, and has been recognized by Outreach magazine as one of the 100 largest churches in America (2010) and Emerge magazine as one of the six “super churches” in the South.

Dr. Cosby has authored five highly-acclaimed books: Get off Your But!: Messages, Musings & Ministries to Empower the African-American Church; As They Want; Treasure Worth Seeking; Who’s Your Daddy?: Life Lessons from the Prodigal Son and Loyal to the Royal. He has been a contributing writer to a number of books, journals, and periodicals.

Dr. Cosby earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, a master of divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, and a doctor of ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Eastern Kentucky University, Bellarmine University, and Campbellsville University.

Dr. Karrie G. Dixon

7. Dr. Karrie G. Dixon was named the 12th Chief Executive Officer and 7th Chancellor of Elizabeth City State University in December 2018. Prior to her appointment as interim chancellor, Dr. Dixon served as co-lead on the ECSU New Directions Phase 2 Operational Team since early 2017.

Dr. Dixon has served as a senior administrator at the University of North Carolina System since 2008. In 2014, she was promoted to Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. During her tenure, she was responsible for providing University-wide guidance for policy that shapes the work and practice within academic and student affairs divisions. For nearly ten years, she has provided the UNC System office with her expertise in academic policy while leading various student success initiatives and managing processes to increase student access, enrollment, retention, and graduation rates. She has also served as the Chief Student Affairs Officer for the UNC System, working closely with the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and other University leaders on efforts regarding community college transfers, enrollment, and minimum admissions requirements, campus safety, and military student success.

Setting an institution-wide expectation for accountability, commitment, and excellence at ECSU from the beginning of her tenure, Dr. Dixon ensures that faculty, staff, alumni, internal and external stakeholders, and other community members know how valuable they are to the success of the university and its students. She was recently featured as one of the “Young HBCU Leaders Look to Carry the Torch” by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Dr. Dixon holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Public Relations from NC State University, a master’s degree in Speech Communications and Rhetoric from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a doctorate of education for NC State.

Dr. W. Franklin Evans

6. Dr. W. Franklin Evans is the 9th President of Voorhees College, has been in the position since 2016. Prior to being named the President of VC, he served as the Interim President of South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC, where he also served as the provost and chief academic officer. Evans is well-versed in many areas; these include leadership and supervision in all academic programs and curriculum development, faculty recruitment, enrollment management, strategic planning, and the accreditation process. During his leadership, the institution has launched its first fully online degree program, unveiled a new surface at its track and field complex, and ended its fiscal year raising $1,150,850.35.

Several years ago, Dr. Evans served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at VUU and was instrumental in leading the university through a successful reaffirmation of accreditation. He also held academic leadership roles at Elizabeth City State University, J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College, Alabama A&M University, and Tennessee State University.

Dr. Evans earned a doctoral degree in higher education administration from Georgia State University. He earned a degree in journalism, middle childhood education, curriculum and instruction, as well as administration and supervision from Georgia State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in entomology from the University of Georgia in 1984.

Dr. Paul A. Jones

5. Dr. Paul A. Jones was appointed as the 10th president of Fort Valley State University in December 2015. Under his leadership, overall enrollment has grown by 0.9%. Before joining FVSU, he served two years as interim president at Darton State College in Albany, Georgia.

Prior to his interim presidential appointment, he served in numerous senior leadership roles at Georgia College & State University, including senior vice president for finance and administration, vice president and chief of staff, vice president for institutional research and enrollment management, and several interim roles including interim vice president of academic affairs and president. Dr. Jones was also a Professor of Educational Administration at Georgia College.

Dr. Jones earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree at Utah State University, and also holds a doctor of philosophy degree in education and human resource studies from Colorado State University.

Dr. Elwood L. Robinson

4. Dr. Elwood L. Robinson was named Chancellor of Winston-Salem State University in, September 2014, by the Board of Governors of the 17-campus University of North Carolina, and assumed his duties in January 2015. Dr. Robinson was inducted as a member of the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame on September 27, 2019.

In 2016, the university rolled out a five-year strategic plan that focuses on strengthening liberal education, enhancing academic excellence, and building a commitment to social justice through community engagement. Under his leadership, the university has made great strides in integrating what students learn in the classroom into every element of campus life. Additionally, WSSU maintains the highest six-year graduation rate of any of the UNC System’s minority serving institutions and is ranked as Money Magazine’s no. 1 public HBCU for 2019-20.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Robinson served as Provost and Vice-President of Cambridge College. As a Cambridge College’s chief academic officer, Robinson has advised the president on matters of educational policy and the development of teaching and academic programs. Before, he was named Director of the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program, which provides research-training opportunities for students and faculty from minority groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences.

From 1993-1996, Dr. Robinson also served as chair of NCCU’s Psychology Department. During his three-year term, he instituted a new clinical master’s program, developed a faculty development program, increased external funding, and improved graduation rates by 25 percent. In 2006, he was named founding Dean of the NCCU College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, where he oversaw nine departments, five centers and over 200 faculty and staff.

Dr. Robinson earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from North Carolina Central University; a master’s degree in psychology from Fisk University. He earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from Pennsylvania State University. He later completed his clinical training as a research associate at Duke University Medical Center.

Dr. George T. French, Jr.

3. Dr. George T. French, Jr., was named the fifth president of Clark Atlanta University in September 2019. He served as president of Miles College, 2006-2019 before taking the lead at CAU. During his tenure, Miles College exceeded capital campaign goals – besting previous fundraising records, achieved an unprecedented financial composite score to position the school for growth, increased student access to educational funding, and more than doubled the size of the existing campus with key land acquisitions.

Prior to serving as the president of Miles College, Dr. French served in the roles of acting and interim president for the institution between October and December 2005. Before serving as interim president, Dr. French served as a member of the President’s Cabinet in the capacity of director of Institutional Planning and Development, and as such directed the offices of Alumni Affairs, Federal Contracts and Grants, Title III, Institutional Research and Effectiveness, Congressional Relations, and Public Relations.

Dr. French earned a bachelor degree in political science with an emphasis in policy analysis from the University of Louisville. He was competitively accepted into the University of Richmond Law School and completed two years of studies before being recruited by Miles College to serve as the Director of Development. He completed his final year of law school at Miles Law School, earning a Juris Doctorate. Dr. French received his Ph.D. in higher education from Jackson State University.

In 2015, Dr. French co-founded Higher Education Leader Foundation to help prepare highly-skilled talent for positions of leadership at historically black colleges and universities.

Dr. Cynthia Warrick

2. Dr. Cynthia Warrick was named the 7th president of Stillman College in July 2017, prior to her appointment she served as interim president. Dr. Warrick raised roughly $2 million through alumni outreach to cover debt service and summer operating expenses as well as boost recruiting efforts.

A pharmacist and health services researcher, Dr. Warrick has 20 years of Higher Education experience as faculty and administrator. She previously served as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Management, Policy and Community Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health, Center of Health, Promotion and Prevention Research. Dr. Warrick then served as an Associate Professor and Director of Environmental and Occupational Health at Florida A&M University before she served at Elizabeth City State University as a Tenured Full Professor of Pharmacy, Dean, and Chief Research Officer.

In 2012, Dr. Warrick was selected as Interim President at South Carolina State University. In 2014, she was appointed as Interim President of Grambling State University, where she brought stability to the institution in its crisis. In 2017, Dr. Warrick was appointed as Interim President of Stillman College. Prior to, she was a Senior Fellow at Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and also served as President of the Society for Diversity in the Biomedical Sciences, based in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Warrick earned her bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Howard University; and completed the masters of science in public policy from the George Institute of Technology, and the doctorate in environmental science & public policy from George Mason University.

Dr. Warrick is focused on connecting students and the college to opportunities that advance academic excellence, degree completion, admissions into graduate and professional schools, and fruitful careers.

Dr. Billy C. Hawkins

1. Dr. Billy C. Hawkins has served as president of Talladega College since January 1, 2008. During his tenure, he has stabilized finances, increased fundraising, expanded academic offerings, successfully guided the College in reaching record-breaking enrollment increases.

A 45,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art residence hall opened in January 2019. In 2020, two new facilities will open. On January 31, 2020, a ribbon-cutting will be held for the Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art, which will house six critically-acclaimed Hale Woodruff murals, including the renowned Amistad Murals. To construct the museum for Woodruff’s murals, which are valued at 50 million dollars, Dr. Hawkins secured Talladega’s largest-ever financial gift, a one-million-dollar donation from alumnus Dr. William R. Harvey. Dr. Hawkins also secured a 1.5 million dollar contribution from Alabama Kay Ivey and the State of Alabama.

Dr. Hawkins spearheaded a similar transformation at Texas College, where he also served as the 20th President. Prior to his arrival, the College had lost both its accreditation and its membership in the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). Prior to joining Texas College, Dr. Hawkins served as Provost, Vice President for Academic and Professor of Education at Mississippi Valley State University. He began his career as an educator in the Lansing Michigan Public Schools System. Dr. Hawkins also served as Vice President for Academic Affairs/Professor at Saint Paul’s College; Acting Dean, Associate Dean, and Assistant Dean/Professor in the College of Education at Ferris State University; and Director of Educational Opportunity Program, State University of New York at Morrisville College.

Dr. Hawkins earned a bachelor’s degree in Teacher Education from Ferris State University; a master’s degree in education administration from Central Michigan University; and a Ph.D. in education from Michigan State University. He completed post doctorate study at Harvard University.

 

Every Monday, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) will spotlight a Chancellor or President who currently serves a Historically Black College or University. This initiative recognizes and introduces those individuals who serve our nation HBCUs on a daily basis, changing and educating lives while producing the forthcoming visionary leaders of tomorrow.

This week’s Chancellor or President:  Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, Talladega College

Billy C. Hawkins, PhD

Dr. Billy C. Hawkins has served as president of Talladega College since January 1, 2008. During his distinguished tenure of the institution’s 20th president, he has stabilized finances; increased fundraising; expanded academic offerings; successfully guided the institution through SACSCOC accreditation; and led the College in reaching record-breaking enrollment increases. Under his leadership, Talladega College has been completely transformed and revitalized.

During his first year at the College, Dr. Hawkins implemented rigorous plans for renovation and growth. As a result of his vision, enrollment doubled from just over 300 students to 601 students in one semester; athletic programs were reinstated for the first time in ten years; and major campus beautification projects were undertaken. Today Talladega College has 1,217 students and is listed among the Princeton Review’s best colleges in the Southeast and U.S. News and World Report’s best regional colleges and best HBCUs. The college recently launched its first-ever graduate program, an online Master of Science in Computer Information Systems. In addition, the campus is undergoing a major physical transformation.

A 45,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art residence hall opened in January 2019. In fall 2019, the College will open its first-ever student center, a 47,000-square-foot facility replete with a 2,000-seat arena as well as a banquet hall, restaurant, convocation center, computer lab, health care clinic, VIP suite, concession stand, coffee lounge and convenience store. Ground has also been broken on the Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art, which will house six critically-acclaimed Hall Woodruff murals, including the renowned Amistad Murals. To construct the museum for Woodruff’s murals, which are valued at 50 million dollars, Dr. Hawkins secured Talladega’s largest-ever financial gift, a one million dollar donation from alumnus Dr. William R. Harvey. Dr. Hawkins also secured a 1.5 million dollar contribution from Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and the State of Alabama.

Dr. Hawkins spearheaded a similar transformation at Texas College, where he also served as the 20th president. Prior to his arrival, the College had lost both its accreditation and its membership in the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). During his 7-year tenure, which began December 1, 2000, the institution flourished. There was an 82% increased in student enrollment within the first ten months of his arrival. Under his leadership, the institution regained accreditation in 2001, stabilized its finances, and also regained its membership in the UNCF. Dr. Hawkins implemented five new academic programs, constructed three new facilities, remodeled all academic and student service facilities, procured property assets, eliminated all long-term debt, and started new athletic programs which won three championship. As a result of the remarkable turnaround, the college received a new 10 year accreditation in 2006.

Prior to joining Texas College, Dr. Hawkins served as Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Education at Mississippi Valley State University. During his tenure at Mississippi Valley State University, he developed and proposed 18 new academic programs; increased internet accessibility and computer access for students and faculty; spearheaded diverse innovative faculty development initiatives; and re-engineered the registration process. Dr. Hawkins began his career as an educator in the Lansing Michigan Public Schools System. His passion for teaching led him to the field of higher education where he has served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs/Professor at Mississippi Valley State University; Vice President for Academic Affairs/Professor at Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia; Acting Dean, Associate Dean, and Assistant Dean/Professor in the College of Education at Ferris State University; and Director of Educational Opportunity Program, State University of New York at Morrisville College. 

A prominent leader in the field of education, Dr. Hawkins has appeared on numerous television programs, including the O’Reilly Factor with Bill O’Reilly on FOX News, the Don Lemon Show on CNN, the Armstrong Williams Show, the ABC Evening News with the late Peter Jennings, BBC News, and diverse programs on local ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX affiliates. In addition, he has been featured on the cover of Diverse Issues in Higher Education and highlighted in publications such as Alabama Business Magazine, U.S. News and World Report and the Chronicle of Higher Education

Dr. Hawkins serves as chair of the 36 presidents of member institutions for the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) board of directors, and also serves as UNCF chair of the executive committee of member institutions, vice chair of the corporate board, and vice chair of the corporate board executive committee. He was appointed by President Donald Trump to the White House Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities in September, 2018. In addition, he was appointed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey to serve on the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council. Dr. Hawkins is the first African American to chair the Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the author of two books, and a member of the Talladega Rotary Club, the Delta Upsilon Boule and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He is a recipient of the Vanguard Award from the Higher Education Leadership Foundation, the Colonel Leo Thorsness Courage Award, the Ferris State Distinguished Alumni Award, the Kent Hall of Fame, the Presidential Service Award from the HBCU Title III Administrators, Inc, the Distinguished Service Award to the Nation’s HBCUs, a Certificate of Appreciation from the Anniston Army Depot, Alabama’s Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc’s Graduate Citizen of the Year Award, and the Theta Tau Chapter’s Citizenship Award. Quality of Life Health Services named Dr. Hawkins a “Hero in Healthcare for 2018.” In recognition of his leadership in the community and the College’s 17 million dollar economic impact in the region, the Talladega City Council presented Dr. Hawkins with the Key to the City and other awards at a special council meeting and reception held in his honor in 2019.  

The Kent, Ohio native holds a B.S. in Teacher Education from Ferris State University; an M.A. in Education Administration from Central Michigan University; and a Ph.D. in Education from Michigan State University. He has completed post doctorate study at Harvard University. Dr. Hawkins and his wife Lucy reside in Talladega, AL. 

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About Talladega College

Talladega College is located in an historic district of the city of Talladega, Alabama. The campus is on a plateau about 700 feet above sea level in the heart of a fertile valley in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The campus is a quiet place – away from the distractions and fast pace of urban living. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund

HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a non-profit advocacy organization which is mission to supporting the significance and campaign in raising funds for scholarships and services at historically black colleges and universities and predominately black institutions. HCF advocates for students, alumni, HBCU and PB institutions. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

Every Monday, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) will spotlight a Chancellor or President who currently serves a Historically Black College or University. This initiative recognizes and introduces those individuals who serve our nation HBCUs on a daily basis, changing and educating lives while producing the forthcoming visionary leaders of tomorrow.

This week’s Chancellor or President:  Dr. William R. Harvey, Hampton University

Dr. William R. Harvey, President of Hampton University

Dr. William R. Harvey is President of Hampton University and 100% owner of the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Houghton, Michigan. Since 1978, he has served with distinction as President of Hampton University and created a monumental legacy during his forty-one year tenure-one of the longest tenures of any sitting president of a college or university in the country. Dr. Harvey is described as “one of the most focused individuals that one can meet. He is relentlessly single-minded” when it comes to the advancement of the University. During the time that he has served as the helm, Dr. Harvey has made countless contributions to the University, the state of Virginia, and the nation.

Since being named President, Dr. Harvey has introduced innovations, which have solidified Hampton University’s stellar program among the nation’s colleges and universities. His innovative leadership is reflected in the growth and quality of the University’s student population, academic programs, physicals facilities, and financial base. During Dr. Harvey’s tenure as President, the student enrollment at Hampton University has increased from approximately 2,700 students over 6,300.

Dr. Harvey is the visionary and leader behind numerous community and educational initiatives. In 1994, he chaired the Virginia Peninsula United Way Campaign. He was the first African-American to head the organization’s annual drive and raised a record setting $6.6 million. Dr. Harvey chaired the annual fundraising dinner for the National Conference of Christians and Jews and was the first guest host at the Celebrity Luncheon for the Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Red Cross. A Star Scout as a young boy, he endowed an outstanding leadership award and leadership forum for the Colonial Virginia Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Dr. Harvey continued to share his treasure with the Peninsula community when he and Mrs. Harvey endowed a $1,000,000 scholarship in honor of his father for students from Hampton and Newport News who aspire to be teachers.

Dr. Harvey’s financial leadership is indicated in the financial growth and stability Hampton has achieved during his forty-one years as President. The University has balanced its budget and achieved a surplus during each of those years. The endowment, which stood at $29 million when he became President, now exceeds $250 million. The University’s first capital fundraising campaign in 1979 had a goal of $30,000,000. That campaign raised $46.4 million. The most recent campaign had a goal of $200 million and raised $264 million.

Along with his duties as President, the corporate boards that Dr. Harvey serves on, or has served on, are Fannie Mae, Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Signet Bank, Newport News Shipbuilding, Wachovia Bank (Mid-Atlantic Region), Newport News Savings Bank, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Houghton, Michigan, National Merit Scholarship Corporation, and the Harvard Cooperative Society. He is a member of Virginia Association of Higher Education, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia, and the Omega Psi Phi and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities.

Dr. Harvey’s achievements have been recognized through inclusion of Personalities of the South, Who’s Who in the South and Southeast, Who’s Who in Black America, Who’s Who in American Education, International Who’s Who of Intellectuals, Two Thousand Notable Americans, Who’s Who in Business and Finance, and Who’s Who in America.

A native of Brewton, Alabama, he is a graduate of Talladega College. After graduating from Talladega College, Dr. Harvey served three years on active duty with the United States Army. During that time, he saw duty in Europe and in the United States. He is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve. Dr. Harvey earned his doctorate in College Administration from Harvard University in 1972. Prior to assuming his current position, he served as Assistant for Governmental Affairs to the Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University; Administrative Assistant to the President at Fisk University; and as Administrative Vice President at Tuskegee University.

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About Hampton University

Hampton University is a comprehensive institution of higher education, dedicated to the promotion of learning, building of character and preparation of promising students for positions of leadership and service. HU curriculum emphasis is scientific and professional with a strong liberl arts under girding. In carrying out its mission, the University requires that everything that it does be of the highest quality. For more information, visit www.hamptonu.edu.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund

HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a non-profit advocacy organization which is mission to supporting the significance and campaign in raising funds for scholarships and services at historically black colleges and universities and predominately black institutions. HCF advocates for students, alumni, HBCU and PB institutions. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

Every Monday, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) will spotlight a Chancellor or President who currently serves a Historically Black College or University. This initiative recognizes and introduces those individuals who serve our nation HBCUs on a daily basis, changing and educating lives while producing the forthcoming visionary leaders of tomorrow.

This week’s Chancellor or President:  Dr. Paulette Dillard, Shaw University

Dr. Paulette Dillard, 18th President of Shaw University.

Dr. Paulette Dillard, the 18th President of Shaw University, has a rich teaching history having taught biology for over 20 years at various institutions. Prior to her appointment as Shaw interim President, she served as Vice President for Academic Affairs.

During her tenure at Shaw University, Dr. Dillard served as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Department Chair for Professor of Biology. She also has served as Coordinator of undergraduate research infrastructure, and Co-Director of the academic enrichment programs for the National Institutes of Health funded National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) project.

Dr. Dillard also served as a research mentor for interns as part of the Shaw in Jamaica-Mon International Student Research Training Project, a collaborative partnership with The University of the West Indies. During the summer, Dr. Dillard and the student research interns spent six week in Kingston, Jamaica conducting research and examining the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of Jamaican men of African descent who were diagnosed with prostate cancer. This study was of interest to Dr. Dillard since it is well documented that Jamaica men have the highest mortality rate from prostate cancer when compared with other ethnic groups.

Dr. Dillard serves on the boards for the Carolina Small Business Development Fund and the Dorothea Dix Conservancy. She has been involved with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center and the LaunchRALEIGH initiatives since inception. Throughout her career, Dr. Dillard has served on the boards of a number of professional and community organizations.

Dr. Dillard earned a bachelor of science degree in biology at Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina and received a master of science degree in biology from Tennessee State University. She went on to earn an MBA from the Jack Massey School of Business at Belmont University and a Ph.D. in Biological Science from Clark Atlanta University (CAU). She completed postdoctoral training at the Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development at CAU.

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About Shaw University

Shaw University, is the first historically black university in the Southern United States. Shaw is a private liberal arts institution affiliated with the Baptist Church and among the oldest HBCUs in the nation. Founded in 1865, Shaw University has a rich history steeped in tradition, activism and service. Shaw University was the first college in North Carolina to offer a four-year medical school; the first institution of higher learning established for freedmen after the Civil War and the first historically Black College in the nation to open its doors to women. For more information, visit www.shawu.edu.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund

HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a non-profit advocacy organization which is mission to supporting the significance and campaign in raising funds for scholarships and services at historically black colleges and universities and predominately black institutions. HCF advocates for students, alumni, HBCU and PB institutions. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

Every Monday, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) will spotlight a Chancellor or President who currently serves a Historically Black College or University. This initiative recognizes and introduces those individuals who serve our nation HBCUs on a daily basis, changing and educating lives while producing the forthcoming visionary leaders of tomorrow.

This week’s Chancellor or President:  Dr. Kevin W. Cosby, Simmons College of Kentucky

Dr. Kevin W. Cosby

In 2005, Dr. Kevin W. Cosby was named the 13th President of Simmons College of Kentucky (SCKY). Two year later, the college returned to their original campus. In the 13 years of his tenure, he has led the campus in generosity and vision, as demonstrated by his refusal to accept a salary from the college. Under his visionary direction, SCKY was granted accreditation by the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) in February 2014, expanded it’s campus and added three new degree programs, and was officially designated as the nation’s 107th Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) in April 2015.

Dr. Cosby has held administrative and teaching assignments at Kentucky State University, the University of Louisville, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary. Additionally, his exceptional oratorical skills have garnered lecture engagements at universities and institutions all over the world, including Harvard University.

Dr. Cosby has authored five highly-acclaimed books: Get off Your Butt!: Messages, Musings & Ministries to Empower the African-American Church; As They Went; Treasure Worth Seeking; Who’s Your Daddy?: Life Lessons from the prodigal Son and Loyal to the Royal. He has been a contributing writer to number of books, journals and periodicals.

He has been the subject of many national articles and documentaries, which consistently list him among Kentucky’s most influential leaders. His 2007 selection as Louisvillian of the Year is a tribute to his outstanding contributions to the community. He was ranked #1 of the Top Ten Religious Leaders in Louisville by Louisville Magazine in the October 2011 issue. In the spring of 2012, he was inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni at Eastern Kentucky University. In February 2015, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights inducted Dr. Cosby into the Kentucky Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians at the state capitol. He is the 56th African American afforded this honor.

Since 1979, Dr. Cosby has served as Senior Pastor of St. Stephen Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Due to his practical and dynamic Bible teachings, the congregation has grown from 500 to approximately 14,000 members, and has been recognized by Outreach Magazine as one of the 100 largest churches in America (2010) and Emerge Magazine as one of six “super churches” of the South. During his tenure at St. Stephen, the church has transformed from the “little church on the corner” to a multi-faceted instituion that includes a 1,700-seat worship center, a cutting-edge $4 million inner-city family life center and a 1,000-seat worship facility in Jeffersonville, Indiana. In October 2013, Dr. Cosby began a satellite church in Hardin County, Kentucky. During the first Sunday’s service, seventy people united with the church.

A staunch proponent of education, Dr. Cosby earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, a master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Eastern Kentucky University, Bellarmine University and Campbellsville University.

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About Simmons College of Kentucky

Simmons College Of Kentucky is an institution of biblical higher education dedicated to educating people in the urban context through strong academic and professional programs in order that they may become productive citizens and agents of change in society. For more information, visit www.simmonscollegeky.edu.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund

HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a non-profit advocacy organization which is mission to supporting the significance and campaign in raising funds for scholarships and services at historically black colleges and universities and predominately black institutions. HCF advocates for students, alumni, HBCU and PB institutions. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.



Every Monday, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) will spotlight a Chancellor or President who currently serves a Historically Black College or University. This initiative recognizes and introduces those individuals who serve our nation HBCUs daily, changing and educating lives while producing the forthcoming visionary leaders of tomorrow.

This week’s Chancellor or President:  Dr. Logan Hampton, Tenth President of Lane College

Dr. Logan Hampton, 10th President of Lane College

Dr. Logan Hampton was named the 10th President of Lane College on June 12, 2014. Since assuming his presidency, Dr. Hampton led the campus to strengthen its brand and Christian ethos, approve associate degrees, expand online course offerings, establish a more conventional student residential community with a robust first year experience program, and improve the arts, recreation and athletic facilities.

Prior to joining Lane College, Dr. Hampton served in numerous student services capacities at UALR, University of Central Arkansas, Texas A&M University and Texas Christian University. At UALR he served as Vice Provost for Student Affairs, the chief student affairs officer, and as an adjunct faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership, College of Education. While at UALR, Dr. Hampton was chosen by the students as Administrator of the Year and Staff of the Year. He was also presented the Brother’s Keeper Leadership Award for his work in co-founding the African American Male Initiative.

Active in the college, community and church, Dr. Hampton serves on the Board of Directors for National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), the General Connectional Board of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and the Board of Trustees for West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation, Jackson, TN. In addition to working as a higher education administrator, Dr. Hampton is an ordained elder in full connection of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. He served twenty-four years as a pastor in the Arkansas Region of the First Episcopal District.

Dr. Hampton has a Doctorate in Education in Higher Education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). He earned a Master of Arts in Student Personnel Services from Northwestern State University in Louisiana, and he received his Bachelor of Science in Biology (minor in math) from Arkansas Tech University.

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About Lane College

Lane College, located in Jackson, Tennessee is a small private, co-educational, church-related institution that provides a liberal arts curriculum leading to baccalaureate degrees in the Arts and Sciences. The College admits persons regardless color, sex, religion or national origin. Visit www.lanecollege.edu for more information.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund

HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a non-profit advocacy organization which is mission to supporting the significance and campaign in raising funds for scholarships and services at historically black colleges and universities and predominately black institutions. HCF advocates for students, alumni, HBCU and PB institutions. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.


Individuals that define a visionary president are those who are cited for being committed to diversity, engagement with local communities, and committed to equality in opportunity. Mentioned are a few of those visionary leaders who are demonstrating a vision for the future of HBCUs.

Swiftly approaching her full first year as a Historically Black University president, Jerald Jones Woolfolk, 20th President of Lincoln University of Missouri, is at the forefront of continuing the mission of leading LU as a 21st Century HBCU.

Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk, Ph.D., 20th President of Lincoln University – Missouri. Photo Credit: Jefferson City Magazine.

With a work experience of 34 years, and 15 of those years serving in senior level administration positions, President Woolfolk has served at several HBCUs prior too Lincoln. Her presidency will mark one year as of June 1, 2019. The Jackson State University alumna is passionate about the logistics of graduating students within four years of their colligate studies

Featured in the Jefferson City Magazine, Woolfolk stated; “I know the value of an education and how it changes lives and patterns of living. As a native of the Mississippi Delta, one of the most impoverished areas of the country, education was my path to a better life. My parents instilled in my siblings and me from a very early age that we were going to college, and we did.”

Woolfolk’s goal is to strengthen the relationship between Jefferson City and Lincoln University. She wants the community to know that Lincoln University is a partner in the future growth and development of Jefferson City. She currently serves on the Board of Director for United Way of Central Missouri.

Sworn in as the tenth president of Morris College on April 12, 2019, Dr. Leroy Staggers is also a first-time college president. For sixteen years, he served as Academic Dean and Professor of English.

The Voorhees College alumnus has served as the academic dean at Morris College for 16 years. Staggers hopes to work diligently to keep students front and center, in all his decision made. He also plans to build onto the great achievement of past president Dr. Luns C. Richardson, who served the college for 43 years. He died in 2018 at the age of 89.

Before joining the Morris College family in August of 1993, Staggers served as Vice President for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of English and Director of Faculty Development at Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina. He has also worked as his alma mater as Chairman of the Division of Humanities and Assistant Professor of English. Also, Staggers served as Instructor of English and Reading at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama.

Dr. Leroy Staggers pictured with students of Morris College.

Credited for her leadership with leading the institution to an increase in enrollment, improvements with tuition cost, and grant growth. Dr. Karrie G. Dixon took the helm as interim chancellor of Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) on April 9, 2018.

Dixon, who co-chaired ECSU’s Working Group Phase 2: A New Direction, since October 2017, was appointed by University of North Carolina System Past President, Margaret Spellings. Prior to joining the UNC System, Dixon served a total of 10 years combined at two other UNC campuses. She was an assistance vice provost at North Carolina State University and remains and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the College of Education’s Department of Leadership, Policy, Adult and Higher Education. Dixon received her bachelor’s from NC State University.

Dr. Karrie G. Dixon, Chancellor of Elizabeth City State University.

Rebounding the institution from low enrollment and financial difficulties, after a year Dixon was named by UNC Board of Governors as Chancellor. On Friday, September 6, she will become the 7th chancellor installed and the second woman to hold the position.

ECSU is one of three UNC campuses that is a part of providing $500 tuition per semester in encouraging North Carolina high school graduates to further their education at their institution.

Named as ‘HBCU Male President of the Year’ on numerous occasions, Dr. Makola M. Abdullah exemplifies visionary onward. Serving as the 14th President of Virginia State University since February 1, 2016, Abdullah has proven VSU to its best values and continued growth for long-term success.

Under Abdullah’s leadership, the University had a 30 percent increase in fall 2016 enrollment. In 2017, the University’s first-time Freshmen increased nearly 50 percent than the number in 2015. Previously served as provost and senior vice president at Bethune-Cookman University, he has also served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Florida Memorial University, and dean and director of 1890 land grant programs at FAMU.

An HBCU graduate himself, Abdullah received his undergraduate degree from Howard University in civil engineering from Northwestern University. He also is recognized as the youngest African American to earn a Ph.D. in engineering.

Quoted by him; “I believe in God. I believe in family. I believe in the transformative nature of education. I believe in Virginia State University.”

Dr. Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D.

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