The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) tirelessly advocates for the future of students, HBCUs, and MSIs as we continue to strengthen our role as leading advocates in the space of higher education. However, to continue the necessary work, we urge for your continued support and generosity to reach our demanding goals.

I know you care deeply about the #HBCUNation and the continued fight to Campaign for HBCUs. So, put your compassion into action by supporting the HBCU Campaign Fund now.

Your gift today will support our critical work and help push our advocacy further in 2021:

  • Provide scholarship to financial need base high school students and students attending HBCUs and MSIs;
  • Providing and funding more initiative and innovative programs that will enhance HBCU students critical thinking;
  • Continue the advocacy mission of the HBCU Campaign Fund and its operational costs;
  • Continue the support of private and public HBCUs and MSIs;
  • And so much more!

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Your donation will work twice as hard to help continue the work that we do at HCF with your help. Consider supporting our mission and cause; thank you for your generosity!

Please help, donate today, and help us continue advocating for students and higher education.

With gratitude,
Demetrius Johnson, Jr.
President and CEO, Founder

With a heavy heart, I am saddened to share the news of the passing of Mississippi Civil Rights icon Meredith C. Anding, Jr., who died Friday at the age of 79. He was an active member of the NAACP, where he worked closely with Medgar Evers.

In 1961, Anding was one of the nine students, who were undergraduates at Tougaloo College, and staged sit-ins at the all-white Jackson Main Library in Jackson, Mississippi. Prior to the sit-ins, African Americans were prohibited from using the city’s main library. The nine students were members of the Jackson Youth Council of the NAACP. Medgar Evers, who was then president of the Jackson branch of the NAACP, trained them for the sit-in protest.

The group was later known as the Tougaloo Nine. We indeed are indebted to Mr. Meredith Anding Jr., James S. Bradford, Alfred L. Cook, Geraldine Edwards, Janice Jackson, Joseph Jackson Jr., Albert E. Lassiter, Evelyn Pierce, and Ethel Sawyer for the bravery sacrifices that they have made towards injustice in this country, and the continued equality for African Americans today.

Please join me in offering sincere condolences to his family and the Touglooo College community during this sorrowful time.

Dear HCF supporter,

2020 has been one of the most challenging years in HBCU Campaign Fund’s (HCF) history for advocating for students and HBCUs. Yet, because of your support, we were still able to institute and campaign for HBCUs.

You have helped make all the difference. Without your generosity, none of this is possible.

Please celebrate with us – enjoy this look at our brief Year in Review showing the impact and difference you help make possible.

And when you take a look, know that your gift today will accomplish so much more good in 2021, because there’s still so much to do to help students and advocate for HBCUs and MSIs.

When you help today, your donation will work twice as hard to help to continue the work that we do at HCF – consider donating before December 31st. Thank you for your continued support and generosity!

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There is still time to make a difference. We hope you enjoy our Year in Review moments, it was you who helped make everything possible.

With gratitude,

Demetrius Johnson Jr.
President and CEO, Founder

What is missing from the piece of a long record of historically black college and university (HBCU) credentials is the hidden history of Saints Industrial and Literary School. The campus remains still stands present in Lexington, Mississippi. It all started when the founder and first president, Dr. Arenia Cornelia Mallory, was invited by Charles Harrison Mason to serve as a music teacher at a local religious school for black students in Lexington, Mississippi.

Pictured above is Dr. Mallory’s “Jubilee Harmonizers”. She is seen in the center of the photo; eventually male voices were added to the group.

Later, she organized five singers and toured them to raise money for the school. She then developed a larger school chorus, named the Jubilee Harmonizers, who traveled and became nationally famous. They eventually performed at the White House for President Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt. Their touring helped to raise funding for what become known as the Saints Industrial and Literary School. The institution was a secondary private school for students in grades 1-12. It was later renamed and called Saints Academy. She educated an estimated of 20,000 students through Saints.

The affiliation of the school is with the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ (COGIC); Mallory served as its president from 1926 until 1977. In 1975, she was recognized as the only black college woman president. The campus was developed to have classrooms and dormitories, and a junior college department was produced before 1963. Mallory’s intention was to established high standards for Christian behavior and education. Through the decades, she led the students by integrating public schools and the broadening role for blacks after the passage of civil rights legislation. Mallory helped developed many African-American leaders through her mission.

Historic marker placed outside the campus of the historic Saints Industrial and Literary School in Lexington, Mississippi. Photo courtesy of the Communications and Marketing team at the HBCU Campaign Fund.

The institution was once notable for its inclusion in a landmark federal case, Coffey v. State Educational Finance Commission (1969) that challenged the state of Mississippi’s tuition grant program for segregated schools. Saint was the only private school to receive state aid for black children. Grants covered 80% of Saint’s tuition cost in the 1967-1968 school year.

Mallory was a charter member of the NCNW, which national leader and school president Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune founded. Because of their relationship, Mallory had open access to the White House. She extended the opportunity to present her work with Saints Industrial School to President Eleanor Roosevelt and the first lady, singing for them. In 1963, she was appointed to serve in President John F. Kennedy’s administration.

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and Dr. Arenia C. Mallory.

Through her status with Saints Industrial and with her civic activities, Mallory promoted her advocacy for the Black and poor sharecroppers in Mississippi and for the Civil Rights Movement. In 1968, she was the first woman and person of color to be elected to the Holmes County Board of Education. In 1974, she was elected to a second term.

Mallory was an active member of the Church of God in Christ Women’s Department, where she was a church leader. She cemented her significance to the Women’s Department and made the outreaches that were crucial for the next generations. Mallory’s friendship with Mary Bethune brought in new ideas to the Women’s Department. She served from 1952-1955 on the board of directors of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership, a pro-self help civil rights organization led by T. R. M. Howard from Mound Bayou, Mississippi.

Mallory’s leadership and work were featured in the May 1963 issue of The Crisis Magazine with the front page article written about her entitled “Mississippi Mud”. The Crisis article lauded her citing “Florida has its Mary McLeod Bethune, North Carolina has its Charlotte Hawkins Brown, and Mississippi has its Arenia Corenia Mallory, who, out of Mississippi mud has made it possible for children born, or yet unborn, to have a better heritage then chopping cotton.”

Anne Bailey Hall, Saints Industrial and Literary School – College Women’s Dormitory.

After Mallory’s retirement and death, followers tried to keep the school going, but the Delta’s population had declined as many families moved north or to larger cities. They were unable to succeed, and the school closed in 2006. In 2018, the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) invested in reopening the Saints campus. The campus was reopened, and its mission to train saints who will impact the world. Over $500,000 in renovations have been completed on the campus, and it is now a state-of-the-art facility where saints of all ages are welcome.

Saints’ history falls back as late as 1926 and typically qualifies for the designation of HBCU status. However, the institution’s accreditation is questionable as to why it may be jeopardized from receiving such status. HBCUs were established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary of Education to be reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation.


Dear HCF supporter,

Thank you for all you’ve done to support higher education with us throughout 2020. It has been a challenging year, but because of your support, HCF has never stopped advocating for students, HBCUs, and MSIs during these unprecedented times. So many of them have milestones to celebrate this holiday season, thanks to you.

With your help, our advocacy will go a lot further in 2021 when assisting students and supporting higher education. Doing what we do requires a great deal of generosity and dedication with a hand from passionate supporters like you. Without you, setting forth dreams cannot be made possible. When you give to HCF, your generosity works twice as hard and will significantly impact the work that we do.

Make a year-end gift today

As an HBCU Campaigner, you help change the lives of brilliant young people who are shaped into scholars determined to stay in college and succeed to become achievers. You help HBCU and Minority-Serving Institutions to stay open and continue providing a high-quality education to their specific populations. Please consider making a year-end contribution to allow HCF to push even further and help more students, HBCUs, and MSIs who need us most.

Thank you for joining the continued fight to Campaign for HBCUs!

With appreciation,

Demetrius Johnson Jr.
President and CEO, Founder
HBCU Campaign Fund

Dear HCF family,

All of us at the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) wish you and your families all the best this holiday season. On this Thanksgiving Day, we thank you for supporting the higher education community in making such a remarkable difference to ensure students accomplish their educational goals.

Every day, we are profoundly grateful for the grace of God, for his presence with us, and the many ways he is at work among us. We give thanks for the ways he has led us, sustained us, preserved us, and ignited us with his everlasting love.

I am thankful for the vision and advocacy that he has given in the light of making HCF an impact on higher education and others who we can encourage to fulfill their dreams. Nonetheless, I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of such a prominent organization.

During this holiday season, let us take time out from our daily tasks and duties to say thanks and reflect on the moments that we are thankful for. I want to take the opportunity to express my appreciation to our supporters and those who have invested in HCF’s mission. Your involvement is the richness to our community and strengthens our role as leading advocates in the space.

As you spend Thanksgiving Day traditionally with your families, please raise your glass for all of the accomplishments we have achieved together campaigning for HBCUs this year. Even so, know that you have been a part of making a real difference in the lives of HBCU students, HBCUs, MSIs, and the HBCU Campaign Fund, as well as those that need us most.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with joy and peace. Season’s greetings to everyone!

Kind wishes,

Demetrius Johnson, Jr.
President and CEO, Founder
HBCU Campaign Fund

Hello Supporter,

I wanted to inform you about the advocacy our organization does in support of students, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) 365 days of the year. Everyday, HCF tirelessly advocate for the better future of students, HBCUs, and MSIs as we continue to strengthen our role as leading advocates in the space of higher education.

We’d love to hear why you choose to support HCF. You can share your reason on social media using the hashtag #HCFILoveMyHBCU. We will share some of the heartwarming #HCFILoveMyHBCU stories on our social media pages throughout the month.

We thank you so much for your support. Your support and contributions only helps to strengthen our mission further each and every day, and continues the long-lasting fight to Campaign For HBCUs. Whether you serve on staff, volunteered, donated, or read or shared our content, it’s much appreciated. Because We Are HBCUs!

Warms Regards,
Demetrius Johnson, Jr.
President and CEO, Founder

I love college president’s who are a personal cheerleader for the institution that they currently serve. The usage of social media, rather it’s Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter in the life of a college president gives the students and stakeholders a taste of what life is really like on their campuses. This opportunity puts the HBCU pride in perspective and brings a personal touch to the platform for… RECRUITMENT and DOLLARS!!!!

Here is a list of college presidents and chancellors at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), which is not in no particular order. There are explanations of what inspires me to learn from each of them, who are behind those accounts daily.

Let’s thank them for their leadership!

Dr. Jack Thomas

President of Central State University. 1,451 followers on Twitter. 1,030 followers on Instagram. Dr. Thomas took office on July 1, 2020, and has hit the ground running ever since. He is focused on the growth of the institution through enrollment and financially. He is continually updating you on everything CENTRAL, follow him @StudentPres (Twitter) / @StudentPres_ (Instagram).

Aminta Breaux

President of Bowie State University. 1,629 followers. Dr. Aminta Breaux has served as the 10th president since July 2017, and her twitter account is well worth noting. It is like her own personal journal of her day-to-day duties as president of Bowie. Follow her @PresBreaux on Twitter.

Anthony L. Jenkins

President of Coppin State University. 670 followers on Twitter. Follow him @CoppinPresident on Twitter. Dr. Jenkins' leadership is such a dominant one, from following his journey at West Virginia State University, and now at Coppin State. His social media storyline is inspiring and exciting to follow to see what's in-store during his day-to-day duties on his presidential ride.

Karrie Dixon

Chancellor of Elizabeth City State University. 990 followers on Twitter. 1,246 followers on Instagram. Dr. Dixon informs, celebrates, and advocates every ECSU. Her content is intensely advertising and inspiring - makes you want to enroll as a student. Follow her @DrDixonECSU on Twitter and Instagram.

Makola Abdullah

President of Virginia State University. 5,731 followers on Twitter. 3,657 followers on Instagram. Dr. Abdullah's social media journey is a combination of a balance between inspiring engagement through VSU pride, his wife, or his children, and showing his whereabouts, such as his hobbies. Follow him @makolaabdullah on Twitter and Instagram.

Walter m. kimbrough

President of Dillard University. 21.1K followers on Twitter. 6,015 on Instagram. There are no words to describe President Kimbrough. A prominent advocate for the Black community and an exceptional leader of what he does. His content and social media journey is something that cannot be worth being a part of daily. Follow him @HipHopPrez on Twitter and Instagram.

Marion Fedrick

President of Albany State University. 882 followers on Twitter. I've fallen in love with President Fedrick's leadership since day one at Albany State. I recommend following her daily journey on this presidential ship. Follow her @AlbanyStatePrez on Twitter.

Elwood Robsinon

Chancellor of Winston-Salem State University. 3,531 followers on Twitter. 1,993 followers on Instagram. Dr. Robinson is the epitome of what WSSU campus life is really like currently. His social media journey as chancellor will display it all once you follow him. Follow him @elwoodrobinson (Twitter) and @chancellorrobinson (Instagram).
View this post on Instagram

#Freedom #WSSU #HBCU

A post shared by Elwood L. Robinson (@chancellorrobinson) on

Paul Jones

President of Fort Valley State University. 645 followers on Twitter. 104 followers on Instagram. Dr. Jones was named a Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leader of 2020 by the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), and it is nothing like following his everyday activity and accomplishments during his tenure at FVSU. You don't hear too much about what's going on at the campus; however, President Jones will keep you informed. Follow him @FVSUPresident on Twitter and Instagram.

Glenda Glover

President of Tennessee State University. 2,015 followers on Twitter. 1,211 on Instagram. Dr. Glover is the youngest to the social media scene. With her passion for higher education and desire for her beloved Greek organization Alpha Kappa Alpah Sorority, Inc., Glover's social media presence is an impactful one to follow. Follow her @gloverpres on Twitter and Instagram.

HBCU alums help shape the lives of thousands of students. And, we at HCF are so proud of their success. Here is a pick of ten HBCU alumni in leadership and leading in exciting, cool, and well-known careers in several fields.

DeMarco Morgan – News Reporter and Anchor, CBS News

DeMarco Morgan currently anchors at KCBS, for CBS2 News This Morning.

Since joining CBS News in October 2015, Morgan has covered a number of stories ranging from a provocative series addressing the nation’s heroin epidemic to being the first on the air for the network anchoring a special report on the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Morgan field anchored live coverage for the CBS Evening News from Houston, TX in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and also anchored the network’s special report for the shooting massacre at a small Texas church. He also sat down with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch for an exclusive interview at the Department of Justice on community policing.

A versatile reporter and anchor, Morgan has reported on a wide range of events, from the first national rally after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin to President Obama’s second inauguration. Morgan’s investigative reporting in Atlanta on the infamous House of Prayers resulted in the conviction of an accused child molestor. His extensive coverage on the impact of HIV/AIDS on African American women led to hundreds of people getting tested for the deadly virus.

Morgan joined CBS News from WXIA TV in Atlanta, where he was a reporter and co-anchor of the station’s 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM and 11:00 PM weekday newscasts since 2012. When he was not on the air, Morgan also taught broadcast writing and reporting at Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University.

Previously, Morgan worked as a weekend anchor for WNBC TV in New York while also serving as a cut-in anchor for MSNBC. Prior to that, Morgan worked as a weekday evening anchor and reporter at WTVJ TV in Miami, at WISN TV in Wisconsin, and WJTV TV in Jackson, Mississippi.

He has been honored with several awards including 2009 Thurgood Marshall Prestige Award for his community service efforts while working at WNBC; the Atlanta Business League’s “Men of Influence” Award in 2012.

He was named one of the nation’s Top Ten Collegiate Journalists in the country in 2001 by Scripps Howard and named one of the Ebony Magazine’s Top 30 Future Young Leaders of America in 2006. Morgan was also named one of South Florida Magazine’s top 40 most influential black professionals in 2008.

Morgan graduated from Jackson State University, where he received a bachelor’s of science in liberal arts. He also earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. While at Columbia University, Morgan was a Fred Friendly Scholar and interned at CBS News and 48 HOURS.

Michelle Curtain Stewart, Ed.D. – President of the Institute for Clinical Social Work

Dr. Michelle Curtain Stewart

Michelle Curtain Stewart was appointed as the eighth president of the Institute for Clinical Social Work in July 2019. Dr. Stewart came to ICSW from Lane College in Jackson, TN, where she served as vice president of academic affairs and an associate professor of sociology. Prior to joining Lane College, she served as executive director of the International Association for the Study of the Commons at Indiana University. In that position, she worked with an interdisciplinary team of researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and donors to support the organization’s global mission. In addition to holding various leadership positions, Dr. Stewart has participated in the following regional and national leadership development programs: Tennessee’s Executive Leadership Institute, Higher Education Resource Services, and the American Council on Education.

Dr. Steward holds a bachelor’s in political science from Alcorn State University, a master’s in sociology and doctorate in educational leadership both from Indiana University – Bloomington. Dr. Steward has more than twenty-two years of combined experience in business management and higher education leadership. She is an accomplished administrator and is a passionate advocate for educational access, social justice, and sustainable community engagement and development.

Myetie Hamilton – Vice President and Executive Director of City Year Chicago

Myetie Hamilton

Myetie Hamilton is a senior executive with over 20 years of experience leading innovative change in K-12 education, and has a deep personal and professional commitment to Chicago’s south side communities. Myetie currently serves as the Vice President and Executive Director of City Year Chicago. Prior to she served as the executive director EPIC Academic, a public charter higher school on the far southeast side of Chicago. In this role, Myetie lead organizational strategy and vision, fundraising and external relations, and board engagement.

Prior to taking on this role, Myetie served most recently as deputy chief of schools for network 9 with Chicago Public Schools, managing transformation efforts for 28 schools in Chicago’s Woodlawn, Bronzeville and Hyde Park communities. She also held positions in Chicago Public Schools as deputy chief of staff in the CEO’s office and chief of school business services for the district. In addition to her work in education, Myetie serves as board chair for the Provident Foundation, a non-profit with a mission focused on providing urban youth with exposure, mentoring and scholarship opportunities in the field of medicine.

Myetie believes deeply in supporting the children of Chicago and the importance of providing all students with access to quality school options. She was recently acknowledged by lifestyle media outlet Make It Better as one of Chicago’s 38 Top Black Women of Impact, and was a 2018 recipient of the Chicago Defender Women of Excellence Award. Myetie holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Alabama A&M University, a master’s degree in public administration from Illinois Institute of Technology and is a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, Class of 2016.

Maurice Gipson, Ph.D. – vice chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, University of Missouri

Maurice Gipson, Ph.D

Dr. Gibson previously served as vice chancellor of diversity and community engagement at Arkansas State University, prior to being named vice chancellor of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity at MU.

At Arkansas State, Gipson’s notable accomplishments include increasing overall minority student enrollment for three consecutive years, increasing community partnerships by 50% and developing strategic partnerships with 10 historically black colleges and universities as a graduate school pipeline. He also taught undergraduate courses in diversity and United Stats history.

Gipson also served two years as a special assistant to vice president for Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin. While at UT. Prior to that, he served as an institutional advancement and diversity consultant at Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma, where he developed a strategic plan to address the poverty in the state. Prior to that, Gipson was a student diversity coordinator at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he was responsible for developing a sustainable mentoring program.

Gipson is expected to receive a doctoral degree in history from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi, in December, and holds a Juris doctor from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as well as a master’s degree in history for Missouri State University in Springfield, and a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Dr. Jacqueline Gibson-Preastly

Jacqueline D. Gibson, Ed.D. – Vice President of Student Affairs, Mississippi Valley State University

Jacqueline Gibson earned a Bachelor’s in English in from Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU), a Master’s and Doctorate from the University of Akron in Communication and Higher Education respectively. Dr. Gibson began her career in Higher Education in ’99 – teaching English, Speech, and Communication. In 2000, she taught in Georgia State University’s Department of Communication and later moved to Director of McNair TRIO Program, until 2006. She than became Director of Learning Resource Center at Lincoln University, PA until 2008, and was promoted to Director of Student Life. In 2008, she was promoted to Dean of Students/Director of Student Life at Lincoln until 2012. In 2012-2013, she served at Kentucky State University as Assistant Vice President of Student Engagement and is currently Vice President of Student Affairs at MVSU.

Dr. Gibon’s professional development includes NASPA/SACSA Mid-Manager’s Institute, ACE’s Women’s Leadership Forum, Peer Review Evaluator for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, President of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Leadership Class, and member of the National Council of Negro Women.

Dr. Roger W. Davis – President, Community College of Beaver

Dr. Roger W. Davis

Dr. Roger Davis currently serves as the President of Community College of Beaver County (CCBC). Since coming to CCBC in July 2016, and prior to being appointed as Acting President, Dr. Davis served as Executive Vice President and Provost where he provided innovative leadership in support of a learning environment that values student achievement and degree completion. He oversaw all credit and non-credit instructional programs and provided guidance and support for college operations such as strategic planning, enrollment management, student success, and retention initiatives, and a culture of assessment.

Dr. Davis came to CCBC from SUNY Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York, where he served as Associate Vice President of Instruction and Academic Services. His previous experiences included leadership positions at Bauder Colleged in Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as Vice President of Academic Affairs; University of Maryland University College, where he taught and had responsibility for a wide range of academic services as an Associate Dean and Assistant to the Provost, and at Morgan State University, where served as Assistant Director and supported the University Honors Program and worked with over 700 gifted students annually.

Dr. Davis earned a doctoral degree in Urban Educational Leadership from Morgan State University; a master of science degree in Adult Education, with Honors, from Coppin State College; and a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Tammie Hall – Division Director and Assistant to the Secretary for HUB Outreach for the State of North Carolina

Tammie Hall

Tammie Hall currently serves in the position of Division Director and Assistant to the Secretary for HUB Outreach for the State of North Carolina. She began service on June 1, 2017. Tammie is responsible for developing policy and guidelines for the State’s HUB program. She also serves as the authority in the field of minority business development and public sector M/WBE and HUB Programs. Responsibility also includes working with inter-agencies; such as community colleges, state universities, public schools, public entities such as local governments, municipalities, towns, airport authorities and hospital authorities. The HUB Office will oversee statewide: Certification Compliance, Outreach and Training.

Tammie is returned to state government having previously in several leadership roles developing successful HUB/MWBE programs in North Carolina. Most recently, she came to state government as an entrepreneur and having worked in corporate America as the Senior Regional Supplier Diversity Manager for Lend Lease Construction. In this role, she had HUB/MWBE program and compliance oversight for North Carolina, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco. She spent over eight years as a Congressional Staffer.

Tammie is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) where she earned a bachelor’s of science in Business Administration with a minor in Finance. She serves on the National Alumni Association Board of Directors where she is the Immediate Past President. Tammie has been a long time member of the NC MWBE Coordinators Network where she serves on the Board of Directors and is the Immediate Past President. She serves on the NC State HUB Advisory Committee and as a Board Member at Global Scholars Academy in Durham, NC. She is an active member of Union Baptist Church.

Katara Williams, Ph.D. – Chief of Staff, Southern University System

Dr. Katara Williams

Katara Williams, Ph.D., is the Southern University A&M College, Baton Rouge, and Southern University System’s Chief of Staff. As a three time graduate of the University, she strives to ensure that the University provides excellence educational and work environments for staff, students, and alumni. Katara is the first Black female in Louisiana’s history to be named the Executive Director for Highway Safety.

Katara holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in mass communication, and a Ph.D. in public policy.

Stevie L. Lawrence II – Vice President, Postsecondary Education – Southern Regional Education Board

Stevie L. Lawrence II

Stevie L. Lawrence II joined Southern Regional Education Board in September 2019 as vice president for postsecondary education. In this role, he leads SREB’s postsecondary programs, such as the Academic Common Market, Doctoral Scholars Program, education data services and state authorization reciprocity agreements. He is also charged with developing additional initiatives to support postsecondary state officies and institutions.

Lawrence came to SREB from Fort Valley State University in Georgia, where he is founding dean of the University College and previouisly led student affairs and enrollment management. He has also held positions at the University of North Carolina system, Shaw University, Virginia Union University and Halifax Community College. His background includes strategic leadership in academic affairs, specifically in student success and retention.

Lawrence earned a bachelor of arts degree from North Carolina A&T State University, a master of public administration from North Carolina Central University and a doctor of philosophy in urban higher education from Jackson State University.

Dannelle Whiteside – Interim President, Austin Peay State University

Dannelle Whiteside

Dannelle Whiteside was appointed as interim president of Austin Peay State University effective, Aug. 10, by the Board of Trustees. She has served as APSU Vice President of Legal Affairs, General Counsel and Secretary to the Board since 2017. Prior to coming to Austin Peay, Whiteside served as General Attorney for the U.S. Department of Education of Civil Rights, General Counsel for the Tennessee Board of Education and District Policy Advisor for Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Whiteside received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, with honors and received her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, graduating Sumna Cum Laude.

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:

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.


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

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