Dr. W. Franklin Evans, WLU’s 37th President

(WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – 11/19/20) – West Liberty University Board of Governors named Dr. W. Franklin Evans as the university’s 37th president.

“I am pleased to announced that Dr. W. Franklin Evans has accepted our offer and agreed to become West Liberty University’s 37th President. He will be a strong leader and we welcome him to the Hilltop and look forward to introducing him to our alumni, donors, friends and the wider community,” said Rich Lucas, chairman of the search committee and the Board of Governors.

Evans will be the first Black president in the 183-year history of West Liberty and will assume the presidency on January 1, 2021.

“It is a great honor being selected as the next president of West Liberty University, the oldest and most historic public institution in the state. I am grateful to the West Liberty University Board of Governors for its confidence and support of my selection to lead this amazing institution,” said Evans.

Evans will succeed Dr. Stephen Greiner who has served as president since January 2016. He is the current president of Voorhees College and has 25 years of experience in education. Prior to being named president, Evans served as interim president of South Carolina State University (SCSU), in Orangeburg, S.C., where he also served as provost and chief academic officer.

Prior to SCSU, he served as vice president for academic affairs at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va., where he was instrumental in leading the institution through a successful reaffirmation of accreditation and establishing an Honor College, along with a bachelor’s of fine arts and master’s in education degrees.

He also worked at Elizabeth City State, J.F. Drake State Technical College, Alabama A&M University, and Tennessee State University.

In 1994, 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.

Earlier this year, Evans was named a 2020 Most Dominant HBCU Leader by the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), recognized for being a dominant and influential leader, focused on the progress of moving institutions forward such as Voorhees College.

He was born in Augusta, Ga. and is active in the NAACP, Black Family Preservation Group, the National Association of Black School Educators, and Toastmasters International and has served on the boards of the Sickle Cell Association, Boys and Girls Club, Kiwanis Club International and the AIDS Action Coalition. He is an ordained elder with the Church of God in Christ.

West Liberty University’s search for its next president began last spring after President Stephen Greiner announced his intended June 30, 2020 retirement last November. The search was delayed due to the pandemic and Greiner agreed to stay on at the request of the Board of Governors.

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About West Liberty University
West Liberty University is West Virginia’s oldest public university and today it offers more than 70 undergraduate majors, plus a growing number of graduate programs, both online and on campus. For more information, visit www.westliberty.edu.

Thomas K. Hudson, J.D., President of Jackson State University

(JACKSON, MISS. – 11/19/20) – The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning named Jackson State University Acting President Thomas Hudson as president of the university at its meeting held earlier in Jackson. Hudson was named acting president earlier this year.

“As a Jackson State University alumnus, I am extremely pleased that we have identified one of our own to serve as president,” said Dr. Steven Cunningham, a member of the Board of Trustees. “We have witnessed the great strides he has made over the past nine months and have full confidence that he will continue to demonstrate the great love he has for this university by providing outstanding leadership for students, faculty, staff and alumni.”

As Acting President, Hudson has provided leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and the university’s Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges reaffirmation process. He has also helped to improve the university’s financial position.

“Naming Thomas Hudson as president provides much-needed stability in leadership at the institutions,” said Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., Commissioner of Higher Education. “He has done an excellent job leading the university during an extraordinarily difficult time. I am pleased to continue working with him to advance Jackson State University and the university system.”

As Special Assistant to the President and Chief Diversity Officer, Hudson served on the executive cabinet and provided guidance to senior leadership on all topics related to the university’s future course and trajectory. With the Division of Human Resources and Office of the General Counsel under his purview, Hudson oversaw Institutional EEO and Title IX implementation and collaborated with other executive administrators on matters of curriculum, guidelines and practices.

“I am extremely appreciative and beyond humbled for the opportunity to continue to build upon Jackson State University’s extraordinary legacy,” said Hudson. “I recognize that it is an honor to serve in a leadership role, but it is an extreme honor and privilege to serve my alma mater – Jackson State University and the community I grew up in.”

“My focus remains the same and that is to ensure the success of our students, faculty and staff and the long-term viability of JSU. I would like to thank the IHL Board of Trustees for entrusting me to lead. I want to thank my wife, daughters, mother and all of my family for their infinite love and support. I also want to thank JSU administrators, faculty, staff and alumni for their deep-rooted dedication to JSU and their immovable belief in the power of a JSU education,” Hudson continued.

He also established collaborative partnerships with the University Veterans Center and Office of Disability Services to address the underrepresentation of employees from these groups. He also served as the president’s liaison for the Division of Athletics.

“My hope is that this historical event marks the first day of many more noteworthy achievements for our beloved Jackson State University,” said Dr. Dawn Bishop McLin, President of the JSU Faculty Senate. “During this transition the Faculty Senate took special care to share areas of concern with President Hudson, now we will continue to work with him towards the realization of improvements in shared governance, faculty pay equity, improving the research infrastructure, and the overall University welfare during the current COVID-19 crisis and beyond. It is this type of collaboration that is essential to advance the mutual interests, for our students, our faculty, our alumni, and our University, so that we will share a bounty of success in our collective futures. In our aspirations to be one JSU, there are some that may not be pleased with the process in its entirety but it’s my hope that we now more than ever, galvanize our efforts in spirit and deed to fully support our University’s leader, President Thomas K. Hudson.”

A member of the Jackson State staff since 2012, Hudson has also served as Chief Operating Officer/Chief Diversity Officer, Chief Diversity and EEO Officer/Title IX Coordinator. As Chief Operating Officer, Hudson implemented cost-saving measures that resulted in a 10 percent decrease in the university’s operational budget, coordinated academic and administrative restructuring efforts, resulting in an annual savings of $4 million, and led institutional efforts that changed a projected year-end and deficit to an approximate $3 million cash balance.

Appointed as the inaugural Chief Diversity and Equal Opportunity Officer at Jackson State, Hudson received the Presidential Creative Award for efforts in designing a program to bring awareness of interpersonal violence prevention to the student body and he designed and implemented the first university-wide training designed to eliminate implicit bias for search committees. In addition, he developed strategies for increasing the number of female faculty members in STEM disciplines, resulting in a 30 percent increase in hiring of women in these disciplines over a three-year period.

Hudson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Jackson State University and a law degree from the University of Mississippi. Before joining the staff at Jackson State, Hudson founded his own law practice and served as an EEO specialist for the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA in Clinton.

Hudson serves as Co-Chairperson of the JSU Strategic Planning Committee and Vice Chairperson of the university system’s Chief Diversity Officers’ Council. He is a member of the Margaret Walker Alexander Center Board of Directors and the JSU Athletics Hall of Fame Foundation Board of Directors. He served as the Bias and Policy Lead for the National Science Foundation Grant at Jackson State University from 2013 to 2017 and served as Chairperson of the Director of Disability Services Search Committee in 2016.

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About the Mississippi IHL Board of Trustees
The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities of Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi. For more information, visit www.mississippi.edu.

About Jackson State University
Jackson State University, an HBCU and comprehensive urban research university, is to provide quality teaching, research and service at the baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral levels to diverse populations of students and communities using various modalities to ensure that they are technologically-advanced, ethical, global leaders who think critically and can address societal problems and compete effectively. For more information, visit www.jsums.edu.

Dr. Adena Williams Loston

The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF) announced its 2021 Executive Committee, a group of executive leaders that represent the diverse industries and demographics that make up the San Antonio regional business community.

The SAEDF governing body, made up of majority private sector community leaders, directly influences the region’s economic and workforce development strategy. Led by Craig Boyan, H-E-B President and SAEDF Chair, the Executive Committee has prioritized participation to best represent the diverse and inclusive San Antonio region.

“SAEDF is propelling San Antonio forward, working to make sure our region grows strongly and grows the right way, and that every person has a chance to prosper,” said Boyan. “I’m honored to serve alongside this group of corporate leaders dedicated to driving equitable growth strategies that will strengthen San Antonio for decades.”

Dr. Adena Williams Loston joins the 2021 committee alongside three new leaders including Brandon Gayla, VP of Revenue, Brand & Communications with Spurs Sports & Entertainment; Robert Melvin, CEO & Founder of Limitless Creations and Chair of San Antonio for Growth on the East Side (SAGE); and Rosa Santana, CEO & Founder of Santana Group.

SAEDF is committed to engaging an Executive Committee that represent the diverse and inclusive community it serves. The 2021 slate represents increased participation from 2020 of Females (26% to 33%), as well as increased Black participation (9% to 21%), and Hispanic participation (35% to 37%).

To learn more about the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, click here.

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About St. Philip’s College
St. Philip’s College (SPC), founded in 1898, is a comprehensive public community college whose mission is to empower a diverse student population through educational advancement and career readiness. As a Historically Black College (HBCU) and Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), SPC is a vital facet of the community, responding to the needs of a population rich in ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity. SPC creates an environment fostering excellence in academic and technical achievement while expanding its commitment to opportunity and access. For more information, visit www.alamo.edu/spc.

President Brenda A. Allen

(LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA) – Lincoln University President Brenda A. Allen has been chosen as one of Philadelphia’s most influential African American leaders.

Annually the Philadelphia Tribune acknowledges African American Leaders in the region for outstanding commitment in the community.

The honor comes just as Allen completed her first three years as Lincoln University’s 14th president, where she has been aggressively implementing a strategic plan designed to ensure Lincoln’s place among great liberal arts institutions, according to the University.

The Philadelphia Tribune will host the virtual awards celebration at noon on November 10. The event is free and open to the public. Guest must register by November 10 at p2p.events/tribunemostinfluential.

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RALEIGH, NC – The Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) Board of Trustees has announced the passing of the 12th President, Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail. President McPhail began his tenure on July 15, 2020. In the short time he was the University’s Chief Executive Officer, he made a memorable and positive impact in moving the University in the direction of being a “Learning Centered” campus.

Although the University has not immediately released details of his death, many sources, including ABC 11, has confirmed that McPhail was hospitalized over the weekend with COVID-19. It has been stated that the President tested positive for the virus more than a week before he was admitted to the hospital. He died from complications related to the virus.

Prior to becoming president at SAU, Dr. McPhail was previously the sixth president and CEO at the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACAME), founding chancellor at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), president at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, and president at LeMoyne-Owen College. He also served as university provost and dean of academic affairs at Delaware State University, and chief operating officer at the Baltimore City Public Schools.

The University plans to keep all stakeholders informed of the details of public events and university memorial arrangements to honor the life and legacy of President McPhail. These detail will be published on the University’s website.

The Board of Trustees will be working internally to determine its next steps and the future direction of the University. Previous Interim President, Dr. Maria A. Lumpin, will return to serve, effective immediately.

The HBCU Campaign Fund organization mourns the loss of President McPhail and extends its deepest condolences and prayers to his wife, Dr. Christine McPhail; his children Dr. Kamilah McKissick and Mr. Ralph Bessard; other family and friends.