(CHICAGO, IL) – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) has announced its inaugural Emerging Higher Ed Professionals Award recognition that identifies a generation of higher education professionals who demonstrate leadership and a drive to grow professionally. The individuals must serve a historically black college and university (HBCU) or Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI).

The recognition honors professionals who are inspiring others by demonstrating a commitment to the value, mission, and vision of the student affairs space, prioritizing a steadfast commitment to student success through their work, and positively impacting, engaging, and supporting their division and the campus community.

“Each of the recipients has had an impressive career and a wealth of experience as a higher education professional. They also continue to make an impact on the important mission and have met the characteristics of what defines an emerging professional,” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., president and CEO, Founder at HBCU Campaign Fund. “I am extremely proud of their continued work and commitment of support for students on a daily basis, to the higher education space, and in the HBCU community. It is an honor to recognize their work and observe their progressive growth throughout their careers.”

Recipients will be granted the opportunity to participate in year-long professional development activities, including mentoring, continuing education opportunities, leadership skills, development, and networking with other senior leaders. Senior leaders will be identified from honorees who are president and chancellor recipients of the Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders Award by HCF.

Support is appreciated to assist with professional development activities for the recipients; click here to make a financial gift to the organization.

Click here to view the inaugural recipients of the 2021 Emerging Higher Ed Professional Award.

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About the HBCU Campaign Fund
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) was founded in 2012 and is a non-profit educational organization that remains a strong advocate for students and higher education. The mission of HCF is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, programs, and private and public HBCUs and MSIs. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Several organizations from across the country are set to participate in the President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris events to celebrate their inauguration.

On January 19th, The Presidential Inaugural Committee will host an evening celebration to honor all within the Black Community and African Diaspora, featuring powerful speakers, inspiring stories, and entertaining performances, including historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) marching bands. This event is called We Are One and will be a virtual event; will include our recently named Most Dominant HBCU Leader of 2021 Tennessee State University President and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. International President and CEO Dr. Glenda Glover and Vice President-Elect Harris is also slated to speak.

The PIC is led by Delaware State University President Dr. Allen, who has known the President-Elect and his family for 25 years – four years of which he served as a special assistant and speechwriter for the then-U.S. Senator Biden in the late 1990s.

The event will be hosted by Terrance J and feature appearances by Leslie Jones, Frankie Beverly, Stacey Abrams, Whip Jim Clyburn, Rep. Cedric Richmond, Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Joyce Beatty, Senator Cory Booker, Senator-Elect Rev. Raphael Warnock, Kim Fields, Erika Alexander and Jason George. It will also feature a special performance by Tobe Nwigwe, in addition to performances by DJ D-Nice, The O’Jays, Rapsody, Step Afrika, the String Queens, the Texas Southern University Debate Team, and more.

This event will also include a Battle of the HBCU Bands, featuring Florida A&M University Marching 100, Grambling State University World Famed Marching Band, Jackson State University Sonic Boom of the South, Louisiana Leadership Institute All-Star Marching Band, South Carolina State University Marching 101, Southern University Human Jukebox, and the Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands.

“We are incredibly honored that the Sonic Boom was asked to join in such a historic occasion. This is a significant opportunity and unforgettable moment for our students in the band program,” said Thomas K. Hudson, Jackson State University President in a statement. “We are truly proud of the work they do on and off the field, and this special performance is a reflection of their commitment to their craft.”

“Even in a pandemic, the World Famed will showcase its talent on a platform that will be seen across the globe,” said Rick Gallot Jr., Grambling State University President in a statement. “We are proud that they will be representing the institution for the inauguration of the first HBCU graduate to serve as Vice President of the United States of America.”

We Are One will steam live on Tuesday, January 19th at 8:00 p.m. at bideninaugural.org and Urban One, HBCU Grad, NowThis, Revolt TV, The Source, The Shade Room, BET, The Grio TV, Daily Kos, Watch The Yard, Blavity, and on NBC Peacock TV – on The Choice, which is Peacock’s free, exclusive news channel. You can also visit bideninaugural.org for a full schedule of other events surrounding the inauguration of the 46th President and 48th Vice President of the United States.

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(CHICAGO, IL) – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) has released its annual The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders Award recipients & fourth class. The Ten Most Dominant HBCU leaders Award & Class is a national recognition ranking that was created by the HBCU Campaign Fund, a non-profit that advocates for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs).

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 a high-quality education to low-income, first-generation, and academically underprepared students. Also, these institutions as such serves a diverse population while maintaining the role as the backbone of higher education and well underrepresented for more than a 140-year history.

According to HCF’s President & CEO, Founder Demetrius Johnson Jr., the fourth selected group of leaders have “proven their responsibilities for shaping policies, changing perspectives, and making decisions that affect millions of individuals lives in the higher education space, and the daily needs of what an HBCU or Minority-Serving Institutions contributes.”

The organization has compiled a list of ten chancellors and presidents that currently serve an HBCU or MSI who plays a prominent and influential role in leadership and displays the characteristics of the following responsibilities in the progression of effectively moving an institution forward.

Click here to see the complete listing of award recipients and fourth-class inductees.

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About the HBCU Campaign Fund
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) was founded in 2012 and is a non-profit educational organization that remains a strong advocate for students and higher education. The mission of HCF is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, programs, and for private and public HBCUs and MSIs. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, has announced a three-year sponsorship agreement with Cricket Wireless, who will be the new title sponsor for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and Celebration Bowl. Both events, which are staged in Atlanta, celebrate the tradition, legacy and value of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“We are delighted to have Cricket Wireless as the title sponsor of both our football kickoff and bowl games,” said John Grant, executive director for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and Celebration Bowl. “These events provide valuable diversity to the sports offering in the city of Atlanta. This relationship reflects our mutul passion for and appreciation of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the vaulable contributions they make to our nation. We look forward to working together and building world-class events in a world-class city.”

ESPN Events’ relationship with Cricket began with the sponsorship of the 2018 Celebration Bowl. Cricket’s support of HBCUs began with an agreement with Southern University, which eventually expanded to include sponsorship of the Magic City Classic and Bayou Classic. In October 2020, Cricket and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) announced a sponsorship agreement extension through 2023.

“At Cricket, we’re all about creating a meaningful connection with our customers and within the communities where we operate,” said Tiffany Baehman, vice president and chief marketing officer, Cricket Wireless. “Our extended relationship with ESPN allows us to continue to introduce our brand to HBCU students, alumni and fans. It also means that we can help amplify the rich culture and legacy of HBCUs, and the positive impact they have on the Black community.

The Cricket Wireless MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff – an early-season matchup of HBCU football teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) – is played at the Georgia State’s Center Parc Credit Union Stadium. The Cricket Celebration Bowl is played each year, with the game typically opening the college bowl season, from Mercedes Benz Stadium.

Due to the current health pandemic, both events were cancelled for the 2020 season, but excepted to return in 2021. Fans can re-live and enjoy last year’s Celebration Bowl between Alcorn State and North Carolina A&T on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. Those interesed in joining a virtual watch party can sign up here.

Information regarding the Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and Cricket Celebration Bowl can be found at www.meacswacchallenge.com and www.TheCelebrationBowl.com.

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About Cricket Wireless
Cricket is focused on inspiring smiles, one meaningful connection at a time. Cricket offer an easy and high-quality wireless experience on their reliable nationwide network. Their affordable, straightforward service plans include monthly taxes, and don’t require an annual contract. Their customers also enjoy basic to top-brand phones at affordable prices.

Visit www.cricketwireless.com to learn more or find a store near you. Stay up-to-date with the Cricket Newsroom and connect with Cricket on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Smile. You’re on Cricket.

About ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes four early-season college football games, 17 college bowl game, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite office in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conference, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

(FRANKFORT, KY) – Kentucky State University’s fourteenth and first female president, Dr. Mary L. Smith, 84, passed away on November 28, surrounded by her loved ones at home.

A trailblazer and a longtime advocate for access to education, Dr. Smith was not only Kentucky State’s first female president but also the first African-American female college president in Kentucky. Dr. Smith served as president from 1991 to 1998. Before becoming president, she was special assistant to the president and professor at Kentucky State.

Smith also previously served as interim president and vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Smith became an assistant professor of education at Kentucky in 1974, then associate professor of education and acting chairperson of the Division of Education, Human Resources and Technology in 1981. In 1883, Dr. Smith became dean of the College of Applied Sciences and professor of education.

Dr. Smith graduated from Jackson State University in 1957 and earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Smith will lie in state at Kentucky State University on Thursday, December 4, 2020, in the Carl H. Smith Auditorium in David H. Bradford Hall from noon until 5 p.m.

Attendees will have the opportunity to pay their respects and sign the University’s guest book. Security will be present and COVID-19 regulations will be highly enforced with only 25 guest permitted in Carl H. Smith Auditorium at a time.

A private service will be held Friday in the David H. Bradford Hall Little Theater. The service will be broadcast via Zoom:

Time: Dec 4, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: https://kysu.zoom.us/j/96422591180

Meeting ID: 964 2259 1180

Tributes may be made to the Dr. Mary Levi Smith Endowed Scholarship at www.kysu.edu/give.

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(DOVER, Del.) – President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have named Delaware State University President Tony Allen to serve as the Chief Executive Officer to lead the four-member Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) that will organize the activities surrounding the Jan. 20 swearing ceremonies in Washington D.C.

Dr. Allen has known the President-elect and his family for 25 years – four years of which he served as a special assistant and speechwriter for then-U.S. Senator Biden in the late 1990s. The Delaware State University President said he is deeply humbled to help organize the historic inauguration “of a good and decent patriot” during an unprecedented time in the country’s history.

“As the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden alongside Kamala Harris, the first woman of color to be elected Vice President of the United States, will work hard for all Americans and lead us toward our nation’s highest calling – ‘ a more perfect union,'” said Dr. Allen. “This year’s inauguration will look different amid the pandemic, but we will honor the American inaugural traditions and engage Americans across the country will keeping everybody healthy and safe.”

According to the Nov. 30 Announcement, also named on the PIC were:

  • Maju Varghese, Executive Director – the Chief Operating Officer and Senior Advisor on the Biden-Harris campaign from the primaries through the general who oversaw the campaign’s day-to-day operations and led the entire campaign through an unprecedented shift to remote working. He previously served in the Obama White House in various roles, including Assistant to the President for Management and Administration and Deputy Director of Advance.
  • Erin Wilson, Deputy Executive Director – the Biden-Harris campaign’s National Political Director throughout the primary and general elections, who was the senior staff member responsible for relationships with hundreds of elected officials and leaders across the country. Previously, Wilson was a senior aide in Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey’s office, most recently serving as his State Director and Senior Advisor to his 2018 reelection.
  • Nevada State Sen. Yvanna Cancela – one of Joe Biden’s earliest elected supporters, endorsing him the day he announced his campaign. Sen. Cancela was a senior advisor in Nevada during the primary election, helping steer Biden’s comeback, as well as in the general election to secure another victory in the Silver State.

Additionally, the PIC is also unveiling its website BidenInaugural.org, which includes a web store with exclusive inaugural merchandise and collectable. The PIC is also launching its social media presence on Instagram and Twitter under the handle @Inauguration46 where Americas can visit for the latest news and information about the inauguration.

The PIC will work closely with the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) to coordinate all activities surrounding the 59th inaugural ceremonies, prioritizing keeping people safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19 while engaging all Americans.

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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.

(CHICAGO, IL) – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), a educational advocacy organization is participating in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that unleash the collective power of individuals, communities, and organizations to encourage philanthropy and celebrate generosity worldwide. Giving Tuesday will kick-off the generosity season this year by inspiring people to give back on Tuesday, December 1st, and throughout the year. The organization’s set fundraising goal is $50,000 to support initiative programming and provide scholarships to students at HBCUs and MSIs.

HCF whose mission is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, initiative programming, and services at HBCUs and MSIs has joined the global day to meet its fundraising goal of $50,000 to support initiative programs and scholarship funds that impact its advocacy efforts in support of students, HBCUs, and MSIs as well as to further the organization’s mission. We believe that this global movement can impact the org’s advocacy efforts.

“The HBCU Campaign Fund wants to continue to strengthen its advocacy mission for HBCUs, MSIs and higher education. Our organization will keep going to be among one of the leading that inspire and transform the HBCU and MSI community and assisting to reduce the financial burden on a students’ education,” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., HCF’s president and CEO, Founder. “With the help of our supporters, we believe we can do it to continue to be an asset to supporting the important assignment that our HBCU and Minority-serving institutions take on daily and that’s to provide a quality education to a Black and diverse population of students. The set fundraising goal will provide the leverage for our organization to strengthen our philanthropy ability to overcome and continue supporting our students, and higher ed institutions.”

Leading up to #GivingTuesday, you can join the movement by posting a #Unselfie on social media or speak about why you support HCF as a HBCU supportive organization and using the campaign hashtag #HCFGivingTuesday. You can sign-up to volunteer as a Social Media Ambassador to provide HCF’s #GivingTuesday campaign and share the #GivingTuesday socia media post/flyers (pictured below) on social media.

Those who are interested in supporting HCF’s Giving Tuesday initiative can visit the campaign page by clicking here. The organization has identified four scholarship funds and initiative programs that donors can assist with in reaching its goals to continue benefiting students and our partners.

  • Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour
  • The Brenda G. Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Campus Student Ambassador Program
  • HBCU General Scholarship

Higher education can be debt of students in accomplishing their goals. In order to fulfill our mission at HCF and make a difference, the campaign for students, HBCUs and MSIs is vital. We are asking for your support and we hope that you choose HCF as your charity of choice on #GivingTuesday, December 1st!

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

About GivingTuesday
GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundred of million people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Fore more information, visit www.givingtuesday.org.

(GULFPORT, MS – November 11, 2020) – Mississippi Power, in partnership with the Southern Company Charitable Foundation, is announcing on November 11th the awarding of $825,000 in Technology Grants to four historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Mississippi.

Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Rust College and Tougaloo College will receive grants to provide students with scholarships, internships, leadership development and access to technology and innovation to support career readiness.

“Investing in Mississippi’s HBCU students is an investment in the future workforce of our state,” said Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony Wilson. “We believe engaging these graduates will help ensure a thriving economy for Mississippi for years to come.”

For more than 150 years, Mississippi’s HBCUs have provided African American students with high quality education and skills development when laws prohibited them from being admitted at predominately white colleges and universities.

“Ensuring students have the resources and support to learn, excel and graduate is a critical role of all higher learning institutions,” said Moses Feagin, Mississippi Power’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Diversity Officer. “Mississippi’s HBCUs produce leader and innovators. We want to support the mission of these schools and connect with the talent pipeline they’ve created.”

Southern Company announced it is awarding grants to support technology for 21 HBCUs across several states, through its charitable foundation.

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe reliable and environmentally responsible energy 23 southeast Mississippi counties. For more information, visit www.misssissippipower.com.

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As part of its overall $50 million, multi-year investment in HBCUs, announced in January 2020, Southern Company is providing grants to select HBCUs to fund technology tools, infrastructure, professional development and tech support for the 2020-2021 academic year

(ATLANTA, GA – November 11, 2020) – Southern Company announced on November 11th it is awarding grants to support technology for 21 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across several states through it charitable foundation.

This commitment is part of Southern Company’s overall $50 million HBCU initiative, announced in January 2020, to provide students attending these institutions with scholarships, internships, leadership development and access to technology and innovation to support career readiness. This round of grants will help address challenges created by the pandemic by funding technology tools, infrastructure support, professional development and IT services to select undergraduate HBCUs within the Southern Company system’s service footprint in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia.

“We are thrilled to partner with some of the country’s leading institutions of higher learning as we invest in the next generation of technology leaders,” said Thomas A. Fanning, chairman, president and CEO, Southern Company. “After speaking with many institutions across our footprint, we heard the call loud and clear: new and better technology is needed to deliver quality education to students, now and in years to come. The goal is to provide resources that will stimulate the kind of critical thinking that will allow students to embrace ideas that will drive the change required for success today and into the future. We look forward to seeing what students from these universities will achieve through the grants we are providing.”

Southern Company is honored to be part of a growing group of corporate and philanthropic partners who have increased support for HBCUs in the wake of the pandemic and mounting calls for racial justice. The company seeks to increase the spotlight on these institutions beyond the current moment, underscoring the importance of HBCUs in higher education and in American life. Since Southern Company’s HBCU initiative was launched earlier this year, the company has provided more than $6 million to school across its service territory.

“We are proud to be among those who are investing in HBCUs. Theses institutions are at the forefront of critical work around equity and innovation in America, helping us tackle some of our most complex challenges. I am excited to announce this round of grants and look forward to upcoming grant announcements that will be open to these important institutions,” said Chris Womack, who recently become the president of Georgia Power, as of Nov. 1.

As part of the $50 million initiative, this round of allocations will be awarded by the Southern Company Foundation to qualifying institutions in grants up to $500,000. Southern Company intends to open additional grant applications in support of other needs at qualifying HBCUs in the near future. The energy company will collaborate with academic leaders from across its footprint to identify areas of need and channel resources into the programs that will create the most impact.

This opportunity follows the $1 million gift from Southern Company Gas and the Southern Company Gas Charitable Foundation to Morehouse School of Medicine to support the university’s academic expansion and efforts to provide greater equity in health care. The funding enables the medical school to strengthen its educational offerings and research enterprise, including its budding Natural Products Research Center and the development of an Emerging Pathogens Research Team focused on topics such as coronavirsuses.

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About the Southern Company
Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is a leading energy company serving 9 million customers through our subsidiaries. We provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America, a leading distributed energy infrastructure company, a fiber optics network and telecommunications services. For more information, visit www.southerncompany.com.