NASHVILLE, TN – Last month officials from Fisk University signed a historic agreement with Austin Peay State University. The partnership aims to undertake cooperation in the area of admissions and enrollment of Fisk University students into the Austin Peay State University School of Nurising.

In accord with the guides of this agreement, Austin Peay State University will prioritize and reserve spots for qualified Fisk University students to transfer into Austin Peay State University’s School of Nursing Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program who meet published admissions criteria. Fisk University students satisfying all APSU requirements for graduation will be awarded Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and can participate in Austin Peay State University graduation ceremony.

According to Fisk University Provost, “this agreement allows Fisk University students to study and become nurses at one of the strongest nursing programs in the state of Tennessee and the nation. It also allows Fisk University to play an important role in bridging the nation health care gaps by playing a role in creating more minority health care professionals.”

Austin Peay State University School of Nursing is committed to empowering students to become critical thinkers, healthcare leaders, excellent communicators, and life long learners. The school serves traditional and non-traditional students, including the military community. Fisk University was founded in 1866 and its 40-acre campus is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1930, Fisk was the first African American institution to gain accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

For more information about the Fisk University/Austin Peay State University Nursing Partnership, contact Dr. Phyllis Freeman, Associate Professor of Biology, at pfreeeman@fisk.edu or 615-329-8767.

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NASHVILLE, TN – Fisk University has announced that it will be naming its recently launched institute for social justice after the late Congressman and Fisk alumnus John R. Lewis.

“Nothing could be more appropriate given the Congressman’s extraordinary impact on civil rights in this country and across the world,” said University Provost Vann Newkirk.

Congressman Lewis repeatedly expressed the importance of getting in ‘good trouble’/’necessary trouble.’ Congressman Lewis was an inspiration to generations of Fisk students and with the John R. Lewis Institute for Social Justice, Fisk will continue its leadership role in shaping the next era of change-markers. The John R. Lewis Institute for Social Justice is a continuation of the famous Fisk Race Relations Institute, which shaped so many of the conversations and policies during the 1960s and 70s.

The John R. Lewis Institute will include a master’s program in social justice, several certificate programs as well as various undergraduate projects, research, and forums.

“Congressman John R. Lewis embodied the very best of humanity – his kindness, perseverance and unwavering commitment to fighting for those in need set an example for all the young people who are looking to create a better world,” said Dr. Kevin Rome, Sr., President of Fisk University.

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About Fisk University
Fisk University produces graduates from diverse backgrounds with the integrity and intellect required for substantive contributions to society. Fisk University’s curriculum is grounded in the liberal arts. The faculty and administrators emphasizes the discovery and advancement of knowledge through research in the natural and social sciences, business and the humanities. We are committed to the success of scholars and leaders with global perspective.

Assistant Professor Siobahn Grady

North Carolina Central University School of Library and Information Sciences Assistant Professor, Siobhan Day Grady, Ph.D., has received a $190,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help improve the function of self-driving cars.

Assistant Professor Grady said she will use the grant, provided through the Historically Black Colleges and Excellence in Research program at the NSF, to analyze and identify problems encountered by self-driving vehicles. The data will become part of a $1 million NSF project to analyze problems encountered by self-driving vehicles, with the aim of detecting and reducing such incidents in real time.

“This research is very timely and relevant; it’s the future,” said Grady. “I’m excited to contribute to the field as well as provide research opportunities to students.”

Lead investigator on the overall project is Daniel Limbrick, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University, where Grady become the first woman to graduate with a doctoral degree in computer science in 2018.

The researchers will analyze the fault-detection capabilities of autonomous vehicles and look for ways of improving reliability. Three types of faults will be examined: transient, which occur due to external factors, such as the environment; intermittent, where problems are known to occur on an occasional but regular basis; and permanent, which occur regularly because of a physical malfunction and must be corrected to achieve reliability.

The project will result in enhanced course options for students at both institutions, as well as outreach and engagement opportunities, Grady said.

“Dr. Grady is a pioneer in artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said Jon Grant, Ph.D., of the School of Library and information science. “Students in the SLIS graduate program in information science will gain high-demand skills by working with Dr. Grady to develop the next generation of vehicles that will be more intelligent and make transportation in our society safer,” Grant said.

Grady joined the faculty of NCCU in 2019 as assistant professor of information systems. She earned her master’s degree in information science at NCCU in 2009. She also holds a master’s in computer science from NCAT, where she was a Chancellor Distinguished Fellow.

In September 2019, Grant was honored by the If/Then Initiative and the American Association for the Advancement of Science as one of 120 national STEM ambassadors. Life-sized 3D statues of the female scientists will be unveiled this summer at NorthPark in Dallas as part of a $25 million initiative Lynda Hill Philanthropies to highlight female scientists and encourage more girls to enter the STEM fields.

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About North Carolina Central University


North Carolina Central University, with a strong tradition of teaching, research, and service, prepares students to become global leaders and practitioners who transform communities. Through a nationally recognized law school, highly acclaimed and innovative programs in the visual and performing arts, sciences, business, humanities, and education programs, NCCU students are engaged problem solvers. Located in the Research Triangle, the University advances research in the biotechnological, biomedical, informational, computational, behavioral, social, and health sciences. Our students enhance the quality of life of citizens and the economic development of North Carolina, the nation, and the world. For more information, visit www.nccu.edu.

About the National Science Foundation


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” NSF is vital because it supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future. For more information, visit www.nsf.gov.

ELIZABETH CITY, NC – Elizabeth City State University’s vice chancellor for operations and general counsel, Alyn Goodson, has been named as a member of the University of North Carolina System’s Executive Leadership Institute.

The 10-month program is designed to build the next generation of leaders from within the UNC System. The program will focus on providing an overall view of the system and leadership opportunities.

“I am honored to be a member of the first cohort for this executive leadership institute,” said Mr. Goodson. “Through this process, I hope to strengthen my leadership skills as I continue to support Chancellor Dixon and her pursuit to advance the interests of Elizabeth City State University and northeastern North Carolina.”

Mr. Goodson is a graduate of North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University School of Law, and Georgetown University Law. He began his work at ECSU in 2012 as assistant general counsel before being named general counsel. He was letter promoted to chief operating officer and general counsel, and he now serves as vice chancellor of operations and general counsel.

“Alyn’s hard work and dedication to ECSU has been invaluable,” said Karrie G. Dixon, ECSU Chancellor. “This is an exciting opportunity for him, and his work at the university.”

The institute is designed to share best leadership practices by building collaboration and partnerships among participants and their campuses. In turn, experienced administrators will be prepared for more demanding roles and re-energized in current roles.

As a part of the UNC Board of Governors’ commitment to diversity, the board’s Committee on Historically Minority-Serving Institutions (HMSI) worked closely with the ELI leadership team with the goal of entrusting that at least one-third of participants would be selected from the System’s six HMSIs.

Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate, an assessment of the pilot experience and the benefits of a mentoring relationship. Participants will have the opportunity to pay it forward as mentors for future Institute participants, entrusting promising talent continues to develop across the UNC System. For more information, visit the ELI website.

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JACKSONVILLE, FL – Edward Waters College (EWC) President, Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., spoke in a press conference that took place on the campus of sister HBCU Bethune-Cookman University alongside Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in which he addressed the historic investment made for the benefit of EWC in the 2020-2021 state legislative budget. During the press conference, President Faison noted that, “Many students who come to EWC do not drop out, they stop out, due to financial hardships and difficulties. This additional support will help lessen that unfortunate trend.” Governor DeSantis also duly acknowledged that an important part of Florida’s history is the tremendous contributions made to the state by its’ HBCUs.

This historic increase included an additional $3.5 million to Edward Waters College leading to a total of $7.4 million slated to support the state of Florida’s first Historically Black College or University — Edward Waters College. This additional funding represents a 72% increase in state support for EWC over the prior budget year. President Faison announced that EWC also plans to utilize some of the additional support towards bringing new academic programs to the institution such as Computer & Information Science, Forensic, Science, Social Work, and the advent of Edward Waters Colllege’s first graduate degree progrm (i.e., Master of Business Administration) ultimately leading to Edward Waters College becoming Edward Waters University. “We are brimming with aniticipation and so very thankful for this tremendous investment and the transformative work that our Governor and state legislature led on behalf of our venerable institution,” said President Faison.

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About Edward Waters College

Edward Waters College (EWC), accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Comission on College (SACSCOC) and member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), is a private, historically black, urban college which offers liberal arts education with a strong emphasis on the Christian principles of high moral and spiritual values. EWC was established in 1866 and is an African Methodist Episcopal Church-related institution of learning. It is the first private institution of higher education in the State of Florida.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Graduating our first class of DREAMERS. 

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

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

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

Why should students choose to attend your HBCU institution?

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

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About Delaware State University

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

About the HBCU Campaign Fund 

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

CHICAGO, IL – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) to host its Virtual High School Celebration Day II on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. This event is outlined to recognize graduating high school seniors and their commitment to attending college at an historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

This day will feature pictures, video highlights, IG lives, everything virtual to celebrate one of the most significant accomplishments of a high school seniors lifetime. All photos and videos submitted will be shared throughout the day on all of HCF’s social media and communication platforms.

High school seniors who are college bound and planning to attend an HBCU beginning fall semester are encouraged to register to participate online at www.hbcucampaignfund.org/virtualhbcucelebrationday.

You may also post your photos and videos on social media using the hashtag: #VirtualHBCUHighSchoolCelebrationDay.

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About HBCU Campaign Fund

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

 

Dr. Tracey Murray, dean of the College of Health Professions and director of the health centers at Coppin State University, lead a session on Leading Optimally and finding balance of one’s mind, health, faith, family and focus at the 2019 Women’s Leadership Summit at Coppin State University on March 20, 2019. (Photo by Maximillian Franz)

BALTIMORE, MD – Dr. Tracey Murray, Coppin State University (CSU) dean of the college of Health Professions, was recently elected to a two-year term on American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) Nominating Committee.

Murray’s leadership experience extends to the local and statewide regions and beyond. She is health commissioner on the Baltimore Commission on Aging and Retirement Education, member of the Nurse Leadership Institute Advisory Council, and member of the Maryland Regional Action Coalition. A graduate of the AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Program, Murray has served on AACN’s Finance Committee and participated in the New Dean Mentoring Program.

At AACN meetings, she often provides insights and recommendations regarding diversity, inclusion, and the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other minority-serving institutions.

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About Coppin State University (CSU)

Coppin State University, a Historically Black Institution in a dynamic urban setting, serves a mutli-generational student population and provides education opportunities while promoting lifelong learning. The University fosters leadership, social responsibility, civic and community engagement, cultural diversity and inclusion, and economic development. For more information, visit www.coppin.edu.

About American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)

AACN is the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate nursing education. The organization works to establish quality standards for nursing education; assists schools in implementing those standards; influences the nursing profession to improve health care; and promotes public support for professional nursing education, research and practice.

Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, 20th President of Talladega College

TALLADEGA, AL – The Talladega College Board of Trustees voted on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, to name the newly constructed 47,000-square-foot student center/arena in honor of the College’s 20th President, Dr. Billy C. Hawkins.

“Dr. Hawkins took over as president in 2008 when Talladega College was struggling to survive. As a result of his leadership, the College is once again recognized as one of the most well-respected HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in the nation,” says Isaiah Hugley, Talladega College Board of Trustee Chairman.

HBCU presidents are called upon to enhance the quality of HBCU student population, academic programs, faculty, physical facilities and financial base. Chairman Hugley states that Dr. Hawkins has not only delivered in each of the areas noted, but he also boosted the College’s ranking, enrollment and visibility, nationally and globally.

“Dr. Hawkins has not only talked the talk, but walked the walk,” said Chairman Hugley. “Dr. Hawkins recently signed a $1.8 million dollar commitment to Talladega College alleviating a future long-term contractual obligation fore the Institution, established a $50,000 endowed scholarship and up to $100,000 in other financial commitments. Given this financial commitment along with the remarkable impact his leadership has had on the College, the Talladega College Board of Trustees agreed that the new student center should be named in his honor.”

The foundation for Talladega College’s most transformative era was laid in 2018, at the beginning of Dr. Billy C. Hawkin’s 12-year tenure. The moment he arrived on campus, Dr. Hawkins began working diligently to stabilize finances; increase fundraising; expand academic offerings; and guide the institution through the 2009 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Accreditation. His rigorous plans for renovation and growth included assessing the Institution’s assets. he had Hale Woodruff’s murals, now valued at $50 million, appraised, restored, sent on tour, and in January 2020, returned to campus to hang in the newly constructed Dr. Williams R. Harvey Museum of Art.

As a result of Dr. Hawkin’s vision, enrollment doubled from approximately 300 students to 601 students in one semester; athletic programs were reinstated for the first time in ten years; and major campus beautification projects were undertaken. In 2018, the College continued soaring to unprecedented heights. The simultaneous construction of three new facilities commenced, the College’s ranking rose rapidly, and Talladega’s first-ever graduate program was launched. Specifically, enrollment rose from 782 students during the 2017-2018 academic year to a record-high 1217 students during the 2018-2019 academic year, and an all-time high of 1230 students during the 2019-2020 academic year. Also, in January 2019, a new residence hall opened and, on January 31, 2020, ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held for the other newly erected buildings – the Dr. Williams R. Harvey Museum of Art and the new student center/area.

Dr. Hawkins was named amongst ‘The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2020‘ by the HBCU Campaign Fund. He serves on the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs and also serves as chair of the 37 presidents of member institutions for the UNCF (United Negro College Fund). His national leadership positions have allowed him tom lobby effectively on behalf of Talladega College and other HBCUs. He is equally effective at building relationships on the local and regional levels, having secured a $1.5 million donation from the State of Alabama for the new museum project, and infrastructure support from the City of Talladega for campus roads and entryway improvements. In 2019, Dr. Hawkins secured a sponsorship that allowed 23 Talladega College students to travel to Japen at no expense to the Institution.

Under the leadership of Dr. Hawkins, Talladega College is listed among Princeton Review’s best colleges in the Southeast, U.S. News and World Report’s most innovative colleges, and Kiplinger’s Best Value Colleges. Further, due to his leadership, Talladega’s 2019 SACSCOC Accreditation was reaffirmed through 2029 with no recommendations for change in any of the standards reviewed and, for the first time, the College is accredited to teach at the master’s degree level.

It is because of his aforementioned extraordinary performance, $1.8 million dollar financed commitment, and national recognition for academic leadership excellence that the Talladega College Board of Trustees voted to name the new student center/arena “The Dr. Billy C. Hawkins Student Activity Center” in honor of the College’s 20th President, Dr. Billy C. Hawkins.

“We congratulate, commend and thank Dr. Billy C. Hawkins for his service to our beloved institution,” said Chairman Hugley.

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About Talladega College

The oldest private Historically Black College in Alabama, Talladega College was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, William Savery and Thomas Tarrant. Talladega College is the home of the reowned Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals, which received rave reviews from the New York Times during a three-year, eight-city tour.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington, D.C. Metro HBCU Alumni Alliance, Inc., will host its first ever black-tie fundraiser to celebrate the history and legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities alumni, and to honor alumni who have in their careers and made a profound impact to the Washington, D.C. community.

The soiree and cocktail reception band will be held Friday, September 8, 2017, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the musical headliner will be the legendary R&B band, Midnight Star, who formed at the HBCU Kentucky State University in 1976 and continue to sell out crowds across the world.

The Alumni Alliance was formed in 2012 to support the mission of HBCU’s by increasing the membership of participating alumni chapters, collaborating on philanthropic efforts, and promoting the higher awareness of HBCU opportunities among underprivileged, minority high school students. The non-profit started out with just four charter members, and it has now grown to comprise more than 47 local alumni HBCU chapters.

“Since the inception of HBCU’s in the mid-1800s, graduates have become educators, government officials, doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and most importantly community leaders right here in Washington, D.C.” said Jamie Tettey, president of the Washington, D.C. Metro HBCU Alumni Alliance, Inc. “It is estimated that there are more than 300,000 HBCU graduates in the D.C. Metro area, nearly 160,000 of which are members of our community service-minded Black Greek Lettered organizations.”

This inaugural fundraiser will allow the Alliance to raise funds in support of that mission, and to honor the work of HBCU alumni in the following categories: business, media and communications, public policy, community involvement, and young alum.

“There is a lot of interest in this event, particularly in this climate where people are questioning the relevance of HBCU’s,” said Sam Washington, the Alliance’s Director of Community Partnerships and Fundraising. “To me there is no question. HBCU alumni helped launch the civil rights movement, built the black middle class, and staffed the pulpits of black churches and the halls of almost every black primary school before the 1960s. And they continue to play a crucial and unique role. This event will celebrate that legacy and their future.”

Tickets to the soiree are available online at www.dchbcu.org.