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

(FAIRFIELD, Ala. – 11/23/20) – Miles College announced a multi-million dollar collaboration with IBM on a comprehensive program designed to develop diverse and high demand skill sets that align with industry needs and trends so both students and faculty can develop the skills they need today for the jobs of tomorrow.

IBM and Miles College are building on the need to advance digital skills in education and are dedicated to providing future focused curriculum and educational tools to help train the diverse workforce of tomorrow in fast-growing technologies such as Al, blockchain, data science, cybersecurity, cloud and quantum.

“Miles College celebrates IBM’s leadership in recognizing the value of investing in HBCU students as current and future leaders and innovators in the technology workforce,” said Bobbie Knight, Miles College President. “While the digital divide has historically placed many students as a technological disadvantage, this initiative will absolutely help narrow the gap,” said Knight.

The collaboration extends IBM’s recent investment in technology, assets, resources and skills development with HBCUs across the United State through the IBM Skills Academy Academic Initiative.

“Equal access to skills and jobs is the key to unlocking economic opportunity and prosperity for diverse populations,” said Valinda Scarbro Kennedy, HBCU Program Lead, IBM Global University Programs. “As we announced earlier this fall, IBM is deeply committed to helping HBCU students build their skills to better prepare for the future of work. Through this collaboration, Miles College students will have an opportunity to gain modern skills in emerging technologies across hybrid cloud, quantum, and Al so they can be better prepared for the future of work in the digital economy.”

As part of its multi-year Global University Programs which include the IBM Academic Initiative and the IBM Skills Academy, IBM is providing more than $100M in assets, faculty training, pre-built and maintained curriculum content, hands on labs, use cases, digital badges and software to select HBCUs. The IBM Academic Initiative provides access to resources at no-charge for teaching, learning and non-commercial research with recent enhancements including access to guest lectures. The IBM Skills Academy is a comprehensive, integrated program through an education portal designed to create a foundation of diverse and high demand skill sets that directly correlate to what students will need in the workplace. The learning tracks address topics such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, blockchain, data science and quantum computing.

IBM’s investment in HBCUs like Miles College is part of the company’s dedicated work to promote social justice and racial equality by creating equitable, innovative experiences for HBCU students to acquire the necessary skills to help unlock economic opportunity and prosperity.

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About IBM
IBM is a global leader in business transformation, serving clients in more than 170 countries around the world with open hybrid cloud and Al technology. For more information, visit www.ibm.com.

About Miles College
Miles College, founded in 1898, is a premier liberal arts institution located in metropolitan Birmingham within the corporate limits of the City of Fairfield. The noble founders of the institution saw educated leadership as the paramount need in the black community. Miles, which is fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and accredited by Commission on Colleges for the awarding of Baccalaureate Degrees, is the only four-year institution in historic Birmingham, Alabama designated as a member of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).For more information, visit www.miles.edu.

(BEAUFORT, S.C.) – The National Park Service announces the first eight community sites to be included in the newly established Reconstruction Era National Historic Network. The national network launched in March 2020, will connect sites across the country who provide education, interpretation and research for the period of Reconstruction. The Reconstruction Era (1861-1900) is one of the most fascinating and misunderstood periods in American History and includes stories of freedom education and self-determination.

The new community sites added to the network include several Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) created during Reconstruction, a site manged by the South Carolina State Park system which interprets the stories of freedom and tenant farming, and a school which was created shortly after the Civil Ward to provide education to the formerly enslaved. Specifically, they are Allen University, Benedict College, Claflin University, Clinton College, Mather School, Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site, South Carolina State University and Voorhees College.

Allen University
Benedict College
Claflin University
Clinton College
South Carolina State University
Voorhees College

Mather School and Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site.

“The Reconstruction story is a national story,” said Scott Teodorski, Superintendent. “It includes sites from all over the country. Some of the sites are manged by the National Park Service and many are not. The Reconstruction Era National Historic Network provides an opportunity to connect these sites and to connect visitors to their stories as part of the Reconstruction Era. We are very excited to welcome these new sites to the network and look forward to working with them.”

The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, signed into law on March 12, 2019, outlined the creation of the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network. This network manged by Reconstruction Era National Historical Park, includes sites and programs that are affiliated with the Reconstruction Era, but not necessarily managed by the National Park Service. This network is nationwide and works to provide opportunities for visitors to connect to the stores of Reconstruction. For more information about the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network, visit: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/reconstruction/network.htm.

For more information about Reconstruction Era National Historical Park, visit www.nps.gov/reer or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ReconstructionNPS.

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(CHICAGO, IL – 11/19/20) As Chicago State University students nearing graduation prepare to lead in their professions and communities, the institution announces that Chicago’s Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot will serve as the Fall 2020 Commencement speaker. Mayor Lightfoot will address the graduating class on December 17 at 11 a.m. for the university’s first virtual commencement ceremony.

“We are honored to have Mayor Lightfoot speak at this year’s commencement ceremony,” said President Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq. “As the city’s first African American female mayor who has focused her administration work on bringing resources to all of Chicago’s neighborhood’s while also governing during a challenging period, our graduates will benefit tremendously from her insights as a civic leader and a trailblazer.”

About Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot

Mayor Lightfoot has undertaken an ambitious agenda of expanding opportunity and inclusive economic growth across Chicago’s neighborhoods and communities, with early accomplishments including landmark ethics and good governance reforms, worker protection legislation, and closing a then-record $838 million budget gap, as well as key investments in education, public safety and financial stability. Mayor Lightfoot also placed Chicago on the path to a $15 minimum wage by 2021.

In response to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, Mayor Lightfoot has led a coordinated, citywide response across government, business, and community organizations to effectively address its spread and broader public impact, including the creation of the Racial Equity Rapid Response Team, the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force, among other actions. 

Prior to her election, Mayor Lightfoot most recently served as a senior equity partner in the Litigation and Conflict Resolution Group at Mayer Brown. Previously, she also served as a civic leader in roles that include President of the Chicago Police Board, as well as the Chair of the Police Accountability Task Force.

A native of Massillon, Ohio, Mayor Lightfoot has been a resident of Chicago since 1986 and lives on the Near Northwest Side with her wife Amy Eshleman and their daughter.

The fall commencement ceremony is not Mayor Lightfoot’s first visit to CSU, having addressed the campus and community members during a forum with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in March 2019, weeks before her election in April 2019.

“Having Mayor Lightfoot as our commencement speaker is an honor,” said Jasmine Moss, CSU Communications major and Fall 2020 graduating senior. “She has had a tremendous impact on the city of Chicago, in particular the Southside where Chicago State is located. As I prepare to graduate during an uncertain time, I look forward to learning from the insight of a leader mapping the city’s path forward.”

About Commencement

Commencement will be held on Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 11 a.m. The public is invited to watch the ceremony streamed online at www.csu.edu. Learn more.

About Chicago State University

Chicago State University (CSU), founded in 1867, is the oldest public university in the Chicago Metropolitan area. The University’s five colleges offer over 70 undergraduate and graduate degree-granting and non-degree programs. CSU is committed to equity in education, serving as the only U.S. Department of Education-designated four-year Predominantly Black Institution in Illinois and ranked by a Harvard economist in the top 4% of public and private universities nationwide in supporting graduates’ economic mobility. The University serves as a prominent civic space on the greater South Side of Chicago by hosting a multitude of athletic, educational, cultural, and recreational activities. The University is located near public transit that provides convenient access to the campus. For more information, visit www.csu.edu.

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.

(TALLADEGA, AL) – The recent Coronation of Miss Talladega College 2020-2021 Patria Gatson was unlike any of the college’s previous coronations.

“COVID-19 has forced colleges to find creative ways to maintain their cherished traditions. Our Miss Talladega College 2020-2021 Coronations was held outdoors, and our queen arrived in a horse-drawn carriage wearing a face shield,” said Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, Talladega College President. “Many people thought the outdoor event was among our most beautiful coronations ever and said the horse-drawn carriage added an extra-special touch. Some suggested that we hold future coronations ceremonies outside. In the midst of the pandemic, measure initially taken as health and safety precautions may actually inspire many colleges to form new traditions.”

Mr. Anthony Jones, who served as the Miss Talladega College advisor for over 20 years, added, “In our many decades of holding the Miss Talladega College coronation, the event was never outdoors and our queen has never arrived on a horse-drawn carriage.”

While the weather in the small Alabama town was pleasant enough for the November gathering, taking a traditionally indoor event outside presented a variety of unexpected challenges. Had he not set up early, Jones believe the event might have been a disaster.

“The wind kept blowing up the backdrop. We had to pin it down and find bricks to hold it in place. We also had to carefully select and secure the greenery to make sure nothing blew away,” said Jones.

The greatest challenge for Jones was figuring out how to make the event, which traditionally runs 1 1/2 hours and attracts throngs of students and alumni, into an elegant 30-minute affair with socially distanced chairs and relatively few attendees. Dr. Hawkins applauded Mr. Jones’s for accomplishing this mission and making the event special for Miss Talladega and her Royal Court.

“Miss Talladega College, Patria Gatson, is an exceptional scholar and an outstanding campus leader. She and members of her royal court deserved their special day. While I made the difficult decision to cancel Homecoming and many other significant events due to the pandemic, I am pleased that Mr. Jones used his creativity to help us safely maintain – and enhance – our coronation tradition.”

Patria was crowned by Dr. Hawkins, Miss Talladega College 2019-2020 De’Jha Billingsley and Mr. Talladega College 2019-2020 Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Ndiaye. Members of the the Royal Court included Miss Senior Jordan Dubose, Gentleman in Waiting Robert Walker, Miss Junior Ayala Seaborn, Mr. Junior Kobe Dickerson, Miss Sophmore Chaniaya McKenzie, Mr. Sophomore Trayon Miller, Miss Freshman Christian Mckinney, and Mr. Freshman Ulises Rivera Jr. Miss Talladega College 1994-1995 Terri A. Harvill delivered the invocation, and Talladega College Show Stopping Crimssonettes dancers Yvonne Hamilton and Ranisha Morris performed.

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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 renowned Hall Woodruff Amistad Murals, which received rare reviews from the New York Times during a three year, eight-city tour. For more information, visit www.talladega.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.

(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.

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.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in single garment of destiny. Whenever affects on directly, affects all indirectly.”

Issues on racism have pursued for way too long, and it is at its point of needing to be permanently resolved. The recent racial slurs and killings exemplifies the ceaseless unsolved result of broken systemic racism in America. We immensely are demanding peace and justice over our people, especially of the black and brown people and their communities. And we will not back down from the continued fight for social change and injustice.

As I have stated once before, and I will repeat it, our country must unite to dismantle racism and bigotry in all forms and denounce race-related violence and police brutality. In the words of Jessie Jackson, we must use our economic leverage and our political power to respond to this ongoing miscarriage of justice.

On October 20, 2020, Marcellis Stinnette, a 19-year-old black man, was fatally shot by a Hispanic police officer in Illinois shortly before midnight during a traffic stop. It is told that the teen did not receive medical assistance and bled out on the ground for eight minutes. On October 20, 2020, Quawan “Bobby” Charles, a 15-year-old black teen, vanished from his home. Days later, the family said his body was found in a sugarcane field about 20 miles away, in Iberia Parish. The teen was beaten and tortured, and being compared to the murder of Emmett Till. However, local officials are not providing transparent details regarding the death of Charles. The ACLU is demanding a full, independent investigation.

Over the weekend of November 7-8, Simmons College of Kentucky, a historically black college, located in Louisville, Kentucky received a voicemail from a man that was rooted in racism. The voice related the following message, “Boy ya know, a few, me and a few of my upstanding white friends from the community would sure wish you would shut that n***** college down, ya know please tired of all you n**** starting problems with all the white folk around.”

The time is already overdue for us as Americans to stop accepting nonsense as such and come together to do all that we can as a society to challenge and change systems of inequity that perpetuate racism and bias that continues to happen in this country. Enough is enough. We must not stop speaking up about JUSTICE, PEACE, and RESPECT among humanity. While I do not encourage violence because it is neither the answer nor our agenda, we must not be silent.

Dr. King reminded us all that, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Respectfully,

Demetrius Johnson, Jr.
President and CEO, Founder

Miss Talladega College 2020-2021 Patria Gatson holding up one of the t-shirts that students, faculty, and staff received at the 3rd Annual President’s Picnic.

(TALLADEGA, AL) – Talladega College held its 3rd Annual President’s Picnic which included great food and free t-shirts celebrating Talladega’s record-setting enrollment. The spacious new plaza outside the Dr. Billy C. Hawkins Student Activity Center gave Talladegans plenty of room to celebrate while social distancing.

Enrollment at Talladega has risen to an all-time high of 1,313 students, making the 2020-2021 academic year the institution’s 3rd consecutive year for record enrollment increases. Talladega’s previous record was set last year, when the college enrolled 1,230 students for the 2019-2020 academic year. Talladga also enjoyed a record-high enrollment increase in the 2018-2019 academic year, when the student population increased to 1,216.

Talladega College President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, who helped cook the food for the celebration, said, “There are several factors driving admissions at Talladega College. We have outstanding academic programs, beautiful new facilities, positive rankings, conference-winning athletic teams, and a phenomenal band and choir. We also have a dynamic admissions team that works closely with prospective students to show them the value of coming to Talladega.”

Talladega College is ranked in three categories in the prestigious U.S. News and World Report 2021 Best Colleges Guide – National Liberal Arts Colleges, Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs) and Top Performers on Social Mobility. The Princeton Review named Talladega College among the “Best Southeastern Colleges” in its “2021 Best Colleges: Region by Region” section. Talladega has also been listed among Kiplinger’s best value colleges.

Talladega College’s new state-of-the-art residence hall opened in January 2019. The Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art, which houses the critically-acclaimed Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals and other great works of art, opened in January 2020. In addition, the Dr. Billy C. Hawkins Student Activity Center opened in August 2020.

The College recently graduated the first cohort to complete its online Master of Science in Computer Information Systems, Talladega’s first graduate program.

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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 renowned Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals, which received rare reviews from The New York Times during a three-year, eight-city tour. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

(MISSISSIPPI) – Mississippi Valley State University (Itta Bena) and Jackson State University (Jackson), both historically black colleges and universities were listed among Mississippi Public Universities that improve the lives of Mississippi’s youngest citizens in numerous ways. These Universities have programs that serve children, train teachers and other specialists who serve the health and educational needs of children. These Universities also partner with other organizations to support children and their families.

Mississippi Valley State University’s Department of Social Work prepares students to advocate for children and families. Established in 1972 as the Family and Community Service Program, it meets the needs of human services agencies in the Delta and beyond. Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and offering a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree, the program supports local social service delivery systems through faculty and student involvement in community and professional activities, including organizing an Annual Social Work Conference at MVSU, professional training workshops, and advocating at the state capitol in support of social work issues. MVSU also offers the Master of Social Work degree which opens the door to new and exciting career opportunities for social workers looking to expand their reach in the social work field.

For more information, visit www.mvsu.edu.

Jackson State University’s College of Education (COE) is using a five-year $1.25 million grant to train teachers of visually impaired students in the South. U.S. data reveal there is a critical need for certified profession-ready teachers locally, statewide and nationally in this field. The Office of Special Education Programs has a goal to produce 30 teachers as part of the federal department’s Deep South Synergy Training Teachers of the Visually Impaired Project. The COE is a leading producer of African-American graduates in education. Many graduates become k-12 educators helping to develop the minds of Mississippi’s youth. Adrienne McDowell, an alum of JSU’s COE, was named JPS Teacher of the Year in 2019. McDowell’s efforts moved her bottom 25-percentile students from minimal to passing on the 2017-2019 English state tests.

For more information, visit www.jsums.edu.

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About Mississippi Valley State University
Mississippi Valley State University,as a Carnegie Classified Master’s University, provides comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs in education, the arts and sciences, and professional studies. MVSU is fundamentally committed to positively impacting the quality of life and creating extraordinary educational opportunities for the Mississippi Delta and beyond. For more information, visit www.mvsu.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.

About the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning
The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in 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.

Centers and institutes are important components of the academic, research, and service mission of a college or university. They play an important role in enabling multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs and are a necessary part of a college or university’s infrastructure.

Centers and institutes have the potential for strengthening disciplinary programs by providing interdisciplinary course work, offering service learning opportunities, facilitating certificate programs, supporting degree program, enabling high levels of research productivity and providing external visibility for the college or university.

Here is a list of active Centers and Institutes at HBCUs:

Center for the Study of HBCUs | Virginia Union University

The Center for the Study of HBCUs, in partnership with the Southern Education Foundation (SEF), at Virginia Union University is a national research center whose vision is to become the country’s preeminent institution for the advancement of scholarship on Black colleges in the United States an beyond.

The national research center will conduct high-quality studies, serves as a connection and convener of the HBCU scholarly community, and disseminate publications that focus on the history, mission, and management of HBCUs.

Click here for more information

Center for Social Justice | Claflin University

Claflin’s Center for Social Justice embodies a number of Claflin’s guding principles, most importantly Commitment to Valuing People. At Claflin, people are valued by providing a safe, wholesome and healthy environment that fosters mutual respect, diversity, and inclusion. The Center of Social Justice at Claflin provides a platform of its mission to lead a national movement of change.

Click here for more information

Social Justice Institute | Philander Smith College

The work and mission of Philander Smith College is deeply rooted in social justice and equity – going back to its founding nearly a century and a half ago. Reimagined and reinvented in 2017 with strategic thought partners Auburn Theological Seminary and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the institute works to transform the campus, the community and the world.

The Institute seeks to embrace and catalyze work in social justice across multiple domains: education, health, environment, community, economics, politics, identity, civil, criminal, religious, racial, gender, and age.

Click here for more information

Law Center | Southern University System

The mission of the Law Center is consistent with the rich heritage of the Southern University System. The Law Center stresses legal education of high quality for qualified students from diverse backgrounds.

The Southern University Law Center is proud of the tradition established by the original School of Law – to provide quality legal education commensurate with high professional standards. The vision that compels the Law Center to seek excellence in every aspect of its program also fosters an environment that stimulates the intellectual processes and promotes professional development.

The center offers a dual degree Juris Doctor/Masters in Public Administration (JD/MD) program in cooperation with the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Southern University and A&M College.

Click here for more information

The John R. Lewis Institute for Social Justice | Fisk University

The John R. Lewis Institute is a continuation of the famous Race Relations Institute (RRI), which shaped so many conversation and policies during the 60s and 70s. The social, political, and economic issues that RRI founder Fisk President Charles S. Johnson identified during the 1940s are still critical to addressing and improving the existing disparities in the African American community.

This Institute includes a master’s program in social justice, in addition to certificate programs and undergraduate projects, research and forums.

Click here for more information

Center for Racial Justice | Dillard University

The mission of Dillard University’s Center for Racial Justice (CRJ) is to bring systemic change to the way policies is done in communities of color and to promote partnerships with law enforcement including police departments and sheriff’s office, graduate, and professional schools. The Center for Racial Justice will be a reservoir for lectures, research, advocacy training, civic engagement, and political participation.

Click here for more information

John Mercer Langston Institute for African-American Political Leadership | Virginia State University

The John Mercer Langston Institute for African-American Political Leadership (JMLI) at Virginia State University was created to honor the legacy of John Mercer Langston, the first African American Congressional Representative from Virginia and first president of Virginia State University.

JMLI’s mission seeks to assess, develop, and empower African American political leadership in the Commonwealth of Virginia through innovative programming, research, and advocacy. The Institute strives to promote an increased understanding of the historical significance, unique role and challenges faced by African American political leaders. A highlight of JMLI’s programming is the development and engagement of collegiate scholars who are interested in activism and pursuing careers in political science and public administration.

Click here for more information

– Updated November 9, 2020

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.

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

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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(JACKSON, MS) – Jackson State University (JSU) has announced the promotion of Jerome Tinker to the position of executive director for the JSU Development Foundation. In 2018, Tinker joined the JSUDF where he fulfilled the duties of executive assistant, account payable, donor relations, board administrator, and most recently, director.

“My diligent work ethic was not overlooked by Universiter administrators and the JSUDF Board of Directors, and for that, I am immensely grateful. I absolutely love what I do, and each day, I am motivated to go above and beyond my call of duty to ensure the BOD have what they need to exercise proper and effective governance,” said Tinker.

As Executive Director, he plans to collaborative with the executive officers of JSUDF to create an all-inclusive strategic proposal which will assist with strengthening the Board of Directors. This initiative will focus on the following sectors:

  • Diversity
  • Engagement
  • Communication
  • Policy and procedures
  • Day-to-Day operations

Tinker also wants to ensure all JSUDF University staff members receive adequate professional development to assist with enhancing internal operations.

“We have limited amount of team members who all have to perform variety of duties. I believe by empowering my staff and ensuring they have all the necessary resources to be successful, they will in turn, produce an astounding work product for the JSUDF.”

Tinker is a native of Sawyerville, Alabama. He is a cum laude graduate of Stillman College where he received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus in Operations Management. He also has a Master of Community Development in Housing with a certification in Community Planning from Prairie View A&M University.

He is a student member of the Mississippi Economic Development Council, the American Planning Association (MS Chapter), the Council of Advancement and Support of Education, wand was recently appointed as chairman of the Scholarship and Student Engagement Committee for the PVAMU Atlanta Metro Alumni Chapter.

Tinker is a proud member of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grant Lodge of Alabama and is a 2006 initiate of the Gamma Phi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.

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About the JSU Development Foundation
The Jackson State University Foundation was established as a private, nonprofit organization in 1977 specifically to increase private gift support for Jackson State University. Since its inception, the JSUDF has been committed to establishing the best possible relationship with its benefactors based on trust by operating with the highest ethical standards and providing excellent performance. For more information, visit www.jsums.edu/jsudf.

(BALTIMORE, MD) – Coppin State University (CSU), a historically black university, has announced the dedication of a life-size, bronze monument of Fanny Jackson Coppin, the institution’s namesake. The monument will be erected in a prominent located on the campus on October 15, 2021. The institution invites guest to be a part of this history-making event where Fanny will have a permanent and physical presence.

In 1865, Fanny Jackson was appointed to the Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania), a Quaker school in Philadelphia. Within four years, she became head principal, from which position she influenced two generations of young people. In a letter to Frederick Douglass in 1876, she explained her commitment: “I feel sometimes like a person to whom in childhood was entrusted some sacred flame… This is the desire to see my race lifted out of the mire of ignorance, weakness and degradation; no longer to sit in obscure corners and devour the scraps of knowledge which his superiors flung at him. I want to see him crowned with strength and dignity; adorned with the enduring grace of intellectual attainments.”

Her school was centered on this dream. She explained the curriculum to include an Industrial Department, established a Women’s Industrial Exchange to display the mechanical and artistic works of young women, and founded a Home for Girls and Young Women to house workers from out of town. Moreover, she persuaded employers to hire her pupils in capacities that would utilize their education.

Fanny Jackson Coppin was born a slave in Washington, D.C., she gained her freedom, graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio, and founded the Philadelphia Institute that was the forerunner of Cheyney State University.

Coppin was founded in 1900 at what was then called Colored High School (later named Douglass High School) on Pennsylvania Avenue by the Baltimore City School Board who initiated a one-year training course for the preparation of African-American elementary school teachers. By 1902, the training program was expanded to a two-year Normal Department within the high school, and seven years later it was separated from the high school and given its own principal. In 1926, this facility for teacher training was named Fanny Jackson Coppin Normal School in honor of the outstanding African-American woman who was a pioneer for teacher education.

“Love wins when everything else will fail.”
-Fanny Jackson Coppin

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Dr. Ontario Wooden, new provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Alcorn State University

LORMAN, MS – Alcorn State University (ASU) has announced a new provost that will pave the way for student success and faculty excellence after a nationwide search.

Dr. Ontario Wooden began his tenure as the University’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs on Tuesday, September 15. As provost, Wooden will be responsible for facilitating the effective and efficient delivery of academic and support services across the campus, which includes management and oversight of all academic schools, the registrar, research and graduate studies, 1890 Research/Extension, Library, Institutional Research, and Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment/Accreditation. Wooden will serve as a member of the President’s Executive Cabinet and reports directly to President Felecia M. Nave.

“We value Dr. Wooden’s successful experience as a higher education administrator, an accomplished teacher, and a scholar,” said President Nave. “Ontario’s keen academic vision, focus on student success and faculty excellence, commitment to access combined with his collaborative approach to leadership and shared governance elevated his candidacy among a group of over 40 truly stellar candidates for Alcorn’s provost. I am confident he will work well with the leadership team, faculty, and staff to greatly benefit our university community as we continue to advance our national and global reputation.”

Wooden comes to Alcorn after serving as associate vice chancellor for Student Success and Academic Outreach at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). In his 12-year career at NCCU, he has provided leadership in multiple positions that include associate vice chancellor for Innovative, Engaged, and Global Education, interim associate dean of the School of Education; and associate professor of Education. He was also the acting associate vice chancellor for Institutional Research, Effectiveness, and Planning, and served as dean, and associate dean of University College.

“I, along with my wife, Kimberly, and song, Liam, are honored to become a part of the Alcorn family,” said Wooden. “Every person I have spoken with speaks about the “Alcorn family.” It is not lost that I am joining a special team, a unique tradition, and a place full of caring and devoted faculty, staff, and students. I am thrilled to be a part of the oldest public historically black land-grant institution in the country. One of my research interests is college student access and success. Continuing this focus at Alcorn is exciting.”

Wooden partnered as an affiliate graduate faculty in higher education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for five year. Further, he served in multiple roles at Albany State University and Indiana University Bloomington (IUB). He earned a doctorate in higher education from IUB in 2004, which is where he also earned a master’s degree in the same area of study in 2002. Wooden earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Albany State University in 2000.

Despite today’s challenges, Wooden remains dedicated to ensuring Alcorn’s continued accreditation while providing the best educational opportunities for its students.

“We must continue to work diligently to ensure that we complete a new strategic plan, receive continuing from SACSCOC and other specialized accreditations, complete a comprehensive review of our academic programs to ensure our offering of leading-edge degree programs, as well as strengthen our administrative academic operations. We will also develop as a set of key performance indicators to measure our progress and success. Amid all of the new constraints that we face, we will stay focused on providing outstanding educational opportunities for our students.”

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About Alcorn State University
Alcorn State University, a Historically Black College and University, is a comprehensive land-grant institution that celebrates a rich heritage with a diverse student and faculty population. The University emphasizes intellectual development and lifelong learning through the integration of diverse pedagogies, applied and basic research, cultural and professional programs, public service and outreach, while providing access to globally competitive academic and research programs. Alcorn strives to prepare graduates to be well-rounded future leaders of higher character and to be successful in the global marketplace of the 21st century. For more information, visit www.alcorn.edu.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) announced on August 6, 2020, the award of more than $3.5 million to 11 Mississippi universities and community colleges for student support services. This award includes three historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The Mississippi institutions were eligible to take advantage of an extended U.S. Department of Education application deadline offered to schools located within federal disaster areas. The Student Support Services (SSS) Program awards represent first year funding of an anticipated five-year grant program.

“The Student Support Services Program funding gives these Mississippi schools resources to help students navigate post-secondary education requirements, which will be further complicated by the coronavirus pandemic over the next few semesters,” said Hyde-Smith, who serve on the Senate appropriation subcommittee with jurisdiction over federal education programs.

“I’m grateful our universities and community colleges affected by disasters, like flooding and severe storms, were giving additional time to quality for and win these grants,” she said.

The SSS, one of eight federal TRIO Programs, works to increase the college retention and graduation rates through programs to help students meet basic college requirements. The assistance may include grant aid to current SSS participants receiving federal Pell Grants.

The Mississippi schools receiving FY2020 SSS Program grants include:

  • Alcorn State University – $392,322
  • Copiah-Lincoln Community College – $338,971
  • Hinds Community College – $329,897
  • Holmes Community College – $337,287
  • Jackson State University (two grants) – $523,776
  • Mississippi State University – $292,898
  • Mississippi Valley State University – $305,957
  • Northwest Mississippi Community College – $334,571
  • Pearl River Community College – $372,972
  • University of Southern Mississippi – $306,037

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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.

PETERSBURG, VA – Virginia State University (VSU) has announced a new venture focused on increasing African American political leadership across the Commonwealth of Virginia. During a press conference on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, the University announced the creation of the John Mercer Langston Institute for African American Political Leadership (JMLI).

The JMLI at Virginia State University is devoted to developing, empowering, and cultivating African American leadership in the Commonwealth of Virginia through innovative training, policy collection and assistance, programming, research, and networking according to the University.

According to Dr. Wes Bellamy, Chair of the VSU Department of Political Science, “This Institute will help develop a pipeline of Black political leadership across the state and ensure that the voices of those who are often unheard will be represented. We hear loud and clear the need for change, for new voices, a thirst for understanding political structures, and people eager to make a difference. The JMLI Institute is here to do just that.”

VSU President, Dr. Makola M. Abdullah says, “As we look at the current political climate, it is imperative that clear avenues for Black political development are available. VSU has consistently worked to ensure that our students are prepared and equipped to viable assets to society in the Commonwealth and beyond. The JMLI will serve as an additional voice and pathway to make that happen.”

The JMLI will also host a formal institute to develop Black political leadership in February 2021. Registration for the institute will be available in December 2020.

John Mercer Langston was an American abolitionist, attorney, educator, activist, diplomat, and politician. He was the first president of Virginia State University and the first dean of the law school at Howard University.

For more information about the JMLI, click here.

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About Virginia State University
Virginia State University, a public, comprehensive 1890 Land Grant institution and historically black college/university, is committed to the preparation of a diverse population of men and women through the advancement of academic programs and services that integrate instruction, research, extension, and outreach. The University endeavors to meet the educational needs of students, graduating lifelong learners who are well equipped to serve their communities as informed citizens, globally competitive leaders, and highly effective, ethical professionals. For more information, visit www.vsu.edu.

Maxine R. Greenleaf

Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) alumna Maxine R. Greenleaf has earned an appointment to the Strategic Communications Executive Committee for the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU). It’s the oldest higher education association in the country and aims to strengthen and advance public universities’ work in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Greenleaf currently serves as the Executive Director of Communications and Marketing in Jackson State University’s Division of Institutional Advancement. She graduated from MVSU in 2007 with a degree in Mass Communications. From 2008 to 2012, Greenleaf worked in MVSU’s Office of Communications and Marketing. She held the position of director in the same department from 2013-2017.

As an executive committee member on APLU’s Council on Strategic Communications (CSC), Greenleaf will work with other professionals throughout the country to provide a forum that will bolster senior leaders’ work in communications and public affairs, as well as public relations.

“It is an honor to be appointed to APLU’s Council on Strategic Communications,” said Greenleaf. “I’ve spent over 14 years of my career in higher education because I believe in its transformational power. I am excited to contribute to conversations on this level to assist with improving access and communicating the public good benefits of higher ed.”

“We are pleased to learn of Mrs. Maxine Greenleaf’s appointment by the APLU, one of the country’s oldest higher education associations. It is an honor in which she should be proud.” said Thomas K. Hudson, acting president of JSU.

The council works to create coherent messaging and practical strategies that communicates public higher education value to key constituencies. The CSC also works closely with the Council on Government Affairs (CGA) on messages of importance to federal and state policymakers and the Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) to communicate issues about economic development.

APLU’s membershi[ consists of 246 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations. Its core mission is to build a greater future for everyone through the following methods:

  • Expand access and improve student success to deliver the innovative workforce of tomorrow
  • Advance and promote research and discovery to improve society
  • Foster economic growth and address global challenges
  • Build healthy, prosperous, equitable, vibrant communities locally and globally

NEWPORT BEACH, CA – Chipotle Mexican Grill, known for its leading education benefits, announced that it is expanding its Debt-Free degree program to include Paul Quinn College, the nation’s first urban work college and one of the oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the country. Chipotle covers 100% tuition costs up front for over 75 different types of business and technology degrees for eligible employees, including crew members, through its partnership with Guild Education, the leading education benefits company in the country.

After 120 days of employment employees are eligible to pursue debt-free degrees from leading nonprofit, accredited universities, including Paul Quinn College, the program’s first HBCU. Additional schools in the debt-free degree program include: The University of Arizona, Bellevue University, Brandman University, Southern New Hampshire University, and Wilmington University.

“We want to provide employees with the tools to achieve their full potential and recognize that financial barriers can be one of the biggest obstacles for not furthering their education,” said Marissa Andrada, Chief Diversity, Inclusion, and People Officer at Chipotle. “Ensuring we provide inclusive benefits and a support system for our employees and recognizing the importance of offering an HBCU in our education program will continue to aid in our efforts to cultivate a better world.”

Since the launch of Chipotle’s Cultivate Education program in 2016, more than 8,000 employees have enrolled in classes leveraging the tuition reimbursement benefit or debt-free degrees introduced last year. To date, Chipotle has been a retention rate of three and a half times higher among students who are enrolled in Cultivate Education. Of those using the benefit, 85% of students are crew members, and the benefit has the biggest impact on their growth and tenure. Additionally, crew members using the benefit are seven and a half times more likely to move into a management role within the organization.

“Chipotle’s Cultivate Education program continues to thrive, giving employees the opportunity to achieve enhanced economic mobility,” said Rachel Carlson, CEO and Co-Founder of Guild Education. “By expanding the program to include Paul Quinn College, Chipotle is offering employees a more comprehensive, inclusive benefit.”

To learn more about Chipotle’s Cultivate Education program and Paul Quinn College, visit http://chipotle.guildeducation.com.

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About Chipotle
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is cultivating a better world by serving responsibly sourced, classically-cooked, real food with wholesome ingredients without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Chipotle had over 2,650 restaurants as of June 30,2020, in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany and is the only restaurant company of its size that owns and operate all its restaurants. With more than 91,000 employees passionate about providing a great guest experience, Chipotle is a longtime leader and innovator in the food industry. Chipotle is committed to making its food more accessible to everyone while continuing to be a brand with a deomonstrated purpose as it leads the way in digital, technology and sustainable business practices. Steve Ells, founder and former executive chairman, first opened Chipotle with a single restaurant in Denver, Colorado in 1993. For more information or to place an order online, visit www.chipotle.com.

About Paul Quinn College
Paul Quinn College is a private, faith-based, four-year liberal arts college, founded by and affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. PQC were founded in Austin, Texas, on April 4, 1872, as an institution for educating freed slaves and their children, and are one of 110 HBCUs in the U.S. For more information about PQC, visit www.pqc.edu.

About Guild Education
Guild Education is on a mission to unlock opportunity for America’s workforce through education, with a double bottom-line business model that does well by doing good. Guild partners with leading employers and organizations to help offer education and upskilling opportunities to America’s workforce. To do so, Guild partners with the nation’s top universities and learning providers, with classes, certificates and programs focused on serving working adults. Guild has been named a Fast Company Most Innovative Company, Top Woman-Owned Business of the Year, Employee Initiative of the Year and recognized on the Forbes Cloud 100 2019 and 2020 Lists. To learn more about Guild Education, visit www.guildeducation.com.

After months of planning, the Fannie Lou Hamer marker, spearheaded by Mississippi Valley State University students, honoring the 1965 Voting Rights Act, is finally ready to be revealed, according to the University.

On Tuesday, October 6, at 1 p.m., a ceremony will be held in front of the Sunflower County Courthouse located at 200 Second Street, Indianola, Mississippi.

Dr. C Sade Turnipseed, who currently serves as an adjunct professor at MVSU and students from her Public History course, worked diligently on the project led by 17-year-old Brian Diyaolu.

“At MVSU, we care about historical figures in America. We want to make sure these cherished and important people are remembered,” said Diyaolu. “Individuals are remembered in the sands of time, and Mrs. Hamer falls in this category of people, so we made it our sacred duty to honor her contributions so that she is not forgotten.”

MVSU President Dr. Jerryl Briggs, Sr., supported the project and shared what it means to the University and the students to be involved.

“Here at MVSU, we pride ourselves on putting students first, and Dr. Turnipseed truly does just that. I congratulate her and the students on this outstanding accomplishment. Understanding the significance of our nation’s history is extremely important because, through this knowledge, we can build stronger communities,” said Briggs.

Turnipseed said the location of the marker is significant.

“This is the historic spot where Fannie Lou Hamer, other Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) members, stood in protest of voter suppression in the state of Mississippi and throughout the American South,” she said.

“The date of the unveiling is significant because Mrs. Hamer was born on that day in 1917, on a cotton plantation in Sunflower County. This would have been Mrs. Hamer’s 103rd birthday celebration.”

The group received financial support from the Sunflower County Board of Supervisors, Khafre, Inc., Bell Grove Baptist Church, and other concerned citizens.

The historical marker will be the world’s first commemorating Hamer’s courageous stance to ensure all Americans’ voting rights. On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, guaranteeing African Americans the right to vote, due in no small measure to Mrs. Hamer’s and several other members of the SNCC advocacy.

Turnipseed expressed that the institution is committed to positively impacting the quality of life and creating extraordinary educational opportunities for the Mississippi Delta and beyond.

“This public history endeavor allowed MVSU students to reach new heights by demonstrating their appreciation for the contributions that Mrs. Hamer and her contemporaries made to America.”

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About Mississippi Valley State University
Mississippi Valley State University, as a Carnegie Classified Master’s University, provides comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs in education, the arts and sciences, and professional studies. The University is driven by its commitment to excellence in teaching, learning, service, and research–a commitment resulting in a learner-centered environment that prepares critical thinkers, exceptional communicators, and service-oriented, engaged, and productive citizens. MVSU is fundamentally committed to positively impacting the quality of life and creating extraordinary educational opportunities for the Mississippi Delta and beyond. For more information, visit www.mvsu.edu.

Talladega College’s President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins

TALLADEGA, AL – Talladega College has set a record for the largest enrollment in its 153-year history. Enrollment has risen to an all-time high of 1,307 students, making the 2020-2021 academic year Talladega’s 3rd consecutive year for record enrollment increases. The number represents a six percent overall increase and a 27% increase in new students. The previous record was set last year, when the college enrolled 1, 230 students from the 2019-2020 academic year. Talladega also enjoyed a record-high enrollment increase in the 2018-2019 academic year, when the student population increased to 1,216.

“There are several factors driving admission at Talladega College. We have outstanding academic programs, beautiful new facilities, positive rankings, conference-winning athletic teams, and a phenomenal band and choir. We also have a dynamic admissions team that works closely with prospective teams to show them the value of coming to Talladega,” said Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, Talladega College President.

Talladega College is ranked in three categories in the prestigious U.S. News and World Report 2021 Best Colleges Guide – National Liberal Arts Colleges, Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs) and Top Performers on Social Mobility. The Princeton Review named Talladega College among the “Best Southeastern Colleges” in its “2021 Best Colleges: Region by Region” section. Talladega has also been listed among Kiplinger’s best value colleges.

Talladega College’s new state-of-the-art residence hall opened in January 2019. The Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art, which houses the critically-acclaimed Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals and other great works of art, opened in January 2020. In addition, the Dr. Billy C. Hawkins Student Activity Center opened in August 2020.

The College recently graduate the first cohort to complete its online Master of Science in Computer Information Systems, the institution’s first graduate program.

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 to the renowned Hall Woodruff Amistad Murals, which received rave reviews from The New York Times during a three-year, eight-city tour. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Far Western Region of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated has gifted Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science with a $20,000 gift to provide scholarships to deserving students attending the university. The donation will fund the Alpha Kappa Alpha: Dare to Be Different – Dixon Scholarship Fund honoring the visionary leadership of 25th Far Western Regional Director Carol R. Dixon.

The Alpha Kappa Alpha: Dare to Be Different – Dixon Scholarship Fund will be awarded to two students per semester in $500 disbursements. Eligibility for the scholarship will be based on financial need, residency (student must reside within one of the nine states representing Alpha Kappa Alpha Far Western Region) and community service.

Carol R. Dixon, 25th Far Western Regional Director, is honored to continue the legacy of giving that Alpha Kappa Alpha has maintained for over 112 years. Regarding the gift, she said, “Charles R. Drew University is the only Historically Black Graduate Institution (HBGI) in California and remains one of our favorite partners. I am beyond honored to support this historic institution and contribute to the education and accomplishments of students so worthy of this assistance. Alpha Kappa Alpha has made many ground-breaking strides in the support of medicine and health equity. This scholarship is another step in maintaining that legacy.”

“We are grateful for this gift from Alpha Kappa Alpha and deeply appreciative that this esteemed national sorority shares our vision for the importance of education and the drive for health equity, particularly in low-income communities of color,” said Dr. David M. Carlisle, President and CEO of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. “I also want to extend my personal thanks to the 25th Western Region’s Director Carol R. Dixon for her leadership and long-time support of our University and mission.”

The Far Western Region of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. consists of chapters in nine states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington), which constitutes the Sorority’s largest geographic region.

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About Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA) is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. It is the oldest Greek letter organization established by African-American college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of nearly 300,000 members in more than 1000 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, Liberia, the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Germany, South Korea, Bermuda, Japan, Canada, South Africa, and in the Middle East. Led by International President Dr. Glenda Glover, Alpha Kappa Alpha is often hailed as “America’s premier Greek-letter organization for African American women.” For more information, visit www.aka1908.com.

About Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
CDU is a private, non-profit student-centered minority-serving medical and health sciences University that is committed to cultivating diverse health professional leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations through outstanding education, research, clinical service, and community engagement. For more information, visit www.cdrewu.edu.

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA – The Lincoln University Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new 5-year employment contract for President Brenda A. Allen.

Chairlady Theresa R. Braswell ’84 (left) and President Brenda A. Allen sign the president’s new 5-year employment contract at the Board of Trustees meeting on September 19, 2020.

“I am committed to united leadership and collaboration with Dr. Allen,” said Theresa R. Braswell, Board Chairlady (’84). “The board is eager to work with Dr. Allen to advance the legacy and support the mission of the nation’s first degree-granting Historically Black College & University.”

“The board is pleased with the direction of Lincoln and credits the recent successes of the University to Dr. Allen’s leadership and the team she has assembled. In the past three years, with her vision, leadership, and tireless devotion, the Lincoln community has experienced renewed energy.”

Since Allen became the 14th president in 2017, she has focused the University’s resources on student success by reinvesting in Lincoln’s roots as a world-class liberal arts institution.

“I am confident that the administration and the board are more aligned in our vision for the future because of discussions during the past three months,” said Allen. “By working together with the board, we will lead this institution through this unprecedented time and emerge more resilient and ready for the next 167 years. We have developed a clear strategy for reimagine the legacy of Lincoln. Now let’s keep moving forward.”

Allen led a concerted, multifaceted effort to build upon the University’s strong legacy of producing world leaders, its global engagement, and its commitment to social justice. She implemented a new, comprehensive strategic plan, Reimaging the Legacy: Learn.Liberate.Lead., and completed a comprehensive, University-wide restructuring to implement the strategic plan. Her leadership during a self-study that culminated in the 10-year reaccreditation of the University by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education. For two straight years, the University has been ranked as a top 20 HBCU by U.S. News & World Report.

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About Lincoln University
Lincoln University, the nation’s first degree-granting Historically Black College and University (HBCU), educates and empowers students to lead their communities and change the world. Lincoln offers a rigorous liberal arts educations to a diverse student body of approximately 2,200 men and women in more than 35 undergraduate and graduate programs.for more information, visit www.lincoln.edu.

HOLLY SPRINGS, MS – President Ivy R. Taylor announces new additions to the Rust College executive team.

Mrs. Tiffani Perry will serve as Chief of Staff. Tiffani joins Rust College from the largest public-school district in the state of Tennessee, Shelby County Schools, where she served as Public Information Officer. She has a great deal of expertise in marketing, communications, and operations, including work with the American Heart Association, DaVita Rx, and Hilton Hotels. Tiffani is a member of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated.

Dr. Dartell Treadwell will serve as Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives. Dr. Treadwell most recently served as Associate Dean in the College of Health Sciences at Alabama State University. He is trained and licensed as physical therapist, served as member of the Nashville Metro Police Department and in the United State Marines. Dr. Treadwell is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.

“We are excited to welcome Mrs. Perry and Dr. Treadwell to the Bearcat Family. Their skills will allow us to strengthen our internal operations as a student-centered institution and better communicate with the public about the success of Rust College and our students,” said Dr. Ivy Taylor, President of Rust College.

Mrs. Perry and Dr. Treadwell will begin their new roles immediately and will aide Dr. Tayler and the rest of the executive team in strategic planning intended to propel Rust College to greater heights.

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About Rust College

Rust College is a historically Black, co-educational, senior liberal arts college founded in 1866 by the Freedmen’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church to offer quality programs in business, education, humanities, science and math, and social science to prepare students for leadership and service in the global society.

Located in Holly Springs, MS, Rust College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate and baccalaureate degrees.For more information, visit www.rustcollege.edu.

TALLADEGA, AL – Angela Poole, Ph.D., CPA, has been named vice president for administration and finance at Talladega College in Talladega, AL. Dr. Poole brings over 20 years of professional financial management, leadership training, executive coaching, and consulting experience to the institution.

She will develop long and short-range strategic, financial plans for the College; direct or oversee the institution’s business functions; and provide leadership and administration for the Division of Administration and Finance while directing and overseeing budget administration, financial planning, accounting and investments, purchasing and contracts, administrative support, auxiliary enterprises, information technology, human resources, facilities, and risk management. As a member of Talladega’s senior executive staff, she will participate in institutional planning, policy development and problem resolution.

Dr. Poole is a seasoned executive whose expertise includes implementing plans for fiscal stabilization to manage expenses, grow revenues, and reduce debt. Her professional experiences includes higher education administration, not-for-profit leadership, accounting, consulting, and systems implementation. She has also worked at senior levels with professional consulting firms, medical centers, local municipalities and state agencies.

Prior to joining the College, she served as a managing consultant for AMP Expert Solutions. Prior to AMP Expert Solutions, she served as senior vice president for business affairs/CFO for Bethune-Cookman University.

She earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership from Florida A&M University (FAMU), a Master of Accountancy degree from Florida State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the School of Business and Industry at FAMU.

She has been a licensed Florida Certified Public Accountant since 1999. She is also a certified Business Process Reengineering and Strategic Planning Practitioner and a trained Design Think facilitator. Dr. Poole completed a graduate certificate program in Institutional Effectiveness from the State University System of New York (SUNY).

Her current and past involvement in professional and civic organizations includes: Founding President of The Foundation for Wealth Building, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tallahassee Christian College and Training Center, Lifetime member of the FICPA Scholarship Foundation, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, and Lifetime member of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association.

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ALBANY, GA – Amidst the pandemic, Albany State University (ASU) officials are pleased to see a higher enrollment for the fall 2020 semester. This is ASU’s largest enrollment in the past three years, with an increase of nearly 6% from 2019. Under President Marion Ross Fedrick’s leadership, the University has implemented strategic scholarship allocations, recruitment strategies, and student success programs that have led to this achievement.

ASU assists students in need through the efforts of scholarships such as the Golden RAM Retention Grant (GAP Scholarship), the Local Scholars Grant and many more through the ASU Foundation. The recruitment strategy has pivoted to digital experiences to maintain student engagement, such as virtual one on one and group sessions with recruiters.

ASU has also launched student success programs to ensure continued academic excellence and student success, as part of the University’s Golden RAM Guarantee. Some of these programs are Virtual and Face-to-Face Study Table, adding a virtual component to peer tutoring and Math and English Tutoring Centers, the Academic Success Coach Initiative, and combining the enrollment service center into the one-stop-shop, RAM Central.

As ASU continues to recruit potential Golden Rams for the ’21-’22 academic year, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success, kenyatta Johnson says, “Students and parents continue to be impressed by our range of over 60 programs and our continued commitment to academic excellence and student success. The student success initiatives we have launched in the past year have assisted with retention and improved upon the collegiate experience.”

The application deadline to apply for spring 2021 is November 1. In addition to multiple student success initiatives, ASU offers research opportunities, study abroad programs, community engagement, and over 50 student organizations to be a part of. Students can apply at www.asurams.edu/apply.

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LIBERTY, MOWilliam Jewell College announces Dr. Rodney Smith has been appointed to the newly created position of Vice President for Access and Engagement and will lead the College’s intensive inclusivity efforts, which includes such strategies as supporting the recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff of color and forging meaningful relationships with communities of color in Kansas City and beyond.

“I’m excited about this new position because the possibilities are endless. I see myself as the ‘chief hope officer’ and look forward to extending Jewell’s footprint and visibility. For me, that’s hopeful,” said Smith. “I am to create a community where students can come together and create an environment that supports personalized learning, empowers critical thinking and fosters a sense of belonging – on our campus and beyond.”

Smith adds that access and belongingness are reinforced by Jewell’s tuition recast initiative.

Beginning fall 2021, Jewell’s “Opportunity without Barriers” tuition recast plan includes new tuition price of $18,360 (before aid), significantly reducing the current tuition sticker price of $33,500.

“We believe in fostering an environment that is inclusive and welcoming,” said Dr. Elizabeth MacLeod Walls, president of William Jewell College. “Our team has been thoughtfully and intentionally working to ensure an inclusive environment that reverberates throughout the campus and beyond. This includes the hiring of Dr. Rodney Smith. And with his leadership, William Jewell is committed to creating opportunities without barriers for students, faculty and staff.”

Prior to joining the college’s leadership team, Smith worked with Jewell in a consulting capacity through Sophic Solutions, LLC, a change management consulting firm he co-founded with his wife and business partner, Stephenie K. Smith. As part of their consulting services, they assisted with Jewell’s inclusivity initiative.

In the education area, Smith most recently served in the International Center for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he continues as an adjunct professor. He worked at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., as associate director of annual giving and special gifts; Fisk University in Nashville as director of admissions and recruitment; at Clark Atlanta University in Georgia as admissions counselor/recruiter; and at Morris Brown in Atlanta, also in admissions.

Smith obtained his bachelor’s degree at Morris Brown College, a historically black college in Atlanta, majoring in fine arts with a concentration in architecture. He earned a master and doctorate of education, both from Tennessee State University.

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About William Jewell College

William Jewell College is more focused than ever on advancing critical thinking and preparing students to connect their thinking with their purpose. As evidenced in the strategic plan, WJC have a clear vision for increasing access to education and maintaining a vibrant campus that attracts the best students and faculty, while ensuring their current students have an enriching experience that prepares them for their futures as engaged citizens. For more information, visit www.jewell.edu.

BOWIE, MD – Bowie State University (BSU) has appointed a two-time alumna Dr. Shirelle Briscoe (’88 ’91) as the new assistant vice president for transfer and general student advocacy.

Dr. Briscoe will help to smooth the transition of transfer students to BSU and facilitate their success in completing their course of study. Working closely with Admissions and Academic Affairs on transfer student communications, she will act as a liaison with academic colleges and departments, as well as other student support services. She will be a resource person for transfer and other students to connect them to the many support services available to them at the university and beyond.

She will also be charged with advocating for the general student population to smooth issues that are no resolved through the designated channels and educating students about the appropriate ways to resolve concerns with other campus units. In this unique student advocacy role, Dr. Briscole will serve as a member of a BSU group tracking and guiding at-risk students through issues that might hinder their successful and timely graduation.

“Throughout her time at Bowie State, Dr. Briscoe has demonstrated a deep devotion to promoting the success of our students and has problem-solving skills that will serve the students well in her new position,” said Provost Carl Goodman.

Dr. Briscoe joins the Division of Enrollment Management team after successfully serving as the assistant vice president for undergraduate studies in the Division of Academic Affairs. She was previously a member of the faculty of the Department of Communications and the Department of Teaching, Learning & Professional Development. Before that, she taught in the School of Education at Howard University.

She holds a Doctor of Education degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, as well as a master’s degree in organizational communication and a bachelor’s degree in business management and pre-law, both from Bowie State University.

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About Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information, visit www.bowiestate.edu.

RICHMOND, VA – Terrell Strayhorn, Ph.D., was promoted to provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Virginia Union University in Richmond. He is a tenured professor in the Evelyn Reid Syphax School of education and director of the Center of the Study of HBCUs at the University. Strayhorn joined the faculty at Virginia Union earlier this year.

Previously, Strayhorn served as vice president of academic and student affairs at LeMoyne Owen college in Memphis. Before that, he served on the administration and faculty at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Ohio State University. When he was promoted to full professor in the department of educational studies in the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State University in 2014, he was the youngest full professor on the Ohio State campus.

Strayhorn is author of College of Students’ Sense of Belonging (Routledge, 2019) and has contributed scholarship to The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

Strayhorn is a graduate of the University of Virginia. He holds a master’s degree from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia and an educational doctorate from Virginia Tech.

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SAN ANTONIO, TX – During a San Antonio City Council meeting on Thursday, August 13, 2020, Mayor Ron Nirenberg selected St. Philip’s College (SPC) President, Dr. Adena Williams Loston, to serve on the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women. The Mayor’s appointed seat was previously held by Brielle Insler, a local marketing executive who stepped down in June urging that she be replaced by a black woman after noticing the lack of such representation in the group.

The Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women was established on May 7, 1970, to serve as an advisor to the Mayor and City Council on key policy issues and to further the equal legal, social, political, economic, and educational opportunities and advancement of all women and men. In addition, they help foster a closer relationship and fuller exchange of ideas between women of respective districts to eliminate discrimination based on sex in all phases of American society; promote the dissemination of information on employment opportunities for women in the public sectors; encourage women to assume initiative and accept their responsibility in the removal of legal and other barriers to the realization of their basic human rights.

The Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women is comprised of 11 members, each serving a 2-year term. Dr. Loston’s term will expire on May 31, 2021. To learn more of the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women, click here.

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About St. Philip’s College
St. Philip’s College, founded in 1898, is a comprehensive public community college whose mission is to empower our diverse student population through educational achievement and career readiness. As a Historically Black College and Hispanic Serving Institution, St. Philip’s College is a vital facet of the community, responding to the needs of a population rich in ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity. St. Philip’s College 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/.

SAN ANTONIO, TX – The National Science Foundation (NSF) selected St. Philip’s College (SPC) as the recipient of a $1.5 million grant to support their efforts in meeting the mission of the Ciencia, Ingeniería, y Matemáticas Aliados – Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (CIMA-LSAMP) Program. CIMA-lSAMP strives to transform science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education through innovative recruitment, retention strategies and experiences that support group historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines including African-Americans, Alaskan Natives, American Indians, Hispanic Americans, Native Hawaiians and Native Pacific mentorship, faculty mentorship, tutoring, supplemental instruction and undergraduate research.

CIMA was formed in the fall of 2013 when St. Philip’s College was first awarded the LSAMP Bridges to Baccalaureate Program (B2B) grant. It is comprised of the five Alamo Colleges: San Antonio College, Palo Alto College, Northeast Lakeview College, Northwest Vista College, and St. Philip’s College.

Each year, SPC hosts the CIMA-LSAMP Research Symposium where research scholars across the five colleges congregate to present their research and findings. The years, the event was held virtually via Zoom and featured 56 student presenters. Research topics included: Creating Efficient and Affordable Face Masks to Combat COVID-19; A Search for Nitrogen-fixing Microorganisms in Tillandsia recurvata from South Texas; Assessing Learning and Executive Function in Marmosets (Callithrix Jacchus) for Human Application; and Plant Metabolite Extraction Protocol and Investigation of Forest Disturbance effects on Costa Rican Howler Monkeys. The virtual event welcomed over 160 spectators.

For more information on the CIMA-LSAMP program, click here.

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About St. Philip’s College
St. Philip’s College, founded in 1898, is a comprehensive public community college whose mission is to empower our diverse student population through educational achievement and career readiness. As a Historically Black College and Hispanic Serving Institution, St. Philip’s College is a vital facet of the community, responding to the needs of a population rich in ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity. St. Philip’s College 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/.

Dillard University’s Campus Entrance, New Orleans, LA. Photo creds: HCF’s Division of Communications and Marketing.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Nicholls State University and Dillard University have signed an agreement to work together to prepare students for a modern business environment. The memorandum of understanding will allow Dillard College of Business graduates a seamless transfer pathway to Nicholls’ Master of Business Administration program.

“The Nicholls MBA program is continuously seeking ways to broaden the diversity of its student population,” said Ray Peters, director of the Nicholls MBA and EMBA programs and professor of leadership. “Similar to our agreement with Grambling State University, we are adding a portal to qualified African-American students. Dillard is an outstanding institution, and its business graduates would undoubtedly enhance our program.”

Dillard is an accredited private, historically black university in New Orleans. Dillard’s College of Business was established in 1984 when the Division of Business was created from the University’s Division of Social Sciences. The Division of Business eventually became the School of Business, and now, the College of Business. This evolution is a testament to the fact that the faculty and staff of the College of Business have diligently fulfilled the charge for educational excellence and student satisfaction. The College of Business delivers business education through innovative, student-centered teaching and scholarships.

“Through this Memorandum of Understanding between Dillard University and Nicholls State University, the two universities will work together to prepare students to meet workforce development needs as well-educated, responsible, and engaged business professionals,” said Dr. Kristen Broady, dean of the Dillard College of Business and Barron Hilton Endowed Professor of Economics.”I am excited about this opportunity for our students and I look forward to working with our new partners at Nicholls.”

The Nicholls MBA prepares current and future professionals to face an evolving future. Students will study economic conditions, technological changes, diversity, international issues and the political and legal environment. “Anything we can do to upskill students, helping them prepare for careers need, is beneficial to economies throughout the regions,” said Peters. “It’s an opportunity for continued growth and development.”

For more information on the Nicholls MBA program, click here.

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MEMPHIS, TN – Fans of the Southern Heritage Classic (SHC) presented by FedEx will be thrilled to know that a game between Tennessee State University vs. Jackson State University is being played on Saturday, September 12th at 7:00 pm CDT. What has been appropriately dubbed the REWIND will feature an encore presentation of the 2017 Southern Heritage Classic (SHC) football game between the long-time rivals and all the excitement that comes with it. SHC teamed up with SCS Telecommunications Center to make this possible, and the SHC Rewind will stream with multiple platforms that include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV. Also, in true SHC fashion, it will stream during prime time.

According to SHC Founder, Fred Jones, the REWIND is the answer to the most common question he’s received since June 17th when he announced that the 31st Southern Heritage Classic was canceled due to COVID-19. “Everyone wanted to know, ‘What are we going to do?’. I knew we had to do something. The fans wanted it, and they deserve it. So, I’m pleased to announce that we are going to watch great HBCU football on our electronic devices in the comfort of our homes or wherever we are. Fans can get together to watch the game, following recommended social distancing guidelines, and cheer for their favorite team, groove to the bands, and enjoy a spectacular half-time show,” said Jones.

The featured REWIND game as one of the most exciting games in SHC history with great plays being made until the very end. “We would love to be in the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium together this year but since we can’t, the REWIND is the next best thing. We hope that everyone will support us by spreading the word and watching the game,” added Jones.

The REWIND is sponsored by Memphis Tourism, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, and MLGW. Visit www.SouthernHeritageClassic.com for more information and streaming links as we approach game day on September 12, 2020.

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About the Southern Heritage Classic (SHC)
Each year, the Southern Heritage Classic presented by FedEx is one of the country’s most anticipated HBCU football classics. Since 1990, thousands of fans have gathered at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis to see the long-time rival football teams at Jackson State University and Tennessee State University battle for bragging rights and for victory.

SUMTER, S.C. – Morris College was recently awarded funding from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina to support institutional needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds totaling $850,000 will be used to aid the college in offering virtual learning for the fall 2020 semester and provide immediate assistance to students.

“We are extremely grateful to Mr. David Pankau, president, and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, for this generous contribution. The pandemic has presented the college with a unique set of challenges. However, our students remain our top priority and these funds will help us meet their most pressing needs,” said Dr. Leroy Straggers, president of Morris College.

COVID-19 has drastically impacted Morris College students and their families. As a result, some students have struggles to procure basic necessities such as housing and food. Because 89% of students at the college quality for PELL grants, financial assistance can make all the difference in whether they will continue their education.

The pandemic has made the need for technological advancements at the college even more necessary to ensure that faculty, staff, and students are given adequate tools for successful online learning. Various upgrades and enhancements are already underway to include a complete overhaul of the college’s network infrastructure and Wi-Fi system, a new online learning platform, and laptop computers and mobile hotspots for students to use.

Funds will be used to support the college’s e-learning platforms, e-learning tools, training and certification for faculty, tuition-based scholarships, devices and hotspots for virtual learning, and hardship grants for students.

BlueCross BlueShield is the only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier and has operated in the state for over 70 years. President and CEO David Pankau indicted that he looks forward to an on-going relationship with Morris College.

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About Morris College
Morris College was founded in 1908 by the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina to provide educational opportunities for Negro students in response to the historical denied of access to the existing educational system. Today, under the continued ownership of its founding body, the College opens its doors to a culturally and geographically diverse student body, typically from the Southeast and Northeast regions. Morris College is an accredited, four-year, coeducational, residential, liberal arts and career-focused institution awarding baccalaureate degrees in the arts and sciences and in career-based professional fields. For more information, visit www.morris.edu.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) is a recipient of a $150,000 grant from Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH). The grant is a part of a $1 million pledge made by ABH to fight against systemic racism, oppression and injustice in light of the civil unrest taking place throughout the nation as a result of the systemic and unjust treatment of African Americans.

The grant will support general University operations and community engagement efforts. Since beginning the pledge in June 2020, ABH has donated over a quarter of a million dollars to institutions such as NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Black Lives Matter, the Loveland Foundation and others.

“As founder of Anastasia Beverly Hills, it is my promise that the brand will remain a constant and vocal supporter of equality. We vow to use our platform and our privilege to amplify the voices of marginalized groups that deserve to be heard,” said Anastasia Soare, Founder. “We believe in Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science’s mission in fighting against health disparities among underserved, and fully support their commitment to community engagement.”

“We are deeply appreciative of Anastasia Beverly Hills for generous support and belief in our mission to educate diverse health professionals as well as our vision to attain a world without health disparities,” said Angela Minniefield, Senior Vice President of Advancement, Strategic Development & External Affairs at CDU. “Special thanks to our Alumni Relations and Corporative Giving manager Brittney Miller for facilitating this partnership, and we look forward to continuing a meaningful relationship with ABH through its community engagement pillar.”

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About Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
CDU is a private, non-profit student centered minority-serving medical and health sciences University that is committed to cultivating diverse health professional leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations through outstanding education, research, clinical service, and community engagement.CDU is a leader in health disparities research with a focus on education, training, treatment and care in cancer, diabetes, cardiometabolic and HIV/AIDS. For more information, visit www.cdrewu.edu.

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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MONTGOMERY, AL – Governor Kay Ivory has appointed Drake State Community & Technical College President Dr. Patricia Sims to the Alabama State Port Authority Board of Directors.

Sims is the first African-American woman to be appointed and will server as the representative of the Northern District in a position previously held by Algernon “Al” Stanley whose term expired July 31, 2020.

“I’ve appointed individuals that have consistently demonstrated the necessary knowledge and leadership skills critical to economic expansion in Alabama,” said Ivey. “The success of our port is fundamental to Alabama businesses and jobs, and I’m confident these folks will contribute to great work being done under John Driscoll and the board.”

Established by legislative act in 2000, the nine-member Post Authority board holds fiscal and policy oversight for the public seaport. The Port Authority owns and operates the State of Alabama’s deep-water port facilities at the Port of Mobile, one of the nation’s largest seaports. The Authority’s container, general cargo and bulk facilities handle more than 26 million tons of cargo annual and have immediate access to two interstate systems, five Class 1 railroads, and nearly 15,000 miles inland waterways. The cargo and vessel activity associated with the Port Authority’s assets employ over 150,400 Alabamians and generates over $25.4 billion in economic value for the state.

“Of course it’s an honor to have received this appointment and I intend to execute my role with commitment and integrity,” said Sims. “The Port Authority is an anchor of Alabama’s economy and I look forward to being able to contribute to its continued success.”

Sims was named among the “Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2020” by the HBCU Campaign Fund earlier this year.

Drake State Community & Technical College was founded in 1961 and is a member of the Alabama Community College System. The College is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Located in Huntsville, Ala., Drake State offers a wide range of technical degrees, transferable college credits, associate degrees and workforce training for traditional and non-traditional students.

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LITTLE ROCK, AR – Arkansas Baptist College (ABC) announced that Dr. Carlos R. Clark has been selected to become the College’s 15th president, succeeding Ms. Regina H. Favors who has served as Interim President since August 16, 2018. The Board of Trustees is sincerely grateful to President Favors to her dynamic, entrepreneurial, and visionary leadership. As a result of President Favors’ prudent stewardship of the College’s financial resource that empowers students to succeed and fuels the cultural and economic vitality of the city.

Dr. Clark has been an effective, innovative, and collaborative higher education leader for more than 25 years. He currently serves as Provost and Executive Vice President and has worked for the College since 2018 in several leadership positions. He also held various senior level positions at Wilberforce University, Prairie View A&M University, and Alabama A&M University.

The selection of Dr. Clark was determined after a national search and by vote of the Arkansas Baptist College Board of Trustees, led by Richard Mays, Sr., Chair. “The Trustees are delighted that Dr. Clark has accepted our offer to serve as 15th President of Arkansas Baptist College. In addition to his impressive academic credentials, his experience with the College and his extensive experience gained at several other HBCU institutions is an asset. Dr. Clark has become a serious student of higher education leadership receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Management, as well as a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education, with major emphasis in Student Affairs and Statistics from The University of Mississippi. He also received a certificate due to his successful completion of the Management Development Program (MDP) at Harvard University. These opportunities, matched with his vision, energy and passion, will server the institution well, as the College continues to realize both its historic and current mission under Dr. Clark’s capable leadership,” said Mays.

“I am extremely excited to continue to serve Arkansas Baptist College as President. The mission resonates with me, especially its emphasis on preparing students for personal and professional success and especially its focus on service, social justice, and leadership. I sincerely thank the Board of Trustees and the presidential search committee for this amazing opportunity. I look forward to working in this new capacity with the incredible Arkansas Baptist College faculty, students, staff, and alumni – in a collective effort to deliver the rich promise of ABC to a growing number of students in these challenging times,” said Dr. Clark.

Dr. Clark will begin his term as President on October 1, 2020. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available regarding opportunities to welcome Dr. Clark in this new role.

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About Arkansas Baptist College
Arkansas Baptist College prepares students for a life to service grounded in academic scholarship, the liberal arts tradition, social responsibility, Christian Development and preparation for employment in a global community. For more information, visit www.arkansasbaptist.edu.

BLUEFIELD, W.VA (August 16, 2020) – Bluefield State College announced the addition of 12 new sports to its athletics department for the 2021-2022 school year. These will join the ten existing sports to become a robust program for more than 400 student-athletes.

Leading the way is the return of Division II football, for the first time since 1980.

“Fielding a football team after such a long absence is a huge step forward. To do this now is our way of saying there is life after COVID for this College and our community,” said Robin Capehart, Bluefield State’s President. “Expanding our athletics program is integral to the goals we set shortly after coming to Bluefield State.”

Interim Director of Athletics Derrick Price added, “We’re hiring for these new sports now. I’m prioritizing coaches with proven abilities to recruit. We will target good student athletes with the goal of being competitive immediately.”

In addition to football, Bluefield State will compete in the following new sports:

  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s golf
  • Women’s acrobatics and tumbling
  • Women’s swimming
  • Women’s bowling
  • Women’s indoor track and field
  • Women’s outdoor track and field
  • Men’s indoor track and field
  • Men’s outdoor track and field
  • Men’s swimming
  • Wrestling

Bluefield State currently competes in Men’s baseball, basketball, cross country, golf and tennis. Also, Women’s softball, basketball, cross country, volleyball and tennis.

“Our first priority remains attracting more students. As an HBCU, we have an obligation to recruiting more African American students. We have done that. We changed the name of our Library to honor an African American alumnus who went on to a highly distinguished career in the State Department.”

“Adding these sports will increase opportunities for more students and add a vibrancy that we’ve lacked for too long. It also strengthens our relationships in the community as we partner on the use of various facilities.”

Interim Director Price added, “Making this commitment to these young people also means making a commitment to doing all the things that go with a full-bore athletics programs, new and improved facilities, upgraded training, residences and meals. It also means working with the Provost and Dean so that our athletes have a tremendous academic experiences as well.”

“Bluefield State has a proud sports tradition, including two national football championships. I fell blessed to be here now and help write a new chapter to our story.”

Full and partial scholarships will be offered to new athletes.

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About Bluefield State College
Bluefield State College provide students an affordable, accessible opportunity for public higher education. An historically black institution, Bluefield State College prepares students for diverse profession, graduate study, informed citizenship, community involvement, and public service in an ever-changing global society. The College demonstrates its commitment to the student’s intellectual, personal, ethical, and cultural development by providing a dedicated faculty and staff, quality educational programs, and strong student support services in a nurturing environment. For more information, visit www.bluefieldstate.edu.

July 31, 2020 – The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce the 24 U.S. colleges and universities awarded 2020 IDEAS Grants (Increase and Diversity Education Abroad for U.S. Students Grants) under its Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Aboard, which includes two historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). With the support of the IDEAS Grants, these institutions will support the goals of U.S. foreign policy by developing and expanding their study abroad programming around the world.

Congratulations to the following colleges and universities on their 2020 IDEAS Grants.

  • Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio
  • Colorado Mountain College, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
  • Community College District 502 – College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, Illinois
  • Community College of Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia
  • Lincoln University, Lincoln University, Pennsylvania Massasoit*
  • Community College, Brockton, Massachusetts
  • Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena, Mississippi*
  • Montana State University Billings, Billings, Montana
  • New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Oakland Community College, Farmington Hills, Michigan
  • Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio Texas
  • Woman’s University, Denton, Texas
  • The University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tennessee
  • Towson University, Towson, Maryland
  • Universidad del Sagrado Corazon, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  • University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, Texas
  • University of Wisconsin – Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin
  • Utica College, Utica, New York
  • Worcester State University, Worcester, Massachusetts

Panels of U.S. higher education representatives recommended these institutions for funding from a pool of 115 proposals. The winning institutions come from 18 states and Puerto Rico and represent the full diversity of the American higher education system, including five community colleges and eight Minority-Serving Institutions. Over the next year, these U.S. colleges and universities will receive funding and programmatic support to help build and strengthen their capacity to send more American students overseas to more diverse destinations for years to come.

“We are committed to continuing our support for U.S. colleges and universities as they build their study abroad capacity now, in anticipation of a strong return to U.S. student mobility in the future… When American students study abroad, they support critical U.S. foreign policy goals by building relationships with foreign peers, sharing American culture and values, and developing valuable career skills. With these international experiences, the next generation of Americans is being equipped with the skills necessary to compete and succeed globally,” said Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad seeks to increase the capacity of accredited U.S. colleges and universities to create, expand, and diversify study abroad programs for U.S. students. In addition to the IDEAS Grant competition, the program also offers opportunities for faculty, staff, and administrators at U.S. colleges and universities to participate in a series of free virtual and in-person study abroad capacity building activities. For more information, including details on a free IDEAS webinar series on building study abroad resources for U.S. campuses, please visit the Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad website at www.studyabroadcapacitybuilding.com. Additional information on U.S. government resources to support study abroad can also be found at studyabroad.state.gov.

The Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by World Learning.

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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.

CHICAGO, IL – Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation are urging Congress support for more funding for minority-serving institutions, including Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs). In a letter written to the Congress of the United States, Illinois officials are asking for additional funding to provide much-needed emergency relief to Illinois students from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods amid the ongoing pandemic. 

“HCF appreciates and supports members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation for their sincere call to action for more funds for minority-serving institutions, especially Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs),” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., president and CEO, Founder of HCF. “As stated in their letter to the Congress, Illinois is home to Chicago State University (CSU), the only U.S. Department of Education designated public four-year PBI. For years, CSU has invested in the African American and Minority population throughout Chicagoland and the U.S., providing educational access to economically low-income students.”

The CARES Act allotted $18 million for the Strengthening PBIs Program, of which CSU was allotted just under $150,000. Amid the pandemic, CSU provided students with housing during the Illinois Stay at Home Order and covered the cost of student devices for online coursework. Through PBIs, Such as CSU, can foster conditions for equity by supporting and educating students, primarily African-American and low-income students, to enhance economic mobility.

“Our organization stands by its founded mission, which is to support every “Black” designated institution that is vigorously in operation, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs),” said Johnson. “We fully stand behind the members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation and CSU to urgently ask Congress to pass another measure that will give PBIs more access and the assurance that they need to provide the necessary resources and prepare for the uncertainties of the upcoming academic year.”

PBIs, as defined in the Higher Education Act of 1965, has a student population that is comprised of 50 percent of low-income individuals or first-generation students. In addition, the Higher Education Act ensures that PBIs maintain lower expenditure levels to enable the acceptance of high percentages of students within these categories.

Text of the letter to Congress from the Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation, can be found here.

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About Chicago State University (CSU)
Chicago State University (CSU) is a pubic, comprehensive university that provides access to higher education for students of diverse backgrounds and educational needs. The University fosters the intellectual development and success of its student population through a rigorous, positive, and transformative educational experience. CSU is committed to teaching, research, service and community development including social justice, leadership and entrepreneurship.

About HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF)
The 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 private and public HBCUs and MSIs. HCF remains today as a strong advocate for students and higher education. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Pinterest has named Walmart director of global communications and media relations LeMia Jenkins as global head of communications, according to PR Week.

Jenkins replaced Christine Schirmer, who is working on other projects at the company, according to a Pinterest spokesperson. Schirmer became head of comms in 2017 after SVP of marketing and communications Barry Schmitt left the company.

“I loved Pinterest for years, and the opportunity to lead communications for a platform that millions around the world use every month to inspire their lives was one I couldn’t resist,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins stated she has been tracking the issues facing technology companies, including whether platforms should be liable for the content of users and the debate about hate speech versus censorship, and she plans to address them.

“We want Pinterest to be a place for inspiration, and that means we need to be deliberate about creating a safe and positive space for our users,” she said. “Our goal is to clearly communicate the policies we’re putting in place to keep Pinterest positive and inspiring.”

Jenkins had worked at Walmart since 2018 and was named director of global communications and media relations at the retailer in January. Previously, she worked at Caesars Entertainment and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Jenkins earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Tougaloo College. A master’s of public health from The Hebrew University. A master’s of public health in marketing and communications from The George Washington University, and a doctor of education from the University of Mississippi.

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Van B. Sapp

RALEIGH, NC – The HBCU Business Deans Roundtable announced that Van B. Sapp was elected President and Chair of the Board for the non-profit organization comprising of 80 business school deans. Van Sapp is the current Dean at Saint Augustine’s University School of Business, Management, and Technology, located in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Van is succeeding Dr. Anthony Nelson, Dean, School of Business at North Carolina Central University. Established over twenty years ago with the assistance of Earl Graves, founder of the Black Enterprise media company, the organization is the preeminent advocate for business programs in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The organization’s primary focus centers around promoting curricula advancement to increase student preparedness, development of business school leadership, and creating partnerships with relevant business corporations.

Sapp recently moved to academia two years ago after a successful career in industry. He spent the first half of his career within the Sales Division of Kraft Foods, in eight roles of increasing responsibility before landing at PepsiCo. Working in several divisions across PepsiCo, Sapp become known as a versatile senior executive, with three Senior Vice President roles across marketing, sales, and general management. After 13 years with Pepsico, Van joined the loyalty company TCC Global as its US CEO and President of the Americas. A key conduit in these roles was his ability to develop executive talent. Dean Sapp is a graduate of two HBCUs, Tuskegee University, and Clark Atlanta University. He’s currently focusing his post-corporate retirement to focus on business school student of HBCUs.

“I am excited to use this opportunity to provide attention to the great work HBCU Business Schools have and are providing to our economy. In this time of raised racial consciousness, corporations who want to understand, develop deeper relationships, or build programming consistent with the HBCU Business Deans Roundtable’s mission should connect with this organization. The institution’s our Deans represent are stocked with talent,” said Dean Van Sapp.

For more information, contact partnerships@hbcubusinessdeans.org or visit www.hbcubusinessdeans.org.

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About HBCU Business Deans Roundtable
Founded in 1999 the HBCU Business Deans Roundtable was created to provide a forum to discuss opportunities and challenges; and, develop strategic alliances among HBCUs with other universities, foundations, government agencies, and corporations in support of excellence and productivity in management education. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been concerned about the formal business education of African American students since the Atlanta Exposition in 1895. Since that time, these universities have trained students who have become entrepreneurs, organizational leaders, and employees in enterprises that address economic needs throughout the world, especially within the African American community. Since HBCUs graduate a disproportionately large number of African American students, in need for management education in HBCUs continues.

RICHMOND, VA – Dominion Energy is launching a $35 million initiative in support of African American and underrepresented minority students. This six-year “HBCU Promise” program will support historically black colleges and universities in Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and South Carolina. Additionally, as part of the initiative, a $10 million scholarship fund will be created to support African American and underrepresented minority students across the company’s service territory.

“We all know there are no actions or words that will immediately heal the hurt caused by 400 years of institutional racism. But since early June, we have seen signs of change and growth. Our country is moving forward. We are moving forward, too. This initiative is a recognition of the important role played by these institutions in African American advancement and the importance of education as an equalizer in society. These institutions have been foundational in the struggle to improve the lives of African Americans and in the fight for social justice. We are pleased and humbled to build on our company’s nearly 40-year history of supporting historically black colleges and universities,” said Thomas F. Farrell, II, Dominion Energy Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

In selecting the institutions, the company looked at a range of factors, including locations with a significant customer presence, past partnerships and opportunities to make immediate impact. In structuring the partnerships, the company will focus on four general areas: operating needs, urgent capital needs, endowment and scholarships. Some details remain to be worked out. But Dominion Energy plans to tailor packages to the needs of each institution. The schools are:

Virginia
Hampton University
Norfolk State University
Virginia Union University
Virginia State University

South Carolina
Allen University
Benedict College
Claflin University
South Carolina State University

Ohio
Central State University
Wilberforce University

North Carolina
North Carolina A&T State University

“We have all been witness to our country’s evolving conversation on race and social justice. The country is changing, and we have been looking for ways that we can make a difference. Investing in these important institutions – which serve as a springboard for social and economic mobility for so many – is one way we can help. We have actually partnered with HBCUs for nearly 40 years, offering volunteer and financial support. As I have said before, we are humbled and honored to continue supporting them with this current initiative,” said Thomas F. Farrell, Dominion Energy Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Details about the Dominion Energy Educational Equity scholarship will be provided later.

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About Dominion Energy
More than 7 million customers in 20 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy, headquartered in Richmond, Va. The company is committed to sustainable, reliable, affordable and safe energy and is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy with more than $100 billion of assets providing electric generation, transmission and distribution, as well as natural gas storage, transmission, and import/export services. The company is committed to achieving net zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions from its power generation and gas infrastructure operations by 2050. Please visit www.DominionEnergy.com to learn more.

ITTA BENA, MS – Students attending Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) will benefit from a five-year $200,000 grant commitment from the Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF) to support college retention, persistence, and completion through the Improving Mississippi’s Persistence and Completion Together (IMPACT) initiative.

WHEF is an endowed Mississippi non-profit organization that has focused it efforts on promoting increased postsecondary access among underrepresented students for nearly 25 years, and most recently expanded its mission to also support increased credential completion within the state.

“The need to support students and to improve the rates of college completion among Mississippians has always existed. But, in light of COVID, the need has never been greater and more pressing,” said Jim McHale, WHEF President and CEO.

“According to Georgetown University, it is estimated that 65% of all jobs require some kind of postsecondary education. Currently, Mississippi sits at 45.2%. In order to improve the lives of Mississippians, to support Mississippi’s economic recovery, and to competitively position our state within a global economy, there is a critical need to not only have more students enroll in college, but to have them successfully complete their degree or credential.”

MVSU’s project, “The Road to Success: Retention, Persistence, Graduation (RPG)”, is designed to improve academic out-comes for a yearly minimum of 50 at-risk, particularly first-generation, low-income minority students. To this end, RPG will provide students with intensive, intrusive targeted services geared toward successful college completion.

Included among these services are regularly scheduled academic advising and counseling, face-to-face and online mandatory tutorial sessions and career counseling. The project has, at its core, coordination and integration of tutorial into MVSU’s First-and Second-Year Experience programs, as well as gateway courses.

The tutorial services are designed as an umbrella collective, which prevents the duplication of services, while maximizing student usage throughout the academic term rather than around test time. Students will participate in individualized and small group sessions that offer flexibility but require at least two (2) hours of weekly attendence.

“We are elated to partner with the Woodward Hines Education Foundation to enhance the support and resources available to MVSU students,” said Dr. Jerryl Briggs, Sr., MVSU President. “We know that a college degree is transformative not only for the lives of our students but their families as well. Though funding from the Woodward Hines Education Foundation, we will be able to assist students with educational barriers to ensure their academic and personal success. I am certain that Dr. (Kathie) Stromile Golden and her team will develop innovative and impactful programs that will resonate with our students.”

In addition to the grant funding, WHEF will underwrite biennial IMPACT convenings for all Mississippi public baccalaureate institutions, with the goal of creating a state-specific, facilitated community of practice for the exchange of findings, insights, and ideas; in addition, WHEF plans to provide coordinated access to high-quality professional development opportunities for institutional faculty and staff, innovations in data collection and usage, as well as platforms for peer learning.

“In addition to providing financial resources to individual schools, we hope to create a learning community where generative conversations about college success can happen,” said Shanell Watson, WHEF Program Officer and IMPACT Project Lead. “Although each Mississippi institution has its own unique challenges and opportunities, they are also working to solve the same problems. Our goal with the IMPACT initiative is to provide a place where our universities can share with and learn from one another, for the betterment of all our students.”

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About Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU)


Mississippi Valley State University, as a Carnegie Classified Master’s University, provides comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs in education, the arts and sciences, and professional studies. The University is driven by its commitment to excellence in teaching, learning, service, and research~a commitment resulting in a learner~centered environment that prepares critical thinkers, exceptional communicators, and service-oriented, engaged, and productive citizens. MVSU is fundamentally committed to positively impacting the quality of life and creating educational opportunities for the Mississippi Delta and beyond. For more information, visit www.mvsu.edu.

TALLADEGA, AL – Talladega College will hold a naming ceremony for the Dr. Billy C. Hawkins Student Activity Center on Friday, August 14, 2020, at 3 p.m. The newly constructed 47,000-square-foot student center/arena will be the first-ever campus facility to be named in honor of one of the institution’s African American presidents.

In 2008, when Dr. Billy C. Hawkins became the 20th president of Talladega College, the institution was struggling to survive. Dr. Hawkins implemented rigorous plans for renovation and growth that transformed the college. As a result of his vision, enrollment doubled from just over 300 students to 601 students in one semester, athletic programs were reinstated for the first time in ten years; and major campus beautification projects were undertaken. The College enjoyed record-high enrollment in both the 2018-2019 academic year and the 2019-2020 academic year. Talladega College now has over 1200 students.

Under the leadership of Dr. Hawkins, Talladega College is listed among Princeton Review’s best colleges in the Southwest, U.S. News and World Report’s most innovative colleges and Kiplinger’s Best Value Colleges, 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.

Talladega recently launched it first-ever graduate program, an online Master of Science in Computer Information Systems. In addition, the campus is undergoing a major physical transformation.

New construction on campus includes a 45,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art residence hall, which opened in 2019 and the Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art, which opened in 2020. The Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art houses six critically-acclaimed Hale Woodruff murals, including the renowned Amistad Murals. To construct the museum for Woodruff’s murals, which are valued at 50 million dollars, Dr. Hawkins secured Talladega’s largest-ever financial gift, a one million dollar donation from alumnus Dr. William R. Harvey. Dr. Hawkins also secured a 1.5 million dollar contribution from Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and the State of Alabama.

“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 Isiah Hugley, chairman of the Talladega College Board of Trustees.

Dr. Hawkins serves on the U.S. 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). In addition, he was appointed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey to serve on the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council. He is the first African American to chair the Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the author of two books, and a member of the Talladega Rotary Club, the Delta Upsilon Boule and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He was ranked first place among the Top Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2020 by HBCU Campaign Fund. He is also a recipient of numerous other awards, including the Vanguard Award from the Higher Education Leadership Foundation, the Colonel Leo Thorsness Courage Award, the Ferris State Distinguished Alumni Award, the Kent Hall of Fame, the Presidential Service Award from the HBCU Title III Administrators, Inc., the Distinguished Service Award to the Nation’s HBCUs, Alabama’s Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.’s Graduate Citizen of the Year Award, and the Theta Tau Chapter’s Citizenship Award.

The Kent, Ohio native holds a bachelor’s of science degree in teacher education from Ferris State University, a master’s of arts degree in education administration from Central Michigan University; and a Ph.D. in education from Michigan State University. He has completed post doctorate study at Harvard University.

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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 renowned Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals, which received rave reviews from the New York Times during a three year, eight-city tour.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – In light of the recent events with the current pandemic, as well as the decision from Albany State to cancel the football season, the Orange Blossom Classic is disappointed to announce that the organizers will not be able to host the 2020 Orange Blossom Classic. The resurgence of the Orange Blossom Classic is significant to the community and looks forward to its return in 2021.

The organizers plan to usher in a new energy and experience during the Labor Day weekend showcase, which features Florida A&M University’s inaugural season in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) against Jackson State University in the 27th Annual Orange Blossom Classic presented by the AEA Education Foundation, Inc. The organizers apologize for this inconvenience and ask for your understanding and patience as they process refunds during these unprecedented times.

2020 Orange Blossom Classic Ticket returns

Credit Card Purchases


Tickets purchased directly though Ticketmaster will be automatically refunded. Due to the overwhelming number of events, refunds can take up to 30 days.

Cash, Checks, and Credit Card Purchases


All other tickets purchased through Florida A&M University or Albany State University athletic departments, contact schools directly for refund policy.

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About the Orange Blossom Classic


The Orange Blossom Classic was founded by J.R.E. Lee Jr., the son of Florida A&M University’s president in 1993 in which FAMU beat Howard 9-0 in front of 2,000 fans at a “blacks-only” ballpark in Jacksonville, Fla. from 1993-1978, this was the must see game of the post season that helped establish the foundation of HBCU classics.

In 2021 Labor Day Weekend, the Orange Blossom Classic will return with Florida A&M University and Jackson State University. Our event was re-established to enhance the exposure of Historically Black College and Universities in the enriched community of Miami Gardens. Our event highlights the community’s exclusive interest in HBCUs and the roles that they play in educating aspiring professionals & developing our future leaders.

The Orange Blossom Classic will attract thousands of fans, alumni, school members and family members from these respected community with a goal to raise scholarship funds for the participating schools for years to come. Doing so, will help to support the knowledge and experience offered by the discipline, commitment and dedication it takes to be a Historically Black College & University student.
Chairman of the Central State University Board of Trustees Mark Hatcher (photo left) with President Jack Thomas (photo right)

WILBERFORCE, OH – Central State University’s new President, Dr. Jack Thomas, has donated $50,000 of his salary toward the creation of a new Presidential Scholarship Fund, he announced.

In a video released by the University, Dr. Thomas stated that he was motivated to make the gift to show solidarity with University employees financially affected by COVID-19.

“Though it was difficult for the University to institute furloughs and wage reductions, these were prudent decisions to ensure that Central State remains on sound financial footing,” he said. “I would not ask others to endure sacrifices that I’m not willing to endure myself. So today I am donating $50,000 from my salary to create a Presidential Scholarship Fund for our students.”

Dr. Thomas said his commitment is just the beginning of the Presidential Scholarship Fund and for Central State.

“I will immediately seek a $50,000 matching gift, and continue to leverage that cumulative $100,000 investment to bring other contributors to this fund so that Central State University’s greatest resource — our students — are given every advantage to get the quality Marauder education that only Central State University can provide,” he said.

The launch of the Presidential Scholarship Fund is yet another signature move at the outset of his 15-day presidency.

Nearly a month ago, he penned an Op-Ed supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and called on community leaders to work with him to make sure the nation is safe for everyone. A week before becoming president, he appointed a Blue-Ribbon Task Force of higher education experts to help guide his strategic thinking. And over the past weekend, he championed a social media fundraising effort that garnered $15,000 in funds raised for the University.

Dr. Thomas took office as the University’s ninth president on July 1. He has communicated his nine strategic goals, of which University fundraising is one.

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About Central State University


Central State University, located in Wilberforce, Ohio, is a regionally accredited 1890 Land-Grant University with a 133-year tradition of preparing students from diverse backgrounds and experiences for leadership, research and service. The university, which was named 2017 HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest, fosters academic excellence within a nurturing environment and provides a strong liberal arts foundation and STEM-Ag curriculum leading to professional careers and advanced studies globally. For more information, visit www.centralstate.edu.

MONTGOMERY, AL – Due to the recent announcement from the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) affecting fall sports, Alabama State and Tuskegee will not meet in the 2020 Labor Day Classic at ASU Stadium.

Tuskegee, a member of the SIAC, followed the announcement from the conference with their own announcement that they would not sponsor any fall sports. The Alabama State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is currently working on a replacement for the Golden Tigers, a game that was scheduled for September 5.

For updates, please visit www.bamastatesports.com.

Rufus B. Atwood

FRANKFORT, KY – Kentucky State University’s (KSU) longest-serving president will be featured on an upcoming episode of Kentucky Educational Television’s (KET) Distinguished Kentuckian Series.

Rufus B. Atwood, who is the namesake of Atwood Institute for Race, Education, and the Democratic Ideal, will be featured in a replay of the 1976 production of Distinguished Kentuckians, which profiles Kentuckians who had a lasting positive impact on the lives of the Commonwealth. Atwood served as Kentucky State president from 1929 to 1962.

Among the numerous highlights of his career, Atwood improved educational opportunities for African-Americans, brought full accreditation to Kentucky State and led the battle for desegregated education in Kentucky in the 1940s.

The program will air on KET Friday, July 17 at 3 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. It may also be viewed online here.

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About Kentucky State University


Kentucky State University is a public, comprehensive, historically black land-grant university committed to advancing the Commonwealth of Kentucky, enhancing society, and impacting individuals by providing quality teaching with a foundation in liberal studies, scholarly research, and public service to enable productive lives within the diverse global economy. For more information, visit www.kysu.edu.
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.

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.

Danelle Whiteside

CLARKSVILLE, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Dannelle Whiteside as interim president, effective Aug. 10, in a called meeting. On June 18, Sam Houston State University named Dr. Alisa White, APSU’s current president, as the only finalist in its presidential search. If confirmed by the Texas State University System Board of Regents, White will assume her new role at Sam Houston in early August.

“Several outstanding candidates were considered for the interim presidency and Dannelle was the board’s consensus pick,” said Mike O’Malley, chair of the APSU Board of Trustees. “Dannelle background and experience makes her an excellent choice for this critical time in the University’s history.”

Whiteside has served APSU as Vice President for 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 Office 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 Summa Cum Laude.

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About Austin Peay State University


Austin Peay State University is a comprehensive university committed to raising the educational attainment of the citizenry, developing programs and services that address regional needs, and providing collaborative opportunities that connect university expertise with private and public resources. For more information, visit www.apsu.edu.

PINE BLUFF, AR – Operations become particularly challenging when officials at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) were faced with the task of moving employees and students off-campus and transitioning all course to online delivery. The Windgate Foundation provided a $200,000 COVID-19 grant that made the transition slightly less challenging.

While the University worked to realign existing resources to address the crisis, it was obvious that additional funding was needed, according to George Cotton, Sr., Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement. The Windgate grant will allow UAPB to manage operational costs directly related to COVID-19.

“The generosity of the Windgate Foundation is greatly appreciated,” said Cotton. “This type of support is incredibly important because of its ability to meet an urgent need at a time when discretionary resources are limited.”

“College campuses nationwide are faced with the challenge of responding quickly to a pandemic,” said Laurence B. Alexander, Chancellor of UAPB. “We are thankful to the Windgate Foundation and their willingness to assist with response during this difficult time.”

The grant provides direct funds in hiring additional security for the campus during the limited closure, increased sanitization of campus facilities, purchase of software upgrades for online course delivery, and assists with emergency aid to students.

“Windgate is grateful to be able to provide support to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff as they face the difficult challenges and decisions that must be made to ensure appropriate and safe environments are in place for their students and staff,” said Ashley Moore, Grants Administrator for the Windgate Foundation.

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About The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is a public comprehensive HBCU 1890 Land-Grant Institution. The University embraces its land-grant mission of providing cutting edge research, teaching, outreach, and service programs that respond to the social and economic needs of the state and region. For more information, visit www.uapb.edu.

About The Windgate Foundation

The Windgate Foundation is a private grant-making foundation established in 1993 and has awarded more than $855 million in grants. For more information, visit www.windgatefounation.org.

Dr. Nicole Pride

INSTITUTE, W.VA – The West Virginia State University (WVSU) Board of Governors has chosen Dr. Nicole Pride to become the 12th president of the University.

Pride currently serves as the vice provost for academic strategy and operations at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

“I am excited to join West Virginia State University. it is an institution with such a rich history, and I look forward to working with all the members of the State family to continue to advance its land-grant mission,” said Pride. “The opportunities for the University in the years ahead to continue to meet the economic development and prosperity needs of the state and region are immense and I am honored to be selected to lead this growth.”

Pride began her career in the corporate and non-profit sectors, and left industry to begin her service in higher education at North Carolina A&T State University, where she served as principal liaison and senior adviser to the chancellor, a member of the chancellor’s executive cabinet, and provided strategic and operational support for internal and external constituencies.

Pride also served as the university’s chief of staff and chief communications officer, responsible for communications, marketing, branding, media and public relations and crisis communications. Her work defined the university’s brand in the state, nation and global marketplace, and her successes track with the institutions arrival as the largest historically black university in the nation.

Prior to joining North Carolina A&T State University, Pride served as vice president for development and communications for Child Care Services Association in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

She also served in numerous capacities at IBM including marketing program manager, corporate learning division and manager of corporate community relations and public affairs for nearly a decade. In addition to her professional appointments, Pride has served on numerous boards and committees, and her research interests are in the areas of board governance and leadership.

Her awards and honors include the Triad Business journal’s 2018 Outstanding Women in Business award and the PR News’ 2017 cohort of Top Women in Public Relations in the nation.

She earned bachelor’s degrees in business management and economics from North Carolina State University, a master’s in corporate and public communications from Seton Hall University, and a doctorate in leadership studies from North Carolina A&T State University.

An Orange, New Jersey native, Pride is mother to grown sons, Turner Jr. and Todd, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

WVSU has been searching for its 12th president, since the announcement that former President Anthony L. Jenkins was leaving to become President of Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. R. Charles Byers has served as interim president of the University since May 16.

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About West Virginia State University

West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which as evolved into fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research. For more information, visit www.wvsu.edu.

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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Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack

Delta State University featured Claflin University President Dwaun J. Warmack in the recent Winter/Spring 2020 edition of its alumni magazine. Dr. Warmack earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1999 and a master’s degree in sociology in 2000 from Delta State University.

The story reflects on the influences at Delta State that prepared him for leadership and service in higher education. “I learned so much from alumnus and President Emeritus Dr. Kent Wyatt,” said Dr. Warmack in the article. “One lesson he taught me: create an environment that is welcoming and caring. To achieve this, campuses must develop the whole student – academically, personally, socially, and spiritually. Holistic development provides students with broader perspectives and prepares them for global leadership.”

Thank you for your outstanding achievements, leadership, and contributions to the space of higher education and HBCUs, Dr. Warmack!

Click here to read the complete story on page 18.

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TUSKEGEE, AL – Tuskegee University President Dr. Lily D. McNair has been named to the Board of Directors for Campus Compact. Campus Compact is a national coalition of 1,000+ colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education and work to build democracy through civic education and community development.

McNair joins member institutions that reflect the full range of diversity among colleges and universities, including public and private, two-year and four-year, rural and urban, faith-based, women’s, tribal, Hispanic-serving, and historically black colleges and universities. Campus Compact’s mission is to support civic engagement and “engaged citizenship” among students. “In today’s turbulent times – Campus Compact’s values and programs are what we need to support our students’ advocacy in the public sphere,” said McNair.

Campus Compact advances the public purposes of colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. In addition, they envision colleges and universities as vital agents and architects of a diverse democracy, committed to educating students for responsible citizenship in ways that both deepen their education and improve the quality of community life.

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The HBCU Presidential Spotlight Series is sponored by the Office of the President and CEO, Founder, Demetrius Johnson, Jr. at the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) introduces chancellors and presidents who currently serves a historically black college or university (HBCU). This initiative recongizes those individuals who serves our nation higher ed institutions daily. Chaning and educating lives while producing the next generational leaders.

M. Christopher Brown II, Ph.D.
Eighteenth President
Kentucky State University

M. Christopher Brown II is the 18th president of Kentucky State University and founder of the Atwood Institute on Race, Education, and the Democratic Ideal.

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Brown earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from South Carolina State University, a Master of Science in education policy and evaluation from the University of Kentucky, and a Doctor of Philosophy in higher education from the Pennsylvania State University.

After earning his Ph.D., Dr. Brown joined the faculties of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and The Pennsylvania State University where he earned tenure.  During a professional leave of absence, Dr. Brown served as executive director of the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute of the United Negro College Fund (FDPRI/UNCF), director at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and vice president at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).

Dr. Brown was named professor and dean of the College of Education at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas before being appointed a university professor, executive vice president and provost at the historic Fisk University.  He also served as the 18th president of the nation’s first historically black land-grant institution – Alcorn State University – in Lorman, Mississippi, and as the inaugural executive vice president and provost of the Southern University and A & M College System in Louisiana.

Dr. Brown’s Alcorn presidency reinvigorated one of most important public college campuses in America.  Under his leadership, the university experienced record enrollment growing to over 4000 students for the first time in its 140 plus year history.  Dr. Brown also dedicated a $47 million, state-of-the-art student housing complex, spearheaded the renaming of Highway 552 in honor of the university’s longest-tenured president – Dr. Walter Washington, and dedicated the world’s largest statue to Alcorn alumnus and civil rights figure, Medgar Evers.  In addition to establishing the Office of Educational Equity and Inclusion, Dr. Brown hired the first non-black head football coach in both institutional and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) history.

Dr. Brown worked to develop and maintain a campus atmosphere dedicated to “excellence without excuse”.  Without question, he increased awareness of the Alcorn institutional brand and enhanced its recognition.  In 2012 Alcorn State University received the highly coveted HBCU of the Year Award, and in 2013 Dr. Brown was named Male HBCU President of the Year – both from the National Center for HBCU Media Advocacy.

Dr. Brown served as senior fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).  As a member of the Division of Academic Leadership and Change, he was responsible for assisting with the periodic review and improvement of administrative leadership training and development programs sponsored by the association, developing rubrics and monographs incident to presidential leadership and university governance, as well as other institutional support projects.  During his fellowship, he completed a book with Dr. Christopher Knaus, “Whiteness Is The New South Africa:  Qualitative Research On Post-Apartheid Racism In Schools And Society”.

Dr. Brown is the author/editor of 16 other books and monographs.  He is the author or co-author of more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, and publications related to education and society.  Regarded as an international scholar, he has lectured and/or presented research in various countries on six of seven continents – Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.  He is especially well known for his studies of historically black colleges, educational equity, and professorial responsibilities.  His research and scholarly writing includes publications on education policy, governance/administration, and institutional contexts.

Dr. Brown is the recipient of the 2001 Association for the Study of Higher Education’s Promising Scholar/Early Career Award, the 2002 AERA Committee on Scholars of Color Early Career Contribution Award, the 2007 Philip C. Chinn Book Award from the National Association for Multicultural Education, the 2008 Association of Teacher Educators Distinguished Educator Award, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Commission on Access, Diversity, and Excellence 2013 Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Brown received the Isaac Murphy Image Award for Education at the 2012 Kentucky Derby.  He was also recognized with a 2013 Trofeu Raca Negra (Black Race Trophy) from the Honors Council of the Society of Afro-Brazilian Socio-Cultural, the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus Award from South Carolina State University, and a 2017 Trumpet Award for Spiritual Enlightenment.

A former member of the South Carolina State University Board of Trustees, Dr. Brown is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, the 100 Black Men of America, Rotary International, a 33rd degree Free and Accepted Mason Prince Hall Affiliation, and an ordained Baptist minister.

He is married to the former Adrienne Joyce Allen of Canton, Mississippi.  Mrs. Brown is a middle school teacher.

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

I spent my faculty career researching and publishing scholarship on the role and importance of historically black colleges and universities.  This was joined to research on the effective governance and organizational behavior of colleges and universities.  Over the years, I would consult in both areas.  While serving as dean at UNLV, I was invited to consult at Fisk University on their upcoming accreditation. The consultancy turned into my full-time commitment to serve as provost to insure that the campus was viable and strong in the face of peer review.  My time at Fisk created a professional passion – I could use my knowledge and skills gained from research universities to stabilize and grow campuses that serve populations that reflect my own lived experience. After a successful SACSCOC reaffirmation, I was blessed to be named president at Alcorn State University.  All of my colleagues, friends, and family said that I was finally living my calling.  They are absolutely right.  I love my job and I invest my heart, mind, and resources into the campus.  There is not a day that I do not wake up and thank God for the privilege of being able to protect our national treasures and propel new generations of prepared HBCU graduates into the world.

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

It is a weighty and humbling assignment.  People see the robes and pageantry, but are not privy to the countless hours or reading, planning, praying, and making decisions (some small and some large) that impact thousands of families in our communities.  My goal is to make sure that the campuses I lead have systems, traditions, and structures that last long after my season of stewardship.  Presidents who served generations before me made hard and wise decisions to make certain that the institutions that were founded to educate the descendants of the formerly enslaved Africans in America still have access to education and opportunity decades and centuries after their deaths.  It is my job to make sure that my campus is viable and celebrated decades and even a century after my transition.

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

Leadership is the ability to motivate and convince others to work toward an identified task with full effort and commitment.  A supervisor or manager can direct someone to complete a task.   However, a leader inspires people to choose to use their talents, resources, and abilities to advance a common ambition.  As president of Kentucky State University and at Alcorn, Fisk, and Southern, I have been committed to creating, reinforcing, and promoting institutional brand identity.  It is my contention that with rare exception the content of most academic degree offering are invariable across institutions (i.e., most English majors or Psychology majors study the same content no matter which college they attend).  I believe that the greatest value in a college degree is in the institutional brand.  This is why some colleges have higher application rates, rejection numbers, and tuition prices.  The president (who I deem the “living logo” of the campus) should make certain that her/his campus has brand definition in the market and their products – students, research, community engagement – are respected and ideally celebrated in the larger landscapes of higher education, employment sectors, and government.  Whether one values rankings or not, the most highly ranked colleges and universities in our nation have strong brand identity.  The public often has clear perceptions about the campus even if they have never visited. I am committed to brand identity and the esprit de corps of a campus.  You should feel proud to claim and represent your institution.  The announcement of your campus need should create a set of positive physical responses at the mere mention of the name.

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

This is a tricky question for an academic researcher, because the nomenclature has a succinct legal definition – any institution founded before 1964 for the express purpose of providing postsecondary educational access to the descendent of the formerly enslaved Africans in America in a state or district where such access was excluded by law and practice.  However, conjoined to this legal definition is a cultural history of academic excellence, managerial efficiency, and social impact that is unparalleled by any other cohort of institutions. With less than six degrees of separation, HBCUs have been the birthplace of nearly every civic and social advancement on the timeline of black history in America (and some of Africa).  Black colleges serve as cultural repositories of the black experience, incubators for black excellence, and the physical manifestation of our black existence.  The black family, the black church, and the black college are the trinity of our anthropological history in this nation.  The three are inextricably linked and must be elevated at all costs.  The black college possesses unique agency of self-definition and reproduction.  If we did not have them, the social dynamics of our nation would cry out for their creation.

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

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has upended the normalcy that we call higher education.  While the strategic plan and my own professional priorities previously prescribed particular activities the upcoming year presents a necessary deviation.  For the 2020-21 academic term, I have three new priorities.  First, my intention will be to take every practicable step to insure that that the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and stakeholders of Kentucky State University are not subjected to any avoidable health hazards by introducing new non-pharmaceutical intervention protocols, providing access to personal protection safety products, and delimiting high risk contexts on the campus landmass.  Next, I want to stand up virtual and in-person engagements that continue the traditions and ethos of the traditional HBCU context while provide educational delivery to our student populace.  Finally, it is my unabating commitment to make certain that our campus maintains fiscal viability and institutional autonomy for the indefinite future.

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

On the wall above the door of my high school are inscribed the words, “Education is a possession of which no man can be robbed.”  I saw these words every school day for four years.  It serves as both mantra and affirmation.  I bear the weight of an ancestral charge and a divine unction to make certain that the students who are entrusted to my institution for collegiate instruction are enlightened academically, developed personally, and prepared professionally.  A CHARGE TO KEEP I HAVE.  Parents and guardians who bring their loved ones to us expect that we will do our best work and enable them to go forth into the world with emancipatory and transformative power to live, to be, and to thrive.  I take this responsibility personally.  As a former elementary school teacher, in loco parentis does not end for me with high school.  It is our just duty to support and advance a communal collective through our students – when one of us is successful then all of us can be successful.

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

The administrative tasks are common across campuses.  The nuances of HBCU leadership and even more public HBCU leadership are significant.  Private HBCUs at least have the luxury of being a non-state actor as they promote the historic dynamic of our campus context.  To this end, most private HBCUs are church affiliated and have 90% or greater black student enrollments.  Public HBCUs are state agencies, most with greater than 20-30% non-black student enrollments.  The complicated interplay of historic mission, public governance, and enrollment mix can make the leadership of a public HBCU a metaphorical minefield.  Additionally, the work is never done.  You can clear your desk today, but a new pile of challenges will await you tomorrow.

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

The proudest moments for me as a senior HBCU leader are graduations and commissioning ceremonies.  Don’t judge me, but I am known to shed a tear on these days.  As I sit and watch the sea of young, educated faces, I realized that on that day – that moment and the actions of conferring a degree or commissioning an officer – will forever transform the life of that student and their families.  It is an awe-inspiring reflection to realize that something you did or helped to leadwill alter the trajectory of an entire family for generations to come.  I often leave graduation events on foot – walking through the campus back to my office – to take in the beauty of the campus and the joy of the day.  Inevitably, I end up humming to myself (probably because I cannot sing) – “Lord, I done done.  Lord, I done done.  Lord, I done done.  I done done what you told me to too.”

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

My presidential and provost roles center on permanence – organizational structures, academic precision, campus traditions, and physical structures.  There is a wonderful book by Kathleen Manning – Rituals, Ceremonies, and Cultural Meaning in Higher Education – that metamorphosized my understanding of the power of the postsecondary space to create and define.  Interestingly enough, Kentucky State University is finishing a few construction projects and launching a new housing development.  We are aligning the academic structure to increase efficiency and improve outcomes. And we are being extremely intentional about the quality of students we produce and taking deliberate steps to support their on campus and lifelong success.

Why should students choose to attend your HBCU institution?

Kentucky State University is one of the nation’s fastest growing HBCUs – as evidenced by enrollment increases, graduation rates, media market shares, and upward movement in public rankings.  The campus is culturally congenial and possesses a family atmosphere.  We are a public university with private college student-teacher ratios.  We are poised to be the first and only HBCU admitted into COPLAC – the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. We are the home of the Thorobreds.  A thorobred/thoroughbred horse is the fastest and strongest horse bred from the purest bloodline.  It is celebrated for speed, agility, and spirit.  Why Kentucky State University you ask?  Students choose us because “WE ARE THORO”.

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About Kentucky State University (KSU)

Kentucky State University is a public, comprehensive, historically black land-grant university committed to advancing the Commonwealth of Kentucky, enhancing society, and impacting individuals by providing quality teaching with a foundation in liberal studies, scholarly research, and public service to enable productive lives within the diverse global economy. For more information, visit www.kysu.edu.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF)

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

INSTITUTE, W.VA. – The West Virginia State University (WVSU) Presidential Search Committee has selected three higher education leaders as the finalists to become the 12th president of the University.

Dr. Nicole Pride, vice provost for academic strategy and operations at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; Dr. Patricia Ramsey, senior executive fellow at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund; and Dr. Rodney Smith, president and CEO of the University of The Bahamas, have been invited to campus next week to meet with constituent groups.

The meetings with students, faculty, staff and community leaders will take place in the James C. Wilson University Union and will follow state and CDC social distancing and safety guidelines for events. The meeting will also be available virtually via Zoom.

WVSU has been searching for its 12th president, since the announcement that former President Anthony L. Jenkins was leaving to become President of Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. R. Charles Byers has served as interim president of the University since May 16th.

MEET THE FINALISTS

Dr. Nicole Pride began her career in the corporate and non-profit sectors, and left industry to begin her service in higher education at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where she served as principal liaison and senior advisor to the chancellor, a member of the chancellor’s executive cabinet, and provided strategic and operational support for internal and extent constituencies. Pride has held C-Suite positions in University Advancement and the Office of the Chancellor, and has the distinction of holding three senior-level positions, with increasing responsibility within eight years of service.

She has utilized her diverse skillset to engineer the strategy to overhaul the university’s brand perception among prospective and current students, parents, alumni, potential donors, research partners, and peer institutions; raise funds; enhance operational excellence; build diverse teams; increase student success; mitigate crises; and advance mission-driven organizational change.

Pride also served as the university’s chief of staff and chief communications officer, responsible for communications, marketing, branding, media and public relations and crisis communications. Her work defined the university’s brand in the state, nation and global marketplace, and her successes track with the institutions arrival as the largest historically black university in the nation.

Pride now serves as vice provost for academic strategy and operations at North Carolina A&T State University, where she also holds a faculty appointment. Prior to joining the university, Pride served as vice president for development and communications for Child Care Services Association in Chapel Hill, N.C. She also served in numerous capacities at IBM including marketing program manager, corporate learning division and manager of corporate community relations and public affairs for nearly a decade. In addition to her professional appointments, Pride has served on numerous boards and committees, and her research interests are in the areas of board governance and leadership.

Her awards and honors include the Triad Business Journal’s 2018 Outstanding Women in Business award and the PR News’ 2017 cohort of Top Women in Public Relations in the nation — the prestigious award that recognizes women at the forefront of public relations who have made bold advances in developing brand messages, and protecting and building brand reputations among other things.

An Orange, New Jersey native, Pride lives and plays in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. She earned bachelor’s degrees in business management and economics from North Carolina State University, a master’s in corporate and public communications from Seton Hall University, and a doctorate in leadership studies from North Carolina A&T State University. She is mother to grown sons, Turner Jr. and Todd, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Dr. Patricia Ramsey is a visionary leader and a scholar with a deep commitment to excellence and a passion for making a difference, with the distinction of being named a “National Role Model” by Minority Access, Inc.

Dr. Ramsey currently serves as a Senior Executive Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and formerly served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at both Lincoln and Bowie State universities. Dr. Ramsey also served as Interim President at Bowie State University, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Shaw University and Associate Vice President for Development (fundraising) at Norfolk State University. Dr. Ramsey has a wealth of knowledge regarding higher education practice; she serves as an accreditation evaluator, where she has served on visiting teams evaluating stand-alone institutions, institutions in small systems, institutions in the largest university system in mainland USA, as well as institutions in the University System of Puerto Rico. She is currently serving a three-year term on the appeals panel of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education as well as a three-year term on the Middle States Regional Council of the College Board. Dr. Ramsey has represented HBCUs from the state house to the halls of Congress.

In addition to her impact in the United States and its territories, Dr. Ramsey has impacted higher education on the continents of Europe and Africa. In Europe, she provided oversight for Bowie State University’s graduate programs on the military base in Heidelberg, Germany, where she won front-page headlines in the military news for her bold position in allowing a 5 year old military dependent to stand proxy to receive the master’s degree for deployed soldiers. On the continent of Africa, Dr. Ramsey was one of four provosts in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) delegation to Liberia, where she served in an education advisory capacity to the country’s president, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. In Nigeria, Dr. Ramsey was instrumental in the success of a biotechnology training partnership and conducted a leadership workshop for the administration of Godfrey Okoye University in Enugu State, Nigeria.

Dr. Ramsey is a seasoned strategist and action-oriented leader with a strong skill of quickly implementing initiatives that yield positive outcomes. She negotiated a $1.3 million award after only three months as a fundraising officer at Norfolk State; she developed the infrastructure that resulted in $10 million in grants and contracts in less than two years at Shaw University; she led the university management team in a focused effort to tie budget and planning, within one month of her arrival at Bowie State and within six months at Lincoln, she cultivated a relationship with a new industry partner that resulted in a memorandum of understanding to provide scholarships, internships, and endowed professorships.

A biologist, by training, Dr. Ramsey has a research interest in the biological activity of plants used in folklore and has collected 110 species of Agave in the Sonoran Desert and traveled a 450-mile span of highway collecting Sapium sebiferum (popcorn tree) leaves in the southeastern United States. Dr. Ramsey earned the Master of Science in Botany from Howard University, the Master of Arts in Biology from Harvard University and the Doctor of Philosophy in Biology from Georgetown University. Dr. Ramsey obtained her undergraduate degree from Norfolk State University, where she earned the Bachelor of Science in Biology Education. Dr. Ramsey completed leadership programs in the Millennium Leadership Institute, Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management (IEM), and the CIVIC Leadership Institute.

Dr. Ramsey is married to Dr. Roscoe Ramsey Jr, a physician and a minister; they have three adult children.

Dr. Rodney Smith has served in several senior administrative leadership positions in higher education, including President of a public institution of higher education, President of a national multi-campus University system, and program coordinator of Harvard’s Institute for Educational Management (IEM). Dr. Smith also served in several vice president positions, including student affairs, administrative services, and planning. He also served as director of strategic planning, dean of the graduate college and professor in a PhD. Program in Educational Management. Dr. Smith has taught graduate courses in Educational Research and Strategy and Strategic Planning. He is currently President and CEO of University of The Bahamas; and before that, served as Administrative Vice President at Hampton University, with responsibility for strategic planning, institutional effectiveness, quality service training programmes, assessment of all academic and non-academic programs, university athletics (Division 1, NCAA), Internal Auditor and the Office of Institutional Research, (Operations Analysis and Research), and all aspects of Enrollment Management (offices of Admissions, Financial Aid and Scholarships, and Registrar).

Dr. Smith received his doctorate of education degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in the area of Administration, Planning and Social Policy. He earned a Master’s Degree in Education with a Concentration in International Development from Harvard University, a Master of Arts degree from Fisk University in Clinical/Educational Psychology, and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He is the recipient of the 2016 JCN International Person of the Year Award, and has been inducted into Chi Alpha Epsilon Academic Honor Society, Alpha Chi Chapter; Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society; and Delta Mu Delta, National Honor Society in Business Administration. Dr. Smith has participated in several professional development institutes, including the Millennium Leadership Institute (MLI) of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), Harvard’s Institute for Educational Management (IEM), the Harvard Institute for New Presidents, Harvard Seminar on Institutional Advancement, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Emergency Management Institute for Emergency Management Planning, Preparedness, Training and Education for Colleges and Universities.

Dr. Smith has served as trustee, chair and member of several national and international boards, associations and government committees; including, member of the Board of Directors for AASCU, member of the American Council on Education (ACE), New Jersey Department of Education Board of Examiners, New Jersey Presidents’ Council, National Association of Student Affairs Administrators, Virginia State Graduate Deans Council, Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, Hackensack Medical University Foundation, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (Chair of the Committee on Lifelong Learning and Higher Education), National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, The Bahamas National Trust, The National Advisory Council on Education, and the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of The Bahamas (NAECOB). As appointed Chair, he has led several successful initiatives, including the African-American Jewish Community Relations Symposia at Hampton University, 100 Templeton Foundation Character Building Colleges, and the New Jersey United Nations Day Celebrations Committee in New Jersey. Dr. Smith is the spouse of Dr. Christina C. Smith, an academic administrator and former dean. They have two grown children – Samantha, a practicing physician in Blacksburg, Virginia; and Sean, a luxury real estate developer in Florida and The Bahamas.

Learn more about the finalist here.

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About West Virginia State University (WVSU)

Founded in 1891, West Virginia State University is a public, land-grant, historically black university (HBCU), which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution. The University, “a living laboratory of human relations,” is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. It’s mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research. To learn more, visit www.wvstateu.edu.

JACKSON, TN – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced the appointment of Dr. Logan Hampton, President of Lane College, to the State Capitol Commission West Tennessee citizen seat. Governor Lee also announced Finance & Administration Commissioner Butch Eley will serve as the commission chairman, filling Stuart McWhorter’s vacancy.

“Dr. Hampton is a thoughtful leader of a respected Tennessee Institution and I am pleased to appoint him to the State Capitol Commission,” said Gov. Lee. “I thank him for accepting this role and his willingness to serve his fellow Tennesseans.”

Since 2014, Dr. Hampton has served as the President of Lane College, a Christian Methodist Episcopal Church affiliated institution. He received his doctorate of higher education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a master’s degree in student personnel services from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Arkansas Tech University. He also is a graduate of the Harvard Institute of Management and Leadership in Education. Before UALR, Hampton held positions at Texas A&M University, Texas Christian University, and the University of Central Arkansas.

Prior to coming to Lane College, Hampton served in numerous student services capacities at UALR. His most recent appointment at UALR was Vice Provost for Student Affairs. In this position, Dr. Hampton served as the chief student affairs officer and led the student development and student life programs, including judicial affairs, budgetary and administrative services. In addition to working as a higher education administrator, Hampton was a member of the Board of Trustees for Arkansas Baptist College.

More information on the State Capitol Commission can be found here.

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Presidents of Georgia’s publicly supported historically black colleges and universities release joint statement.

Our nation’s current state of affairs requires the attention of all leaders to champion social justice and racial inequality. But before action must come thoughtful, engaged and strategic planning. As the presidents of Georgia’s publicly supported historically black colleges and universities we present the following statement.

“We have reached a crossroads; the events of the past few weeks have made even more certain our need to address the issues of social injustice and racial inequality. Across the country, people (like our students, faculty, staff and I) are hurting, angry and weary.  It is imperative that we work together to make things better for each other, our communities and our country. We must end racism now,” says Kimberly Ballard-Washington, interim president of Savannah State University.

Paul Jones, president of Fort Valley State University, says “As a Black man in America, I can relate to the feelings of hopelessness regarding our justice system in the United States and how it is often unfair and tilted against people of color. I am not immune to society’s ills because I enjoy the privilege of being a university president. I say to those who have resisted engaging in this matter, I call on you to join us in saying enough is enough. Racism is tearing away the very fabric of our country. It is taking its toll on us all, so we all share the responsibility of making things better.”

“Racism is reprehensible in all forms. The unconscionable acts of hate that have become common place must end.  Like many of you, the injustices that I’ve witnessed in the past few months have left me feeling heartbroken, concerned and incensed. We are at a tipping point in America regarding race relations, and if we do not employ constructive solutions, we will continue to witness and experience destructive responses. The events that are unfolding are the result of legitimate pain, frustration and the symptom of a bigger problem. The social and economic injustices that continue to plague our country have to end,” says Marion Ross Fedrick, president of Albany State University.

As university presidents we are taking an active and distinct role in educating our constituents (students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members). Our institutions have a historic legacy of developing strong leaders who fight at the forefront for equality in education, social justice, and who died for civil rights.

Albany State, Fort Valley State, and Savannah State have a responsibility to create opportunities for dialogue. We must lift voices, particularly of those who are often silenced. We are entrusted with our nation’s most cherished resources, minds seeking education and enlightenment.

We must prepare this and future generations of scholars and servant leaders to manifest the freedoms that America promises. These weeks of protest, often punctuated by anger, frustration and tears, remind us that organizing, strategizing and mobilizing can make real and lasting change. By consistently taking a stand, and speaking out, we can help to prevent tragedies, like the most recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Aubrey, Rayshard Brooks and others from ever happening again!

In the coming weeks, our institutions will host a tri-campus symposium on race relations in America. We must all understand and respect that Black Lives Matter!“

Kimberly Ballard-Washington, interim president of Savannah State University
Paul Jones, president of Fort Valley State University
Marion Ross Federick, president of Albany State University

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This new partnership allows Olive-Harvey College graduates to go directly into Chicago State University’s bachelor’s degree program in business administration with a focus on supply chain management

CHICAGO, IL – Chicago State University (CSU) and City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) announce a partnership to offer guaranteed admission to eligible transfer students from Olive-Harvey College (OHC), creating a clear path to a CSU bachelor’s degree and eventually a career in supply chain management.

Olive-Harvey College students who complete an Associate in Applied Sciences degree in Supply Chain Management and Logistics will see credit hours applied to their bachelor’s degree at Chicago State, allowing them to start the University’s Business Administration program with a concentration in Supply Chain Management as juniors.

“Partnerships with industry leaders and universities have been key as Olive-Harvey College has built a center of excellence in transportation, distribution and logistics, including a new state of the art facility and programs to match,” said Kimberly Hollingsworth, Olive-Harvey College President. “This agreement will take those programs to the next level — offering Olive-Harvey supply chain management students a clear pathway to transfer to a quality, affordable bachelor’s degree, just blocks away, at Chicago State University.”

“Supply Chain management is a vital component in running many businesses today,” said Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., Chicago State University President. “Strong supply chain systems are critical for rapid delivery and a flawless customer experience that are key to succeeding in a 21st century economy. Businesses across industries are looking to institutions such as Chicago State University for diverse leaders with an accredited bachelor’s degree and experience to lead their organizations. By partnering with Olive-Harvey College, we are expanding access to education for the next generation of supply chain leaders.”

Olive-Harvey College students like Suzzette Anderson are already taking advantage of this agreement, which will see its inaugural group of students start this fall at Chicago State University. Originally at Olive-Harvey College to earn her GED, Suzzette stayed on as a credit student and quickly took advantage of all the college had to offer — like the state-of-the-art Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Center, which includes a high-tech central store warehouse environment, diesel and automotive engine and vehicle laboratories, and simulated driving faculties. As she worked toward her Associate of Applied Science in Supply Chain Management & Logistics, she landed a job at UPS to get hands-on experience in the industry. Eventually, she wants to open her own business, but first she wants to earn her bachelor’s degree at Chicago State University.

“Leadership matters — and I want to thank President Hollingsworth and President Scott for spearheading a transfer partnership that will help create a more diverse supply chain industry and a more inclusive Chicago economy,” said Juan Salgado, City Colleges Chancellor. “I encourage Chicagoans seeking to enter the growing TDL field to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Both institutions have worked to ensure that the partnership provides a seamless transition for OHC graduates like Suzzette, who will dive right into the core curriculum of CSU’s business administration bachelor’s degree program. To quality for this guaranteed admissions agreement, OHC students must earn at least a 2.0 on a 4.0 grading scale for all transferable coursework taken at OHC, and work with the OHC Transfer Center to sign on to the agreement.

To learn more about Chicago State University’s College of Business and its new Supply Chain Management program, visit www.csu.edu. To learn more about City of Colleges of Chicago, including Olive-Harvey College and its Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics degree and certificate programs, visit www.ccc.edu.

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JACKSON, MS – The Division I Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) has selected Ashley Robinson, vice president and director of athletics at Jackson State University (JSU), to serve as President for the 2020-21 membership year.

Robinson is the first African American to serve as FCS ADA President. He takes over for Kent Haslam, director of athletics at the University of Montana, who served for the 19-20 year and will transition to Immediate Past President. In addition to Robinson, the following athletics directors will serve as FCS ADA Officers for the 2020-21 membership year: 1st Vice President Nicki Moore, director of athletics at Colgate University; 2nd Vice President Tom Michael, director of athletics at Eastern Illinois University and 3rd Vice President Milton Overton, director of athletics at Kennesaw State University.

“It’s an honor to serve as the President of the FCS ADA for the upcoming year,” said Robinson, who begins his second year at the helm at JSU. “Our highest priorities remain giving voice to our membership while supporting both the incredible sport of football and the FCS brand. We are dedicated to building upon the outstanding work of the FCS ADA and ensuring our student-athletes have the first-class academic and athletics experiences they so deserve.”

Robinson is a Mississippi Valley State University graduate. As a four-year letterman in basketbal at MVSU where he is the single-season and career record-holder in assists after playing point guard for the Delta Devils. An MVSU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee in 2011, Robinson also was named MVSU Athlete of the Year in 2002, receiving the President’s Scholar Award in that same year. He served as the Athletic Director for MVSU during the 2012-13 academic year.

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About the FCS ADA

Now in its 27 year, the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association’s mission is to enhance Football Championship Subdivision football. For more information on the FCS ADA, please visit www.fcsada.com. The FCS ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 56th year. For more information on NACDA and the 17 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.

MEMPHIS, TN – The 31st Southern Heritage Classic (SHC) has announced its cancellation of events due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to cancel all events was made after SHC’s management reviewed a copy of the Shelby County Health Department’s Health Directive No. 6 detailing emergency management relief efforts put in place to address COVID-19, specifically those regarding recreational or athletic activities. On average, over 75,000 people attend the SHC annually and individual events such as the tailgate in Tiger Lane, the football game between Jackson State University and Tennessee State University, the parade in Orange Mound, and others draw massive crowds which have the potential to increase the spread of the novel coronavirus. After careful consideration, all Southern Heritage Classic events that were scheduled for September 10-12, 2020 will no longer be held. Those who have purchased tickets for the football game can receive refunds at the point of purchase.

“I know this is a great disappointment to many who consider the SHC as one of the major highlights of the year. The health and safety of our attendees along with that of our staff, sponsors, and others is a top priority. I encourage everyone to keep practicing recommended safety and social distancing measures so that we can return to our social activities as soon as possible,” said Fred Jones, Founder of the Southern Heritage Classic.

SHC is grateful for Jackson State University, Tennessee State University, the fans, sponsors, and the SHC ambassadors, who have supported the classic throughout the years, and looks forward to your continued support. This isn’t the first challenge faced by SHC, and will overcome this one as have the others.

For more information, contact the Southern Heritage Classic Headquarters at 901-398-6655, 1-800-332-1991, or smc@smcentertainment.net.

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FAIRFIELD, AL – As part of its $5 million commitment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Regions Bank awarded Miles College a grant for $25,000 in support of President Bobbie Knight’s student COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. Support will provide emergency assistance to students with financial need, including housing, food, childcare, transportation, and learning technology.

“Miles College values our enduring partnership with Regions Bank and recognizes Regions as a leader in corporate citizenship in our community,” said Bobbie Knight, Miles College President. “Thoughout our long history, Regions has offered support of Miles and has answered the call to foster resources to assist our students in their pursuit of higher education attainment.”

It this unprecedented time, Region’s support will go a long way to provide educational resources to Miles College students, in light of the effects and interruptions of COVID-19.

“Regions Banks is a longtime community partner with Miles College, and together, we want to support the progress students have mad toward earning their degrees. COVID-19 presents many challenges, including the need for courses to remain online and for students to have access to the technology they need to build on their education. This grant is designed to help meet both needs as Miles College continues connecting students with top-quality education,” said Leroy Abrahams, Head of Community Affairs for Regions Bank.

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About Miles College

Miles College, founded in 1898, is a premier liberal arts institution located in metropolitan Birmingham within the corporate limits of the City of Fairfield. The noble founders of the institution saw education leadership as the paramount need in the black community. Miles, which is fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and accredited by Commission on Colleges for the awarding of Baccalaureate Degrees, is the only four-year institution in historic Birmingham, Alabama designated as a member of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Learn more at www.miles.edu.

ATLANTA, GA – The Board of Trustees of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) has appointed Matthew Wesley Williams as President. Williams has served as Interim President since July 2019. His appointment will make him ITC’s 11th President, and at 43, Williams is the youngest person to led the institution, which was formed in 1958. In May 2020, the ITC seated a newly composed Board of Trustees. The board subsequently appointed President to the permanent role in June.

“The ITC Board is pleased to have Rev. Matthew Wesley Williams as its new President. His work as Interim President during the past ten months has been stellar. His extensive experience in organizational leadership in theological education brings the skill set needed for the institution and its future vision. We are excited about things to come under his leadership,” said Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, Chair of the Board Trustees.

Before his appointment to the ITC, Williams was the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE), a national leadership incubator that cultivates wise, faithful and courageous leaders who make a difference in the world through the church and academy. He served as a member of the FTE’s senior leadership team and was responsible for managing and overseeing a $7 million annual portfolio of strategic organizational initiatives. During his 15 years with FTE, he helped to transform and guide FTE’s initiatives in recruitment and leadership development for emerging leaders and rising scholars of color who were exploring and pursuing the vocations of pastoral ministry, scholarship, and other forms of leadership.

Prior to FTE, Williams served at the National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer at Morehouse School of Medicine (Atlanta, GA). He coordinated the research, advocacy and educational initiatives of sixteen community cancer coalitions in ten states in the American South.

Williams stated, “I am grateful to the ITC Board of Trustees for the affirmation and support signified by this appointment. We have made great strides during the first ten months of my time at the ITC. However, the ITC village has much more work to do in pursuit of our calling to cultivate a new generation of prophetic problem solvers. I’m pleased to say that ITC 2.0 is underway!”

ITC is a member institution of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and accredited by The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

A native of Chicago, IL, Williams earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center. He also holds two bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Philosophy/Religion from Florida A&M University. He is an ordained ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

About the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC)

Founded in 1958, the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) is an ecumenical historically black theological consortium located in the heart of Atlanta, GA. The ITC cultivates faith-rooted leadership for five Christian denominations: Baptist, African Methodist Episcopal, Christian Methodist Episcopal, United Methodist, and Church of God in Christ as well as one at-large constituency, the Selma T. and Harry V. Richardson Ecumenical fellowship. The collective Black membership of these five denominations equals roughly 25 million, over half of the African American population in the U.S. The ITC is the only theological center that prepares leaders for congregations and communities that represent such a wide and diverse swath of Black American. For more information, visit www.itc.edu.

Albert Nathaniel Whiting, Ph.D., fourth president and first chancellor of North Carolina Central University, passed away on Thursday, June 4, 2020, in Columbia, Maryland, according to North Carolina Central University.

Chancellor Emeritus Whiting served the university from July 1, 1967, to June 30, 1983. He was named chancellor emeritus upon retirement on June 30, 1983.

His university appointments included serving as professor of sociology at Bennett College and Atlanta University, now Clark Atlanta University, and dean of the faculty at Morris Brown College.

Chancellor Emeritus Whiting came to Durham from Morgan State College (now Morgan State University), where he was dean of the faculty. He was elected president of North Carolina College at Durham by the Board of Trustees on July 20, 1996, and assumed his duties in July 1967. Under his leadership, North Carolina College became North Carolina Central University, added its fifth school, the School of Business in 1972, and increased programs, including criminal justice, public administration, elementary education, jazz and music. He welcomed President Gerald R. Ford to campus in 1975. Upon his arrival, the institution’s enrollment was more than 3,000 students, and by the time he retired in 1983, the enrollment had grown to over 5,000 students.

Chancellor Emeritus Whiting has been referred to as a “builder” of the institution. As president and chancellor, he oversaw substantial growth of the physical plant that included 12 buildings. His most ambitious project was the erection of a four-building physical education complex, as well as the construction of Eagleson Hall, the Alfonso Elder Student Union and the annex to James E. Shepard Memorial Library. Additionally, a new chancellor’s residence was constructed in Emorywoods in 1974, at 3,292 square feet.

Chancellor Emeritus Whiting was the first leader to initiate a major fundraising campaign to create a university endowment, and he helped established the NCCU Foundation, Inc. When he arrived at NNCU, the operating budget was $5.5 million; it has risen to $34 million by 1983, the year he retired. Chancellor Emeritus Whiting created the Office of Development and Public Relations, which later become the Office of Institutional Advancement. He was a strong advocate of faculty development and established collaborative programs with the University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin to help NCCU faculty obtain doctorate degrees.

After retiring from NCCU, Chancellor Emeritus Whiting relocated to Columbia, Md., and served on the Maryland Higher Education Commission and University of Maryland’s Board of Regents until his final retirement.

He maintained a strong connection to NCCU following his retirement, and in 1988, he served as the Founder’s Day speaker. The Albert N. Whiting Criminal Justice Building, dedicated on November 3, 1989, bears his name. He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from NCCU on May 15, 1983, and was presented with the James E. Shepard Medallion during the Centennial of North Carolina Central University in 2010.

Chancellor Emeritus Whiting was an active member of the community. On December 15, 1969, he was one of the only two African Americas approved and admitted to become members of the Durham Rotary Club. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Inc. He founded the first member Boule in North Carolina and is considered “The Father of the Member Boules” in North Carolina. While serving at NCCU, he was a communicant at St. Titus Episcopal Church.

He earned his undergraduate degree from Amherst College, a master’s degree from Fisk University and his Ph.D. in sociology from American University.

Chancellor Emeritus Whiting was married to the late Lottie Luck Whiting, who passed in 2004, on June 10, 1950, in Danville, Va., and was the father of Dr. Brooke Whiting and his adopted daughter, Dr. Lila Ammons.

The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) extends it profound condolences and prayers to the Whiting family, NCCU and HBCU community during this time of sorrow. We thank Chancellor Emeritus Whiting for a job well done.

In lieu of flowers, the family desires that contributions are made to the NCCU Foundation, Inc., to support the Albert N. Whiting Endowment. You can donate online at www.nccu.edu/institutional-advancement/giving-online. Checks can be made payable and mailed to: NCCU Foundation, Inc., 1801 Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC 27707; please write Albert N. Whiting Endowment (account #40133) on the memo line of the check. For more information on Ways to Give, visit www.nccu.edu/institutional-advancement/ways-give.

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Dr. Logan Hampton, President of Lane College

On Thursday (June 4), the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing titled, “COVID-19: Going Back to College Safely.” The purpose of the hearing was to explore the current challenges and implications of dedications that leaders of institutions of higher education are making as they develop plans to safely reopen colleges and universities this fall. The Committee was interested in hearing recommendations for how colleges and universities could effectively coordinate with state and local public health officials and take into consideration the needs of all students when reopening in August.

Dr. Logan Hampton, President of Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, served as a witness representing the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) community. Lane College was founded in 1882 by a former slave, Bishop Isaac Lane of the Colored Methodist Church. The College serves as a United Negro College Fund (UNCF) member institution. In his testimony, he highlighted the following needs of the HBCU community for the next stimulus bill to be passed by Congress:

  • An increase in grant aid for students by doubling the maximum Pell Grant award that will help our low-income student properly afford higher education given the negative impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19);
  • Funding to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff prior to re-opening the campus that includes effective COVID-19 testing resources;
  • The need to provide liability protection for HBCUs, and all institutions of higher education, that will allow these institutions to have clear guidelines to confidently remain in compliance and out of fear of frivolous lawsuits;
  • The removal of $62 million cap for the HBCU Capital Financing loan program to allow HBCUs to benefit from the deferment in payments of principal and interest during the full period of the COVID-19 national emergency;
  • The creation of a technology fund to allow institutions and students to access broadband. This fund would supplement any additional funding received by HBCUs that will focus narrowly on broadband support;
  • The ability of HBCUs, and all institutions of higher education, to be eligible for both the Paycheck Protection Program Loans and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans at the Small Business Administration regardless of the number of employees; and
  • The need to allow all institutions of higher education to be eligible to receive loans in the Main Street Lending Program created by the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve System.

A video of the hearing can be viewed here.

Read the testimony delivered by Dr. Hampton here.

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

America’s issue of racism and hate has transpired for too long over the years. However, recently police brutality has taken a toll more than ever before. Because of the usage of social media, citizens have been informed more about the dreadful impact of racism and hate towards the Black community. The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) was founded to help students and support all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). We work tirelessly to advocate for students and those institutions we serve in making sure that their voices are heard to virtually continue serving first-generation, and underprivileged students as well as their surrounding neighborhoods.

We have recently witnessed the brutal and uncaused for deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and David McAtee that have shaken our nation and once again demonstrated the heartless discrimination against the Black community.

Our country must continue to unite to dismantle racism and bigotry in all forms and denounce race-related violence and police brutality.

HCF looks forward to joining others and partnering with our nation leaders, HBCUs, and communities we serve in working together to heal our nation on those issues of racism and hate. We must not be silent. As Dr. King once reminded us all: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

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About the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF)

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.

CARBONDALE, IL – Austin A. Lane has been appointed to serve as the next chancellor of SIU Carbondale.

His appointment was approved May 29 by the university’s Board of Trustees following a recommendation by SIU System President Dan Mahony.

Lane was president of Texas Southern University, based in Houston, from 2016 to February 2020. Prior to his presidency at Texas Southern, Lane was executive vice chancellor for academic and student affair for Lone Star College System in Texas in 2015 and 2016. He served as president of Lone Star College – Montgomery from 2009 to 2015 and executive vice president for student affairs for Tyler Junior College in Texas from 2005 to 2009. He worked at the University of Texas at Arlington from 1995 to 2005 as a counselor, assistant dean of students and director of judicial affairs and dean of students.

Lane holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Langston University, a master’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma, and a doctor of education degree in higher education administration from the University of Alabama.

His recommendation as chancellor fellows a national search overseen by a screening committee that included representatives of multiple campus groups as well as community members.

Lane’s appointment is effective no later than July 6.

About Southern Illinois University Carbondale

SIU embraces a unique tradition of access and opportunity, inclusive excellence, innovation in research and creativity, and outstanding teaching focused on nurturing student success. As a nationally ranked public research university and regional economic catalyst, we create and exchange knowledge to shape future leaders, improve our communities, and transform lives. For more information, visit www.siu.edu.

Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond Named President for the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

WASHINGTON, DC – Central State University outgoing president Cynthia Jackson-Hammond has been named the new President of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the CHEA Board of Directors announced Thursday. She was elected by a unanimous vote of the CHEA board following an extensive presidential search. She will begin as CHEA’s President on August 1, 2020.

“The CHEA Board of Directors reached out to many leaders in higher education to fill this position,” said Board Chair Orlando L. Taylor. “We knew we needed extraordinary leadership to continue the remarkable record of Dr. Judith Eaton, the founding president of CHEA, and Cynthia Jackson-Hammond stood out among the array of gifted candidates we considered. She brings an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience relative to accreditation and quality assurance, as well as strong background and history in effectively networking and interacting with higher education leaders, governmental officials and legislators.”

Dr. Jackson-Hammond is retiring as President of Central State University on June 30, 2020. She became the historically black university’s first female President on July 1, 2012. As President, she led efforts to develop Six Compelling Priorities, which have since guided the university. The Compelling Priorities are: provide a quality academic/collegiate experience for all students; Focus on targeting student enrollment; improve retention rates; reduce time to degree completion; development of graduates with the knowledge, skills and dispositions for advanced studies and professional careers; and increase efficient and effective institutional operations. The tenets used to rebrand the university are Service … Protocol… Civility, now a registered trademark for Central State University. New, focused mission, vision and strategic plans also were developed for the university.

The University welcomes Dr. Jack Thomas as President-Elect beginning July 1, 2020. Previously, he served as President of Western Illinois University (WIU) in Macomb, Illinois.

“I am pleased to serve as president of CHEA and look forward to continuing advocacy of accreditation, member institutions and the work of all recognized accrediting organizations,” said Dr. Jackson Hammond.

Dr. Jackson-Hammond’s higher education experience spans more than 30 years and includes faculty status and tenured professorships, in addition to senior administrative leadership positions. She recently served on the boards of the Thurgood Marshall College Foundation, the 1890 Land-Grant Council of Presidents and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Executive Committee.

She received a bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University, master’s degree in education from the University of Louisiana in Monroe and doctorate in education from Grambling State University.

“I am thrilled that Cynthia will be taking the helm at CHEA,” said outgoing CHEA President Judith Eaton. “Cynthia is the best. She is a seasoned executive, with years of experience and a depth of understanding of effective leadership in higher education that will be of enormous value and move CHEA forward. These are challenging times and the board of directors has chosen a president who will not only lead but prevail and who brings to the position a love of higher education and a heartfelt understanding and commitment to the vital role of quality in higher education in our society.”

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About Council for Higher Education Accreditation

A national advocate and institutional voice for academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. For more information, visit CHEA’s website at www.chea.org.

About Central State University

Central State University, an 1890 Land-Grant institution, prepares students with diverse background and experiences for leadership, research and service. The University fosters academic excellence within a nurturing environment and provides a strong liberal arts foundation leading to professional careers and advanced studies. For more information, visit www.centralstate.edu.

Five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) presidents has been appointed to the USDA-1890 Task Force. The task force explores cooperative frameworks, partnership opportunities and priority areas.

The appointed president’s includes Tuskegee University President Lily D. McNair, Southern University and A&M College President Ray Belton, Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II, Alcorn State University President Felecia M. Nave, and Langston University President Kent Smith on the task force.

The task force was reestablished along with the USDA-1994 Leadership Group and USDA Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Leadership Group to serve as principal working groups for the USDA secretary to explore mutually beneficial, short and long-term goals.

The USDA/1890 Task Force is a component of the USDA’s 1890 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities National Program. The task force is a joint council of USDA and 1890 Land-Grant University senior officials (e.g, under secretaries, agency administrators, and university presidents) that provides leadership to advance the mutual interests of USDA and the 1890 Land-Grant Universities. The 1890 Land-Grant Universities – which include 18 Land-Grant Universities established under the second Morrill Act of 1890 – are invaluable sources of diverse professionals who work in agriculture and related disciplines.

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.

Dr. Demetrius Johnson

BOWIE, MD – Bowie State University, a historically black public university, names Dr. Demetrius Johnson as the new vice president for student affairs after a national search.

Dr. Johnson, who shares the namesake of the President and CEO, Founder at HBCU Campaign Fund, joins Bowie State as a member of the executive leadership team on June 15. He has extensive experience in student development, crisis prevention, residence life, judicial affairs, emergency management, policy development, student support services and student retention. He excels in creating partnerships with faculty, working to increased enrollment, executing new initiatives and driving student and organizational success. His background includes focused work with a variety of student populations, including commuters, students of color, veterans, international students and first-generation students. As an educator focused on student outcomes, he has worked to deepen the student experience and drive student success throughout his career.

Dr. Johnson is a higher education professional with more than 20 years of diverse experience in student development and support services.

“Dr. Demetrius Johnson brings a broad breadth and depth of experiences to lead the Division of Student Affairs in support of student development,” said Aminta H. Breaux, Bowie State University President. “I look forward to having Dr. Johnson join the senior leadership team and helping to guide the university toward a bright future as we continue our Racing to Excellence strategic plan.”

Most recently, Dr. Johnson served as associate vice president for student engagement and earlier as the dean of student success at Marymount University, where he helped improve the six-year retention rate through innovative programs and services. He developed campus-wide learning outcomes and a co-curricular transcript, as well as expanded the Career Services programs to increase the number of students who landed internships and jobs.

He was also the dean of student affairs/director of residential life at Dillard University, where he helped to increase the residential population, boost the number of student organizations and implemented a new student leadership training and recruitment program. As the director of the Master of Business Administration program at the University of Iowa and the assistant site director for several master’s degree programs at Troy State University, he increased new student enrollment through targeted recruitment and improved the overall student experience through specialized engagement efforts.

“I am honored and excited to join the Bowie State University family. I am very eager to begin working with the faculty, staff, and students,” said Dr. Johnson. “Most urgently, I will focus on finding ways to know and support students. Bowie State University is will positioned to continue changing and transforming the lives of students. I am excited to join this effort and serve the students of BSU.”

Firmly grounded in student development theory and practice, Dr. Johnson holds a doctorate of management in organizational leadership from the University of Pheonix, a master’s degree in college student personnel from Western Illinois University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Augustana College. In spring 2021, he will complete a Doctor of Philosophy in leadership and organizational behavior from the University of the Cumberlands.

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About Bowie State University

Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from a diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit www.bowiestate.edu.

Dr. Karrie G. Dixon, Chancellor of ECSU.

ELIZABETH CITY, NC – Elizabeth City State University Chancellor, Dr. Karrie G. Dixon, has been named to the newly-formed national Women in Aviation Advisory (WIAAB) board by U.S. Dept. of Transportation Secretary, Elaine L. Choa. The 30-member board will be chaired by former U.S. Air Force Secretary and current president of the University of Texas at El Paso, Heather Wilson.

“I am honored to be a part of this impressive board, promoting women in aviation,” said Chancellor Dixon. “ECSU’s signature aviation program is intentionally addressing the need for more women in the aviation field and to be part of this national effort is an exciting opportunity for me, and for the university.”

The WIAAB was established in October 2019 under the FAA Reauthorization ACT of 2018. The purpose of the WIAAB is to develop strategies and recommendations that would encourage women and girls to enter the field of aviation.

The WIAAB will assess education, training, mentorship, outreach, and recruitment of women in the aviation industry. Board members represent a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise, including major airlines and aerospace companies, nonprofits, business, education and more.

Chancellor Dixon was nominated for a seat on the board by the University of North Carolina System Interim President William L. Roper. In his nominating letter, Dr. Roper outlined Chancellor Dixon’s leadership in building ECSU’s aviation program.

ECSU offers the only four-year aviation degree in North Carolina, and she has overseen the expansion of ESCU’s 11-plaine fleet, and the creation of the university’s unmanned aircraft systems, or drone, degree program.

“ECSU is a leading force in aviation, not just in North Carolina, but across the entire region,” stated Dr. Roper. “Dr. Dixon leads this institution with a strategic eye to expand its presence. She has served as chancellor for just over a year (including her tenure as interim chancellor), and she has already overseen efforts that have significantly revitalized the campus and expanded enrollment numbers.”

Prior to becoming ECSU’s chief executive officer, Chancellor Dixon served as a senior administrator at the University of North Carolina System Office. She arrived at the System Office in 2008, and in 2014, she was promoted to Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. In this capacity, Dixon was responsible for overseeing policies designed to promote student success and access across the System’s 17 institutions.

Chancellor Dixon was recently named a ‘Top Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leader of 2020,’ by the HBCU Campaign Fund.

About Elizabeth City State University

Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, is the premier public institution serving northeastern North Carolina, providing affordable academic programs and services of exceptional caliber in a nurturing environment. The university attracts and retain a diverse and highly qualified faculty that educate and lead the students to become productive members of a global and increasingly independent society. ECSU continues to be a leading partner in enhancing educational and cultural opportunities and improving the economic strength in the region. For more information, visit www.ecsu.edu.

Dr. Ivy R. Taylor, 12th President of Rust College

HOLLY SPRINGS, MS – The Rust College Board of Trustees announced the selection of former San Antonio Mayor, Ivy Taylor, as the 12th President of Rust College. She will be the first woman to lead Rust College as President.

Dr. Ivy Taylor is the former Mayor of San Antonio, Texas. She received her academic degrees from Yale, North Carolina, and Penn. Her dissertation focused on leadership at Historically Black Colleges. Most importantly, she is a brilliant and thoughtful collaborator, innovator, and leader.

The Trustees made their selection following an extensive eight-month searching ending with a series of interviews with faculty, staff, students, alumni and representatives from the Holly Springs community. “Dr. Taylor brings energy, intelligence, and competence as well as experience in listening to diverse views and building coalitions,” said Rev. Dr. David Swinton, Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Taylor succeeds President David Beckley who has successfully led the school for 27 years. After a period of transition, Dr. Beckley will retire with the status of President Emeritus.

Dr. Taylor spent six years as a lecturer in Public Administration at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She also worked at a nonprofit affordable housing agency and served multiple terms as a city councilmember prior to her term as Mayor. “We believe the abilities she gained in non-profit management and political leadership will be readily transferable to an academic setting,” said Swinton.

While serving as Mayor, Dr. Taylor joined the Board of Trustees for Huston-Tillotson University, in Austin, Texas. This sparked for her an additional interest in higher education, especially Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). She is alos on the board of the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. She told the Rust College Board of Trustees that she is committed to changing lives, improving communities, and reducing economic inequality through working in higher education.

“I am honored and humbled to have this opportunity to serve the Rust College community. Through my conversations with the Board, students, faculty, staff and alumni, it was apparent that many appreciate the impact of Rust College on their lives and want to be part of writing the next chapter for this historic institution,” said Taylor. She added, “My family and I are looking forward to becoming active members in this community.”

Dr. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She recently completed the Doctor of Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation focused on leadership for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

She credits her academic success to the strong foundation, faith, and values instilled by her mother, a North Carolina native, who never had the chance to pursue her educational dreams. She currently works as a consultant for J.L. Powers and Associates. She relishes time with her family — her husband of 20 years, Rodney, and their daughter, Morgan, a high school student.

Read Dr. Taylor’s bio here.

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About Rust College

Rust College is a historically black, co-educational, senior liberal arts college founded in 1866 by the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church to offer quality programs in business, education, humanities, science and math, and social science to prepare students for leadership and service in a global society. For more information, visit www.rustcollege.edu.

CHICAGO, IL – Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot named Chicago State University President Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq. to the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force for the City of Chicago. The committee held its first meeting last week virtually, co-chaired by Mayor Lightfoot and Sam Skinner, former White House Chief of Staff.

The COVID-19 Recovery Task Force is comprised of five core committees led by industry experts and government leaders, with recommendations developed out of the Policy & Economic Stimulus Committee, the Mental & Emotional Health Committee, and the Marketing & Business Development Committee. President Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq. joined the Task Force as a member of the Mental & Emotional Health Committee.

“I am honored to join the Task Force,” said President Scott. “COVID-19 is severely impacting the health and economic well-being of Chicago’s black and brown communities. An equitable recovery will not occur without a laser focus on the communities hardest hit. Chicago State University, located on Chicago’s South Side, is Illinois’ only four-year Predominately Black Institution. As President of Chicago State, I and the University are fully committed to the Mayor’s vision.”

The Mental & Emotional Health Committee is focused on ensuring the health and well-being of Chicagoans are supported holistically during COVID-19, as residents experience grief due to the loss of loved ones and stress and anxiety due to unemployment and uncertainty about the future.

There is also a Regional Coordination Committee to ensure alignment across neighboring governing bodies, as well as a Committee titled Change Study that is analyzing the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on Chicago.

The Task Force will meet weekly for up to eight weeks to create recommendations for a strong recovery from COVID-19 in the City of Chicago. For more information on the COVID-19 Task Force, visit here.

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During this uncertain time, every gift makes a difference. #GivingTuesdayNow is an additional way you can extend a helping hand in making a difference in the lives of those who are financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is Giving Tuesday Now?

#GivingTuesdayNow (May 5) is a global day of unity in response to the unprecedented need cause by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


What should you give to HCF during this critical time?

  1. Students’ are negatively impacted by the crisis and are at risk of not being able to continue their educational efforts due to financial need.
  2. Our HBCUs are at risk and negatively impacted by the sudden transition to eliminating face-to-face instruction and moving to online instruction.
  3. The lack of technology for students and HBCUs, for their students’ ability to ensure online classroom connectivity is successful. Such as providing laptop ability.
  4. The cost of managing online classes for smaller HBCUs. This will negatively impact the operational budgets for the forthcoming academic year.
  5. Help support HBCUs who may face revenue loss from several sources due to the elimination of face-to-face instruction.
  6. To ensure that HCF continues to have the resources to do its essential work of supporting students and HBCUs during this global crisis.

What Can You Do to Help?

Donate today by visiting www.hbcucampaignfund.org/donate, and share the donation on social media using #GivingTuesdayNow.

Donate via Mobile Cash App using cash tag $CampaignForHBCUs.

Share the word about our mission and follow #HBCUCampaignFund on Facebook, Twitter @hbcucampaign, and on Instagram.


WASHINGTON – On May 4, 2020, at 1 p.m. (ET), FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks will virtually host the HBCU Presidents’ Roundtable: The State of Connectivity in the Age of the COVID-19 Pandemic to discuss the connectivity needs of students, faculty, and staff at Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCUs) during this unprecedented crisis. As millions of people conduct their daily activities from their respective homes, the need to remain connected has become more important than ever. In order to facilitate distance learning, HBCUs across the country have found creative solutions to address broadband connectivity for their students and employees who live in rural areas, urban communities, and suburban towns.

HBCUs play a critical role in our nation, and these institutions must have the tools necessary to continue their leadership in education and service. This event will feature special remarks from U.S. Representative Alma Adams (NC-12) & U.S. Representative G.K. Butterfield (NC-01) and convent Presidents and leadership from HBCUs across the nation. This panel discussion will be moderated by David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition and former Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. This hour-long event will be livestreamed at www.fcc.gov/live.

Confirmed Panelists:

  • Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, President of Norfolk State University
  • Dr. M. Christopher Brown II, President of Kentucky State University
  • Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, President of Howard University
  • Dr. George T. French, Jr. – President of Clark Atlanta University
  • Dr. Larry Robinson – President of Florida A&M University
  • Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr. – President of Alabama State University
  • Mr. Tom Jackson – Vice Chancellor for Information Technology/Chief Information Officer of North Carolina A&T State University
  • Dr. Adebisi Oladipupo -Vice President for Information Technology of Morgan State University

Advance registration is not required. Audio/video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the internet from the FCC’s web page at www.fcc.gov/live. The FCC’s website is free to the public.

For additional information about the roundtable, please contact Alisa Valentin in the Office of Commissioner Geoffrey Starks (202) 418-2500 or Alisa.Valentin@fcc.gov.

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HOLLY SPRINGS, MS – Rust College, a historically black, coeducational, senior liberal arts college founded in 1886, has identified three candidates who are seeking the presidential seat in replacement of outgoing president Dr. David Buckley, who plans to retire at the end of the academic year.

Beckley, an alumnus of the College, has served as Rust’s president for 26 years and has the distinction of being the longest-tenured senior college president in Mississippi. He was appointed as president in 1993, and before the appointment, he served as the 12th president of Wiley College from 1987-1993.

The Search and Advisory Committee announced virtual open sessions with the candidates for April 20-22, 2020, with the invitation extended to faculty/staff, students, and alumni/community members via zoom video conference. During each session, candidates provided a brief opening statement then moved to Q and A session.

The candidates:

Dr. Joel V. Harrell began his post-secondary educational training at Rust College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science, graduating in three years with honors. He went on to later earn his masters in public policy and administration and a doctorate in higher education administration from Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS. Further graduate work was done at Memphis State University and the Atlanta University Center.

Dr. Harrell has over forty years of experience in the higher education administrative arena having served in senior administrative positions at Mary Holmes College, West Point, MS; Knoxville College, Knoxville, TN; Mississippi State University, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL. Prior to the beginning of his federal government career, his most recent on-campus position was Vice President of Enrollment Services and Student Affairs at Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA. Dr. Harrell has also served as a consultant at the regional and national levels and has delivered numerous presentations and papers related to his work. His primary areas of expertise are Title IV Student Financial Assistance Programs Administration, higher education Enrollment Management and higher educational information systems project management/functional user expert (Ellucian, PeopleSoft).

Most recently, Dr. Harrell served as the Deputy Director, School Experience Group and the Director of the Minority Serving and Under Resourced School Division within the U.S. Department of Education/Federal Student Aid. In this capacity he with responsible for providing leadership to a team that supported and provided special services, training and technical assistance to over 6,000 institutions that participated in the Title IV Student Financial Assistance Programs. He also provided leadership and strategic vision for Federal Student Aids outreach efforts to Historically Black College and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribally Controlled Colleges and University and Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions, Predominately Black Institutions, and Alaska Natives/Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions that participated in the Title IV Federal Student Aid Programs.

Dr. Said L. Sewell currently serves as Director at the Atlanta University Center Consortium, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to Sewell joining the A.U.C.C., the world’s oldest and largest association of historically black colleges and universities, he was the Vice President for Student Affairs at Morehouse College. He has also served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lincoln University in Missouri, the Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Kent State University (Kent, OH), and the Executive Director of the Academic Success Center at Fort Valley State University. He has had faculty appointments in the Political Science Departments at the Lincoln University, University of West Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Nebraska, Fort Valley State University, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Albany State University. Sewell is the founder and current Executive Director of the Center for African-American Males: Research, Success, and Leadership, Inc. – a research and modeling center for the advancement of African-American males.

Sewell, a native of Houston, Texas, entered Morehouse College at the age of 16 and graduated in 1992 with a B.A. in political science. His formal training also include a master of public administration in public policy from Texas Southern University, and a Ph.D. From Clark Atlanta University in political science. Because of his work as a scholar and renowned professor, he has been honored with his own day in Madison County (Georgia), Fulton County (Georgia), the City of Stone Mountain (Georgia), and Atlanta (Georgia), as well as numerous awards. The University of System Georgia’s African-American Male Initiative Best Practices Leadership Award, The Doris Harris Humanitarian Award from the Tau Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., The Visionary Award from the Follow Me Foundation, Inc., The ETA Tau Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.’s Leadership Award, The National Conference of Black Political Scientists’ Teacher of the Year Award, The University of West Georgia’s Student Government Association’s Jim Mathis Outstanding Faculty Member, and the American Political Science Association and the Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society’s Outstanding Teaching Award in Political Science, and in the Southern Region for the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.’s Brother of the Year, to name a few. In addition, Diverse: Issues of Higher Education named him as its – Top 12 Emerging Scholars in America and Georgia Trend Magazine acknowledge him as one of its – Top 40 under 40; Georgia’s Best and Brightest.

Sewell, who is an ordained Baptist minister, is active in several professional, civic, and social organization. He is chair of the Board of Directors for the Center for African American Males: Research, Success, and Leadership, Inc., Past First Vice President for the Georgia State Conference of the N.A.A.C.P., and the former National Chairman of the Leadership Development Institute for the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Dr. Sewell is a member of the Board of Directors for Leadership Portage County, the Board of Directors for Project GRAD – Akron, the College Board’s National College Scholarship Service Assembly Council, the Charles Wesley Foundation – Rho Pi Lambda Chapter, Boys and Girls Club of America, the 100 Black Men, the N.A.A.C.P., and a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

A native of Queens, New York, Ivy R. Taylor, has spent twenty years in San Antonio, Texas, leading efforts to connect people to opportunity. She has been an educator, affordable housing advocate, and elected official. Ivy served as Mayor of San Antonio, Texas for three years and as a member of San Antonio City Council for five years.

Ivy’s career began as a City of San Antonio employee. She then served as Vice President of Merced Housing Texas where she worked to improve family stability for low-income apartment community residents. During her time working with residents to those apartments, she became convinced of the need to provide more access to higher education to help low income families in achieving stability. She spent six years as a lecturer at the University of Texas at San Antonio in the Public Administration Department. Ivy also served on the San Antonio Planning Commission and was previously a Commissioner for the San Antonio Renewal Agency.

While serving as council member, Ivy led a significant community revitalization effort. Through her leadership, the Eastside, a distressed area of San Antonio, was awarded over $50 million in grants. This effort included a large scale community plan, and execution with many partners that resulted the new affordable housing, new educational and community programs and enhanced public investments in an area that had stuffed from disinvestment.

Ivy is a positive community role model and has worked in partnership with many community agencies to improve outcomes for families. She served on the Board of Directors of Healthy Futures of Texas, which works to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancy in San Antonio and Texas. She also served on the Board of Directors of Big Brother/Big Sisters of South Texas, which provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one to one mentoring relationships. Additional past service includes stints on the boards of the San Antonio Education Partnership, Project Quest, San Antonio Zoological Association and Haven for Hope.

In 1998, Ivy arrived at Yale University as a first generation college student. She majored in American Studies and graduated in 1992. Ivy also obtained a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998. She is currently enrolled in an executive doctorate program in higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania and will receive an Ed.D. in August 2020. Her dissertation research focused on board governance at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Ivy credits her academic success to the strong foundation, faith, and values instilled in her by her mother, a North Carolina native, who never had the chance to pursue her educational dreams.

While serving as Mayor and supporting the UNCF, Ivy joined the Board of Trustees for Huston-Tillotson University, an HBCU in Austin, Texas. This sparked additional interest in higher education and supporting HBCUs. She is also on the board of the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, a minority serving institution. Ivy is committed to changing lives, improving communities and reducing economic inequality through working in higher education. She currently works as a consultant with J.L. Powers and Associates. 

The committee has plans to have a new president in place by the summer with Beckley staying on for a year as a consultant, according to a source.

For more information about Rust College’s Presidential Search, visit www.rustcollege.edu/home/presidential-search/.

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About Rust College

Rust College is a historically black, co-educational, senior liberal arts college founded in 1866 by the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church to offer quality programs in business, education, humanities, science and math, and social science to prepare students for leadership and service in a global society. For more information, visit www.rustcollege.edu.

 

As we continue to go through uncertainty and experience challenges in the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) organization continues to closely monitor the future scheduling for upcoming events, including football classics and recruitment fairs. Generally, during this time, the Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour scheduling takes place. This year would mark the 5th annual tour, which travels around the nation to support black college sports and join HBCUs in assisting with recruitment efforts. To date, the Indiana Black Expo has announced the cancellation of its Circle City Classic football game and events, an occasion the organization would normally take part of. We will continue to work with our officials and partner football classics; furthermore, we will work to provide an official update of the tour no later than the end of the month of June. Thank you for the unwavering support of this effort and the organization, we truly appreciate the HBCU nation.

With warmest regards,

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

Talladega College’s band outside Foster Hall

TALLADEGA, AL – Talladega College has been awarded two African American Civil Rights Historic Preservation Fund grants from the National Park Service (NPS). The College will receive a $500,000 grant for its Foster Hall Interior Preservation, Restoration, and Rehabilitation Development Project, and a $50,000 grant for Talladega College and the Civil Rights Movement: A Watershed in History.

“This is extremely significant news for the College, for the community and for individuals throughout the nation who value the preservation of history,” said Dr. Bill C. Hawkins, President of Talladega College. “We recently transformed the campus by constructing three new buildings simultaneously. Now, thanks to the National Park Service, we will be able to begin renovating one of our most important historic buildings.”

Talladega’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement Seddrick T. Hill, Sr. added, “The $500,000 grant will help us restore Foster Hall, which was the heart and soul of the College for over one hundred years. The $50,000 grant will enable us to conduct research, document history and create educational materials that details Talladega College’s extensive role in the civil rights movement.”

Foster Hall was the first facility built specifically for Talladega College after the institution was established in 1867. Construction began in 1869 and was completed the following year. It was named in honor of Rev. Lemuel Foster,, a staunch abolitionist from Blue Island, Illinois, who donated most of the funds needed to construct the building. Foster Hall served as a residence hall for female students and faculty and included dining facilities for the entire school. it was the site for numerous civil rights planning meetings. The building closed in 1980 after a fire ravaged the interior. It has remained closed for four decades.

“Alumni still talk about their memories of Foster Hall. They reminisce about how beautiful the interior was, about what the building meant to them, and about its role in the civil rights struggle,” said Hill.

Funds from NPS for Talladega College and the Civil Rights Movement: A Watershed in History will aid Talladega in documenting stories about the College’s civil rights activities, including Talladega College’s 1961 march on Anniston, Alabama. The march was organized after Dr. Arthur L. Bacon, a Talladega College senior at the time, was assaulted at the Southern Railway Station in Anniston.

The National Park Service (NPS) is awarding $14 million in African American Civil Rights Historic Preservation Fund grants to fund 51 projects across 20 states and the District of Columbia.

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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 Tarrent. Talladega College is the home of the renowned Hall Woodruff Amistad Murals, which received rave reviews from the New York Times during a three year, eight-city tour. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

Morrison Hall, built in 1924, is one of the five buildings within the Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina National Register historic district in Greensboro, North Carolina. The College will receive funding for its preservation.

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service (NPS) announced on April 24, 2020, $7.7 million in grants to 18 projects in 12 states for the preservation of historic structures on campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Since the 1990s, the National Park Service has awarded more than $60 million in grants to over 80 of the remaining active HBCUs, according to a press release by NPS.

“These grants help us to honor the legacy of HBCUs in serving our nation’s higher education needs,” said David Vela, National Park Service Deputy Director. “Funding awarded this year will help preserve 18 historic properties on HBCU campuses in 12 states, many of which are listed in the National Register.”

Projects funded by these grants will support the physical preservation of National Register listed sites on HBCU campuses to included historic districts, buildings, sites, structures, and objects. Eligible costs include pre-preservation studies, architectural plans and specifications, historic structure reports, and the repair and rehabilitation of historic properties according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standard for Archaeology and Historic Preservation.

Congress appropriates funding for the program through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, providing assistance for a broad range preservation projects without expending tax dollars.

Projects receiving grants this year will preserve stories, resources, and places like the Samuel T. Graves Hall at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA; the University Memorial Chapel at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD; and the Historic Carnegie Library at Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC.

For more information about the grants and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities program, please visit . Applications for $10 millions in FY2020 funding will be available in the fall of 2020.

Historically Black College and University Awards:

StateProjectsGranteeAward
Alabama
Fairfield
Williams Hall Historic Preservation ProjectMiles College$499,869
Georgia
Atlanta
Samuel T. Graves Hall Exterior Repair and Restoration ProjectMorehouse College$500,000
Louisiana
Baton
Rouge
Preservation of the Archives BuildingSouthern University and A&M College$499,938
Louisiana
Grambling
University Memorial Chapel Window PreservationMorgan State University $500,000
Mississippi
Jackson
Preservation of the Historic Mt. Olive CemeteryJackson State University$496,023
North Carolina
Greensboro
Dudley Memorial Building Renovation ProjectNorth Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University$500,000
North Carolina
Greensboro
Morrison and Murphy Hall UpdatesNorth Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University$266,068
North Carolina
Salisbury
Preservation of the Historic Andrew Carnegie LibraryLivingstone College$500,000
Ohio
Wilberforce
Conversion of the Power Plant to the Frank Murphy Student Success CenterCentral State University$500,000
Oklahoma
Oklahoma City
Historic Cottage Row District Preservation ProjectLangston University$473,820
South Carolina
Columbia
Pratt Hall Preservation ProjectBenedict College$500,000
South Carolina
Orangeburg
The SCSU Forensic Analysis/Assessment of Wilkinson Hall ProjectSouth Carolina State University$50,000
South Carolina
Orangeburg
Trustee Hall Preservation and Restoration InitiativeClaflin University$446,569
Texas
Tyler
The Rehabilitation of the D.R. Glass LibraryTexas College$500,000
Virginia
Lynchburg
Preservation of Humbles Hall Phase IIVirginia University of Lynchburg$499,713
West Virginia
Bluefield
President’s House Renovation ProjectBluefield State College – Applied Research Foundation of West Virginia$68,000
Total$7,760,00

About the National Park Service

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why should students choose to attend your HBCU institution?

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

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About Morris Brown College

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

About the HBCU Campaign Fund

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

MONTGOMERY, AL – Alabama State University (ASU) houses one of three Interpretive Centers that stretches along the national Selma-to-Montogmery Historic Trail. The Montgomery Interpretive Center exists to commemorate the people, events, and route connected with the 1965 March.

When visiting the center, visitors will learn about the origins of the Civil Rights Movement, especially the people and students who put their lives on the line to fight injustice, events and route connected with the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March. They will also learn about the murder of Marion’s Jimmy Lee Jackson whose death served as the catalyst for the March.

“The Center stands here on ASU’s campus as a celebration and a hallowed reminder of a brave band of American citizens who stood up for equality, justice, freedom and the right to vote,” said Quinton T. Ross, ASU President. “I thank the National Park Service for being our partner in this endeavor and the countless people who made this dream a reality.”

The center sits adjacent to the ASU football stadium along a corner block that serves as a gateway into campus. It is across from the homes of civil rights icon Ralph Abernathy and singer Nat King Cole. It serves as the third and final civil rights Interpretive Center along the March trail. The other interpretive centers are in downtown Selma and Lowndes County.

“The Center serves as a reminder of what Dr. King, Congressman John Lewis, F.D. Reese and so manny others did to make equal justice and freedom a reality for all. It also serves as a reminder that we still have further to March before Dr. King’s ideal of a Beloved Community is achieved,” said Ross.

The Grand Opening was set for March 25; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a possibility that the event has been postponed and the center remains closed.

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About the Selma to Montgomery Trail

Alabama’s Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail honors the 54-mile march of white and black non-violent supporters, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail stands as a testament to the sacrifices made in the triumph to preserve the right to vote as the bedrock of American democracy.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Indiana Black Expo (IBE) has canceled its Summer Celebration, which would have marked the event’s 50th anniversary, as well as its Circle City Classic football game, due to the coronavirus pandemic, organization announced on Thursday in a press release.

“Over the last 30 days, IBE’s leadership has been monitoring the impact of COVID-19 across the country and within our city and state. We have abreast of information and data provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and Marion County Health Department (MCHD).

Advancing our mission – being a voice and vehicle for the social and economic advancement of the African-American community over the last 50 years – includes our responsibility to protect the health and safety of those who attend our traditional community engagement programs and events. Under the current pandemic circumstances and with the concurrence of our Board of Directors, we are cancelling all IBE events that invite physical public gatherings in 2020.

More specifically, this will include:

  • Summer Celebration events involving public gatherings in July including the Free Concert, Exhibition Hall, 50th Anniversary Gala and All White Affair; and
  • Circle City Classic events involving public gatherings in late September.

While the current opinions of the health experts are that the virus is expected to peak in Indiana (as well as other states) by early May, followed by an anticipated trend of decreasing pandemic-related hospitalization and deaths, there are other troubling health risk factors that must be considered as well. Despite the encouraging forecasts, we find ourselves no closer to a vaccine, we continue to be challenged by insufficient testing nationwide, and there are still many unknowns about the virus.

Even more alarming is the impact of COVID-19 within the African American population nationwide. We are suffering disproportionately.”

All public events, including free concerts, luncheons, 50th Anniversary Gala, and the Circle City Classic football game, college fair, and parade are cancelled. Business and education conferences will continue virtually.

The Circle City Classic football game which brings a huge gathering is played between two historically black colleges and universities, as well as provides a college fair the day of the game.

Information about refunds for purchased tickets can be found on the Summer Celebration website.

About Indiana Black Expo

IBE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has been a pillar of the African American community for decades. As a year-round, multifaceted community service organization with 12 chapters, IBE works to create and advance opportunities for families in central Indiana. For more information, visit www.indianablackexpo.com.

Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Menafee, a 1894 alumna of Tuskegee University who would go on to found Voorhees College, was inducted posthumously into the South Carolina Hall of Fame in February 2020. She is credited as the first African-American woman to establish an institution of higher learning – and one that remains in operation today.

Manafee was the seventh of 21 children – the daughter of John Wesley Wright and his wife Virginia Rolfe. She enrolled in then-Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute at 16. After receiving her degree in 1894, Menafee took the teaching of Booker T. Washington’s industrial and agricultural model and applied it to helping educate African-American men and women in the area of Hampton County, South Carolina.

After several attempts to establish a school in the area due to arson attacks, Menafee concentrated her efforts in the Denmark, South Carolina, community. With significant funding from churches and community members, Menafee successfully established the Denmark Industrial School in 1897. Now known as Voorhees College, the school’s name was changed in 1902 to honor philanthropists Ralph and Elizabeth Voorhees of New Jersey, who played a major role in the school’s 280-acre expansion.

Menafee received a successful nomination into the South Carolina Hall of Fame because of her efforts to establish the institution and her willingness to provide opportunities for self-advancement through education. The college’s current president, Dr. W. Franklin Evans, was present to accept the award, along with two of Wright’s descendants: Jewel Barrett and her daughter Jewel Delegall.

Today, Voorhees College operates as a four-year, co-educational, career-oriented liberal arts college affiliated with the Episcopal Church and UNCF. The private, historically black college touts an enrollment of around 600 students and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s degrees.

The South Carolina Hall of Fame recognizes and honors both contemporary and past citizens who have made outstanding contributions to South Carolina’s heritage and progress. Each year, the Hall of Fame honors two contemporary and one deceased inductees.

For more information about the South Carolina Hall of Fame, visit www.theofficialschalloffame.com.

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