FAIRFIELD, Ala. – Miles College has recently announced an increased in total enrollment this fall by 4%, the College’s second consecutive enrollment increase since 2019. Miles College simultaneously welcomed 519 new students this semester, a 7% increase from 2020. The incoming class boasted a 3.07 average GPA, one of the highest among all new classes to date.

The College enrolled 126 transfer students for the fall 2021-2022 academic year, an increased of 50% from the 2020 school year. The phenomenal single-year, double-digit percentage enrollment increase culminated in a final fall 2021 enrollment count of 1,501 students at Greater Birmingham’s only four-year historically black college or university (HBCU). This increase brings total enrollment above 1,500 for the first time since 2017.

Additionally, the College deplayed an aggressive campaign to engage students who had their education disrupted for various reasons. In collaboration with Regions Foundation, this campaign resulted in Miles College re-enrolling 132 students returning to Miles College after disruption of at least a year of non-continuous enrollment. A total increase of 132% from 2020.

“This is a true testament to the work that our enrollment management team is doing to have this type of growth and success for the second year in a row,” said Bobbie Knight, Miles College President. “I am extremely proud of the hard work that we are doing at Miles College to ensure that we continue to recruit, retain, and educate our amazing students.”

Miles College has focused on improving its programs and processes to ensure student success. Despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Miles College was very aggressive with its recruiting tactics.

“Guided by our strategic planning efforts, we’re leading the way in Alabama and nationally in our efforts to remove barriers to provide a global, high-quality educational experience for all of our students,” said Michael A. Johnson, Vice President for Enrollment Management. “It’s been an incredibly challenging year, but we’re seeing very positive trends in key areas, from our freshman enrollment growth to our community partnerships, much like the articulation agreement signed with Lawson State Community College last spring and we look forward to continuing to leverage these partnerships to enhance opportunities for our students.”

About Miles College
Miles College, founded in 1898, is a primer 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.

Mr. Hill helping United Way distribute food to be needy.

TALLADEGA, AL – Seddrick Hill Sr. , who previously served as vice president for institutional advancement at Talladega College, is the first African American ever selected to serve as Talladega, Alabama’s city manager. The fact that Mr. Hill was unanimously chosen by Talladega City’s Council for the city’s highest-ranking post, overseeing close to 300 employees, including Talladega fire fighters and police, suggests that a seismic shift may be underway in Dega.

Some people who didn’t necessary envision or desire a city manager who looked like me seem to be excited about the changes I’m trying to bring to the city,” said Hill, who earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration with a minor in criminal justice from Talladega; a master’s in public administration with a concentration in criminal justice from Jacksonville State University; and a certificate in philanthropy and fundraising at the New York University (NYU) George H. Heyman, Jr. Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising.

“One of my chief priorities is to restore a sense of pride in our community,” said Hill. “Everybody didn’t celebrate my appointment, but most people want what’s best for our city. So as they see the changes I’m trying to make, even some of the naysayers have begun to ask me how they can help me make Talladega a better place to live and work.”

These changes including fighting crime by adding LED lighting to brighten dangerous areas; installing ShotSpotters to alert police when a gun is fired; establishing a partnership with Crime Stoppers; increasing police training; and getting more officers into the community and engaging with young people in order to build trust and better serve Talladegans.

Mr. Hill has also undertaken an epic battle against blight. While the city has an array of impressive resources, including Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega College, the Alabama Institute the for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB), the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Historic Silk Stocking District, Hall of Heroes, CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, Heritage Hall, Historic Ritz Theatre, TOP Trails, Davey Allison Park and the William R. Harvey Museum of Art, which houses the Amistad Murals, many areas are in need of a facelift. A number of neglected homes, some inherited by individuals who reside in other states, have detracted from Talladega’s beauty.

To remedy this program, Hill drives through the community extensively, actively seeking ways to better maintain and improve Talladega. He is working aggressively to strengthen the city’s code enforcement department while also working closely with the Talladega City Council to remove some abandoned homes at no charge to homeowners via development block grants. His strategies including meeting with negligent landlords and insisting that they maintain the properties they own or risk losing their business licenses; encouraging tenants to take pride in their communities via contests and special promotions; securing more workers and new equipment to better maintain outdoor spaces; and more proactively seeking grants to help beautify Talladega.

After surveying Talladega citizens, Hill discovered that over ninety percent felt there were not enough free or affordable activities for children and families. To remedy this program, he recently hosted Talladega’s first-ever Community and Employee Appreciation Day. Highlights included a picnic, pedal boats, golf, fishing, waterslides and swimming at Shocco Springs, a large conference center in Talladega. The free outdoor event was attended by hundreds.

While Hill is a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he is thoroughly at home in Talladega. In addition to graduating from and working for Talladega College, he was most recently employed by AIDB, where he was the first African American to serve as the organization’s executive director of institutional advancement and community relations.

“Talladega is blessed to have beautiful outdoor spaces where residents and visitors can socialize, bond and have a great time. After seeing how much everyone enjoyed our first Community and Employee Appreciation Day, I am determined to make this a tradition. It’s good for families and good for the entire community,” Hill stated.

“Living in a safe, clean, attractive community where the grass is mowed, potholes are filled, streets are cleaned, and properties are well-maintain is critical to the mental and physical wellbeing of our residents,” said Hill, who believes that revitalizing the city will help attract more businesses and create greater opportunities for its citizens.

A number of community leaders have expressed excitement about Mr. Hill’s initiatives.

Talladega City School Superintendent Dr. Quentin Lee stated, “Mr. Hill has an eye for discovering the beauty in all things Talladega. In my many conversations with him, he is always thinking towards the future and finding ways to provide more for the citizens of Talladega. Mr. Hill has a heart for the students in Talladega. His commitment to helping children succeed is key in moving our city forward. Mr. Hill is always eager to help assist the students and schools in Talladega. He’s a welcomed change agent in our community. His plans will definitely benefit the next generations to come.”

Dr. John Mascia, president and CEO of Alabama Institute for the Dear and Blind, one of the largest institutions in Talladega, stated, “Mr. Hill is accessible and he is truly interested in getting to know people in this community. He is naturally carious to learn about what other people are thinking and his style of developing events that bring a cross section of the community together is the gift that Seddrick Hill brings to the city of Talladega, Alabama in his role as city manager.”

Talladega College Acting President Dr. Lisa Long stated, “I am so pleased that Mr. Hill has taken this opportunity to build community relationships and partnerships.”

Talladaga Mayor Timothy Ragland added, “Mr. Hill has a record of getting things done and he brings that experience to City Hall. I am excited to work with Mr. Hill on critical initiatives and policies to expand smart growth and development while maintaining the community’s identity.”

Hall of Heroes Museum Curator Jimmy Williams, stated, “My support for Seddrick Hill is based on his passion and vision for Talladega long before he became our City Manager. Even though both of his prior positions, Talladega College and AIDB, were very demanding, he still took time to support anyone trying to make our city a better place. If he tell you he is going to do something, it happens. If he teels you he can’t, he will tell you why. I have every confidence that with support he will make this city a place we will all be proud to call home.”

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Talladega College President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins (left) is presented a plaque in recognition of being named No. 1 among the 10 Most Dominant HBCU Leaders for 2020 by the HBCU Campaign Fund. Demetrius Johnson Jr., Fund president and CEO, made the presentation.

(TALLADEGA, AL) – When the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) named Talladega College President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins No. 1 among the 10 Most Dominant HBCU Leaders for 2020, the Fund’s president and CEO, Demetrius Johnson Jr., planned to hand deliver a commemorative plaque to the honoree.

Due to the pandemic, Johnson postponed his trip to Talladega College for nearly 10 months.

Fortunately, he was recently able to present the prestigious award to Hawkins and tour the college campus. Johnson said the positive changes on campus were among the reasons Hawkins was named the No. 1 Most Dominant HBCU Leader for 2020.

“The top 10 leaders were chosen for their influence and their continuous progress moving their institutions forward,” said Johnson. “Dr. Hawkins was named first on our list become of the way in which he has transformed Talladega College.

“Under his leadership, the college has achieved record-high enrollment for three consecutive years, constructed three new buildings and launched its first-ever graduate program — a Master of Science in computer information systems,” Johnson continued.

Johnson also praised Hawkins for his leadership he has provided for other HBCUs.

Hawkins serves as chair of the 37 presidents of member institutions for the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) board of directors and also serves as UNCF chair of the executive committee of member institutions, vice chair of the corporate board and vice chair of the corporate board executive committee.

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About Talladega College
Talladega College, Alwww.hbcucampaignfund.orgabama’s first private historically black college, is consistently ranked among the best southeastern colleges and top HBCUs in the nation. It was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, Williams Savery and Thomas Tarrent, and is the home of the renowned Hall Woodruff Amistad Murals. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

About HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF)
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) was founded in 2012 and is a nonprofit educational organization that remain as a strong advocate for students and higher education. HCF mission is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, programs, and private and public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

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.

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.

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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