FRANKFORT, KY – Fisk University alumna and accomplished historian Crystal A. deGregory, Ph.D. has been recently announced by Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II as the director of the newly founded Atwood Institute for Race, Education and the Democratic Ideal.

According to a press release by the university, deGregory is the founder and executive editor of HBCUstory, an advocacy initiative supporting the future of the nation’s HBCUs by preserving, presenting, and promoting inspiring stories of their past and present.

During her visit to campus, deGregory acknowledged the importance of “holding aloft the legacy of Rufus Atwood.”

The Institute is named by former Kentucky State President Rufus B. Atwood, who served 33 years and helped to cultivate the school as an accredited land-grant institution.

deGregory says while she is incredibly humbled by the opportunity to join the Kentucky State University family, she is prouder to keep alive the courageous story of Dr. Rufus B. Atwood for future generations.

She also expressed her appreciation to the KSU family; “I sincerely thank each of you for making my campus visit both warm and memorable, and I look forward to hitting the ground running. While tenor of our times is daunting, I remain undaunted by the good and important work ahead.”

deGregory received her Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in history from Vanderbilt University. She also holds a Master of Education from Tennessee State University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Fisk University.

Her research interest include black higher education and college student activism, with a specific focus on historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

deGregory takes the helm as the inaugural director of the Institute Sept. 1.

The Atwood Institute will advance research, dialogue and the exploration of the elements of democracy in solving intractable social problems like poverty, race, and geography. Special research emphasis will be placed on Appalachia, the African Diaspora, and migrant communities.


About Kentucky State University

Kentucky State University, building on its legacy of achievement as a historically black, liberal arts, and 1890 Land Grant University affords access to and prepares a diverse population of traditional and non-traditional students through high-quality undergraduate and select graduate programs. Located in Kentucky, KSU offers associate (two-year) degrees in two disciplines, baccalaureate (four-year) degrees in 24 disciplines, master’s degrees in eight disciplines, and one advanced practice doctorate in nursing. KSU has 129 full-time instructional faculty members and more than 2,000 students.

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