The memories and accomplishments in higher education for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions have been extraordinary in 2022 for many institutions and their leaders, including us at HCF.

Here are some of the most memorable from the year

HCF Announced The National Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2022

HCF released its annual The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders Award & Class. The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders Award & Class is a national recognition ranking that was created by HCF, a nonprofit that advocates for HBCUs and MSIs.

The dynamics of higher education in America today are driving the demand for a new set of skills and capabilities for tomorrow leaders. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) provide a high-quality education to low-income, first-generation, and academically underprepared students. Also, these institutions as such serve a diverse population while maintaining the role as the backbone of higher education and well underrepresented for more than a 150-year history.

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

Four HBCUs Named Grant Recipients of the GETTY Images Photo Archive Grants For HBCUs

Getty Images announced its new Getty Images Photo Archives Grants for HBCUs that was created to honor the legacy and history of HBCUs and their contributions to American history. The partnership with the Getty Family and Stand Together, a philanthropic community tackling some of the biggest challenges of our time, the Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs Program commit $500,000 towards the digitization of HBCU photographic archives.

HBCU Grant Recipients were Claflin University, North Carolina Central University, Jackson State University, and Prairie View A&M University.

HCF Most Dominant HBCU Leader Honoree, Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Announced Retirement

Photo: Jon C. Lakey / Salisbury Post

Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., announced to the Board of Trustees that he will retire from his role on July 1, 2022, after 16 years of service.

Jenkins was appointed to lead the historically black college in February 2006. He is the second longest tenured president in the history of the school.

During his tenure, Livingstone has undergone significant progress. At his hiring, Jenkins challenged the Board of Trustees to use his experience to change the college approach to educating students often troubled by socio-economic difficulties, thus creating the Holistic College model. He is credited with saving the college from closure from it accrediting agency.

Jenkins was named one of the ‘Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2021’ by the HBCU Campaign Fund, citing the past accomplishments as president of Edward Waters College (now university), vice chancellor and chancellor of Elizabeth City State University, and at Livingstone College.

HCF Applaud Illinois Governor JB Pritzker for Proposing Significant Investment for Students and Higher Education Institutions, including Chicago State University


HCF applaud Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s fiscal year 2023 budget proposal that outlined significant investment in Illinois’ higher education institutions and students. Illinois four-year universities, including Chicago State University, Illinois’ only designated Predominantly Black Institution, is subject to receive a 5% increase in funding for fiscal year 2023 relative to the current year budget. The proposal would also add an additional $1.8 million to CSU’s appropriation for the current fiscal year 2022.

“I would like to express sincere gratitude to Governor Pritzker for his continuous attentiveness of how much a crucial impact and value that higher education has on the state of Illinois and its economy,” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., Founder, President & CEO of HBCU Campaign Fund“Chicago State University is a necessary jewel to the Black community of Chicago, and we must not neglect how much economic support and return of investment CSU nourished for its students and the state of Illinois. CSU continues to focus on providing equitable education and workforce development that allows CSU to supply to underserving and low-income students. I dearly commend President Zaldwaynaka Scott on her outstanding leadership, and we thank the Governor for his continued investment in a brighter future for the students in Illinois.”

Last year, CSU released its inaugural Economic Impact Study, conducted by economists, that demonstrated that the institution is a driving force in the Illinois economy by adding $1.6 billion in income to the Illinois economy, supporting 17,525 jobs, and providing a strong return on investment for students and Illinois taxpayers.

ComEd Appoints Chicago State University President Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott to its Board of Directors

ComEd appointed Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, president of Chicago State University, to its board of independent directors. As president of Chicago State, Scott has overseen the development and advancement of its strategic plan for 2020 to 2025 to ensure the institution leads with the mission of transforming students’ lives through innovation and excellence in ethical leadership.

“Z and Smita are distinguished business and civic leaders from our community and have proven track records of innovation and leadership experience. We are pleased to welcome them to the ComEd board,” said Gil Quiniones, ComEd CEO“Their respective expertise, combined with their shared passion for closing the opportunity gap for women and minorities, will serve the company well as we continue to work to create an equitable clean energy future for all communities.”

St. Philip’s College Named 2022 Most Promising Places to Work

The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education recognized St. Philip’s College as one of the 2022 Most Promising Places to work in Community Colleges. This is the second time the college has won the award.

The annual award recognizes community and technical colleges committed to diversity through best-in-class student and staff recruitment and retention practices, inclusive learning and working environments, and meaningful community service and engagement opportunities. The national study employs a web-based survey approach to obtain information from NISOD member institutions.

“Collectively, we come to work with an attitude of being a ‘difference maker’ in the lives of our students,” said Dr. Adena Williams Loston, St. Philip’s College President“These past 18 months gave us an opportunity to demonstrate how much we valued our workforce and their resiliency. This demonstration of caring for our employees caused us to launch our ‘We Care’ campaign. I believe this has contributed greatly to garnering us this recognition.”

Globally Recognized Public Health Leader Helene Gayle Selected as Spelman College’s 11th President

The Spelman College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to appoint Helene Gayle, MD as its 11th President, who began in the role on July 1, 2022. Dr. Gayle previously served as president and CEO of the Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations.

As Spelman’s 11th president, Dr. Gayle assumed the presidency at a time when the college is thriving. Spelman was named U.S. News and World Report’s #1 Historically Black College or University for 15 years in a row in 2022, the National Science Foundation’s #1 baccalaureate institution of Black or African American science engineering doctorate recipients and is a top producer of Fulbright Scholars.

I am so proud to learn of the appointment of Dr. Helene Gayle as the 11th president of Spelman College. The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) welcomes you to leadership with open arms, and we are confident with the wealth of experience you have that you will lead Spelman with great courage,” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., HCF’s Founder, President & CEO.

Photo: Bluefield State University

Bluefield State College Receives Approval for University Status

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s board voted unanimously to approve BSC’s request, which was also approved by the BSC Board of Governors.

Bluefield State College was approved for university status. The college is the last four-year public college in West Virginia to earn the title, joining its fellow HBCU, West Virginia State University.

In December, the commission allowed Bluefield State to start offering master’s in business administration or MBA degrees, BSC’s first graduate degree program in the college’s history.

HCF Announced its 2022 Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour Events

The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), a non-profit, advocacy and educational organization announces the return of its Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour for its sixth year in 2022. Organization representatives will hit the road this fall once again in support of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) football classics. The tour will be joined by the Division of College Relations and Scholarships on specific dates to assist with recruiting students to HBCUs. The Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour is the organization’s most significant initiative program.

In 2021, the tour made stops at the BCFHOF Football Classic in Canton, OH; Circle City Classic and College Fair in Indianapolis, IN; Alabama State University’s homecoming game; Magic City Classic in Birmingham, AL; Bayou Classic in New Orleans, LA; and the SWAC Football Championship game. The organization looks to return to its previously annual appearances at the Southern Heritage Classic and College and Career Fair, and the Chicago Football Classic. It also looks to add to the roster the John Merritt ClassicFountain City ClassicSt. Louis HBCU Classic, and Turkey Day Classic. The Division of College Relations and Scholarships joins the tour for the CFC, SHC, and CCC college fairs to provide to students with imperative information about attending college and the HBCU experience/campus life.

“This will be year two since the pandemic had to put us on shutdown, and the football year were cancelled in 2020. As always, Our media team is so excited to return to the field sidelines to cover and highlight HBCU football as well as our college fair representatives, but what’s more enjoying is meeting people of our HBCU family,” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., Founder, President & CEO at HBCU Campaign Fund. “It is such a reminiscing moment to look forward to planning season and put our outreach efforts in motion to tell the story of our nation’s HBCUs and MSIs. I believe this initiative is our happy space, and we look forward to it every year.”

Four Historically Black Colleges and Universities Welcomed New Presidents to the Helm

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) welcomed their selected individuals to the role of president or chancellor to their campuses to begin their tenures.

Spelman College, Dillard University, Southern University, and Hampton University.

Jackson State’s Margaret Walker Center Receives A $650,000 Grant from the Mellon Foundation

Jackson State University’s Margaret Walker Center was awarded a $650,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to help expand its capacity, enterprise and programming and that of the COFO Civil Right Education Center.

The Foundation’s generosity has aided the MWC with producing an array of projects and collaborations, including the development and digitization of oral history collections, giving future generations access to information about distinct communities and cultures. The MWC has been able to forge new partnerships with groups such as the LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi and the Invisible Histories Project, expand the Gibbs-Green 50th Commemoration Oral History Collection, and establish the Visiting Scholar and Graduate Assistant program. Soon, the COFO Center will boast its own oral history booth for recording interviews.

“We are so excited that the Mellon Foundation has renewed its support of the Margaret Walker Center for another three years through the Higher Learning program. This funding has already been transformational for our work and promises an even brighter future for the Center and Jackson State,” said Robert Luckett, Ph.D., director of the Margaret Walker Center and professor of history.

Drake State Community & Technical College and Western Governors University (WGU) Announced Partnership Agreement

Drake State Community & Technical College announced a partnership with nonprofit, online Western Governors University (WGU), allowing Drake State students and employees to pursue four-year and graduate degrees in high-demand sectors critical to the Huntsville area and Alabama employers.

WGU will provide Drake State graduates and employees with flexible, personalized learning pathways to undergraduate and graduate programs in high-demand areas such as cybersecurity, nursing, education and business. Drake students will also be eligible to apply for a new Drake State Graduate Scholarship to aid in their WGU studies. WGU’s online programs are mentor-supported and designed to fit into busy work and home schedules, assisting in the goal of building a future-ready workforce.

“Partnering with WGU will create an exciting new pathway to four-year and graduate degrees for Drake State students and alumni in high-demand careers in the Huntsville area,” said Dr. Patricia G. Sims, Drake State President“This collaboration will provide more Drake State students and alumni, like Drake-WGU alumnus Max Tunstall, with a new educational pathway to further advance their careers and increase earnings, security, and opportunity for their families. We are grateful for this new opportunity for Drake’s students and Huntsville area employees and employers.”

Stillman College’s First Female President Dr. Cynthia Warrick to retire in June 2023

The first woman to hold the president position at Stillman College, Dr. Cynthia Warrick, will retire from the presidency at the end of her current term on June, 30, 2023.

Warrick announced her retirement at a news conference held on campus on Thursday, September 8, 2022. Warrick said her time at Stillman has been incredibly rewarding and she’s excited for the future of the college.

“Stillman is a space place and Tuscaloosa is a great college town. I will cherish the outpouring of support from the local community, the state, and the alumni that has contributed to the success that we have achieved during my tenure,” said Warrick“Stillman is now at a place where a new president can build on the solid foundation of teaching, research, and community service that we have established in the past five years.”

Warrick was named the seventh president of Stillman College in April 2017 after four months as interim president. Her tenure at Stillman has seen the college grow, diversify its course offerings, and enhance its academic reputation nationally.

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science to open first and only Historically Black Medical Degree Program

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science announced the launch of the University’s first independent 4-year medical degree program after receiving notice of preliminary accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LMCE). The new program will be the first and only such program offered through a Historically Black Institution and represents the culmination of a dream held by CDU’s founders, the surrounding community, and all the University’s subsequent leaders since it opened its doors in 1966.

The new program will be offered through CDU’s College of Medicine, which along with the College of Science and Health and the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing, make up the University’s three colleges. Instruction will take place in the College of Medicine’s current facilities on campus and will relocate to a future state-of-the art health professions education building on campus which is currently in the planning phase.

“This is a historic moment for CDU and our community, a moment when we make a significant stride towards our mission of cultivating diverse health professional leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations,” said David M. Carlisle, CDU President and CEO in an address to students, staff, faculty, and media during a press conference on campus“Our community and in fact the entire western United States, has for too long been deprived of an MD program built from the ground up with diversity, equity, and inclusion fused into its very bones. No more. It is a great honor and achievement to announce to you that CDU will finally remedy this once and for all.”

$2.9 Million Awarded to Albany State University for Connecting Minority Communities Program in Broadband Expansion

Albany State University received a $2.9 million Connecting Minority Communities Program federal grant from the United States Department of Commerce.

The Connecting Minority Communities Program will plan, develop, and expand the institution’s reach to online and distance learning globally. With a focus on broadband expansions, the program will enhance the educational instruction and learning opportunities offered at ASU.

“We are honored to be awarded the grant for the Connecting Minority Communities Program. This grant will address the growing demand of support needed for broadband connectivity in the Albany community while establishing a foundation for future distance learning at Albany State University,” said Marion Ross Fedrick, President of Albany State University. “This program aligns with our strategic plan that addresses opportunities for community partnership, ensures student access and success and creates the environment where both the community and our students can thrive.”

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth meet leaders of four Illinois’ Predominantly Black Institutions

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth met with the presidents of four Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) in Illinois in November to discuss federal support for PBI colleges and students. During their meeting, the Senators spoke with the college presidents about ensuring that PBIs receive adequate federal funding, which would help PBIs address capacity buildings, enrollment declines, and student success outcomes.

“Illinois is home to many colleges and universities, including eight Predominantly Black Institutions, that offer a high-quality education and financial support to students,” said Durbin. “I enjoyed meeting with college presidents to discuss how the federal government can continue to work alongside PBIs to provide the best education possible to Illinoisans by removing obstacles to learning for students.”

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