The HBCU Campaign Fund’s (HCF) Founder, President & CEO, Demetrius Johnson Jr., was tapped as Career Services Program Coordinator to the Assistant Dean for Career Services at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s William H. Bowen School of Law. His tenure began on November 28. He will continue his duties as the Founder, President & CEO at the HBCU Campaign Fund, where he has served in the capacity for nine years.

Johnson brings several years of experience to the university’s law school, where a few of his duties will contain coordinating projects for the Career Services Office, managing 12Twenty (Hire Bowen) – posting jobs/internships offered by employers, and working aside the Assistant Dean. Johnson states he is incredibly honored by the opportunity and looks forward to bringing his passionate and student-centered enthusiasm to law school.

“I am both humbled and honored to accept the position of Program Coordinator at the William H. Bowen School of Law of UA-Little Rock. This will be such an exciting opportunity for me as I enter a different aspect of higher education,” said Johnson. “I enjoyed working and serving students; therefore, I am extremely grateful for the Assistant Dean’s trust to serve in such a capacity. I look forward to working with the Assistant Dean as we focus on achieving new challenges and opportunities for the law school and its students. This is a time of growth for me, and I am ready to take on this new challenge.”

Demetrius Johnson Jr., Founder, President & CEO of the HBCU Campaign Fund.

Johnson has nearly six years of being in a higher education setting, most recently serving as a recruiter for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). Prior to, he served as Financial Aid Counselor at Mississippi Valley State University and Admissions Communications Specialist at Lincoln University of Missouri. Since 2015, he has served as the Founder, President & CEO of the HBCU Campaign Fund, an advocacy non-profit educational organization that supports the significance and raises funds for scholarships and services at HBCUs and MSIs.

“I enjoy working and servicing the students with the essentials they need to succeed in their collegiate studies. I strongly believe in customer service and being user-friendly, which is the key to a successful staff-to-student relationship. Also, it plays a huge part in retention,” Johnson added.

Described as a highly visionary and passionate leader at heart, Johnson is a strong advocate for HBCUs. His vision for HCF is to lead the organization forward as an essential tool for supporting students and higher education. His ultimate goal is to ensure that HBCUs remain the relevant institutions that they were created to be, by us.

Johnson has received numerous awards and recognitions since his presidency at HCF. He was named among the 2016 HBCU Top 30, Under 30 by HBCU Buzz. Also, he served on a number of committees and groups.

Johnson earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. In 2016, he was selected to attend a four-week study abroad program at the University of Toulouse-Jean Jaures in Toulouse, France. He is currently working on his Master’s degree.

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Pictured (left to right): Dr. Kimberly Hollingsworth, President of Olive-Harvey College; Z Scott, President of Chicago State University; U.S. Senator Dick Durbin; Dr. Katonja Walker, President of Kennedy-King College; and Dr. Michael Anthony, President of President of Prairie State College.

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) met with the presidents of four Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) in Illinois last week 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.”

U.S. Tammy Duckworth speaking with two out four president from Illinois’ Predominantly Black Institutions.

“Predominantly Black Institutions are places to educate America’s students and so much more,” said Duckworth. “They’re reminders of the resilience of African Americans through years of discrimination in education, and they’re places of community, culture and history. Today’s meeting with leaders from Illinois’s coalition of Predominantly Black Institutions was a great opportunity to discuss my support for eliminating barriers and discrimination in higher education and the federal resources these institutions need in the future.”

PBIs are a distinct designation of Minority-Serving Institutions, and they serve high proportions of Black students, first-generation college students, and students from low-income backgrounds. PBIs account for three percent of postsecondary institutions, but enroll nine percent of Black college students. Illinois has eight PBIs that enroll nearly 200,000 students.

Participating presidents in the meeting include:
1. Z Scott, President of Chicago State University
2. Dr. Michael Anthony, President of Prairie State College
3. Dr. Katonja Walker, President of Kennedy-King College
4. Dr. Kimberly Hollingsworth, President of Olive-Harvey College

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Pictured: Shelton State Community College President Chris Cox and Miles College President Bobbie Knight signed a articulation agreement of partnership to create scholarship opportunities and pathway to earning bachelor’s degree between the two colleges on Wednesday, Nov. 16.

ALABAMA – Shelton State Community College and Miles College have partnered to create scholarship opportunities and a pathway to earning a bachelor’s degree. The institution’s leaders signed a articulation agreement during a ceremony Wednesday, November 16, at 11:00 a.m. at Shelton State Community College’s Martin Campus.

There are four components to the agreement including a collaborative and seamless transfer process, scholarship eligibility, reverse transfer credit, and student services.

“We are proud to partner with Miles College, a fellow HBCU, to increase opportunities for Shelton State students,said Chris Cox, Ph.D., Shelton State Community College President. “This agreement provides access to a world-class institution and helps further our goal of educating Alabama’s future workforce.”


Shelton State students will be considered for admission to Miles College after earning an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science with up to a maximum of 64 semester hours transferring. Additionally, Shelton State students will be required to have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.

The new partnership will provide reciprocal privileges for use of Miles College’s Library Resource Center, College and Career Center, as well as admission to athletic events. There are also opportunities for advising from both Shelton State and Miles College.

“We are extremely please and happy to enter into this agreement. The partnership will provide a solid educational pathway for our next-generation leaders. Miles College students, faculty, and staff eagerly await the arrival of our Golden Bear students,” said Bobbie Knight, J.D., President of Miles College.

About Shelton State Community College
Shelton State Community College, an accredited, two-year institution in the Alabama Community College System, offers over 30 associate degrees in technical and health services programs. Shelton State, located in Tuscaloosa, is one of six Historically Black Community Colleges in Alabama and one of only 12 in the nation. For nearly 70 years, the College has educated students in West Alabama and is an institution where academic skills transfer to workplace skills through progressive partnerships with local industry. SSCC is a member of the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) and competes in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) at the Division I level. The institution holds 29 NJCAA Region XXII Division I titles in men’s and women’s basketball and baseball, 13 National Championships in competitive cheerleading, and seven recognitions as an Academic Team of the Year for softball. For more information about Shelton State, visit www.sheltonstate.edu.

About Miles College
Founded in 1898 Miles College is located in Fairfield, Alabama.  We are a private, liberal arts Historically Black College with roots in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.  The College through dedicated faculty cultivates students to seek knowledge that leads to intellectual and civic empowerment.  Students are transformed through rigorous study, scholarly inquiry, and spiritual awareness, thereby enabling graduates to become responsible citizens who help shape the global society.  Miles College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). For more information about Miles College, visit www.miles.edu.

Pictured: Jackson State University football athletes holding onto the 2021 SWAC Football Championship trophy on December 4th at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. Photo courtesy of HCF Media.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – General admission tickets for the 2022 Cricket SWAC Football Championship Presented by Pepsi went on sale Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 9:00 a.m. CST.

Jackson State University, the defending SWAC Champions and the SWAC’s Eastern Division Champions for the second straight consecutive year, will host the league’s championship game Saturday, Dec. 3 at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium at 3:00 p.m. JSU’s opponent as Western Divisions Champion is still to be determined.

The Cricket SWAC Football Championship Presented by Pepsi coverage is part of HCF’s Annual Football and Recruitment Tour each year. The game is considered as the post coverage game for the tour.

Tickets and parking can be purchased online at gojsutigers.com/tickets and at The Vet Ticket Office from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

General public reserved tickets will go on sale Monday, November 21 at 9:00 a.m. Email jsuticketoffice@jsums.edu or call 601-354-6021 for more information.

Ticket Office Hours:
Nov. 15th – 18th and Nov. 21-22:  9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Nov. 23-25: Closed For Thanksgiving
Nov. 28-Dec. 2: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

About SWAC
The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is considered one of the premier HBCU conferences in the country and currently ranks among the elite in the nation in terms of HBCU alumni playing with professional sports teams.

Current championship competition offered by the league includes competition for men in Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, and Tennis.

Women’s competition is offered in the sports of Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, and Volleyball.
 
Follow the SWAC
For complete coverage of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, please follow the SWAC on social media at @TheSWAC (Twitter), @TheSWAC (Facebook), and @TheSWAC (Instagram) or visit the official home of the Southwestern Athletic Conference at www.swac.org.

ALBANY, GA Albany State University (ASU) has been awarded $2.9 million the 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.”

The program will expand on broadband access and allow ASU to purchase devices, educational software, internet access services, and other IT software and hardware for low-income students. “Broadband access is crucial to so many aspects of our everyday lives. The pandemic highlighted how important it is in order to keep our teachers and students connected, as well as how crucial it is to our economy,” said Congressman Bishop. “Albany State University is an educational cornerstone in Southwest Georgia. It can use this federal grant to improve its broadband infrastructure which will help ASU train the next generation of entrepreneurs and workers as well as serve as an informational hub connecting local officials, our regional industry sectors, and the community organizations that serve our residents.”

“ASU’s global expansion will provide students from Georgia and beyond an enhance Historically Black College and University (HBCU) experience, course credits and fully online degrees and certificates. “Our number one customers are our students, and Albany State plays a leading role as one of the state’s premier public HBCUs in making sure they can access the technology they need to succeed and contribute to Georgia’s workforce,” said Sonny Perdue, University System of Georgia Chancellor. “I’m proud of President Fedrick and her campus for leading this initiative and look forward to seeing them implement it as they continue to build and maintain strong community partnerships.”

The program will serve students from Albany, Georgia, the surrounding community, and the regional economy that are in recovery due to the impacts of COVID-19.

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Tomika LeGrande, who currently serves as Vice President for Strategy, Enrollment and Student Success at Virginia Commonwealth University. The Texas A&M University System’s Board of Regents named her as a sole finalist for President at Prairie View A&M University.

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, TX – The Texas A&M University System’s Board of Regents on Thursday (Nov. 10) named Tomikia P. LeGrande as the sole finalist to become the ninth President of Prairie View A&M University.

According to the University, after a nationwide search, Chancellor John Sharp recommended Dr. LeGrande as sole finalist and the Board approved. Under state law, the Board of Regents name a finalist for at least 21 days before making the appointment at a subsequent meeting.

Dr. LeGrande, who is currently Vice President for Strategy, Enrollment Management and Student Success at Virginia Commonwealth University, would not assume her duties at Prairie View A&M until the end of the 2022-23 school year.

She would succeed Dr. Ruth Simmons, who will become President Emerita and will hold a faculty appointment as University Professor, a position that will allow her to remain a campus figure raising money, expanding the national profile of the university and lecturing to another generation of students.

“Dr. LeGrande will provide great leadership for the Panthers for many years to come,” said Chancellor Sharp. “Her experience and leadership in enrollment management and student success is exactly what PVAMU needs at this juncture to build on the great work Ruth Simmons has provided these past five years. I’m excited by where PVAMU is headed.”

“I want to thank Chancellor Sharp and the Board of Regents for the opportunity to server as President of Prairie View A&M University. PVAMU has a strong legacy of transforming the lives of its students and contributing to the surrounding region and state of Texas, both educationally and economically. I look forward to working with faculty, staff, and community as we honor and build upon the university’s powerful legacy and trajectory,” said LeGrande.

Dr. LeGrande, who has been a Virginia Commonwealth University since 2018, has experience in Texas. She served as an administrator for student affairs and enrollment management at the University of Houston-Downtown from 2012 to 2018. She also received a doctorate in higher education administration from Texas Tech University.

Prior to her duties in Houston, Dr. LeGrande worked at North Carolina A&T State University and Winston-Salem State University.

She received her bachelor’s in chemistry from Savannah State University and a master’s in chemistry from North Carolina A&T State University.

“I am so delighted to learn that the Texas A&M University System’s Board of Regents has named Dr. Tomikia LeGrande as the sole finalist for President at PVAMU. I commend Chancellor Sharp and the Texas A&M University System’s Board of Regents for making such a noble selection,” said HCF Founder, President & CEO Demetrius Johnson, Jr. “Her experience and leadership throughout her years in the profession of higher education is impressive. I am confident she will continue to steel PVAMU for extraordinary greatness, in addition to the legendary Ruth Simmons. We at HCF send her our heartfelt congratulations and wish her the best in her role.”

In May, a 14-member committee was created to conduct a national search to find Dr. Simmons’ successor. The search was led by Bill Mahomes, Vice Chairman of the Board of Regents, and Regent Elaine Mendoza.

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Program will Directly Impact Physician Workforce Diversity in California and Beyond

LOS ANGELES, CA – Earlier this month, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) announced the launch of the University’s first independent 4-year medical degree (MD) 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 west of the Mississippi 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.

Located in the heart of South Los Angeles, the home of more than 1 million residents and no MD programs, CDU is the second-more diverse university nationally in terms of student and faculty diversity. CDU is also one of only four U.S. Historically Black Medical Colleges and is a federally designated Historically Black Graduate Institution. The University is also a charter Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools member as well as a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. Founded in the wake of the Watts Uprising with a vision of creating a world without health disparities, the new MD program is accepting applications for its charter class in July 2023 and will directly impact the diversity of the physician workforce in a time where currently more than half of all practicing physicians in the U.S. are white.

“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.”

CDU President and CEO David M. Carlisle addressing students, staff, faculty, and media during a press conference on campus. (Photo courtesy of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science)

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 initially take place in the College of Medicine’s current facilities on campus and will be relocated to a future state-of-the-art health professions education building on campus which is currently in the planning phase.

“The benefits of having more doctors of color in the mix are abundantly clear and supported by research. Doctors of color are more likely to practice in underserved communities, and patients of color have better health outcomes when attended to by a physician of the same ethnicity,” said Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Dean of CDU’s College of Medicine. “The successful accreditation and opening of this program after so much hard work by CDU staff and faculty is not just an amazing achievement, it’s a medical necessity that addresses the root cause of many inequities in healthcare.”

The CDU MD program will join more than 20 undergraduate degree, graduate degree, and certificate programs currently offered by the University, and will draw from a 40-year history of partnering with UCLA to train future doctors through a joint MD program. The new independent CDU program will be the first Historically Black medical degree program to open anywhere in the U.S. since 1981.

“We are greatly appreciative of the many people beyond our University, including the community, local, state and federal government representatives, partners, and stakeholders, as well as many dedicated professionals within CDU, who have contributed so much and labored so diligently for so long to bring this dream to a reality,” continued President Carlisle. “The Mighty Lion spirit runs deep with the extended CDU Community and this success stands as proof that there is nothing we cannot achieve when we work together towards common goals and the greater good.”

Information about the new program and application instructions to join the July 2023 charter class of the CDU Medical Degree Program can be found at www.cdrewu.edu/cdumd.

About Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) is a private, nonprofit, community-founded, student-centered University committed to cultivating diverse health professions leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations through outstanding education, clinical service, and community engagement. CDU is also a leader in health disparities research with a focus on education, training, and treatment for cancer, diabetes, cardiometabolic, COVID, and HIV/AIDS. CDU was founded in 1966 in the unincorporated town of Willowbrook in the heart of South Los Angeles. CDU offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs including nursing, x-ray technology, medicine, biomedical science, public health, computed tomography, physician assistant, and psychology. For more information, visit www.cdrewu.edu.

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CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) visited Chicago State University (CSU) Wednesday to discuss the $450,000 in federal funding he secured through Congressionally Directed Spending – more commonly known as an earmark – in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Omnibus appropriations bill to purchase science laboratory equipment for their Health Sciences Simulation Lab. This funding will be used to help students learn best practices in pediatric and home health care, as well as support a workforce pipeline of nurses, occupational therapists, and pharmacists.

“As the only four-year Predominately Black Institution in Illinois, CSU is committed to closing the diversity gaps in health care professions,” said Durbin. “That’s why I secured $450,000 to support their efforts to provide a high-quality education for students in the College of Health Sciences. This funding will ensure that the next generation of nurses, occupational therapists, and pharmacists get the very best training. I will continue to advocate for federal funds to diversify our health care profession.”

“Senator Durbin effort to secure this $450,000 federal investment to purchase necessary science laboratory equipment for our University’s state-of-art Health Science Simulation Lab will assist CSU in providing top-level training to our students and supply the diverse leadership needed in the health procession,” said Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University. “Located in the heart of Chicago’s south side, CSU is uniquely positioned to be the center of training for Health Sciences professionals that represent the patients they serve.”

“Senator Durbin has been a champion for Illinois’ only four-year Predominantly Black Institution and HBCUs for quite some time; supporting Black communities throughout Illinois has always been his top priority, and I admire his leadership. HCF applauds Senator Durbin for securing this $450,000 federal investment that will enhance and diversify the healthcare profession for the next generation of healthcare professionals,” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., Founder, President & CEO of the HBCU Campaign Fund. “Institutions such as Chicago State are persistently committed to providing the necessaries to health care professionals that is so importantly needed. I always praise President Scott for her extraordinary leadership and all she does to enhance the students’ needs at CSU.”

There is a shortage of diverse professionals in health care. Despite comprising 14 percent of the population, only five percent of physicians are Black, and there are fewer Black men entering medical school today than the 1970s. When health care professionals reflect the diversity of the populations they serve, there is increased patient trust, improved communication, and reduced health disparities. As the only four-year Predominately Black Institution (PBI) in Illinois, CSU is well positioned to train a diverse pipeline of medical professionals to pursue nursing, medical school, or other medical professions. CSU has a high proportion of students who came from medically underserved communities and return to their communities after graduation.

About Chicago State University
Chicago State University (CSU) founded in 1867, is the oldest public university in the Chicago Metropolitan area. CSU is committed ti equity in education, serving as the only U.S. Department of Education-designated four-year Predominantly Black Institution in Illinois and ranked by Harvard economist in the top 4% of public and private universities nationwide in supporting our graduates’ economic mobility. The University serves as a prominent civic space on the greater South Side of Chicago by hosting multitude of athletic, educational, cultural, and recreational activities. For more information, visit www.csu.edu.

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Ronald E. McNair

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Dillard University is among a number of institutions that recently received the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The $1.3 million award is part of a five-year grant designed to provide support services and to encourage eligible undergraduate students to pursue graduate education leading to doctoral degrees, according to the University.

The grant coincides with Dillard’s mission as well as other efforts to increase the number of Dillard graduates entering graduate studies. The grant, which will be directed by Tracie Thomas, pre-health advisor, will function as a program within the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and will report directly to the interim associate provost, Eric Buckles. The program went into effect October 1 and will run through September 2027.

According to Theodore Callier, interim president of institutional advancement, Dillard’s application was highly competitive and one of the few relatively new programs awarded in this year’s competition.

“I am beyond grateful that Dillard was awarded the TRIO Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program grant. We will be able to continue to equip our students as research scholars with the necessary resources to excel in graduate school and beyond,” said Thomas.

Program staff will provide graduate school planning and awareness activities, access to research and scholarly activity, specialized advising, mentoring and other wrap-around services to better prepare and equip students to success in graduate school.

After earning a Ph.D. in physics, Ronald E. McNair was selected out of 10,000 applications to train NASA. McNair would later become the second African American to go into space in 1984. The $60 million Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program is one of the Department of Education’s federally funded TRIO programs.

About Dillard University
Dillard University is a historically Black institution that cultivates leaders who live ethically, think and communicate precisely, and act courageously to make the world a better place. Located in New Orleans, Dillard is a private faith-based liberal arts university that offers 22 majors and two certificate programs. Ranked 5th on 2021 The New York Times Overall Mobility Index and 14th in 2022 by Academic Influence for Best Colleges and Universities by Academic Stewardship, Dillard’s call to future leaders is to Write Your Legacy. Learn more about Louisiana’s oldest HBCU by visiting www.dillard.edu.

Dr. Cynthia Warrick, Stillman College’s first female president announce that she will retire from the presidency at the end of her contact term on June 30, 2023, during a news conference held on campus.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – 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 contact term on June 30, 2023, according to the College.

Warrick announced her retirement at a news conference held on campus on Thursday, September 8. 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. Since 2017, Stillman has added multiple programs to reshape its liberal arts profile and reflect growing trends in the workforce in the State of Alabama, such as business concentrations in data analytics, supply chain management, and cybersecurity, as well as new offerings in film and music industry. Since 2019, Stillman has been recognized each year as a “College of Distinction.”

In 2020, Warrick was named amongst the Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders by the HBCU Campaign Fund, recognizing her for her work in the space of higher education, contributions, and achievements at Stillman College.

“I am lost for words but in tears of joy right now. What a remarkable leader that Stillman College was blessed with, Dr. Cynthia Warrick is more than incredible. I admire and applaud her for an exceptional job well done,” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., HCF Founder, President & CEO. “Our organization was honored to recognize her work in higher education as a dominant leader in 2020. I have been following Dr. Warrick since her tenure as interim president at Grambling State University when HCF was smaller in name. It will be rough initially to not tie Stillman to Dr. Warrick as current president; furthermore, I am so proud of her; we congratulate and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”

Warrick has been a steadying presence and relentless force in critical areas for the college. Upon her arrival to campus, she was tasked with stabilizing the institution’s finances and academic standing, as well as enhancing its donor relationships. Her impact would be felt immediately – student enrollment increased 27% from Fall 2016 to Fall 2019, and the college had its largest incoming freshman class (231) since 2014. In 2020, Stillman’s SACSCOC accreditation was reaffirmed for another 10 years without any recommendations or further action.

Additionally, Warrick worked tirelessly to address the college’s debt, rallying presidents at more than 40 institutions with HBCU Capital Finance loans to work with policymakers and Congressional leadership, first for deferment, and in 2020, loan forgiveness, an effort that would result in Stillman eliminating $40 million from its book, making the college debt free.

Stillman’s business, government, and academic partnerships have also grown under Warrick’s leadership. During the past five year, Stillman grew grant funding and sponsored programs to more than $12.8 million dollars through the recruitment of research faculty and the development of MOUs with major research universities and community colleges, including the expansion of graduate school pathways with the existing 50-year partnership with the University of Alabama. Warrick also established summer research opportunities in biomedical sciences with Drexel University, the Salk Institute, and LaJolla Research Institute in Immunology. And, for the first time in its history, Stillman receives an annual appropriation from the State of Alabama Education Trust Fund.

Dr. Cynthia Warrick, the first female president of Stillman College, who begun her tenure in 2017. Warrick announced that she will be retiring at the end of the academic year on June 30, 2023.

“Dr. Warrick has been a significant part of the existence of Stillman College – her contributions are immeasurable,” said Donald Comer, Sillman College Board of Trustees Chair. “The college has gone through some very rocky times, and she has been the anchor that has kept us on track. She has raised the brand of the institution and enhanced the college’s reputation.”

Stillman’s enchanced brand reputation is buoyed by a significant overhaul of its website, logs, watermarks, and digital footprint. Warrick has also strengthen Stillman’s historical connection to the Presbyterian Church USA and the West End Tuscaloosa community. She served on the board of UNCF, Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities, the Tuscaloosa Rotary Club & Foundation, the Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Agency, the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, the Girls Scouts of North Central Alabama, and the United Way of West Alabama, among others.

“I marvel at what we’ve been able to accomplish in a short period of time with 70% of our students from Alabama,” said Warrick. “When I learned about Stillman graduates earned 36 doctorates between 2010 and 2020, making us number two for HBCU undergraduate institutions producing PhDs in the State of Alabama, it proves the value of the small HBCU contributing to the knowledge-based economy that is required today.”

Stillman’s Board of Trustees has initiated a national search for Warrick’s successor. The plans are to name a replacement for Warrick by the time she retires.

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