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

I am Black history. I am Black excellence. I am Charlie Nelms, who is an educator and administrator. I served as the tenth chancellor of North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina.

ured: Dr. Charlie Nelms and Dr. Lawrence A. Davis Jr., (Former chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff) at UAPB Chancellor’s Spring Convocation 2010. Credits: Chandra Walker

I was born in Crawfordsville, Arkansas in 1946, and I enrolled at Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff) on academic probation with an ACT of 4, where I graduated with bachelor’s in agronomy and chemistry in 1969. I earned a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs and a doctorate in higher education administration from Indiana University. I served as chancellor of Indiana University East from 1987 to 1994 and chancellor of University of Michigan-Flint from 1994 to 2001, during which I resolved a significant campus budget deficit and reversed a four-year enrollment decline. I then returned to Indiana University system as vice president for Institutional Development and Student Affairs. Since taking the helm at NCCU, I improve retention and graduation rates, I reorganized the University College to provide intensive academic support and skills training for underprepared freshman and sophomores. Two years into my chancellorship, U.S. News & World Report ranked NCCU as the top public historically black college and university in the nation. During the 2009-10 academic year, NCCU observed its centennial. The physical appearance of the campus has been transformed into redesigned green spaces and a dramatic overhaul of the Fayetteville Street corridor. A new nursing building and residence hall were under construction; a much-needed parking deck opened in August 2010.

In 2011, I published “A Call to Action”, a policy directive intended to spur a national dialogue concerning the revitalization of the historically black colleges and universities as an important sector of American higher education.

On July 26, 2012, after completing a five-year commitment to serve NCCU, I announced my retirement, effective August 6, 2012.

I am currently a contributing writer for The Huffington Post on educational issues and has founded Destination Graduation, a non-profit organization focused on increasing retention and graduation rates at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).


Join HBCU Campaign Fund for Black History Month “I Am’s,” exhibiting the outstanding achievements of well-known Black individuals who has contributed to the Black community and beyond.

If you would like to contribute an “I Am” of your all-time favorite Black pioneer to be feature, you may e-mail your “I Am” to




The Kwesi Ronald Harris Division of Historical Records presents its 107 Days of HBCU History initiative that commemorates the founders and values of why historically black colleges and universities are relevant and very vital to the African-American community through its founding missions. The campaign will last for approximately 107 days until each HBCU history is exhibited. The campaign will also feature spotlight on notable alums and other historical facts that is found interesting and important to know and reflect on. The short history bio’s will be shared through the Div. of Historical Records social media handles and website at

You can join in on the moment by submitting your favorite pictures or fact about your alma mater or favorite institution by using the official hashtag: #HCF107DaysofHBCUHistory

Day 1 – Lincoln University of Missouri

Lincoln Institute

Founded and contributed by members of the 62nd and 65th Colored Infantry, on January 14, 1866, Lincoln Institute was formally established under an organization committee. By June of the same year, it incorporated and the committee became a Board of Trustees. Richard Baxter Foster, a former first lieutenant in the 62nd Infantry, was named first principal of Lincoln Institute. On September 17, 1866, the school opened its doors to the first class in an old frame building Jefferson City.

In 1870, the school began to receive aid from the state of Missouri for teacher training. In 1871, Lincoln Institute moved to the present campus. College-level work was added to the curriculum in 1877, and passage of the Normal School Law permitted Lincoln graduates to teach for life in Missouri without further examination. Lincoln Institute formally became a state institution in 1879 with the deeding of the property to the state under the Second Morrill Act of 1890, Lincoln became a land-grant institution, and the following year industrial and agricultural courses were added to the curriculum.

The 62nd and 65th Colored Infantry Soldier Memorial on the campus of Lincoln University of Missouri.

In 1921, the Missouri Legislature passed a bill introduced by Walthall M. Moore, the first black American to serve in that body, which changed the name from Lincoln Institute to Lincoln University and create a Board of Curators to govern the university. The North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools accredited the high school division in 1925, the teacher-training program in 1926, and the four-year college of arts and sciences in 1934.

Graduate instruction was begun in the summer session of 1940, with majors in education, and history and minors in English, history, and sociology. A school of Journalism was established in February 1942.

Members of the 62nd Colored Infantry contributed $5,000; and the supplemented by approximately $1,400, given by the 65th Colored Infantry. Today, Lincoln University serves a diverse clientele, both residential and non-residential, engages in a variety of research projects, and offers numerous public service programs in addition to providing an array of academic programs.

For more information about Lincoln University of Missouri, visit

The Rosenwald Building still stands on the Prentiss Institute campus as of 2016. [ Photo courtesy of ]
Prentiss Normal and Industrial Institute, one of the oldest educational institutions for African-American in the state of Mississippi. Established in 1907 in Jefferson Davis County by Jonas Edward “J.E.” Johnson (1873-1953) a graduate of Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College, and his wife Bertha LaBranche Johnson (1882-1971) a graduate of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. Professor J.E. Johnson and his wife borrowed funds to purchase 40-arce site where the school originated, and started the school in a log cabin which served a dual purpose by providing living quarters for the Johnson family and classrooms for the school.

The mission of Prentiss Institute was to provide educational opportunities which would enable its students to develop spiritually, mentally and physically so that they would become productive and responsible citizens who would render effective services to the community.

When Prentiss Institute originally opened in 1907, the school only offered elementary classes but soon the curriculum expanded once Prentiss Institute was licensed by the state of Mississippi as a private high school in 1909 and as a private junior college in 1931. The high school and junior college experienced rapid growth with a peak enrollment of more than 700 students and 44 faculty members. The campus grew from the original 40-acres to 500-acres to include farmland, a pasture and forest and the physical plant grew from one building to 24 buildings to accommodate increased student enrollment.

In 1912, the U.S. Department of Agriculture placed the first local county agent at Prentiss Institute to perform demonstrations and render service to the county. This enhanced the agriculture program at the institution, and aided in expanding the vocational curriculum.

Prentiss Institute is known for the Heifer Project, Inc. which begun in 1955, though it had been an international project for years, it had not functioned in the United States prior to its establishment on the campus. The project provided a means to improve the school’s farm, by constructing and operating a diary. Through this program, the student body received an abundance of beef and pasteurized milk at a low-cost.

In 1968, a new Building Program was launched attributed to the income generated through tuition and alumni donations which helped Prentiss Institute Junior College to grown its physical plant and academic programs. The Ruby E. Sims Lyells Library was erected in 1968, Ransom Olds Hall was built-in 1969, and the William “Bill” Crosby Cafeteria was completed in 1972.

The Institute was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation that provided for a Science Laboratory, a lecture hall and a Media Center in 1974. It was also in the 1970’s that Prentiss Institute entered into cooperative education programs to enhance the skills of vocational students, and built the Physical Education Complex. During this time the college received a grant from the state of Mississippi to conduct a child development program.

As funding and student enrollment dropped. Prentiss Institute was forced to close its doors in 1989. For many years the campus sat deserted and the buildings abandoned until the Prentiss Institute Board of Trustees, under the leadership of Ms. Rosie Hooker, began a restoration project that included many of the buildings on campus. Today the early school location is a museum recognized as the “1907 Building” and the Little Theatre, Science Building and Library are again being utilized by the community.

The Rosenwald School Building was reopened with a grand celebration in February 2013. Today the Rosenwald Building at Prentiss Institute is a popular event venue for a multitude of special events. It is recognized as a historic landmark by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

CHICAGO, IL – Cordell Reed, an executive with ComEd and a longtime mechanical engineer, died on December 4, 2017, at the age of 79 after a long illness, said his wife of 27-years Bernice Reed according to Chicago State University.

Born on March 26, 1938, in Chicago, Illinois Reed grew up in a south side housing project and moved on to a remarkable career in Chicago’s corporate and civic communities.

He earned a Bachelor’s of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1960; Reed became the third African-American with that degree from UIUC. He went to work for Illinois electric Commonwealth Edison (ComEd). He worked his way up through the ranks and became an executive in 1975, acting as the public spokesman for nuclear power as well as a department manager. Reed was promoted to senior vice president, serving in three separate departments. In 1994, he became ComEd’s ethics officer and the chief diversity officer in addition to maintaining responsibility for purchasing materials for the corporation’s ten fossil-fired energy-generating plants. Reed represented ComEd in a 1995 trade mission to South Africa before retiring in 1997.

A big supporter of higher education the Student Union Building at Chicago State University was renamed after Reed in 2001.

The Student Union Building at Chicago State University was renamed after the late Cordell Reed in 2001.

In 1988 the Black Engineer of the Year Awards honored Reed with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and later on, in 1993 the American Nuclear Society recognized him with a Tommy Thompson Award.

He has also been active in corporate America, serving on the board of directors for LaSalle Bank, the Walgreen Company, Underwriters Laboratories and Washington Group International. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi, the National Technical Association and the Urban Financial Service Association as well as a fellow of the American Nuclear Society.

Reed leaves behind his wife Bernice and five adult children: Derrick, Brian, Steven, Michael, and Barry.

PINE BLUFF, ARK – A University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) alumna writes book on the founder of who it all began with.

Having operated now for more than 140 years, UAPB was founded in 1875 as Branch Normal College by Joseph Carter Corbin, a native of Ohio and son of former slaves.

Corbin, who had a classical education, was the first African American Superintendent of Public Education in Arkansas and literally built the school from the ground up, according to a new book – Joseph Carter Corbin: Educator Extraordinaire and Founder of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff by Gladys Turner Finney – just published by Butler Center Books.

There was a desperate need for teachers in Arkansas, Finney writes, and a great desire for education by former slaves who had been prohibited from learning to read and write.

Corbin himself cleared the land that would soon house the college and then set about to create a school that would produce the first African American teachers following the Reconstruction years. For almost three decades, he worked tirelessly on behalf of Arkasnas’s black community to meet the need for educators.

In the early days, Corbin worked both as the president and janitor so that he could control costs and keep the school going. He often waived “matriculation fees” and other expenses to allow impoverished students the opportunity to graduate and become qualified to teach throughout Arkansas.

Although he might not have realized it at the time, Corbin was a member of the so-called “aristocrats of color,” the African American elite of national prominence and a group that included such luminaries as Booker T. Washington (although Corbin and Washington had different philosophies about education). Corbin was a true giant in the history of education in Arkansas. His story, told by a former UAPB student, is monumental for the scope of what one man was able to accomplish.

Joseph Carter Corbin is available at River Market Books & Gifts on the Main Library campus of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) in Little Rock and other bookstores; from online retailers; through the Chicago Distribution Center at (800) 621-2736; and at

Butler Center Books is the publishing division of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. To see a complete list of Butler Center Books, visit

Gladys Turner Finney was born in Tamo (in Jefferson County, Arkansas), and was a member of the last graduating class of J.C. Corbin High School in Pine Bluff. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from the Atlanta University School of Social Work. Her distinguished career as a clinician, teacher, and administrator in the field of social work spanned nearly four decades. In 2012, Finney’s undergraduate alma mater, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, conferred on her the Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree for her long commitment to social work and for her efforts in empowering other through advocacy and philanthropy. She currently resides in Dayton, Ohio.


LOUISVILLE, KY – Do you know about the 107th HBCU Simmons College of Kentucky? Have you even heard about it? Simmons College of KY was designated as the 107th Historically Black College and University (HBCU) on April 13, 2016. Simmons College joins Kentucky State University as the second HBCU in Kentucky.

Simmons history dates back to 1879, when it was established by members of black baptist churches in Kentucky who organized a state convention of Colored Baptist Churches. In November of 1879, trustees of the convention of Colored Baptist Church purchased 4 acres of land on the corner of 7th & Kentucky Street in Louisville that immediately served as the campus for the Kentucky Normal and Theological Institute.

Dr. William Simmons became the second President in 1880 and led the Institute through a period of rapid growth in enrollment and facilities.

Simmons College of Kentucky’s 13th President Dr. Kevin W. Cosby and students.

Dr. Simmons’ tenure ended in 1990, he set the foundation for continued growth which included a dramatic expansion of the liberal arts program. It was proudly proclaimed by State University that most of Kentucky’s African American attorneys, physicians, teachers and degreed ministers were former students.

In 2005, Dr. Kevin W. Cosby who is the senior pastor at St. Stephen Church became the 13th president and subsequently changed the name of the school to Simmons College of Kentucky whose once name(s) were: Simmons University, State University, Louisville Municipal College, and Simmons Bible College.

The name change to Simmons College of Kentucky was to reflect on the school’s mission to prepare Christians for ministry, while reinstating its initial mission of general education. In 1930, The Great Depression came across the campus and forced the institution to sell its property due to foreclosure on the mortgage. But in 2006, the institution was fortunate to buy its original campus and move back. In March 2015, the institution received its accreditation.

Today, Simmons College is history in the making as the “Comeback HBCU”. This year, the graduating Class of 2017 will be the first graduates of non-religious degrees to graduate from Simmons College since the 1920s.

Watch this video to listen to the success of some of Simmons College Liberal Arts graduates below.


For more information regarding Simmons College of Kentucky. You can contact the Office of Admissions at 502.776.1443 ext. 126 or visit Go Simmons Nation!


Connect with Simmons College of Kentucky on social media:

Instagram: @scky_1879

Twitter: @scky_1879

Facebook: Simmons College of Kentucky

Payton1.jpgAfter serving the mission of Tuskegee University for almost 30 years as president, Dr. Benjamin Payton passed away on the morning of Wednesday, September 28, 2016.

Dr. Payton was one of nine children born to Reverend Leroy R. and Sarah Payton in Orangeburg, South Carolina. His father was a rural Baptist minister as well as a farmer and teacher. Following his father’s example, Payton attended South Carolina State University where he earned his B.A. in sociology with honors in 1955. In 1958 he received his B.D. in philosophical theology from Harvard University, and was Danforth graduate fellow from 1955 to 1963. In November of the following year he married Thelma Louise Payton of Evanston, Illinois. He continued his education, by earning an M.A. in philosophy from Columbia University in 1960, and in 1963, he received his Ph.D. in ethics from Yale University.

Payton held a variety of leadership positions that intertwined his interests in religion, race, and education. In 1963, Payton became assistant professor of sociology of religion and social ethics at Howard University. He also served as director of the Howard University Community Service Project in Washington, D.C. In 1965, he became the director of the Office of Church and Race, Protestant Council of the City of New York, serving for one year. He than move on as an executive director of the Commission on Religion and Race and the Department of Social Justice of the National Council of Churches in the USA, where he served until 1967. That year, he than became president of Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. He held this position until 1972, when he became program officer of Education and Public Policy for the Ford Foundation in New York City. In 1981, he than became the president of Tuskegee University where he served until 2010. In 2010, Tuskegee University named Payton President Emeritus.

Succeeding Dr. Luther H. Foster, who had served as Tuskegee’s president for 28 years. Payton, as the institution’s fifth president, followed in the footsteps of men who had worked hard to make it a superior institution of higher education for blacks, and later for all races throughout the South and the United States. The institution was founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington to educate rural blacks, most of whom received little or no education at the time. The second president, Robert Russa Moton, battle unbridled racism when he fought to have the Tuskegee Veterans Hospital administrated and rub by an all-black staff. The university developed over the years into an educational institution of renown among black and white colleges for its programs, including a distinguished Ph.D. program in Materials Science and Engineering. Payton became president of the Institute during its centennial celebration.

During Payton’s tenure, he received presidential appointments; Ronald Reagan appointed him to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) in 1983; he served for three years. he became team leader of the Presidential Task Force on Agricultural and Economic Development to Zaire in 1984. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan gave the commencement address to the graduating class. The President was also on hand for the dedication of the university’s General Daniel “Chap-Pie” James Center for Aerospace Science and Health Education. General James was the first black 4-star Air Force general and a graduate of Tuskegee University.

Over 30 years of leadership, Dr. Payton has indeed followed in the footsteps of many great men who served at Tuskegee University or who graduated from it. He helped transform it into an institution of higher learning that is nationally and internationally recognized for its competency in many fields but especially in the biomedical sciences, engineering, life and physical sciences, agriculture and the food sciences, education, and business. He said the goal of his administration is to strengthen significantly Tuskegee’s image as a national and regional center of excellence. He left a solid set of footprints for future presidents of the university to follow.

Dr. Payton leaves behind one son, Mark Steven (Christiane) Payton, one daughter, Deborah Elizabeth Payton; four grandchildren, Danielle Marie, Maya Elizabeth, William Isaac and Nicholas Warren Payton; and three brothers and three sisters. He was preceded in death by his wife, Thelma Plane Payton, in 2013, and by two of his brothers, Leroy Oscar Payton and James Israel Payton, in 1998 and 1999.



In response to Wendy Williams controversial anti-HBCU and NAACP comments, it’s a 50 percent between acceptance and non-acceptance of her apology for her actions from the persons affected.

If you are not aware of what’s happening, Wendy Williams, host of the nationally syndicated television talk show, the Wendy Williams Show, referred to Jesse Williams’s political speech at the BET award during her ‘Hot Topics’ segment on July 7. She said:

“I would be real offended if there was a school that was known as a historically white college. We have historically black colleges. What if there was the National Organization for white people, only? There the NAACP.”

The remarks strongly offended persons of the Black community, which caused Chevrolet to pull out as a sponsor of the talk show and TV One host Roland Martin to publicity criticized her for the lack of knowledge and understanding of the history of NAACP and HBCU’s.


HBCU’s are institutions of higher education that were established before 1964 with the intention in primary serving the African -American community. The purpose of HBCU’s is to train the Black race to become teachers and teach other blacks or freedman who were just broken from slavery. Today HBCU’s serve a diverse population allowing admission to all races.

In my response to Wendy Williams statement; every person is not perfect and every person is entitled to their own opinion towards how they feel and think about situations as well as of what they support. I do accept Wendy’s apology but I would also hope that man categorization will not continue to shape her mind regarding race. God did not create us to vision “Historically White” nor “Historically Black” of any institution. Though our race went through what they “our ancestors” have experienced, HBCU’s were created in response.

As I am not prejudice, no matter which type of institutions we have, the meaning to all should be about teaching one another so that the persons attending could receive the proper education. My culture is Pro HBCU, and I will forever support HBCU.

TV One host Roland Martin appear as a guest yesterday on the show to school Williams, explaining the history of Black people in America, NAACP and how relevant HBCU’s are today in America. Watch the conversation below.



In results to the events that are happening across the nation and right in our communities today. I hope that the views on HBCU’s are dynamically changed and the support of these institutions are treated crucially not just from students and alumni but from all communities of all races. I call them the “backbone” institutions of America because they hold such a key value within high ed.

HBCU’s are in need of support physically, financially and socially from all kind and all it takes for you to are the following;

1. Do research on HBCU’s and pick a few institutions to do research about their history and educational accomplishments.
2. Visit and take a tour of an HBCU campus.
3. Give or Give back to one financially and physically, even if you just recruit students. That is a form of giving back. Visit an HBCU website and give a donation today.
4. Socially promote HBCU’s, social media is the future key to today’s society and the more you promote HBCU’s on social media the more you are giving a positive perspective on how outstanding HBCU institutions are.

CdxDxDqUAAEZ6YOLITTLE ROCK, AR – The White House Initiative on HBCUs Executive Director Dr. Ivory A. Toldson to serve as keynote speaker of this year’s eWINS conference which will be held April 26-29 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dr. Toldson is scheduled to deliver his keynote address during the opening day of the conference on Wednesday, April 27 at 9 a.m. which will take place at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock campus.

The Division of Student Affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and the Marginalized Males Workforce and Education Consortium will present the Education, Workforce, and Innovation National Student Success Conference (eWINS), formerly known as the African American Male Initiative Consortium Conference.

The eWINS Conference started in 2010 with stakeholders throughout the state as the African American Male Initiative Consortium Conference to share best practices for retaining and graduating African American males.

This year, the conference committee decided to expand its focus to more adequately address the needs of underserved students such as African American men and women, Hispanic or Latino men and women, and others who are at risk of academic failures, due to socioeconomic disadvantage or other factors.

Through “Pipelines to Success: Innovative Strategies to Connect Marginalized Populations to the 21st Century,” the eWINS Conference aims to connect students to innovation strategies for learning to become well-rounded through:

Through “Pipelines to Success: Innovative Strategies to Connect Marginalized Populations to the 21st Century,” the eWINS Conference aims to connect students to innovative strategies for learning to become well-rounded through:

Education, becoming talented and responsible global citizens that benefit the
Workforce, producing highly-skilled and accountable professionals, who spark
Innovation, by being critical thinkers ready for evolving industries and technology in a
Nation poised for the future.

The registration conference cost ranges are as follow: Early-Bird Rate: $205 (Includes One General Admission and One Student Admission), Regular Rates: $230 (Standard Admission: Includes One General Admission and One student Admission), $50 (Student Admission: One Individual Undergraduate or Graduate Student). To register for the eWINS conference, please visit their website here.

About Dr. Toldson

Dr. Ivory A. Toldson was appointed by President Barack Obama to devise national strategies to sustain and expand federal support to HBCUs, as the executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is currently on leave from his position as full professor at Howard University. He has also served as senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Negro Education, and contributing education editor for The Root, where he debunked some of the most pervasive myths about African-Americans in his Show Me the Numbers column.

Dr. Toldson has more than 65 publications, including 4 books, and more than 150 research presentations in 36 US states, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Scotland, South Africa, Paris, and Barcelona. He has been featured on MSNBC, C-SPAN2 Books, NPR News, POTUS on XM Satellite Radio, and numerous local radio stations. His research has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Root, The National Journal, Essence Magazine, and Ebony Magazine.

According to Capstone Magazine, “Toldson has spent a lot of time traveling across the country talking with teachers about misleading media statistics that invariably either link Black males to crime or question their ability to learn.” Dr. Toldson was named in the 2014 and 2013 The Root 100, an annual ranking of the most influential African-American leaders.