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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President Anderson has served on the association’s board of directors since 2020

UMES President Heidi M. Anderson

University of Maryland Eastern Shore President Dr. Heidi M. Anderson, was recently elected as the chair of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) Board of Directors at the association’s annual conference in Carlsbad, CA.

Anderson, who has more than 30 years of higher education experience, has served on the AASCU Board of Directors since 2020 and chairs AASCU’s Council of State Representatives.

“I am both honored and eager to collaborate with our AASCU campuses in pursuit of innovative actions and strategies that will enhance new majority student success,” said Anderson. “As a catalyst for our conversations, my theme for the year and for the 2023 annual conference is ‘AASCU Leading for Democracy: Rebuild, Restore, Reframe.”

“At this significant time in our history of educators, I look forward to conversations exploring transformations consistent with the AASCU mission and vision,” Anderson continued.

Under her leadership, UMES developed strategic initiatives that are improving enrollment and retention.

UMES has increased its six-year graduation rate to a level higher than in the past 20 years, and the university has experienced record-breaking research funding and philanthropic efforts.

Anderson has completed construction of a $95 million academic building for the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions. UMES has received the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute award to support STEM education and career readiness.

In January 2022, Anderson was named as one of the Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders by the HBCU Campaign Fund. She was recognized for her proven work in shaping polices and making decisions that strengthen the higher education space.

“(Dr.) Anderson has dedicated her career to expanding access and opportunities for students from underserved populations, and as a first-generation college graduate, she knows firsthand the transformative power of postsecondary education,” said AASCU president Mildred Garcia. “We know that she will bring that lifelong dedication to this role, particularly as higher education grapples with declining enrollments, the impact of the global pandemic on our campuses, and threats to our democracy.”

Anderson is a proud graduate of AASCU’s Executive Leadership Academy and AASCU’s Academy for New Provosts. She earned a B.S. in pharmacy, M.S. in education, and a Ph.D. in pharmacy administration all from Purdue University, in her home state of Indiana.

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Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of generosity, that invites people to give back to causes that matter to them.

Thank you for all of the ways that you’ve supported and advocated for the HBCU Campaign Fund – we couldn’t achieve our impact without you. Your gifts make such a life-changing investment to the mission and purpose of our organization, and with your continued generosity it will allow us to take our mission even further.


We invite you to support by helping our organization reach our fundraising goal of $25,000 by midnight with a donation.

We thank you for your continued support of our mission!

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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Friends and supporters are invited to provide their support to the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) in raising the necessary funds to further its continued mission supporting students and higher education by making a gift on #GivingTuesday, November 29. Gifts donated during HCF’s #GivingTuesday campaign will be used where needed most in support of students attending HBCUs and higher education, specifically Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs).

HCF is pleased to join in Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses individuals, communities, and organizations’ collective power to encourage philanthropy and celebrate generosity worldwide. The organization’s set fundraising goal is $25,000.

“HCF continues to grow and strengthen its advocacy mission to support students and higher education. Our organization works tirelessly, and we will continue to be among the leading orgs that inspire and transform the HBCU and PBI community and assist those students in need to achieve their educational aspirations successfully,” said HCF Founder, President & CEO Demetrius Johnson, Jr. “With our supporters’ help, the fight to Campaign For HBCUs will continue and ensure that HCF can complete its vital assignment that is very much understood. Our organization stands aside HBCUs and MSIs and supports their needs in providing quality education to many students from various backgrounds. Our fundraising goal will provide the leverage needed for our organization to strengthen our philanthropy abilities to overcome and continue supporting students and higher ed institutions. Thank you so much for your continued support!”

Leading up to #GivingTuesday, donors are encouraged to join the movement by posting a #Unselfie on social media or speaking about why you support HCF as an HBCU supportive organization and using the campaign hashtag #HCFGivingDay. You can sign-up to volunteer as a Social Media Ambassador to provide HCF’s #GivingTuesday campaign and share the #GivingTuesday social media post/flyers (pictured below) on social media.




For more information, donors are welcomed to visit the HCF’s Giving Tuesday campaign page. The organization has identified four scholarship funds and initiative programs that donors can assist with in reaching its goal to continue benefiting students and our partners.

  • Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour
  • The Brenda G. Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • HBCU General Scholarship Fund
  • Campus Student Ambassador Program

Higher education can be the debt of students in accomplishing their educational goals. In order to fulfill our mission at HCF and make a difference, the campaign for students, HBCUs and MSIs is vital. We ask of your support and we hope that you choose HCF as your charity of choice on #GivingTuesday, November 29th!

About HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF)
HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a nonprofit educational organization that support the significance and raises funds for scholarship, initiative programming, and for private and public HBCUs and MSIs. HCF remains a strong advocates for students and higher education. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

About GivingTuesday
GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundred of million people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. For more information, visit www.givingtuesday.org.

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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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We hope that you will consider to contribute to our Challenge and help us in reaching our fund goal of $25,000 to fulfill our mission in supporting students and higher education.

Your gift today will help ensure HCF can continue hitting the ground running throughout 2022. We still have much important advocacy and programming work to do if we are going to help keep higher education evolving and the fight to #CampaignForHBCUs going.

Please make your generous year-end gift today. Your gift will have triple the impact for higher education and have HCF to provide scholarship in the coming years.

Thank you for your compassion — now and always!

With appreciation,

Demetrius Johnson Jr.
Founder, President & CEO

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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In 2021, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) announced the creation of the Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr. Trailblazer of Higher Education Award among The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders. An honor recognizing a current or retiring/retired president or chancellor serving an HBCU or MSI upholding decade-long value and contributions to higher education.

Dr. Cynthia Warrick, 7th President of Stillman College.

Eight days after the death of Dr. Davis and the day (Oct. 22) that was proclaimed as Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr. Memorial Day in Pine Bluff. HCF President & CEO Demetrius Johnson, Jr. and the organization have unanimously announced retiring Stillman College President Dr. Cynthia Warrick as one of the 2023 honorees to receive the honor.

Dr. Warrick is the first woman to hold the position at the college and announced her retirement from the presidency in September 2022. She will step down from the role at the end of her current contract term on June 30, 2023.

Warrick was named the seventh president of Stillman College in April 2017 after four months as interim president. Upon her arrival to campus, she was tasked with stabilizing the institution’s finances and academic standing, as well as enhancing its donor relationships. The College saw a student enrollment increased from Fall 2016 to Fall 2019. In 2020, the SACSCOC accreditation was reaffirmed for another 10 years without any recommendations or further action.

In 2020, Dr. Warrick was named one of The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders by the HBCU Campaign Fund, recognizing her for tireless work executing fundraising strategies and the previous roles she served in higher education.

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

“Dr. Warrick defines what a true trailblazer is, and identical to Chancellor Emeritus Davis, Dr. Warrick also upholds what a true giant exemplifies in the space of higher education. Dr. Warrick holds a significant part of the contributions that she has bestowed, and it is immeasurable,” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., Founder, President & CEO at HBCU Campaign Fund. “It is with great pleasure to recognize Dr. Warrick with such a great distinction as a Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr. Trailblazer of Higher Education honoree. I am so proud of her, and we congratulate and wish her all the very best in her future endeavors.”

In 2012, Dr. Warrick was selected as Interim President at South Carolina State University. In 2014, she was appointed as Interim President of Grambling State University, where she brought stability to the institution in its crisis. Prior to, she was a Senior Fellow at Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and also served as President of the Society for Diversity in the Biomedical Sciences, based in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Warrick earned her bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Howard University; and completed the masters of science in public policy from the George Institute of Technology, and a doctorate in environmental science & public policy from George Mason University.

The award was named after the late University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Lawrence A. Davis Jr., who passed away on October 15, 2022. The recipients awarded are evaluated on their drive to advance the mission to change and inspire others. The individual has prove their responsibilities for shaping policies, changing perspectives, and making decisions that affect millions of people life’s in the higher education space.

“Dr. Davis legacy has been inspirational and has impacted many lives throughout his career. Both Davis Sr. and Jr. were well-respected leaders, and I truly appreciate their contributions to our Dear Mother. The gifts of Dr. Davis will forever be a long-standing treasure of UAPB, and we will always cherish his warmhearted spirit. We will continue to live through his legacy, and his namesake of the Trailblazer of Higher Education Award will continue to carry on.” Johnson continued.

The Annual Most Dominant HBCU Leaders Award & Class is a national recognition ranking that was created by the HBCU Campaign Fund, a non-profit that advocates for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs). The recipients are honored for their prominent and influential role in leadership and displays the characteristics of the responsibilities in the progression of effectively moving an institution forward.

The Class of 2023 is expected to be announced early January

About the HBCU Campaign Fund
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) was founded in 2012 and is a non-profit educational organization that remains a strong advocate for students and higher education. The mission of HCF is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, programs, and for private and public HBCUs and MSIs. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

PINE BLUFF, AR – Dr. Lawrence A. Davis Jr., chancellor emeritus of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and the son of longtime president of the preceding Arkansas AM&N College, has died. He was 85.

The University announced his passing on Sunday, eight days after he attended the University’s annual homecoming festivities.

Davis Jr. grew up living on AM&N campus, where he attended primary and secondary school before graduating from Merrill High School in the Pine Bluff School District in 1954.

His father, L.A. “Prexy” Davis Sr., was president of AM&N College from 1943 until 1972, when the college merged with the University of Arkansas System and became the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. At the age of 28, he became the youngest college presidents in the United States. Davis Sr., retired after becoming the first chancellor of the University.

Davis Jr. taught mathematics and physics at Mississippi Valley State University and NASA before returning to UAPB to become a professor. He became chancellor of UAPB in 1991, and remained in the role until his retirement in May 2012. Serving the institution for 21 years, making him one of the longest-serving chancellors of any Arkansas university. Davis told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 2011, “It really in my blood, it’s who I am, this is my home…”

Dr. Lawrence A. Davis Jr., the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Chancellor Emeritus passed away Oct. 15th at the age of 85.

During his tenure, Davis made UAPB athletics one of his many platforms with the institution, and made many strides in the advancement and promotion of various athletic programs the university operates. A new football stadium and adjoining field house was contracted and completed, as well as the baseball complex and the UAPB soccer field. Davis led the university through a period of academic growth and spearheaded the program throughout the university. He also led the renovation and construction of on-campus housing.

In 2012, Dr. Davis was induced into the SWAC Hall of Fame, and in 2018, he was inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame.

“What a trailblazer and pioneer of the HBCU space we have lost, indeed. Dr. Davis’s legacy has been inspirational and has impacted many lives throughout his career. If you know me, you know that I admire Davis’ legacy tremendously. Both Davis Sr. and Jr. were well-respected leaders, and I truly appreciate their contributions to our Dear Mother,” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., Founder, President & CEO at HBCU Campaign Fund. “Relatively, Dr. Davis and I have both served at Mississippi Valley State and UAPB. So Dr. Davis’s higher ed career footsteps are very special in heart to me. The gifts of Dr. Davis will forever be a long-standing treasure of UAPB, and we will always cherish his warmhearted spirit. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Davis family, friends, and UAPB community during this time of sorrow.”

In 2021, HCF announced the creation of the Dr. Lawrence A. Davis Jr. Trailblazers of Higher Education Award among The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders. This honor recognizes a current or retiring chancellor or president that serves an HBCU or MSI that upholds decade-long value and contributions to the field of higher education. Former Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey, AAMU President Dr. Andrew Hugine Jr., and Dr. Davis were the first honorees to receive such honor.

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Dear HCF Supporters,

#GivingTuesday is a global day that allows individuals to support causes and organizations that make a difference in their communities and around the world. Every year, on the Tuesday after Cyber Monday, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is pleased to join in Giving Tuesday and with the help of our support, the fight to Campaign for HBCUs will continue to assure that HCF can support the important assignment that HBCUs and MSIs do in providing quality education to a diverse population of students.

This year, our goal is to reach $25,000 in necessary funding to continue our mission to provide scholarships and support higher education. Gifts donated during HCF’s #GivingTuesday campaign will be used where needed most in support of students attending HBCUs and higher education, specifically Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs).

Higher education can be the debt of a student during their matriculating, and with your support of HCF, we can assist with helping those students with their educational endeavors. On Tuesday, November 29, 2022, we encourage you to consider HCF in reaching its goals to advocate for higher education, making a recurring or one-time gift below.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund
Founded in 2012, HCF was the vision and brainchild of founder Demetrius Johnson, Jr. In 2015, HCF incorporated its mission to supporting the significance and raising funds for student scholarships and services at HBCUs and MSIs. HCF remains today as a strong advocate for students and higher education. Visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

How can I join the cause? You can support HCF through its #GivingTuesday campaign in the following ways:

  • Joining the #Unselfie movement by taking a selfie with reasons why you support HCF and tagging HCF on social media using #HCFGivingTuesday
  • Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday to talk about HCF, what does the organization mean to you and why do you support the organization
  • Make a gift by using Cash App: $CampaignForHBCUs
  • Or online at www.hbcucampaignfund.org/donate and contributing to one of the following: HCF HBCU General Scholarship, Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour, The Brenda G. Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund, and Campus Student Ambassador Program. You may designate where your donation goes, and 100% of it goes to the selected cause.

To get involved in supporting HCF before, on GivingTuesday, and after, you are encouraged to visit the HCF Giving Tuesday official page at www.hbcucampaignfund.org/donate/givingtuesday to learn more about how you can make a difference!

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HBCU alums help shape the lives of thousands of students and continue to be an asset to evolving historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs). We at the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) are proud of their successes and love celebrating their wins. Listed below are those HBCU alums who are currently in leadership. These individuals are leading excitingly; in invaluable and well-known positions in various fields.

Dr. Larry D. Johnson, Jr. – President, Guttman Community College
Dr. Larry D. Johnon, Jr. is an equity-minded student advocate with nearly 20 years of higher education experience. Selected by the CUNY Board of Trustees on February 1, 2021, to be the College’s second president, he assumed the presidency on July 1, 2021.

Larry D. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D.

Johnson is a bold, creative, and experienced academic leader. In July 2018, he was appointed the sixth president of Phoenix College (a Maricopa Community College) and the first African-American in its 100-year history. The college served more than 20,000 credit and non-credit students. As President, he launched the President’s Promise, a comprehensive plan to reengage community and workforce leaders; improve employee satisfaction and engagement; implement best practices that will lead to an increase in student retention, completion, and transfer, and cultivate an environment that embraces diverse perspectives. Under Johnson’s leadership, Phoenix College increased enrollment by establishing the Neighborhood College, a partnership with the City of Phoenix that provides incumbent workers onsite educational opportunities that lead to associate degrees. The college has also received approximately $5M from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a Title V Department of Education (DOE) grant to support initiatives that center on experiential learning programs and undergraduate research in STEM.

Dr. Johnson began his teaching career at Tallahassee Community College (2005-2007), where he taught developmental English and reading. During the period from 2007-2014, Johnson served as a humanities instructor and division chair at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Under his leadership, the college increased student success by implementing developmental education redesign programs, which was supported by a $2.5M Title III Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) grant from the Department of Education. Additionally, Johnson led the department in creating an inaugural conference that centered on pedagogical and high impact practices for faculty, staff, and administrators to increase student persistence and success in Gatekeeper math and English courses.

Dr. Johnson is committed to amplifying the mission of community colleges, as represented by his participation on local and national boards and commissions. Johnson is one of 25 Fellows selected for the inaugural College Excellence Program, sponsored by the Aspen Institute. Additionally, he recently completed a three-year appointment on the American Association of Community College (AACC) Commission on College Readiness. On July 1, 2021, he was appointed to serve a three-year term as a representative for the Northern Region to the Presidents Academy Executive Committee (PAEC) of the AACC. Johnson is continuing his service on the board of the Phoenix Symphony.

Dr. Johnson is a proud alumnus of a HBCU. He attended Florida A&M University, where he earned his BA in English literature. He earned his MA in Humanities and a graduate certificate from Florida State University. Johnson holds a doctorate degree in Humanities, with an emphasis in English literature, from Clark Atlanta University.

Keisha J. Kelley, CEO of BlackCollegeExperience
Keisha J. Kelly has developed her passion for sports in the early 2000s when she was a member of the game day fan interaction team for now defunct NBDL team, Huntsville Flight. Kelley soon after started vounteering with The Amobi Okoye Foundation during the summer where she assisted with registration for summer football camps for the community. In 2011, she relocated to Atlanta, GA, where she began a short stint with a sports radio station.

Keisha J. Kelley

In 2014, Kellz, as she is referred to on radio, returned to radio, as she began a career with PQ Sports Radio, where she joined multiple co-hosts for a Wednesday night weekly sports show. She later hosted PQ Sports Radio, as well as co-hosted Double Coverage Divas on Sunday evenings at 7pm with Talk2me Sports Radio.

In 2016, Kelley founded BlackCollegeExperience, the sports podcast that brings positive exposure to athletes at HBCUs, due to lack of positive news or media coverage that HBCUs receive. Her first co-host, Crystal Bennett, is a graduate of FAMU. Later, MVSU graduate Derrick Thomas joined her as co-host and is currently co-hosting the podcast. Kelley, also worked with Rodney Bryant on a Facebook Live sports segment titled: Still Brewing. BlackCollegeExperience has covered many events including, the Black College Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement, Bayou Classic, MEAC/SWAC Challenge, Magic City Classic, Gulf Coast Challenge, HBCU Spirit of America Bowl, Tee Up Atl, National Tennis Championsho, NBPA Top 50 Players from SIAC/SWAC as well as media days, career days, etc. She also serves as a sport mentor with GladiatHers Sports.

Dr. Shawn Joseph, President of Joseph and Associates LLC and Assistant Professor/Co-Director of Urban Superintendent Academy
Dr. Shawn Joseph’s passion for equity and social justice has ked him to serve in a number of positions in the world in education. He has been an Englis teacher, school administrator, central office administrator, and superintendent in Maryland, Delaware, and Tennessee. His most recent work as the superintendent of Metro Nashville Public Schools (Director of Schools), resulted in schools that became more equitable as the district saw accelerated growth for all student groups in both reading and mathematics Pre-K through grade 5. In addition, the number of students at the high school level completing advanced coursework doubled, the number of students earning industry certifications nearly doubled while suspensions dramatically were reduced and new initiatives like STEAM were implemented at both the elementary and secondary level.

Shawn Joseph, Ph.D.

Dr. Joseph’s work has garnered him numerous honors and awards and he humbly serves on numerous local and international boards. Some of them include being honored as the Met-Life Middle School Principle of the Year for the State of Maryland in 2008. In 2010, Dr. Joseph was the recipient of the American Educational Research Association’s Outstanding Dissertation Award in the area of Educational Leadership. He was awarded the Ambassador Andrew Young Leadership Award in 2016. In 2018, both Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. honored him with the Environmental Leadership Award and the Community Impact Award. In 2019, Dr. Joseph was selected as the Person of the Year by the Tribune Newspaper in Nashville and was the recipient of the Greater Nashville Association of Black School Educator’s Trailblazer Award. Dr. Joseph serves on the Board of Learning Forward, an international organization focused on ensuring equity and excellence in teaching and learning through building the capacity of leaders to establish and sustain highly effective professional learning.

His first book, The Principal’s Guide to the First 100 Days of the School Year: Creating Instructional Momentum, offers insight into the complexity of the princial-ship and suggests strategies for focusing on increasing student achievement. He is currently completing the manuscript for Finding the Joseph Within: Lessons Learned from a Life of Struggle which shares insight into how keeping focused on God’s mission for your life results in him releasing his favor over your life. Dr. Joseph earned a doctoral degree in educational administration and policy studies from The George Washington University and a master’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University. His bachelor’s degree is from Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, America’s oldest Historically Black College. Dr. Joseph joined the faculty of The Graduate School of Education at Fordham University, NY, serving as a Visiting Associate Professor of Education Administration and Policy Studies in 2019. In 2020, Dr. Joseph accepted a tenure track position at Howard University’s Graduate School of Education in the Educational Leadership Department, and he will Co-Direct the Urban Superintendent Academy in collaboration with the AASA, the Superintendent Association.

Tiffany Greene, Play-by-Play Commentator, College Sports
Tiffany Greene is a play-by-play commentator for ESPN, covering a variety of collegiate sports including basketball, football, softball and volleyball. She is the first African-American woman to serve as a play-by-play commentator for college football on ESPN.

Tiffany Greene

Greene has called a number of postseason games including the NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Tournament, NCAA Softball Regional and Super Regionals, as well as NCAA Volleyball Regionals.

Green orginially began working with ESPN as a college football sideline reporter in 2022. She has since worked on the Women’s College World Series, Air Force Reserve Bowl on ABC on multiple Bowl games.

Prior to ESPN, Green honed her skills as a play-by-play announcer and sports reporter at Bright House Sports Network in the Orlando and Tampa Bay markets. During that time, she was the play-by-play announcer for inaugural season of BIG EAST women’s basketball on Fox Sports 1.

Greene is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Links Incorporated and the National Association of Black Journalists. She began her on-air career in 2004 as a one-man band reporter at WJCL/WTGS, and later, WTOC, in Savannah, Ga.

Greene earned her Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Florida A&M University. She serves as the FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication Board of Visitors co-chair.

Jarrel Strong

Jarrel Strong, President and CEO of HBCU Mister and Miss
Jarrel Strong is a Class of 2018 alumnus from the Nation’s First Degree-Granting HBCU, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania and hails all the way from Miami, Florida. During Jarrel’s undergraduate career he had the distinct honor of being named 2017-2018 Mister Legacy on the University’s Royal Court serving alongside Miss Legacy, Mister & Miss Lincoln University, and Mister & Miss Orange & Blue. Serving on the Royal Court granted him with multiple amazing opportunities including networking with other HBCUs Campus Kings and Queens, Networking with Former Kings and Queens of Lincoln University, and gaining the overall experience of being a campus King. Because of his amazing experience as a King, he wanted those that were given the same opportunity to have a similar experience and more. HBCU Mister and Miss was created to assist HBCU undergraduate students with leadership development, organizational skills and more.

Dawn Thornton, Women’s Basketball Head Coach, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Head Coach Dawn Thornton enters her third season with the Lady Lions in 2020-21, brining a revitalized, competitive spirit to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) women’s basketball program.

Head Coach Dawn Thornton

During the 2019-20 season, Thornton, a 13-year coaching veteran commonly known as “Diva Coach,” inherited a program consisting of four freshman and four transfers; yet, led the team to outperform the preseason poll that picked UAPB to finish last in the SWAC. Under Thornton’s leadership, the Lady Lions tripled their SWAC win total from the previous season and qualified for the conference tournament for the first time since the 2017-2018 season.

Thornton mentored freshman center, Nissa Sam-Grant, who in her first season donning a Lady Lions jersey, emerged as one of the most electrifying newcomers in the SWAC. Sam-Grant finished the season fourth in the conference with 1.5 blocks per game.

Coach Thornton was named the Lady Lion’s head coach in May of 2019. Prior to leading the Lady Lions, Thornton spent the previous season as the lead assistant coach of Atlantic Sun Conference perennial power, Jacksonville University. After a late start in August of 2017, Thornton served as head coach at Division II Shorter University where, in one season, she led the surge from last in all major statistical categories to the middle of the conference and developed the Northwest Georgia Player of the Year.

From 2014 to 2016, Thornton served as the head coach at Prairie View, capturing the program’s fourth consecutive SWAC Tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth in 2014 while being honored as the HBCU Digest Female Coach of the Year. On Thornton’s watch, Prairie View posted wins over Memphis, Houston, Louisiana Tech, Sam Houston State, Nicholls State, and Lamar University and complied a 12.2 record in SWAC Tournament play. Thornton served as associate head coach at Prairie View from 2012 to 2014, where the team won three consecutive SWAC Tournament titles and three NCAA Tournament berths.

Thornton received her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Jackson State University in 2005, where she helped lead the Lady Tigers basketball team to a SWAC Regular Season Co-Championship during her junior and senior years. She played her first two seasons at Atlanta Metropolitan College where she led the team to consecutive GJCAA Tournament appearances.

An active member of the coaching community, Thornton holds membership in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Throughout her coaching career, she has participated in a myriad professional development opportunities including, Nike Championship Basketball Coaching Clinics, Felecia Hall Allen’s Next Level Symposium and the WNBA’s Chicago Sky and Pokey Chapman Training Camp. Thornton has been featured on several platforms including, Servant Leadership, focusing on navigating athletics during a pandemic while maintaining spiritual, emotional, physical and mental wellness.

Throughout her coaching career, Thornton, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and Order of the Eastern Star, has had a large impact in every community in which she has coached. She established the Dawn Thornton Basketball Skillz Clinic, which helps the development of children through education and athletics. Additionally, she was involved in numerous community service projects at all of her coaching stops. In addition to the growth she has facilitated on the court throughout her career, Coach Thornton and her staff have instilled an importance on community engagement both through service and via dialogue with fans and supporters.

Adriel Hilton

Adriel Hilton, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Southern University at New Orleans
Adriel Hilton is vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management at Southern University at New Orleans. He previously served as dean of students and diversity officer at Seton Hill University in Greenburg, Pennsylvania, where he provide strategic leadership and direction to the office of Housing and Residential Life, Community Standards, First Year & Transition Programs, Diversity & Inclusion, and International Student Services.

Hilton is an avid scholar. As a Frederick Douglass Teaching Scholar at Clarion University in Pennsylvania, he taught and developed academic programs within the Office of the Provost. Previously, he served as ta first public policy fellow at the Greater Baltimore Committee, a leading regional organization comprised of civic and business leaders in Baltimore, Maryland. While there, Hilton worked closely with advisers to research, develop, and advocate a public policy agenda to advance the organization’s work in various areas, including access to health care.

A profilic author and researcher, Hilton’s research is published in refereed journals, such as the Teachers College Record, Journal of College Student Development, Community College Review, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, and the Journal of the Professoriate. His numerous service commitments include membership on the editorial boards of the renowned Journal of Negro Education and the highly acclaimed College Student Affairs Journal.

Hilton holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in finance from Morehouse College; a Master of Applied Science degree, with a concentration in public administration from Florida A&M University; a Master of Business Administration degree from Webster University; and a PhD in higher education, with a concentration in administration, from Morgan State University.

Henry J. Henderson, III, Ph.D.

Henry J. Henderson III, Senior Manager – Medical Science Liaison-Oncology, Foundation Medicine
Dr. Henry J. Henderson, III is a cancer biologist and health-promotion advocate. Currently, he is a Senior Manager, Medical Science Liaison-Oncology at Foundation Medicine. He is also the co-founder of “Black in Cancer.” A organization that strengthen networks and highlight Black Excellence in cancer research and medicine.

He earned his Ph.D. in integrative Biosciences from Tuskegee University; and a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Southern University. Henderson did his Postdoctoral Research at Vanderbilt University-Ingram Cancer Center. His research focused on understanding non-small cell lung cancel and improving therapeutic strategies targeting oncogenic mutations in Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase domain with a particular focus on mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to agents used in clinical practice.

Dr. Monique Carroll



Monique Carroll, Ph.D., Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Chicago State University
Dr. Monique Carroll was named Chicago State University’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics on July 28, 2022. She joined the Cougars after serving as the athletic director at Huston-Tillotson University since March 2020.

Prior to her time at Huston-Tilltoson, Carroll was the Deputy Athletic Director for Internal Operations and Senior Woman Administrator at South Carolina State University. In that role, she served as the sport administrator for 10 sports. In addition to serving as a sport administrator, Carroll oversaw various units including, business operations, compliance, academics, strength and conditioning, sports medicine, ticketing, sports information, and game day operations.

Prior to South Carolina State, Carroll served a nine-year stint at Prairie View A&M University in various roles. In her last role as Associate Athletic Director for External Operations her duties included overseeing all external functions of Panther Athletics, including fundraising, game operations, ticket operations, and sponsorships and advertising. Prior to her arrival at PVAMU, Carroll served as the Coordinator of Student-Athlete Services/Compliance Assistant for the SWAC.

Carroll got her state in intercollegiate athletics as a compliance volunteer at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). Carroll was a three-sport athlete as she was a member of UAPB volleyball, track and field, and bowling teams. Carroll also attended Langston University where she was a member of the track and field team.

Carroll’s recognitions and organizational memberships include NCAA Division I National SAAC Representative for the SWAC, NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics, NCAA Effective Facilitation workshop, Women Leaders in College Sports, NAAC, and BWSF, and Zeta Phi Bet Sorority, Inc.

A native of New Boston, Texas, Carroll received her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Health and Physical Education from Arkansas-Pine Bluff (UAPB), a Master’s of Sports Science in Sports Management at the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Ala, and a Doctor of Education with an emphasis in sports management from Northcentral University.

Tim Lampkin

Tim Lampkin, Founder and CEO, Higher Purpose Co
Tim Lampkin is the Founder and CEO of Higher Purpose Co, a 501c3 economic justice nonprofit building community wealth with Black business owners across Mississippi by supporting the ownership of financial, cultural, and political power.

Lampkin has over a decade of community development and entrepreneurship experience. He previously managed the Racial Equity Program for the Mississippi Humanities Council, which won the national 2018 Schwartz Prize. Lampkin has also worked for Southern Bancorp Community Partners to implement mutli-million community initiatives and has advised rural entrepreneurs in several counties served by Delta State University. The Mississippi Business Journal selected Lampkin as one of the 2019 Top Entrepreneurs in the state. Ashoka selected him as the first person in Mississippi for the lifetime social impact fellowship.

He serves as President of Lampkin Impact Ventures, LLC providing economic justice advising, impact speaking, and creative digital content. Lampkin serves on the board of the Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive and the Mississippi Humanities Council. He previously served on the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Community Development Advisory Council and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Consumer Advisory Board (CAB).

Lampkin completed the Authentic Leadership Executive Program at Harvard University. He is a proud graduate of Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and has completed graduate studies at Delta State University, Bellevue University, and the University of Arkansas.

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. Anthony J. Davis was named the 13th President of Livingstone College unanimously during the Board of Trustees’ annual fall meeting held on Thursday, September 22. Dr. Davis is a 2001 graduate of the institution.

SALISBURY, NC – The Livingstone College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name Dr. Anthony J. Davis as the 13th president of the College, announced by the College on Thursday.

The announcement was made Thursday, Sept. 22, during the Board of Trustees’ annual fall meeting held on campus, following an executive session. Davis, an alumnus of Livingstone College, currently serves as senior vice president of Institutional Advancement and chief operating officer.

“The Search Committee was very intentional on finding someone that would embrace students, understand the culture of the school and be familiar with the community,” said Bishop Kenneth Monroe, chairman of the board. “We had good candidates. We had to look at the vision of the person and if that person was able to connect with the ideals we were looking for.”

“I recognized Dr. Davis’ talents and his willingness to roll up his sleeves and to work hard. That’s why I appointed him chief operating officer,” said Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., outgoing Livingstone College President. “In essence, he has been practicing to step into the step of president.”

“I’m happy, I’m humbled, and I’m honored to be selected to serve as the 13th president of Livingstone College,” said Davis. “Twenty-one years ago, I started on this journey to become president. It is true what poet Langston Hughes said, ‘Dreams don’t die, they are deferred.’”

“I praise the Livingstone College Board of Trustees and the Search Committee for their authenticity and thoughtfulness in selecting a leader who embraces a student-centered environment and heeds the culture of the College. Someone who will dominate to fill the shoes of what Dr. Jenkins’ legacy has already marked,” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., Founder, President & CEO at HBCU Campaign Fund. “I truly applaud Dr. Jenkins for an amazing job well done. He is truly a trailblazer in the space of higher ed and HBCUs. And I congratulate Dr. Davis on becoming the 13th President of the College. We at HCF appreciate his continuous leadership and wish very best in his tenure.”

Prior to Livingstone College, Davis served as the vice president for development with The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, the nation’s oldest diversity pipeline organization.

A 2001 graduate of Livingstone College, Davis earned his Master of Arts degree in philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University in Minnesota, one of the only advanced degrees offered in the field. He attended the Fundraising School of Indiana – Bloomington’s Center of Philanthropy (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) and completed his doctoral work at the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, where he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree.

About Livingstone College
Livingstone College is a private historically black college that is secured by a strong commitment to quality instruction, academic excellence and student success. Through a Christian-based environment suitable for holistic learning, Livingstone provides excellent business, liberal arts, STEAM, teacher education and workforce development programs for students from all ethnic backgrounds designed to promote lifelong learning, and to develop students potential for leadership and service to a global community. For more information, visit www.livingstone.edu.

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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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Goldman Sachs awards Mississippi HBCU Alcorn State University a grant for $125,000 to increase college access.

The grant was made possible by Alcorn sophomore Tyarian Carson’s contributions during the Goldman Sachs’ Market Madness: Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Possibilities Program.

Tyarian Carson, sophomore and mass communication major at Alcorn State University

“It was the best experience,” Carson related. “I meet wonderful and kind people and learned so many new things about myself.”

Carson, a native of Canton, Miss. and mass communication major, participated in a competition and weekly educational sessions to learn more about the company and its function.

“Alcorn is known for providing an exceptional experience that prepares graduates for a lifetime of success,” said Dr. Felecia M. Nave, president of Alcorn State University. “We deeply appreciate Goldman Sachs for providing a unique opportunity for our students to broaden their financial literacy skills through this program and Goldman Sachs’ generous support for vital student financial aid and scholarships.”

In 2021, Goldman Sachs committed $25 million to Historically Black Colleges and Universities under its initiative to build an “inclusive and dynamic economy and society.”

About Alcorn State University
Alcorn State University is a public historically Black, comprehensive land-grant institution of higher education that provides access and opportunity for diverse students to excel intellectually, build character, and overcome barriers so they can become productive leaders who make meaningful contributions to society. Alcorn is the oldest public historically black land-grant institution in the United States and the second-oldest state-supported institution of higher learning in Mississippi. For more information, visit www.alcorn.edu.

About Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs is a leading global financial institution that delivers a broad range of financial services across investment banking, securities, investment management and consumer banking to a large and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals. For more information, visit www.goldmansachs.com.

Happy September, #HBCUNation! We’re on a busy start of our Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour that supports Black College Sports, highlights HBCU football and classics, and spread the word of HBCUs to those seeking to attend college. We’re raising resources that are essentials to continue the successes and necessary work that we do for higher education. It’s hopeful that you will inspire us by rising to the challenge of helping us continue to Campaign For HBCUs. Now, I have one favor to ask: we need 100 donors to make our goal of $1,000 before midnight. Will you be one?

Your gift before midnight tonight, will help with various range of expenses for the tour, including providing scholarships, purchase of game/college fair tickets for youth who needs it most, and material/travel expenses.

Can I count on you to make a gift to HCF to ensure our work continues? Click here to be one of the 100 donors!

When you’re one of the 100 donors today, you’ll not only help us reach our goal, you’ll be directly responsible for our continued work and advocacy for students and higher education.

 

Again, your support today will ensure that we can continue to expand our outreach to under-resources communities and to strengthen our capacity to care for students and higher ed institutions.

 

Thank you for making our efforts a success. This important work can’t happen with you. Thank you for your generosity.

With gratitude,

HUNTSVILE, Ala. – President Biden announced this week his intent to appoint Dr. Patricia G. Sims, President of Drake State Community & Technical College, to the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC). The NIAC advises the White House on how to reduce physical and cyber risks and improve the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure sectors. She joins 26 highly qualified and diverse industry and government leaders selected for this appointment and is the only Alabama representative.

Dr. Patricia G. Sims, President of Drake State Community and Technical College appointed to National Infrastructure Advisory Council by President Biden.

Dr. Sims has been President of Drake State, a Historically Black Community College (HBCC), since 2018. Under her leadership, Drake State has seen a significant increase in state and federal funding, has increased strategic partnerships, and expanded its program offerings. The College was recently awarded a $2.4 million grant as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA), Connecting Minority Communities Pilot (CMCP) program, to help eliminate historical broadband and computer access inequities in and around Madison County, Alabama. Drake was one of the first five universities and the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to be awarded the grant.

Sims has more than 8 years of progressive experience in the field of Education. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Alabama State Port Authority, the Alabama Partnership for Children, and the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust. In 2019, Sims was recognized as one of the Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders by the HBCU Campaign Fund.

“It’s an honor to be asked to serve on this much-needed council,” said Sims. “Our work at Drake State is always about improving the lives of individuals for the betterment of our community. We address workforce needs in key areas of technology and healthcare that play a role in cyber security and disaster preparedness.”

“I am so proud of Dr. Patricia G. Sims and her work as President of Drake State Community College & Technical College, one of our Historically Black Community Colleges (HBCC),” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., Founder, President & CEO at the HBCU Campaign Fund. “Her fondness for this important work is very passionate to this role. President Biden couldn’t have chosen such more of a qualified leader as President Sims for this council. Sims and her team work at Drake State are structured around improving the lives of individuals and making the key areas of technology and science better.”

Since its establishment in 2001, the NIAC has conducted dozens of studies to address problems such as: improving intelligence information sharing across government and industry; identifying and reducing complex cyber risks; better preparing for and responding to disruptions among senior executives and federal leaders during imminent threats and disaster responses; and addressing the skills gaps and loss of institutional knowledge in key national workforces.

About Drake State Community & Technical College
Established in 1961, Drake State Community and Technical College is a historically black community college located in Huntsville, home to the fast growing, highly technical aerospace and defense industry, including the NASA Marshall Flight Center, US Army Redstone Arsenal, and Cummings Research Parks. Drake State offers flexible, affordable university-transfer 2-year and technical degrees, certificates, adult and continuing education, and customized technical skills training for Huntsville/Madison County employers. Visit www.drakestate.edu for more information.

Dr. Melva K. Williams, new president & CEO of Huston-Tillotson University. She is set to begin on August 15, 2022.

AUSTIN, TX – Following a national search, the Huston-Tillotson University Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of Melva K. Williams, Ph.D. as the institution’s seventh president and chief executive officer, effective August 15, 2022. She will serve as the second woman president of the institution since its inception, succeeding Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, who announced her retirement back in December 2021. Williams brings to HT her vast higher education experience as an innovative scholar in positions as chief of staff, vice chancellor and associate dean, managing multiple aspects of students affairs and enrollment management, ranging from athletics to recruitment.

“Dr. Williams’ reputation as visionary leader, utilizing creative approaches to advancing higher education through layers of innovative improvements will position Huston-Tillotson University for the economic and technological advances shaping the Central Texas market,” said Dr. Carol McDonald, HT Board of Trustees Chair.

Prior to coming to HT, Williams held numerous positions within the Southern University System (Louisiana) including, executive associate to the chancellor, assistant vice chancellor and vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management at SU-Shreveport (SUSLA), vice chancellor at SU-New Orleans (SUNO), and System Chief of Staff. A former associate dean of College at Centenary College of Louisiana, Williams has concurrently served as a professor, lecturer and board member at several colleges and universities. Recently, she served as the senior director of programming for the Clinton Presidential Center. Additionally, she is the co-founder of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation (H.E.L.F.), a found board member and board president for Magnolia School of Excellence, and is a national spokesperson for emotional intelligence (soft skills) development.

“I am honored and energized to serve as HT’s second female president,” said Williams. “The trust of the Board of Trustees and the HT Presidential Search Committee is very much appreciated, and I look forward to advancing an aggressive agenda that will ensure HT’s continued success.”

Williams earned a doctorate in higher education from Jackson State University, and a master’s in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Grambling State University.

“Dr. Williams has conquered by exemplifying and demonstrating innovative leadership within her higher ed career as chief of staff, vice chancellor, dean, and professor. I commend the Huston-Tillotson Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee for selecting a strong dynamic leader who innovates, thrives, and excels in all she does best. Dr. Williams’s wealth of experience, energy, and student-centered drive will be essential to HT under her leadership. I am extremely excited about this tenure of HT’s second female president, and I look forward to observing the successes of Dr. Williams’ journey. Best wishes.”

— Demetrius Johnson Jr., Founder, President & CEO at HBCU Campaign Fund

About Huston-Tillotson University
Huston-Tillotson University, the oldest institution of learning in Austin, Texas, has roots dating back to 1875. HT is an independent, church-related, historically black, four-year liberal arts institution located on a 23-acre tree-lined campus near downtown in East Austin. Huston-Tillotson University’s mission is to nurture a legacy of leadership and excellence in education, connecting knowledge, power, passion, and values. The University offers associate and master’s degrees in addition to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in more than 19 areas of study. For more information, visit www.htu.edu.

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Drake State Community & Technical College S.C. O’Neal Sr. Library and Technology Center on its campus in Huntsville, Alabama. Photo credits HCF Media Team.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Drake State Community & Technical College received a $2.4 million grant award as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA), Connecting Minority Communities Pilot (CMCP) program, to help eliminate historical broadband and computer access inequities in and around Madison County, Alabama. Drake State applied for the competitive federal grant, along with more than 200 universities and colleges across the United States.

Drake State prepares working adults, college, and high school students for careers in the Madison County/Huntsville area. Drake was one of the first five universities and the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to be awarded a CMCP grant by the federal government.

Drake State will use the federal funding to implement a computer and broadband access program that includes:

  • furnishing Drake students, including high school students who are dually enrolled at the College, with access to enabled laptops;
  • increasing at-home broadband access for Drake State students and their family members by providing home wireless broadband kits to those eligible families within a 15-mile radius of the college campus; and
  • Creating a mobile cyber-lab learning bus.

Drake State will also partner with two other universities, Alabama A&M University to implement secure, online student access to learning, teaching, and research resources, such as the library, mental health services, or information on food assistance, and Western Governors University to expand access to a National Security Agency (NSA) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security certified cyber defense degree program in cybersecurity.

“We are incredibly proud to win this significant award from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Drake State will use the federal funds to address long-standing digital inequities by offering laptops with broadband internet service to each and every Drake State student, and additional connectivity to their families,” said Dr. Patricia G. Sims, Drake State President. “This technology will help eliminate the digital divide for our community and open doors to learning, connect working adults and students to employers, and provide economic and career mobility for Drake State’s students.”

In acknowledging the award, Dr. Sims extended a personal, heartfelt thank you to the Governor and L.t. Governor for their continued support of Drake’s students, and appreciation for Drake partners, Alabama A&M and Western Governors University. “we are so grateful for your partnership and support for Drake State students.”

“All of us in the Alabama Community College System family are celebrating the good news that Drake State Community and Technical College was chosen as one of the first five grantees for the NTIA Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program,” said Dr. Vicky Ohlson, Alabama Community College System Vice Chancellor of Instruction, Research, and Development. “We could not be more proud of Drake State’s leadership, faculty, and staff for their hard work in developing a winning project proposal. The work that will be accomplished by Drake with the help of this funding will expand access to critical broadband technology and services to many more students and other residents in the College’s anchor community. It will remove barriers to higher education, training, and employment that have historically been insurmountable for those who need those opportunities the most. We are looking forward with great excitement to see how Drake’s project changes individual lives and strengthens the information technology workforce in the Huntsville-Madison County area.”

Other notable federal grants recently awarded to Drake State to expand opportunities for students include:

  • In August 2020, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), awarded a cooperative agreement notice (CAN) to Drake State to assist in 3D printing technologies research and train additive manufacturing technicians.
  • In August 2021, NASA MSFC awarded another CAN to Drake State to advance research in 3D printing of polymer structures. Research results and deliverables will help prepare for and sustain future lunar and Martian missions.
  • In September of 2021, Drake State received a three-year grant from NASA’s Minority University Research and Education (MUREP) to increase the number of engineering education and career opportunities for underrepresented minorities.

About Drake State Community & Technical College
Established in 1961, Drake State Community and Technical College is a historically black community college located in Huntsville, home of the first growing, highly technical aerospace and defense industry, including the NASA Marshall Flight Center, US Army Redstone Arsenal, and Cummings Research Parks. Drake State offers flexible, affordable university-transfer 2-year and technical degrees, certificates, adult and continuing education, and customized technical skills training for Huntsville/Madison County employers. Visit www.drakestate.edu for more information.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Board of Trustees has appointed Olivier Charles, ACCS Vice Chancellor for Student Success, as President of Bishop State Community College, announced on Wednesday (July 13). His tenure begins August 1.

Olivier Charles, ACCS Vice Chancellor for Student Success, appointed President of Bishop State Community College by ACCS Board of Trustees. His tenure begins August 1. Photo courtesy of ACCS/Bishop State Community College.

Charles’ appointment marks one of two of the last permanent college presidential appointments at Alabama’s community and technical colleges. In June, AACS Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Chris Cox as the permanent president of Shelton State Community College. All 24 of the colleges now have permanent presidents for the first time in many years.

“This is my dream job,” said Charles. “And I intend to retire at Bishop State. Growing up on Mobile’s Campground neighborhood, Bishop State was always a physical reminder that opportunities were within my reach. That community-focused role hasn’t changed, and as Mobile grows, Bishop State will be there to help us community share in its success. Mobile gave so much to me, so I see this opportunity to serve as my way of giving back.”

“We are a proud historically black community college (HBCC) and we will always be. I am committed to making Bishop State not just the best HBCU in Alabama but the best community college in Alabama, period. I’m ready to work with our community stakeholders, our students, and our faculty so that Bishop State can achieve its full potential,” Charles added.

“Oliver is a leader who can be integral in building relationships and solidifying workforce training infrastructure. He has succeeded in that role at the Alabama Community College System, and will bring that success to Bishop State,” said Alabama Community College System Chancellor Jimmy Baker. “Olivier sees the importance of Bishop State in Mobile’s past, its present, and its future.”

Bishop State is one of the System’s six historically black colleges and the City’s of Mobile’s only community college. With four campuses committed to serving the residents of Mobile and Washington counties, the college works to incorporate fast-tack, credentialed, transferable and degree-awarding programs to train students with new skills, increase career opportunities for South Alabamians, and support economic development efforts in the area.

Charles has served in higher education leadership for more than a decade, beginning first as Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management at the University of West Alabama and as Director of Admissions and Recruitment at Auburn University at Montgomery. Prior to becoming Vice Chancellor for Student Success, Charles served as Dean of Students at Enterprise State Community College.

Olivier Charles appointed President of Bishop State Community College.

Charles directed and managed best practice policies regarding student recruitment, advising, admissions, athletics, financial aid, registration, retention, marketing, ADA, Title IX, and facilities.

Charles earned both a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and a Master of Science in College Student Development from the University of West Alabama.

About ACCS
With 24 community colleges in more than 130 locations, the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) is Alabama’s gateway to first-class, affordable education and technical training to complete in a constantly evolving workforce. More than 144,000 Alabamians benefit from the various certification, credential, dual enrollment and degree programs ACCS offers alongside leading industry partners. The System includes the Alabama Technology Network, which provides extesnive training and service offerings directly to business and industry. ACCS is governed by the Alabama Community College Board of Trustees.

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Dear Supporters,

I wanted to inform you of the advocacy efforts that our organization does in support of students, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) 365 days of the year. Everyday, HCF tirelessly advocate for the better future of students, HBCUs, and MSIs as we continue to strengthen our role as leading advocates in the space of higher education.

We’d love to hear why you choose to support HCF. You can share your reasons on social media using the hashtag #HCFILoveMyHBCU. We will share some of the heartwarming #HCFILoveMyHBCU stories on our social media pages.

We thank you so much for your support. Your support and contributions only helps to strengthen our mission further each and every day, and continues the long-lasting fight to Campaign For HBCUs. Whether you serve on staff, volunteered, donated, or read or shared our content, it’s much appreciated. Because We Are HBCUs!

Warms Regards,
Demetrius Johnson, Jr.
Founder, President & CEO

This month, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) institutions – Spelman College, Dillard University, Hampton University, and Southern University officially welcomed their selected presidents to their campuses to begin their presidential tenures.

Spelman College, America’s oldest private HBCU liberal arts college for women, announced the selection of Helene Gayle, a globally recognized public health leader, in April 2022. Dr. Gayle previously led The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations. In a 3-minute welcome introduction video, Dr. Gayle thanks the Spelman and Atlanta community for the warm welcome to campus and congratulatory messages received. Additionally, she addressed that she is prepared to collaborate with crucial partners, identify strategic priorities, solve critical issues and forget new opportunities for the college.

Dr. Gayle succeeded Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., who served a seven-year tenure as Spelman’s 10th president.

“I’m excited about Dr. Gayle’s appointment and confident that her demonstrated ability to address complex issues in communities of color many of which involve the strength of Black females and her success factors, coupled with her commitment to equity, will further build on Spelman’s legacy and propel the College into the future,” said Rosalind G. Brewer, Spelman College Board Chair.

Meanwhile, on Dillard University’s Avenue of the Oaks, madam president and Howard University alumnae Dr. Rochelle Ford has presented the campus with her charismatic elegance. Dillard selected Dr. Ford as the eighth president, succeeding Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough.

Dr. Rochelle Ford, 8th president of Dillard University. (Courtesy of Dillard University)

Ford previously served as dean of Elon University’s School of Communications. Before that, she served as Syracuse University’s Provost faculty fellow. The dynamics in her have her already hitting the ground running, and as Dr. Ford mentioned during an interview with Higher Ed Drive, she plans to meet people and listen to what they’re excited about. She wants to know what they believe is possible to ensure Dillard’s sustainability for generations to come.

“Students, faculty, and trustees were blown away by her insight, passion and drive. As impressive as Dillard has been over the past 150 years in producing history makers and change agents, there is no questions that, under Dr. Ford’s leadership, the best is yet to come,” said Michael D. Jones, Esq., Chair of Dillard’s Board of Trustees.

Two more presidents have begun their roles at HBCUs and are succeeding retiring presidents. Darrell K. Williams to lead Hampton University and Dennis J. Shields will lead the way at the only university system known to HBCUs, the Southern University System. President-Chancellor Shields will also lead the main campus in Baton Rouge (Southern University and A&M College). His previous experience has been in higher education outside of the HBCU space. So during his 100 days, he is expected to understand his dual role as President-Chancellor and the HBCU experience. His plans focus primarily on student outcomes (retention, graduate rates, and first-time employment), community engagement, and stakeholder involvement.

Southern University President-Chancellor Dennis J. Shields met with students, faculty, and staff during his first week of his presidential tenure on campus. (Courtesy of Southern University and A&M College)

Dr. Shields previously served as the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Platteville since 2010.

On the other hand, Hampton University also hired a male successor for Dr. William R. Harvey, alumnus Ret. U.S. Army Gen. Darrell K. Williams. With background as an educator with nonprofit development experience, Williams says that his focus will be creating an unparalleled higher education experience for students that includes excellent academics, support for strong physical, emotional, and mental health, and access to cutting-edge technology, research opportunities and innovative students.

Hampton University President Darrell K. Williams and First Lady Williams walking the campus, meeting and eating with students in the dinning hall during their first week of the presidential tenure. (Courtesy of Hampton University)

“I love Hampton and the opportunities provided to me here. The university’s values and standard of excellence will not change. As the new president, my priority will be providing our students with a robust experience that is second to none and prepares them for life after graduation,” said Williams.

Williams retired from the U.S. Army in 2020 after 37 years of service. His last leadership position was as the first Black and 19th director of the Department of Defense’s Defense logistics Agency (DLA). He oversaw a global workforce of over 26,000 civilian and military professionals. He comes to Hampton from Fortune 250 technology company Leidos, where he served as the global organization’s United Kingdom vice president and managing director of the U.K. Ministry of Defense Logistics Commodities and Services Transformation (LCST) programme, providing global logistical support to U.K. military forces.

HCF welcomes all four of them to leadership at the helm of their designated colleges and universities and expresses our profound and heartfelt congratulations on their appointment. We appreciate their leadership and wish them the very best throughout their tenures.

PETERSBERG, Va. – The Virginia State University Board of Visitors has voted to extend the contract of VSU President, Dr. Makola M. Abdullah. The new contract will extend the President’s tenure through the year 2029 by adding five additional years to his current agreement with the University. Dr. Abdullah was named among the Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders in 2018 by the HBCU Campaign Fund.

“President Abdullah has demonstrated an extraordinary ability to lead and has provided an exceptional and clear vision for Virginia State University,” said Board Rector Valerie K. Brown. “The University has experienced significant academic growth and prestige under his leadership. We are confident that he will continue to lead Virginia State University on a path to greater.”

Dr. Abdullah began his VSU career in February 2016 with an unwavering dedication and commitment to excellence. As the new President, he outlined his core beliefs that became the foundation of his work for VSU: beliefs in God, family, the transformative nature of education, and in Virginia State University. With that foundation in mind, President Abdullah and his new administration began planning the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan: Preeminence with Purpose, to chart the university’s path to continued growth and excellence. His plan set forth for the next chapter for VSU which focused on six areas: Student Opportunity and Access, Academic Excellence, The Holistic Experience for Students, Enhancing the Land Grant Mission of the University, Advancing the VSU Brand and Financial/Operational Effectiveness.

Under President Abdullah’s leadership and guidance, VSU experienced the single largest year-to-year increase in enrollment in more than a decade and the highest retention rate in more than twenty years. The University also increased the 4-year graduation rate to the highest recorded rate in the University’s history. Virginia State University has also placed in U.S. News and World Report’s top 30 in the Best Overall HBCUs for 2022, ranked in the top 30% in the “Performers on Social Mobility” list, Top 10 in Student Retention Programs at HBCUs, and top 15% of Bang-for-your-Buck institutions in the Southeast Region of the United States. The University has extended its academic offerings with newly added undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees. In addition, the University now also offers several fully online programs/degrees and has implemented a new free tuition program for students from area high schools.

Furthermore, under the leadership of President Abdullah, in 2018, Virginia State University successfully completed its reaffirmation of accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The University was reaffirmed for 10 years with no recommendations. The President has also overseen the launch of several major initiatives since taking office. These include the establishments of the John Mercer Langston Institute for African American Political Leadership for assess, develop and empower African American leaders; the establishment of The Center for Policing Leadership and Social Justice to address the critical divide between law enforcement and communities of color; and the establishment of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging on campus to promote good relations toward and support those who may be subject of discrimination.

“Serving in this capacity at Virginia State University has been the highlight of my academic career. I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of an education,” said Abdullah. “I work with the amazing faculty and staff who show an unwavering commitment to excellence in education. I extend my gratitude to the VSU Board of Visitors for their vote of confidence and for giving me the opportunity to continue the GREATER work at Virginia State University through the reminder of this decade.”

During his tenure, President Abdullah has become a national leader-fighting on behalf of the transformative work of Virginia State University and all HBCUs. He was selected to serve on the U.S. President’s Board of Advisors (PBA) on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In addition, he served as Chair of the Council of 1890s Presidents for Association of Public Land-Grant University (APLU); Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; and Vice Chair of the Council of Presidents for Virginia Institutions of Higher Education; and member of the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

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JACKSON, MSJackson State University (JSU) has announced today that the Margaret Walker Center, located on its campus has been awarded a $650,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to help expand its capacity, enterprise and programming and that of the COFO Civil Rights Education Center.

“This significant investment in the Margaret Walker Center reveals that JSU and the Mellon Foundation share a common ground, and that is enhancing the lives of students and those of the surrounding communities by helping to provide opportunities and experiences that foster learning and stimulate intellectual thought,” said Thomas K. Hudson, Jackson State President. ”We appreciate the foundation’s ongoing support of the great work being done at our institution.”

The MWC landed a $450,000 grant from the Foundation in 2019, which was the springboard for the Center’s capacity building. The latest award will further bolster activities started three years ago, including the extension of the MWC Mellon Visiting Scholars; graduate assistantships; and proceeds for the 50th anniversary convening of the Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival in November 2023.

“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.

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 abale 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.

Funderburk, who oversees close to 1,000 interviews and the digitization of the Center’s research collection, said she was excited and humbled to hear news of the latest grant.

“Not only because it confirmed that I would be able to stay on at JSU as the Oral Historian for the Margaret Walker Center, but also because the news gave me a great sense of excitement for what we would be able to do in the next three years towards preserving Black history and stories,” said Funderburk.

Funderburk adds that the grant will allow her to collect and preserve Black oral histories and teach students both here and around the country how to conduct them in their communities.

About Jackson State University
Jackson State University, an HBCU and comprehensive urban research university, is to provide quality teaching, research and service at the baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral levels to diverse populations of students and communities using various modalities to ensure that they are technologically-advanced, ethical, global leaders who think critically and can address societal programs and compete effectively. For more information, visit www.jsums.edu.

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HUNTSVILLE, AL – Middle school and high school students can learn new technological skills this summer to design and build robots at Drake State Community and Technical College.

Some schools may not offer robotics as an extracurricular activity, but a summer camp at Drake State can give students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills that could lead to careers in aerospace engineering, mobile app and software development and cybersecurity. Learn more about these free bootcamps below.

Meta Middle School Robotics Summer Camp
Thanks to Drake State’s 2022 Meta Community Action Grant, rising 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students will spend one week building and programming solar robots.
When: July 11 – July 14
Time: 8am – Noon
Where: Drake State (3421 Meridan St.)
Application deadline: extended to July 7

Apply to the Meta Middle School Robotics Summer Camp here: https://bit.ly/3nnuVaF.

MUREP Robotics Bootcamp for high school students
High school students can sign up for the Robotics Bootcamp through NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP). The bootcamp will expose students to the fundamentals of robotics and allow them to participate in a design challenge to build a basic radio-control robot chassis. There are few spots available.
When: July 9
Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Where: Drake State (3421 Meridan St.)
Apply for the MUREP Robotics Bootcamp here: https://bit.ly/3QYvVQi.

About Drake State Community & Technical College
Drake State Community & Technical College offers flexible, affordable university-transfer and technical degrees, certificates, adult and continuing education, and customized skills training to fulfill the diverse workforce needs of employers. Visit www.drakestate.edu for more information.

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BIRMINGHAM, AL – The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) has announced that it will host its annual SWAC Football Media Day on Thursday, July 21 at 10:00 a.m. CST at the Sheraton-Birmingham.

2021 SWAC Media Day. Photo courtesy of HCF Media Relations.

The event will be streamed live on ESPN3 with football commentators Tiffany Greene and Jay Walker teaming up to host the one-day event.

All twelve SWAC head football coaches and two student-athletes from each team will be in attendance to address the media about the upcoming 2022 football season.

A complete listing of the student-athletes slated to be in attendance will be released closer to the event date. Media one-on-one interviews with coaches and student-athletes will begin at 10:00 a.m. CST.

This event is a pre-kickoff to HBCU Campaign Fund’s (HCF) Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour, where members of its media team participates and covers the one-day event.

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 completion offered by the league include 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.

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FRANKFORT, KY – Today, the Kentucky State University Board of Regents named a new interim president. Dr. Ronald A. Johnson will serve the university in the interim capacity and will begin his appointment on July 1, 2022. Clara Stamps, who was previously KSU’s senior vice president for Brand Identity and University Relations, served as acting president since July 2021.

Dr. Ronald A. Johnson

Johnson is the former president of Clark Atlanta University (CAU), where he led the development and implementation of transformational academic, financial, competitive positioning, organizational, and operating strategies that resulted in significant improvements in enrollment, first-time undergraduate student retention, six-year graduation rates, and key financial performance indicators. He is an innovator in curriculum development and led curricular and pedagogical reform at CAU including the introduction of micro credentials, technology enhanced learning, and market driven academic programs and program innovation. He led the successful development of a new strategic plan for CAU and the reaffirmation of its Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accreditation.

The Board voted on the interim president at a special-called meeting Monday, June 27. Additional information regarding his appointment will be forthcoming.

“Dr. Johnson has a distinguished record in higher education administration especially at HBCUs,” said Dr. Gerald Patton, Chair of Kentucky State University Board of Regents. “We, the Board of Regents are elated at his appointment and look forward to working with him as he provides institutional leadership at Kentucky State University at this critical time.”

This appointment comes after Dr. M. Christopher Brown II resigned from the presidential role in July 2021, effective immediately. Brown was named the 18th president of Kentucky State in 2017, after serving in leadership roles at leading HBCUs in Louisiana and Mississippi.

About Kentucky State University
Kentucky State University is a public, comprehensive, historically Black land-grant university committed to advancing the Commonwealth of Kentucky, enhancing society, and impacting individuals by providing quality teaching with a foundation in liberal studies, scholarly research, and public service to enable productive lives within the diverse global economy. For more information, visit www.kysu.edu.

2022 Pepsi National Battle of the Bands Presented by Toyota

HOUSTON, TX – Event organizers for the Pepsi National Battle of the Bands presented by Toyota announced that this year’s event will take place on Saturday, August 27 at NRG Stadium and will kick off at 6:00 p.m. CST.

“Each year we strive to make the National Battle of the Bands event an experience that not only celebrates and amplifies the visibility of HBCU marching bands, but also, serves and support the community,” says Derek Webber, National Battle of the Bands Creator and CEO, Webber Marketing. ”Whether it’s working with minority business owners and creating job opportunities, providing scholarships to college and high school bands programs, or hosting a college recruitment fair where high school students get accepted on-site, we have dynamic partners like Pepsi, Toyota, JP Morgan Chase and more who are committed to our vision of creating sustainable impact within the communities we serve.”

Created to celebrate, support, and recognize the excellence of Black college marching bands, the NBOTB is the largest HBCU marching band event and the second largest African American event in the state of Texas. More than 2,000 members of eight of the nation’s top marching bands will kick off their Fall marching band season at the NBOTB while showcasing the culture of their universities and their unique style and sound. The showcase will feature sounds from the following bands:

  • Alabama A&M University, Marching Maroon & White Band
  • Alcorn State University, The Sounds of Dyn-O-mite Marching Band
  • Bethune-Cookman University, Marching Wildcats
  • Grambling State University, World Famed Tiger Marching Band
  • Kentucky State University, Mighty Marching Thorobreds
  • NCA&T University, The Blue and Gold Marching Machine
  • Prairie View A&M University, Marching Storm Band
  • Southern University, Human Jukebox
Kentucky State University’s Mighty Marching Thorobreds preparing to take the field for the halftime performance during 2019’s Circle City Classic. Photo courtesy of HCF Media Relations.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming eight of the nation’s best marching bands to Houston,” said Chris Massey, Harris County – Houston Sports Authority (HCHSA) Vice President. ”The National Battle of the Bands is the perfect event to celebrate and amplify the city’s love of arts, education, and HBCU culture. We are looking forward to packing the house and celebrating with fans from all over the country!”

The NBOTB partnership with HCHSA is a significant one because it supports the advancement of the event’s mission to enhance the exposure of HBCUs and their marching bands, and the role they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing future leaders. The partnership also aims to boost the growth of scholarships and expand the awareness of higher learning with music, arts, and entertainment.

Tickets on sale to the 2022 Pepsi National Battle of the Bands presented by Toyota

Several official NBOTB events will also return, including the Pepsi NBOTB presented by Toyota, Step and Stroll Band Culture Kickoff, The Emerge Experience Entrepreneur Event Presented by J.P. Morgan Chase, and HBCU S.T.E.M. College Recruitment.

To purchase tickets and for more information about the NBOTB, visit www.nationalbattleofthebands.com.

About National Battle of the Bands
The event’s mission is to enhance the exposure of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their marching bands, the roles they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing future leaders. Event organizers have generated more than $700,000 in scholarships for the participating colleges and universities. For more information, visit www.nationalbattleofthebands.com.

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TALLADEGA, AL – In partnership with the City of Talladega, the Omega Academy of Science and Fine Arts has acquired the Talladega Golf Course and the Eastside Head Start building. These acquisitions will be used to provide education and sports initiatives to underserved communities.

The Omega Academy of Science and Fine Arts is a public-private partnership led by Dr. Mark E. Stevens, Vanessa Williams-Nash, Lamar D. Williams, and Dr. Shaquille O’Neal. Its mission is to provide solutions that enrich education and child development options to diverse communities by leveraging the organizers’ relationships with corporate partners using Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

Motivated and inspired by Dr. David Marion, Grand Basileus, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Dr. Stevens undertook the challenge to find a new and innovative pathway to educational equity and inclusion.

The Omega Academy of Science and Fine Arts will provide services to individuals and families whose quality of life has been negatively impacted by poverty, unemployment, homelessness,crime, and inadequate public education services. The Academy’s resources will provide an alternative education platform and child development options for the community.

Plans include utilizing portions of the old golf course to create a golf school or six-hole loop course and driving range for the the city on the current 38-arce property. The program will enable youth to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges by seamlessly integrating the game of golf with a curriculum focused on diverse life skills.

Talladega City manager Seddrick Hill Sr. speaks during the ribbon cutting ceremony for Omega Golf Academy on June 17, 2022. Photo courtesy of The Daily Home.

Dr. Marion stated, ”Our historic organization is proud to partner with the Omega Academy of Science and Fine Arts in an effort to continue our legacy of building and developing tomorrow’s leaders. This partnership is an innovative solution to addressing the great challenges that many of our communities and cities are facing today.”

Talladega City Manager Seddrick Hill Sr., a Talladega College alumnus, noted that the city is undergoing a transformation that includes knocking down dilapidated, abandoned buildings; combating crime more aggressively; beautifying public spaces; and creating resolutions and ordinances that will help make the city a better place to live, work, and do business. He believes the academies will have a ”tremendous impact.”

Hill stated, ”The Omega Academy of Science and Fine Arts and the Omega Golf Academy will increase hope, opportunity and pride in Talladega.”

The Omega Academy of Science and Fine Arts plans to hire many of the same staff and previous student that attended the Eastside Academy in the past years.

During a recorded messages shared at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 17, 2022, Dr. Shaquille O’Neal praised Mr. Hill for helping to transform Talladega.

”When I do something, I do it big cause I’m still a kid at heart,” says O’Neal.

For more information, email Dr. Mark E. Stevens, Vanessa Williams-Nash or Lamar D. Williams at admin@theomegaaosafa.org.

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Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., Chicago State University President.

CHICAGO, IL – The Board of Trustees of Chicago State University has announced a 4-year contract extension for President Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Esq., who has held the position since July 1, 2018. President Scott is the 12th Permanent President of the University.

“The Board of Trustees’ unanimous support for this contract extension is a vote of full confidence in President Z Scott as the right person to lead CSU now and for the foreseeable future,” said Andre Zopp, Chair of the Trustees. “During the last four years, President Scott has exceeded the Board’s expectation. Particularly she has moved the university forward while navigating the unprecedented challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Zopp underscored that Scott has driven forward advancement in areas critical to the success of the university. Key accomplishments include creating a board-approved Strategic Plan reflecting university-wide input, launching a student success strategy that increased persistence and graduation rates, implementing a new plan for student recruitment, and positioning CSU as a statewide and national leader in advancing equity in higher education. Additionally, under President Scott’s leadership, CSU has spearheaded building a national coalition of U.S. Department of Education-designated Predominantly Black Institutions. Scott also oversaw the redevelopment of the university’s foundation and its Board of Directors. Zopp concluded, “There is a renewed level of energy on campus, and a renewed focus on Chicago State University as the focal point for the engagement of corporate partners and important community initiatives.”

“I commend CSU Trustees Chair Andrea Zopp and the Board of Trustees for their attentiveness in choosing an individual with a wealth of leadership experience and determination to be the right person to lead CSU brighter each day,” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., HCF Founder, President & CEO. “Madam President Z Scott has done more than exceptionally well; she has done an amazing job in her role at CSU. Scott has exceeded above and beyond, and as I survey her leadership work, she has moved the university with the confidence of being Illinois’ premier Predominantly Black Institution. She is most definitely a ‘Most Dominant leader’.'”

In addition to her role as President, Scott is on the Board of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Shedd Aquarium, Commonwealth Eddison, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. During her time as President, Scott has provided expertise to local and statewide leaders including by serving as Co-Chair of the Illinois Board of Higher Education Strategic Plan Committee and the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 Recovery Task Force. Prior to taking the helm of CSU, Scott was an equity partner in a national law firm with an international practice. Her Career further includes work as federal criminal prosecutor in the position of Chief of General Crimes and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and the first Illinois Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Governor and its Public Universities.

In 2020, President Scott was the first president representing a Predominantly Black Institution to be named among The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders. A award recognition that recognizes leaders for proving their responsibilities for shaping policies, changing perspectives and making decisions that affect millions of individuals in the higher ed sector and the daily needs of an HBCU or MSI.

Scott’s initial contract expires on June 30, 2022. Her new contract will be effective July 1, 2022.

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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SAN ANTONIO, TX – The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and Diverse: Issues In Higher Education have 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 wins 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.”

Award recipients receive a specially-designed logo to promote the institution’s commitment to diversity during student and staff recruitment efforts, as well as during other times when they want to highlight their commitment to inclusiveness. The awarded colleges are also featured in Diverse’s new magazine, the only bi-weekly national publication focusing on matters of access and opportunity for all in higher education.

To learn more about the Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges award, visit https://www.nisod.org/mppwcc.

About St. Philip’s College
St. Philip’s College, founded in 1898, is a comprehensive public community college offering associate’s degrees and certificate, whose mission is to empower our diverse student population through educational achievement and career readiness. As a Historically Black College and Hispanic Serving Institution, St. Philip’s College is a vital facet of the community, responding to the needs of a population rich in ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity. St. Philip’s College creates an equitable and inclusive environment, fostering excellence in academic and technical achievement, while expanding its commitment to diversity, opportunity and access. For more information, visit www.alamo.edu/spc/.

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Dr. William R. Harvey, retiring president of Hampton University

HAMPTON, Va. – As Hampton University gears up to celebrate retiring president Dr. William R. Harvey’s 44 years of legendary service to the University, Dr. Harvey was surprised when he received a Certificate of Recognition from Glenn Youngkin, Governor of Virginia, declaring June 11, 2022 as Dr. William R. Harvey Day, in recognition of the significant achievements and contributions Dr. Harvey has made during his illustrious career as Hampton University President.

“Virginia has been my family’s home for 44 years, and it is a wonderful community,” said Dr. Harvey. “This honor is truly a surprise and is much appreciated. I want to thank Governor Glenn Youngskin for this recognition. This is a wonderful gesture from the leader of the Commonwealth.”

The certificate of recognition notes that Dr. Harvey “was appointed in July 1978 as the twelfth president of Hampton University, capturing this opportunity to grow and improve the university to make the most positive impact on students and their families. “This recognition also noted just a few of his many achievements, including “that in 1989, Dr. Harvey instituted project H.O.P.E. (Hampton’s Opportunity Program for Enhancement), which admits college-bound African-American males into Hampton, and in 1992, he initiated the Job Education Training (JET) Corps, a program modeled after the 1930’s Civilian Conservation Corps; and, WHEREAS, as an author lecturer, and recipient of numerous awards, Dr. William Harvey’s leadership at Hampton has yielded numerous accomplishments ranging from ninety-two new academic degrees, including twelve new doctoral programs, to be launch of four satellites in space; and, WHEREAS, Dr. Harvey’s proudest accomplishment is his role as mentor to seventeen of his former vice-presidents, challenging and guiding them to assume roles as president and CEOs while modeling his five priorities for success – outstanding character traits, high standards, a good work ethic, service to others, and teamwork.”

The proclamation closes with the Commonwealth of Virginia commending Dr. Harvey for his “four decades of dedication and lifetime of contribution to strengthening the Spirit of Virginia. Now, therefore, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize June 11, 2022 as Dr. William R. Harvey day in the Commonwealth of Virginia and call this observance to the attention of our citizens.”

Earlier this year, Dr. Harvey was recognized as one of the inaugural Dr. Lawrence A. Davis Jr. Trailblazers of Higher Education recipients among The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2022 by the HBCU Campaign Fund.

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ALABAMADuring its regular meeting on Wednesday, June 8, the ACCS Board of Trustees unanimously approved Dr. Chris Cox as President of Shelton State Community College.

During its regular meeting on Wednesday, June 8, the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees unanimously approved Dr. Chris Cox as President of Shelton State Community College. Cox served as Interim President of the College since February.

“Shelton State position in the state and in the academic community keeps the College poised as one of the best foundations for student success and workforce development in Alabama, so the College needs a leader like Chris to continue to strengthen its standing as the community’s community college,” said Jimmy H. Baker, Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System (ACCS).

“Chris’ tenure at Shelton State has already proven to be a game-changer for the students, faculty, staff and workforce region. I’m thrilled to see what happens next for residents, schools and business partners who rely on Shelton State to deliver, ” Jimmy continued.

Cox has nearly 30 years of K-12 and higher educaton administration experience. Prior to his appointment as Interim President at Shelton State, he served as Special Assistant to the Chancellor t the ACCS. He has served as an Interim President at Northwest-Shoals Community College in Muscle Shoals, Bevill State Community College in Jasper, and Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia.

A Geneva, Alabama native, Cox began his career as a teacher and coach at Dale County High School in Midland City. He later served as Assistant Principal at Geneva High School in Geneva and Principal at Pinedale Elementary School in Enterprise. Prior to joining the ACCS, Cox spent time in Oxford, first as Oxford High School’s principal and then Assistant Superintendent for the Oxford City Board of Education. Cox earned a Bacheor of Science in Social Science from Troy State University and a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Alabama State University. Cox earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration from Auburn University.

”Shelton State is one of the premier community college in Alabama with ties attached to the HBCU culture in my eyes. With a leader as poised as Dr. Cox, we ate HCF are thrille to watch his leadership move Shelton State forward in delivering a continued high-quality educational experience,” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., President & CEO of the HBCU Campaign Fund.

Shelton State is one of Alabama’s largest community colleges, with around 7,000 students annually who enroll for academic instruction and workforce development. It is also among eleven community college designated as a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) Shelton State’s C.A. Fredd State campus maintains the idenity and continues the specific HBCU mission of promoting educational access and opportunity for all students. C.A. Fredd State Technical College was recognized as one of the nation’s HBCUs, the college consolidated with Shelton State in 1994.

With two academic sitees in Tuscaloosa, the college is a prime choice for students who wants to transfer to four-year colleges and universities, as well as those who want to earn a certification for work in several high-demand, high-wage job opportunities in the region. The college’s student services provide a variety of resources for students for both their academic and career success.

“The opportunity to permanently join the Buccaneer Family is one of the highest honors I can imagine,” Cox said. “The future of Shelton State is very bright because of the excellence of our education and training programs, our outstanding faculty and students, and our connections to the community we serve. We’re going to build and strengthen partnerships with K-12 schools, business and industry, and other colleges and universities so we can help our students and our community succeed like never before.”

About Shelton State Community College
Shelton State Community College is a two-year community college located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and is one of the largest two-year colleges in the state. Approximately 7,000 students are enrolled in some form of coursework, including around 3,000 full-time students.

Shelton State meets students where they are then takes them where they want to be. With a broad diversity of students and possibilities, SSCC integrates pieces and parts of a person’s experience for a one-of-a-kind fit. For more information, visit www.sheltonstate.edu.

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Last Month, Martin University, Indiana’s only Predominantly Black Institution (PBI), received a $100,000 grant from the Anthem Foundation to launch a revised Community Psychology master’s program for health counselors and clinical addictions counselors. The organization and the institution are coming together to enhance the mental health and substance abuse disorder workforce to address the ongoing challenges impacting Indiana communities.

The program at Martin University will train students to counsel persons with mental health and addiction issues. The mental health/addictions counseling needs for communities of color have historically been underserved. While there are many contributors to this, one fact is that persons from communities of color preferred to be counseled by persons who look like them in a culturally relevant environment. By increasing the workforce of African American counselors, there will be more opportunities for Black clients to receive needed counseling services from someone who comes from the same culture as themselves.

People with a substance abuse disorder ofter have other mental health illnesses, the most common being depression and anxiety disorder. Studies show that more than 50% who have a serious mental illness also have substance use or abuse disorder. It is estimated that 10 percent of adults in the United States have a drug use disorder at some point in their lives. In Indiana, there were over 14,000 visits to the emergency room for substance abuse issues and 1,026 deaths due to drug misuse in 2018. It is estimated that in Marion County, there are at least 9,000 individuals with opioid use disorder and about 40,000 people who misuse opioids.

About Martin University
As Indiana’s only Predominately Black Institution of Higher Education, Martin University educates and develops diverse workforce-ready students in an inclusive, supportive and collegiate environment. For more information, visit www.martin.edu.

Partnership Gives Students Access to Graduate Degree Scholarship, Flexible Path to Career Growth

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.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. A signing ceremony was held on Monday, May 16th on the campus of Drake State.

“Drake State and WGU provided me with an excellent education that has helped me enter my chosen profession and excel,” said Max Tunstall, Chief Nursing Officer at Athens-Limestone Hospital. “Drake State offered a structured program where the instructors provided in-person instruction and one-on-one assistance. This was helpful when learning information and skills to prepare me to enter the workforce. WGU also provided a personalized education that was flexible and allowed me to balance my career, family, and educational obligations.”

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.

Both Drake State and WGU strive to provide an affordable and accessible education,” said Dr. Kimberly K. Estep, WGU’s Southeast Regional Vice President. “We are delighted to partner with an institution that aims to better their students and graduates with opportunities to broaden their education and careers alongside WGU.”

“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.”

Drake is WGU’s first community college partner in the State of Alabama. At present, there are 1,300 WGU students in Alabama and over 1,700 graduates in the state.

For more information about the schools, visit wgu.edu and drakestate.edu.

About Western Governors University (WGU)
Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors, Western Governors University (WGU) is an online, nonprofit, competency-based university with career-aligned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in—IT, teaching, business, and healthcare—designed to help working professionals fit an online university education into their busy lives. WGU now serves more than 136,000 students nationwide and has more than 272,000 graduates in all 50 states. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, WGU is recognized as a highly effective postsecondary education model. Tuition is around $8,000 per year for most undergraduate degree programs.

WGU was recognized as a 2021 Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing. In 2021, WGU was recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD). WGU’s School of Information Technology was awarded a CAE designation by the National Security Agency (NSA) for its B.S. in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance program. WGU is also an Amazon Career Choice. Learn more at wgu.edu.

About Drake State Community and Technical College
Established in 1961, Drake State Community and Technical College is a historically black community college located in Huntsville, home to the fast growing, highly technical aerospace and defense industry, including the NASA Marshall Flight Center, US Army Redstone Arsenal, Cummings Research Park, and the soon-to-be relocated Federal Bureau of Investigation Headquarters. Drake State offers flexible, affordable university-transfer 2-year and technical degrees, certificates, adult and continuing education, and customized technical skills training for the skilled force needs for Alabama and Huntsville area employers.

In 2021, Drake State was awarded a multi-year $1.2 million grant from NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP). MUREP provides financial assistance via competitive awards to minority-serving institutions to increase the number of racial and ethnic minorities and women in science and engineering fields. In 2022, Drake partnered with North Alabama’s largest healthcare employer to create the Huntsville Hospital LPN Launch Program Powered by Drake State. The popular initiative will welcome its first Licensed Practical Nurse students this fall.

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The original campus of the historic Mississippi Industrial College that closed in 1982, located in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

HOLLY SPRINGS, MS – Rust College has announced the receipt of a large grant that will aid in the restoration of Mississippi Industrial College (MIC), an HBCU which closed in 1980s. The National Park Service recently awarded $16.2M in grants to help preserve African American civil rights history. Of the $16.2 million, Rust College has been awarded $500,000 for the restoration of the historic Carnegie Hall which sits on the campus of MIC. MIC, which is located adjacent to the campus of Rust College, closed in the 1980s and the building have since stood unoccupied and deteriorating. In 1979, a short time before the doors to MIC closed, four of the buildings – including Carnegie Hall, – were entered in the National Register of Historic Places. In 2008, Rust College assumed control of the buildings in an attempt to save them from further deterioration. Since President Taylor’s arrival in 2020, it has been her vision to restore the MIC campus back to life and make it part of the Rust College campus community.

Carnegie Hall has major architectural and social significance in the state of Mississippi. Originally funded by a donation from Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Hall was built in 1923 and contained the largest auditorium and performance venue in Mississippi that was open to blacks and it was known as the Carnegie Auditorium. Even in its current condition, Carnegie Auditorium remains one of the best examples of Colonial Revival architecture in Holly Springs, Mississippi. An earlier stabilization project at Carnegie Hall was funded in part by a Mississippi Department of Archives and Heritage Community Heritage Grant.

Ivy R. Taylor, Rust College President

“The intertwined histories of Rust College and MIC are worthy of preservation. These recent awards, including $155,000 for a campus masterplan focused on preserving Rust College’s historic assets are welcome investments in the past and the future of these HBCUs. Our students and the entire Holly Springs community will benefit from a restored Carnegie Auditorium to showcase the area’s artistic and cultural heritage,” said President Ivy R. Taylor.

Earlier this spring, Rust College received its first congressional special project appropriation recommended by Senator Roger Wicker. This $1 million allocation was awarded to facilitate creation of the Ida B. Wells Social Justice and Interpretive Center on the MIC campus in the Booker T. Washington Hall building, which is also on the National Register of Historic Places. These efforts are both apart of President Taylor’s larger vision to restore the MIC campus which will be a $35+ million-dollar renovation with the potential to offer new and innovative academic programming to Rust College students, and to serve as a place to restore the arts and meet the needs of the Holly Springs community and surrounding area.

“The African American Civil Rights grants are critical to helping preserve and interpret a more comprehensive narrative of the people, places, and events associated with African American Civil Rights movement,” said NPS Director Chunk Sams. This years’ National Park Service grant awards will benefit 44 projects in 15 states and support the continued preservation of sites and history related to the African American struggle for equality.

President Taylor and the Rust College Board of Trustees will continue to engage stakeholders in the efforts of revitalize MIC and integrate it into the Rust College campus community. Preservation of MIC campus will provide space for students and community organizations and this $500,000 award is a critical step toward realizing this plan. Rust College is continuing to build momentum around preserving the MIC campus and is planning and outdoor celebration on the campus later this summer. This event will be open to community stakeholder, investors and historians to celebrate the momentum happening with restoring one of our historic HBCUs.

“This project is support through an African American Civil Rights grant, provided by the Historic Preservation Fund, as administrated by the National Park Service, Department of Interior.”

About Rust College
Rust College is the oldest most prestigious historically black college in Mississippi founded in 1866 by the Freedmen’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Offering degree programs in business, education, humanities, science and mathematics, and social science, Rust College equips and inspires students for excellence and service in their communities and throughout the world. Located in Holly Springs, MS, just 35 miles southeast of Memphis, Tennessee, Rust College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.

For more information about Rust College, call (662) 252-8000, ext. 4915 or visit www.rustcollege.edu.

About Mississippi Industrial College
Mississippi Industrial College was founded in 1905 by the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. Bishop Elias Cottrell wanted to found a college for Negro youth which would inculcate Christian ideals, provide a practical education, and make better citizens. The first classes were held that fall. For the next 77 years the school fulfilled that mission, expanding to teacher education, the ministry, and the liberal arts. The 1960 MIC Key, shows that the overwhelming number of graduates majored in elementary education; physical education and mathematics also had high graduation numbers. In addition, MIC offered programs in auto mechanics, home economics and commercial subjects. As with many historically black colleges, MIC lost students when they were allowed to attend formerly all-white schools. Changing expectations of a new generation of black students led to greater enrollment losses at MIC. After federal funding was cut in 1981, MIC was forced to close in 1982.

About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

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BLUEFIELD, W.VA – Bluefield State College has been 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 Institute. Bluefield State has completed all of the requirements to become a university.

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s board, which oversees the four-year school, voted unanimously to approve the BSC’s request on Thursday. The next step is for the BSC Board of Governors to meet to approve the change, which will take place sometime next week.

Robin Capehart, Bluefield State College President

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.

Colleges must meet several criteria to reach university status, and that includes offering at least one master’s-level degree program; having an approved mission statement that provides for the offering of graduate programs; obtaining the approval of the Higher Learning Commission to offer any master’s degree program; and, having at least two-thirds of its faculty holding a terminal degree.

According to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, becoming a university was one of the goals of Capehart when he took over the reins in January 2019, as well as bringing back on-campus housing, with both goals accomplished and more housing coming.

Capehart said the university status means an “opportunity to step up our game” and become more of a regional school and a competitive school.

About Bluefield State College
Bluefield State College, a historically black institution, is to prepare students for diverse professions, informed citizenship, community involvement, and public service in an ever-changing global society by providing an affordable, accessible opportunity for public higher education through certificate, associate, bachelor, and master degree programs. For more information, visit www.bluefieldstate.edu.

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Dr. Helene Gayle, MD, Globally Recognized Public Health Leader

ATLANTA, GA – Last month, the Spelman College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to appoint Helene Gayle, MD as its 11th president. Spelman College has a long, proud history of excellence and global leadership in the education of women of African descent and is committed to addressing racial inequities in education ensuring equitable opportunities for students of all economic backgrounds. Dr. Gayle’s presidency will begin on July 1, 2022.

Dr. Gayle currently serves as president and CEO of the Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations. Under her leadership, the Trust grew it assets from roughly $2.8B to $4.7B and adopted a strategic plan aimed at closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap. A public health leader and humanitarian, Dr. Gayle spent nearly a decade as president and CEO of Atlanta-based CARE, one of the largest international humanitarian organizations, with approximately 11,000 staff and poverty fighting programs that reached 82 million people in 2010 in 87 countries. Under Dr. Gayle’s leadership, CARA reinforced its commitment to empowering girls and women to bring lasting change to communities living in poverty.

“Our success for more than a century and a half has been built by an engaged student body and alumnae, committed faculty and staff, and a history of exemplary presidents,” said Rosalind G. Brewer, Board Chair of Spelman College. “I’m excited about Dr. Gayle’s appointment and confident that her demonstrated ability to address complex issues in communities of color many of which involve the strength of Black females and her success factors, coupled with her commitment to equity, will further build on Spelman’s legacy and propel the College into the future.”

In months-long search, the Presidential Search Committee sought a leader who embodies the Spelman mission of academic excellence and global leadership, and whose experience and expertise would build on the College’s momentum in key areas, including affordability, entrepreneurship and innovation, and the Arts. In considering the Search Committee’s recommendation, the Board of Trustees considered key priorities for Spelman’s 11th president, some of which included increasing or improving the student experience, such as safety and housing, building on Spelman’s fiscal strength and maintaining the college’s attraction to diverse and talented students, faculty and staff.

“I am honored and look forward to being a part of a long, proud legacy committed to the education of women of African descent. This is a moment where HBCU are once again being recognized for the importance that they bring to every sector of this country,” said Dr. Gayle. “Spelman has a strong history of changing lives for people who will change lives. The idea of giving back to generations of students through cutting-edge academic programs and facilities, increasing college affordability, raising financial aid support and increasing the endowment, and developing new career pathways and opportunities is what invigorates and excites me about the new role.”

As Spelman’s 11th president, Dr. Gayle will assume 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 Nation Science Foundation’s #1 baccalaureate institution of Black or African American science and 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.

Dr. Gayle holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Psychology from Barnard College-Columbia University, a M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and a M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. She serves on several public and nonprofit boards, including The Coco-Cola Company; Organon & Co, a women’s health care company; Palo Alto Network, a cybersecurity company; and the Brookings Institution. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Science.

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, GA, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country’s leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 54 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 24 for undergraduate teaching, No. 4 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 15th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and collaborations have been established with, Johns Hopkins through the Vivian Thomas Scholars, IBM HBCU Center for Quantum Computing, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. To learn more, please visit spelman.edu and @spelmancollege on social media.

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Budget outlines important investment in students and public institutions

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and members of the General Assembly visited the campus of Chicago State University on April 19, 2022 for the signing of a $46 billion FY 2023 budget.

CHICAGO, IL – Last month, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) commended Illinois lawmakers on the passage of the 2023 fiscal budget, which focuses on relief, education, and public safety. The budget also included an increase in funding for K-12 public schools, MAP and supports higher education institutions.

“This is an exciting time for the state of Illinois and the future of education for many Illinoisans. HCF commends the work of House Speaker Emanuel Chris Welch, House Democrats, and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker for their continuous support of making the welfare of Illinois residents a priority. The passage of the 2023 fiscal budget makes a massive impact on K-12 public schools and influences higher education within the state,said Demetrius Johnson Jr., HCF’s Founder, President & CEO. “The budget includes more funding for K-12 public schools and allocates towards MAP, which will allow additional students with financial needs funds for tuition and fees to pursue an undergraduate degree. And as always, I truly appreciate their support of Illinois’ only four-year, Predominantly Black Institution, Chicago State University. The 2023 budget will give Illinois higher education institutions a 5% increase in funding, including CSU. Additionally, it adds $1.8 million to CSU’s appropriation for the current fiscal year of 2022. Governor Pritzker and House Speaker Welch’s support outs an exceptional value on higher education within the state and the economy. Thank you for your investment into a brighter future.”

The budget provides a significant investment in Illinois’ higher education institutions and students. Illinois four-year universities, which includes Chicago State University (CSU), Illinois’ only designated Predominantly Black Institution, would receive a 5% increase in funding for fiscal year 2023 relative to this year’s current budget. The passed budget also adds an additional $1.8 million to CSU’s appropriation for the current fiscal year of 2022.

Additionally, adding more funding to K-12 publics schools, the budget also strengthen financial aid for students throughout the state. The increase funding of $122 million for the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant is allow more low-income students to receive funds to assist with college tuition and fees.

“Governor Pritzker’s budget recognizes the unparalleled value of higher education to the Illinois’ economy,” said Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University. “Our data shows that each year CSU adds $1.6 billion to the Illinois economy and a strong return-on-investment for our students. As the University remains laser focused on equitable education and workforce development, this investment will allow CSU to further strengthen its economic impact as well as our student success.

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

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Drake State Community and Technical College is offering a free professional development training course for middle school and high school science teachers. For one week, teachers will earn a $500 stipend for participating in a fun-filled, educationally packed immersion into NASA inspired curriculum. Plus, the training meets professional development CEU requirements. The program will equip teachers with tools that will enable them to design and implement lesson plans that are connected to NASA’s goals and mission.

When: June 13-17
Where: Drake State, 3421 Meridan St.
Time: 8:30 am – 2 pm

“This is a wonderful opportunity for teachers to learn about industry best practices and trends in the science and engineering world,” said Dr. Marina Kinsbury, Director of Sponsored Programs. “The program will expand their knowledge in STEM education and help prepare students for careers in engineering.”

Those interested in participating can sign up online at https://form.jotform.com/221216920976155.

About Drake State Community & Technical College
Drake State Community & Technical College offers flexible, affordable university-transfer and technical degrees, certificates, adult and continuing education, and customized skills training to fulfill the diverse workforce needs of employers. Visit www.drakestate.edu for more information.

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April is celebrated as Community College Month. The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), a nonprofit advocacy and educational organization, recognizes the community colleges designated as a Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

Community College Month is an opportunity to demonstrate the vital importance of how community colleges impact the surrounding communities and make an undeniable case for why these colleges deserve greater public support. Many people don’t know that some of these institutions do exist and that they serve a greater purpose in the HBCU community for traditional and non-traditional students. The majority of the community colleges are partnered with surrounding four-year institutions to make associate degrees, and course credits transferable to those four-year colleges or universities to complete bachelor’s degrees.

Furthermore, community colleges partner with area businesses to create academic and workforce training programs; for instance, Drake State is an excellent example as it is the first and only institution of its kind in Alabama. It offers its students comprehensive academic and technical training programs and certificates. Drake State also provides flexible, affordable university-transfer degrees and customized skills training to fulfill the diverse workforce need of employers.

Shorter College campus in Little Rock, Arkansas. Photo is courtesy of HCF media team.

As a result, in total there are eleven community colleges that exist and have HBCU designation with Alabama having the most of six institutions. With hopes to provide financial support from the HBCU Campaign Fund in the near future, three of the current serving presidents of the two-year institutions have been recognized as a Most Dominant HBCU Leader by the organization for their outstanding work in moving the institutions forward.

Bishop State Community College
• Coahoma Community College
• Denmark Technical College
• Drake State Community and Technical College
• Gadsden State Community College
• Hinds Community College at Utica
• Shelton State Community College
• Shorter College
• Southern University at Shreveport
• St. Philip’s College
• Trenholm State Community College

Drake State Community and Technical College changed its name in 1966 to J.F. Drake State in honor of the late Joseph Fanning Drake, a long-time president of Alabama A&M University. The institution has established university articulation agreements with Alabama A&M University, Oakwood University, Athens State University, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. With these agreements, it expands options for its students and makes it possible for graduates with technical associate degrees in computer information systems, electrical engineering technology, and business programs to transfer seamlessly to those universities. Under the leadership of Dr. Patricia Sims, Drake State is also the first and only historically Black community college to be awarded a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) by NASA’s Marshal Space Flight Center (MSFC) Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP). Graduates of Drake State are known to have started their own businesses, and the institution has had a strong influence on economic development in the region. Dr. Patricia Sims was named among the Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2020 by the HBCU Campaign Fund.

Denmark Technical College President Dr. Willie L. Todd, Jr. seen awarding a student during the college’s Honors Convocation. Photo courtesy of Denmark Technical College.

On the other hand, Denmark Technical College is also making pathways for its students. The college is located in Denmark, South Carolina, just an inch before you get to the camping grounds of Voorhees University. And just like Drake State, Denmark Technical is the only technical college in South Carolina with on-campus housing. It is a two-year, historically Black technical college that provides students within the area with affordable opportunities for associate degrees, diplomas, or certificates. It is an HBCU that is on the rise, though previously, it had its reputation for being in financial trouble and a threat towards closure. According to Diverse Issues of Higher Education, under Dr. Willie L. Todd, Jr’s leadership, Denmark has overcome its obstacles; its nursing program increased by 150% and its workforce program revenue by 1101%. Job placement rates after graduation are currently at 87%. Dr. Todd has served as the ninth president at the institution since 2020.

The state of Alabama consists of six of the eleven HBCU community colleges; all of them fall under the umbrella of the Alabama Community College System, including Drake State. The others are Bishop State Community College, Gadsden State Community College, Lawson State Community College, Shelton State Community College, and Trenholm State Community College. Additionally, Southern University at Shreveport is also part of a system, the Southern University System, the only historically Black university system in America. However, Shorter College in Little Rock, Arkansas, may not be part of a system. Still, it is the only private historically Black college and university (HBCU) junior college in the nation.

Another unique and thriving HBCU community college is St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, Texas. It is America’s only college that is federally designated as both Historically Black College (HBC) and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). It too is part of the Alamo College District system. It was founded by the Episcopal Church in 1898 to educate and train slaves. Today, SPC serves approximately 12,696 students and offer over 70 academic and technical options. A product of Alcorn State University, SPC current president Dr. Adena Williams Loston was selected as one of The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2021 by the HBCU Campaign Fund.

St. Philip’s College President Dr. Adena Williams Loston is seen speaking with faculty, staff and students. Photo courtesy of St. Philip’s College.

Traditionally, community colleges are known to be the most affordable, given that Coahoma Community College has repeatedly been named the most affordable HBCU in the nation by StudentLoanHero.com. Matriculating at a community college can always be a starting point to beginning your collegiate journey. It can also be a point in your life where you may not be quite ready to attend a four-year college or university. Many community colleges offer flexibility and the resources you need to make it possible to stay enrolled and complete your chosen program. These institutions are also dedicated to dual enrollment students or even may have high schools incorporated on the campuses. Do your research, and contact the college’s admission office for more information.

Just as crucial as any higher education institution, our community colleges are that important to the space. If HCF can be of any assistance in your college journey, please feel free to reach out to our representatives, who are always open to assisting. We welcome you to contact our office via email at support@hbcucampaignfund.org.

Join us in April of every year as we honor and celebrate the important work of community colleges. Embrace those who are designated as an HBCU, support its mission. Happy Community College Month!

Photo: Grambling State University’s World Famed Marching Band performing halftime during the Black College Football Hall of Fame Football Classic, September 2021 in Canton, Ohio. Credit: HCF Media Team.

CHICAGO, IL – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), a non-profit advocacy and educational organizations, 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.

L to R: Keisha J. Kelley, CEO of BlackCollegeExperience and Demetrius Johnson Jr., Founder, President & CEO at HBCU Campaign Fund pictured at 80th Magic City Classic in Birmingham, AL.

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 Classic, Fountain City Classic, St. 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 football year were canceled 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.”

The Division of College Relations and Scholarships was established to partner with and recruit prospective students to HBCUs and MSIs. Representatives are assigned to mentor and encourage students to choose the right institution that best fits their educational needs. The division has also established its signature “College Bound Guide Folders,” which provides students with college tips, scholarship information, FAFSA information, HBCU marketing materials – brochures and flyers, and career planning information.

“We always look to getting back out and meeting with students and their parents in encouraging them to choose HBCU; that is our goal at HCF. We also hope to encourage others to enroll at an HBCU or even support one. We also hope to continue to inspire and meet members of the HBCU community and supporters who follow the work of our organization,” Demetrius continued. “We hope this tour brings empowerment and awareness to HBCUs while making sure the names of HBCU institutions are known to the unknown.”

The 2022 confirmed dates are as follows.

  • Sunday, September 4th: Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic; Canton, Ohio
  • Friday, September 9th: SHC College and Career Fair; Saturday, September 10th: SHC football game; Memphis, TN
  • Saturday, October 1st: John Merritt Classic; Nashville, TN *
  • Sunday, October 16th: St. Louis HBCU Classic; St. Louis, MO
  • Saturday, October 29th: Magic City Classic; Birmingham, AL
  • Saturday, November 5th: Fountain City Classic; Columbus, GA *
  • Thursday, November 24th: Turkey Day Classic; Birmingham, AL *
  • Saturday, November 26th: Bayou Classic; New Orleans, LA
  • Circle City Classic, TBA
  • Chicago Football Classic, TBA
  • = pending confirmation. All dates are subject to cancellation and may not be rescheduled.

Those who would like to donate to support HCF’s continued advocacy work and the Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour can give online by clicking here or text CAMPAIGNFORHBCUS to 1-844-701-5181.

Photo: 2021 Circle City Classic battle of the bands halftime show, Indianapolis, Indiana. Credit: HCF Media Team.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF)
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) was founded in 2012 and is a nonprofit educational organization that remains a strong advocate for students and higher education. The mission of HCF is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, programming, and for private and public HBCUs and MSIs. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

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A website is essential to our work and the organization needs at the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF). It allows the public to learn more about our work, access resources, and read exciting news happening within the HBCU space. Nevertheless, we are calling on our supporters to help us raise funds to restore and keep our website functioning.

HCF’s funding goal is to reach $50,000 for the year to continue the work we do in supporting and advocating for students and higher education. You can give the gift of support and help make an impact to the committed work that we do.

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION

Thank you for your unwavering support of HCF!

Demetrius Johnson Jr.
Founder, President & CEO

Dr. Dennis Shields

BATON ROUGE, LA – The Southern University System Board of Supervisors named Dr. Dennis Shields has the next president of the Southern University System and chancellor of Southern University and A&M College during it’s meeting on February 18. Shields, the current chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Platteville, will succeed President-Chancellor Ray L. Belton, who announced his retirement in 2021. Belton’s contract ends on June 30.

“I think the selection of Dennis Shields represents our belief that he’s the best fit to lead the University following Dr. Belton,” said Edwin Shorty, chairman of the Southern University System Board. “We felt that Mr. Shields comes with the right mix of qualities to further advance the University.”

Shields, who has been the chancellor for the University of Wisconsin Platteville since 2010, has spent most of his career advocating for better access to higher education – especially those who have been historically underrepresented. Under Shields’ leadership, the campus has had tremendous growth. Enrollment grew nearly 11 percent from 2010 to fall 2016. Most recently, he led successful efforts to gain legislative and gubernatorial approval to build a new $55 million state-of-the-art engineering facility on campus as well as a $23.7 million renovation project for one of the liberal arts buildings on campus. Those two projects, plus a $15.3 million Williams Fieldhouse expansion, will give the university more than $93 million in upcoming growth and improvements. Additionally, he led the construction of two residence halls, one with a dinning facility.

“I am humbled and honored by your confidence in me to take on this role at this wonderful institution of higher education,” said Shields to the Southern University Board via live stream video during the meeting. “I had a remarkable and inspiring visit (to campus) and was able to spend some time with the students. I take it as a great responsibility to help continue to rise of the Southern University System.”

Prior to his current position in Wisconsin, Shields held administrative positions in admissions at the University of Iowa College of Law, University of Michigan Law School and Duke University School of Law. He has also held a deanship and a teaching position at Phoenix School of Law and act as the vice president for student affairs at The City College of New York.

A champion of diversity and access, Shields served as the first chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group of the National Collegiate Athletics Association for Division lll. With Shields at the helm, the University of Wisconsin Platteville, has focused more on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. Initiatives have successfully doubled the number of students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds over the course of the past decade.

Shields, an Iowa native, earned a bachelors degree in business administration from Graceland College in 1977, and a juris doctoral from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1982.

Shields will officially begin his term once a final contract is approved by the Southern University Board.

About Southern University and A&M College
Southern University and A&M College, an Historically Black, 1890 land-grant institution, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is to provide a student-focused teaching and learning environment that creates global leadership opportunities for a diverse student population where teaching, research, service, scholarly and creative expectations for students and faculty are achieved through the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs offered at the institution via different instructional modalities and via public service. For more information, visit www.subr.edu.

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Budget Outlines Important Investment in Students and Public Institutions

The proposed budget will support college affordability and focus on closing equity gaps in Illinois education.

CHICAGO, IL – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) applaud Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s fiscal year 2023 budget proposal that outlines significant investment in Illinois’ higher education institutions and students. Illinois four-year universities, which includes Chicago State University (CSU), Illinois’ only designated Predominantly Black Institution, would receive a 5% increase in funding for fiscal year 2023 relative to this year’s current budget. The proposal would also add an additional $1.8 million to CSU’s appropriation for the current fiscal year 2022. If approved by the General Assembly, the budget would provide critically needed resources for the University and CSU students.

Governor Pritzker’s budget also strengthens financial aid for students by, among other things, increasing funding for the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants for low-income students by $122 million.

Governor Pritzker’s pushed the proposal for the fiscal 2022-23 budget investment early last year to provide stability for higher education institutions in Illinois, including CSU.

“Governor Pritzker’s budget recognizes the unparalleled value of higher education to the Illinois’ economy,” said Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University. “Our data shows that each year CSU adds $1.6 billion to the Illinois economy and a strong return-on-investment for our students. As the University remains laser focused on equitable education and workforce development, this investment will allow CSU to further strengthen its economic impact as well as our student success.”

“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 the institution is 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.

HCF President Johnson stated that the organization is elated to continue to play the role as a strong advocate and supporter of Chicago State University.

Click here to view Governor Pritzker’s Budget Fiscal Year 2023.

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Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University.

CHICAGO, IL – ComEd recently announced the appointment of Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, president of Chicago State University, to its board as independent directors. Scott joins Smita Shah, CEO of SPAAN Tech, Inc., 2022 appointment, and Ricardo “Ric” Estrada, president & CEO of Metropolitan Family Services, named to the board in November 2021.

“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.”

As president of Chicago State University, 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.

Scott is also a well-known advocate for equity in higher education. She formed and co-chairs the Equity Working Group, a body of leaders from across the education, public, private, philanthropic, and community development sectors to address Black students access and success in Illinois higher education.

“I’m honored to join ComEd’s board of directors and advance its values of integrity, forward thinking, openness to ideas and principled decision-making,” said Scott. “I’m excited to support ComEd’s important work to build a cleaner and brighter future for communities across Chicagoland and northern Illinois.”

Scott serves on the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago board of directors where she also sits on the board’s Audit and Compliance and the Nominating and Governance Committee. In addition, she serves on the board of trustees for the John H. Shedd Aquarium and the United States Coast Guard Academy. Scott is also a member of The Chicago Network where she chairs the Government Committee.

Scott holds a J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

About ComEd
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information, visit ComEd.com.

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Dr. Jenkins is second longest tenured leader in Livingstone College’s history

Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., second longest tenured president of Livingstone College.

SALIRBURY, NC – Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., announced to the Board of Trustees on Feb. 9 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.

Prior to Livingstone, Jenkins served as president of Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Fla., where a gymnasium there bears his name. Before that, he made history by becoming the first alumnus of Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) to serve as chancellor, after earning both his master’s and doctorate degrees in biology from Purdue University. A science building at ECSU is named in his honor.

The Livingstone Board of Trustees reluctantly accepted Jenkins letter and recognized his constructive feats as president. New board chairman Bishop Kenneth Monroe said that Jenkins will remain in role as president until a successor is appointed, and trustees and the college prepare for a series of events commemorating his tenure.

“Having labored 38 years as a college and university president has been exhilarating and exhausting,” said Jenkins. “I am grateful for the great support from the Livingstone College Board of Trustees, our alumni, the people and leaders of the City of Salisbury and Rowan County, donors and friends of the college. There is a strong sense of melancholy in the realization that a long career is ending, yet to quote Kenny Rogers, you have to know when to hold them and when to fold them – and I believe that time has come. The city has been good to me and my family as evidenced by the kind of collaborative support that has been demonstrated over these past 16 years.

Rev. Dr. Nilous M. Avery, II talks with Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins as they process to the Founder’s Day program at Varick Auditorium. Thursday, February 11, 2016, in Salisbury, N.C. / JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST

During his tenure, Livingstone has undergone significant progress. At his hiring, Jenkins challenged the Board of Trustees to use his experiences to change the college approach to educating students often troubled by socio-economic difficulties, thus creating the Holistic College model.

Under Jenkins’ leadership, the campus saw its first major construction in more than 40 years in that of Honor Hall, apartment-style united for new students with high grade-point averages.

He is credited with saving the college from closure from its accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission Colleges (SACSCOC). Today, the college boasts reaffirmation of accreditation for the next 10 years without a single recommendation.

jenkins also raised the net asset value of the college by $15 million; acquired a former Holiday Inn to established the hospitality management and culinary arts program; and reactivated the college’s 40 acres of land to grow food and supply culinary arts.

College enrollment grew 35 percent to 1,400 students, the largest in school history (pre-COVID), resulting in Livingstone purchasing College Park Apartments, a four-building complex that houses 100 students.

“Livingstone College was its lowest ebb when we began our search for a new president in 2006,” said Bishop George W.C. Walker, former chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Dr. Jenkins became the best candidate in the search process and ultimately the president. He provided the greatest tenure of a president in the history of the college. Dr. Jenkins phenomenally lifted the college to extraordinary heights. Without question, Livingstone College is in a much better place because of his presidency.”

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 Water College, vice chancellor and chancellor of Elizabeth City State University, and currently at Livingstone College.

Jenkins’ retirement announcement comes the same week Livingstone held a ribbon cutting on a new state-of-the-art science annex, and on the heels of several major developments at the college including new upgrades to Alumni Memorial Stadium, construction of an esports arena; and application for Livingstone to apply for Level lll status to award graduate degrees and be renamed Livingstone University.

Additionally, under Jenkins’ leadership, Livingstone started a Study Abroad Student Exchange Program with students studying and living in five foreign countries; became a gated campus with decorate wrought iron fencing; relocated the Blue Bear mascot to the front lawn and painted it blue, and established a campus radio station, WLJZ 107.1M.

“Emphasis is always placed on leadership – the pilot – but we cannot forget the ground crew,” Jenkins recently told faculty and staff at opening session. “The pilot is important, but the work is executed by the ground crew. Your work is critical to our success.”

The goal, he said, was to create an environment where young men and women would not only obtain a degree, but have the capacity to command their rightful place in the global society, Jenkins said.

“I still feel this is why God has had his hand on this institution,” he said. “We serve the underserved, but that does not mean they are not deserving. They may be disadvantaged, but certainly not disregard. I’m glad my life work has been at an HBCU.”

About Livingstone College
Livingstone College is a private historically black college that is secured by a strong commitment to quality instruction, academic excellence and student success. Through a Christian-based environment suitable for holistic learning, Livingstone provides excellent business, liberal arts, STEAM, teacher education and workforce development programs for students from all ethnic backgrounds designed to promote lifelong learning, and to develop student potential for leadership and service to a global community. For more information, visit www.livingstone.edu.

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PINE BLUFF, AR – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Office of Recruitment is preparing to host it annual Lion Fever day on Friday, April 1, 2022, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Lion Fever Day is UAPB’s biggest high school preview days, and is designed to allow high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to see various parts of UAPB campus life and experience speaking with college advisors personally in an effort to gain details about his or her desired area of major. Activities will include a college fair, campus tour, a chance to hear the university’s marching band and view performances form select Greek organizations.

Interest students or school groups that would like to participate must RSVP by clicking here. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about Lion Fever Day, contact UAPB’s Office of Recruitment at (870) 575-8963.

About the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is a public comprehensive HBCU 1890 Land-Grant Institution. The University embraces its land-grant mission of providing cutting edge research, teaching, outreach, and service programs that respond to the social and economic needs of the state and region. Its mission is to promote and sustain excellent academic programs that integrate quality instruction, research, and student learning experiences responsive to the needs of a racially, culturally, and economically diverse student population. Ultimately, the University is dedicated to providing access and opportunity to academically deserving students and producing graduates who are equipped to excel through their contributions and leadership in a 21st century national and global community. For more information, visit www.uapb.edu.

Drake State Community & Technical College campus, Huntsville, Alabama.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Students at Drake State Community & Technical College will have access to new scholarship dollars over the next year thanks to an anonymous $200,000 donation.

“Receiving the email about this gift to the college was both a pleasant surprise and welcome recognition of the good work of our faculty and staff,” said Dr. Patricia G. Sims, Drake State President. “So many students will benefit from the scholarships funded by this donation.”

The anonymous benefactor chose Drake State because they admire the college’s growth and development over the past few years and the school’s rapid response to the pressures of COVID-19 and increased need for skilled workers in today’s workforce.

At Drake State, we’ve worked hard to develop the programs students need to be successful,” Sims noted. In the past few years Drake State:

  • Became the first and only Historically Black Community College to be awarded a Cooperative Agreement Notice from the NASA/MSFC Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) in support of NASA’s Moon to Mars Planetary Autonomous Construction Technologies.
  • Was awarded a $1.3 NASA/MSFC MUREP grant to develop a STEM pipeline for minorities and underrepresented populations.
  • Increased enrollment and retention rates despite the challenges colleges faced from COVID-19. Of note, Drake State saw its completion rate increase by 92.27% since 2020, including a significant increase in short-term certificate awards, showing the call for workers to upskill and return to the workforce.

The donor also expressed interest in supporting Drake State’s work with Veterans and military families and applauded the college’s ability to provide these students with an extra measure of attention.

The nature of this donation will allow the college to remove financial barriers for many students completing short-term certifications or academic degrees.

“We are humbled by the faith shown to our institution and look forward to reporting inspiring success stores about students benefiting from these new scholarships in the months ahead,” Sims added. “I invited other individuals and businesses in our community to learn more about the good work we are doing and step up to support our efforts.”

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MISSISSIPPI – In the early morning hours on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, five of Mississippi’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities received an unsubstantiated bomb threat to our campuses. Once the threat was received, we each worked with our Department of Public Safety and local emergency response personnel to thoroughly investigate and determine the extent of the threat. Subsequently law enforcement officials cleared all campuses. The fact that these threats came on the first day of Black History Month proves these actions were intentional attempts to disrupt, invoke fear and discourage our faculty, staff, scholars, and the campus communities. Despite these threats, Mississippi’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities – WE STAND UNITED!

Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Rust College, Tougaloo College, Coahoma Community College, and Hinds Community College, Utica have long served our state and nation as educational beacons and have been a critical engine of life-changing opportunities for thousands of graduates and current students. We remain committed to ensuring each institution’s continued growth and success while guarding the safety of our greatest assets – our students.

Though we are forced to navigate some of the most politically and socially polarizing times in this nation’s history, collectively, we will remain strong and resilient and not be intimidated or fearful. As Mississippi’s HBCU community, we will continue our mission to inspire and empower the next generation of change agents who will go on to boldly confront hatred and injustice as it exists in all its forms.

The threats we received, along with several other HBCUs across the country, Illustrate the need for us to support one other. We are stronger together. As HBCUs, our histories speak of trials and triumphs, contest and courage, limitations and longevity. We are here on purpose, and we must be diligent in preserving and promoting our past, present, and future to further prove our importance and relevance to this nation’s economy and landscape.

Together we will forge ahead with a common purpose to advance academic excellence, promote good moral character, maintain professional integrity, and stand on the truth, and our institutions will continue to persevere as many of us have done for more than 100 years. We ask that the alumni and friend/supporters of our institutions join us as we stand against hatred, bigotry, and intolerance. This is our voice. This is our fight. These are our HBCUs.

Felecia M. Nave, Ph.D., President – Alcorn State University

Thomas K. Hudson, J.D., President – Jackson State University

Jerryl Briggs, Ed.D., President – Mississippi Valley State University

Ivy R. Taylor, Ed.D., President – Rust College

Carmen J. Walters, Ph.D., President – Tougaloo College

Valmadge T. Towner, Ph.D., President – Coahoma Community College

Stephen Vacik, Ed.D., President – Hinds Community College, Utica

ORANGEBURG, SC Fifty-four years ago, on this day in 1968, the Orangeburg Massacre events happened in Orangeburg, South Carolina, on the campus of South Carolina State University.

Pictured: Henry Smith, Samuel Hammond Jr., and Delano Middleton, the three men who were killed in the 1968 Orangeburg Massacre that happened on the campus of South Carolina State University.

In the fall of 1967, some of the black leaders within the community tried to convince Harry K. Floyd, the owner of a bowling alley to allow African-Americans. Floyd was unwilling to desegregate which resulted in protests in early February 1968.

On February 6, 1968, a group of students (approximately 200) from South Carolina State University entered into the bowling alley and left peacefully after they were asked to leave by Floyd. The next night more students led by John Stroman returned and entered the bowling alley. This time, there were police waiting for them and several students were arrested including Stroman. After the arrests, more students began showing up angry, breaking a window of the bowling alley and chaos occurred. Police began beating student protesters with billy clubs. That night, eight students were sent to the hospital.

On the night of February 8, 1968, students started a bonfire in the front of South Carolina State University’s campus. As law enforcement attempted to put out the fire, Officer David Shealy was injured by a thrown object. Shortly after (around 10:30 p.m.) South Carolina Highway Patrol officers began firing into the crowd of around 150 protesters. Eight Patrol Officers fired carbines, short guns, and revolvers at the protesters, which lasted around 10 to 15 seconds in an attempt to calm the crowd. South Carolina State students Samuel E. Hammond Jr., Henry E. Smith and high school student Delano Middleton (who attended the local Wilkinson High School) were killed, along with twenty-eight people who were injured in the shooting.

In the aftermath of this event, the federal government brought charged against the State patrolmen in the first federal trial of police officers for using excessive force at a campus protest. All nine defendants were acquitted although thirty-six witnesses stated that they did not hear gunfire coming from the protesters on campus before the shooting and no students were found to be carrying guns.

In a state trail in 1970, the activist Cleveland Sellers was convicted of a charged of riot related to the events on February 6 at the bowling alley. He was the national program director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

South Carolina State University’s gymnasium is named in the memorandum of Samuel Hammond, Delano Middleton, and Henry Smith (S-H-M Memorial Center), the three men who were killed. A monument was erected on campus in their honor, and the site has been marked.

Each year since 1968, the University has held an observance to commemorate the lives of 18-year-old SC State students Henry Smith and Samuel Hammond Jr., 17-year-old high school student Delano Middleton. This often neglected and overlooked tragedy is not nearly as well known as the shootings at Kent State and Jackson State in 1970, although it had a profound effect on the Orangeburg community and surrounding area.


“Today, we pause to remember three young men, Henry Smith, Samuel Hammond, Jr., and Delano Middleton, who were killed on South Carolina State University campus by SC Highway Patrol on this day in 1968, 54 years ago. Henry, Samuel, and Delano gave a fight to desegregate the South.

The event occurred to convince a local bowling alley in Orangeburg to allow African Americans, and the outcome was rejected. Later, claiming the lives of three young men ended as what we know it as the Orangeburg Massacre.

We pay homage to these three teenagers, along with the twenty-eight people who were injured, recommitting us that we must continue to fight for social justice and get in good, necessary trouble. Their legacy lives on as we shall not live in silence about ending discrimination in all forms across this nation.

— Demetrius Johnson Jr.
Founder, President & CEO

F. George Shipman Science Center at Livingstone College.

SALISBURY, NC – Livingstone College is set to cut the ribbon of its state-of-the-art F. George Shipman Science Annex, named after its sixth president.

The event is schedule to take place on Friday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. in front of the new science center on campus, followed by a reception and tour inside the building.

The grand opening and ribbon cutting of the new science annex punctuates the college’s growing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program and focus on encouraging more African American students to major in STEM areas of study.

The new 16,000-square-foot science annex will featured dedicated laboratory/research spaces for microbiology, human anatomy/physiology, biochemistry and general chemistry, with smaller laboratory spaces for specialized research and a tissue culture lab.

One of the significant highlights of the facility is its planetarium/immersion theater with SciDome IQ 2400 technology, where students have a virtual-reality experience in human anatomy, physics, astronomy and earth science.

In addition to the planetarium, the annex includes a SCALE-UP classroom that facilitates active and collaborative learning, and a hydroponic greenhouse.

The new annex will allow Livingstone College to proper environment to implement a $2.24 million STEM grant it received in the fall from the National Science Foundation. The grant was the largest, single grant received in the history of the college and will fund a program called “Livingwell@Livingstone” to enhance persistence, retention and graduation rates in underrepresented minority students.

“We are thrilled to finally be act to cut the ribbon and showcase our new state-of-the-art science annex to the public,” said Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., Livingstone College President. “This annex coupled with the STEM grant will allow us to leverage partnerships with community science entrepreneurs and enhance the STEM student experience.”

“A key driver of STEM student success is STEM identity,” said McNair. “The F. George Shipman Annex provides a dedicated space designed to enhance scientific research and conceptual understanding. Our students will see the endless possibilities that exist in STEM, and how they might contribute to future science enterprise.”

The in-person grand opening ribbon-cutting is open to the public, and those attending must follow the college’s COVID-19 protocols, which includes showing proof of vaccination or presenting a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of the event. Masks must be worn indoors for the duration of the program, but may be removed briefly for eating and drinking.

About Livingstone College
Livingstone College is a private historically black institution that is secured by a strong commitment to quality instruction. Though a Christian-based environment suitable for learning, it provides excellent liberal arts and religious education programs for students from all ethnic backgrounds designed to develop their potential for leadership and service to a global community. For more information, visit www.livingstone.edu.

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A statue honoring the late civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis is part of a traveling exhibit passing en route to Washington, D.C. The statue was unveiled at the American College of the Building Arts on Thursday, Feb. 3.

ORANGEBURG, SC – A statue of the late civil rights icon and U.S. Congressman John Lewis will be on display at South Carolina State University for one week as part of a traveling exhibition en route to Washington, D.C. It will have a permanent home in National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.

The statue will be unveiled Friday, Feb. 4 in a 2 p.m. ceremony adjacent to the Orangeburg Massacre Monument on Geathers Street. The statue will remain in place until Friday, Feb. 11.

State Rep. Jerry Gowan Jr., D-Orangeburg, and SC State Interim President Alexander Conyers will be among those making remarks.

After the unveiling, the public is invited to view the statue during regular campus business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lewis passed away at the age of 80 in July 2020 aimd his 17th term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

As a leader in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, he challenged Jim Crow segregation and oppression across the South through nonviolent protest.

Lewis often put his own physical safety on the line and his bold, peaceful stands against discrimination were often met with violence. In 1965, Alabama state troopers in the town of Selma attacked Lewis and other demonstrators with clubs and tear gas during a march for voting rights.

In 1986, Lewis was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from an Atlanta district.

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Source: https://thetandd.com/news/local/lewis-statue-coming-to-s-c-state/article_8cbb55ca-bf9b-56aa-9f59-b94bc162ba06.html

Newly established PNC North Carolina HBCU Initiative to help cultivate entrepreneurship resources and opportunities for students at five universities through grant funding

RALEIGH, N.C. – The PNC Foundation is awarding more than $2 million to five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in North Carolina to establish the PNC North Carolina HBCU Initiative, an effort that aims to enrich the future of entrepreneurship and create workforce opportunities in the state.

The grants will be distributed over a three-year period to help fund the development and delivery of entrepreneurship resources and programming for students at Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, North Carolina Central University and Winston-Salem State University – institutions that play an integral role in cultivating Black business leaders and fostering wealth creation in Black communities.

“At PNC, we recognize how important HBCUs are to our state’s success,” said Weston Andress, PNC regional president for Western Carolinas. “HBCU graduates contribute significantly to be talent pipeline that is fueling North Carolina’s economy, and these institutions are foundational to shaping the workforce North Carolina needs to remain competitive in business.”

With an emphasis on entrepreneurship and economic empowerment, the PNC North Carolina HBCU Initiative will enable grantee institutions to enhance their respective entrepreneurship curricula and offerings – from the introduction of new programs, to capacity-building opportunities, to technology enhancements. Additionally, students from all five schools will have the opportunity to participate in the PNC Pitch Competition, an annual forum where student-entrepreneurs can showcase innovative ideas and demonstrate their marketing skills.

“PNC shares with these institutions a vision for advancing inclusive entrepreneurship education and opportunities,” said Jim Hansen, PNC regional president for Eastern Carolinas. “This initiative is the latest example of our ongoing support for North Carolina HBCUs, which over the years has included grant funding, mentorship programs and financial literacy education. We look forward to joining student-entrepreneurs and their campus communities on this meaningful , three year journey.”

The grant recipients will use the funding as follows:

  • Elizabeth City State University: The university will broaden the scope of its current business program portfolio to expand the Entrepreneur Lab, which offers resources and development opportunities for students interested in launching and marketing a business. Additionally, the funding will establish the PNC Entrepreneurship Fellow Program and support Viking Shark Entrepreneurship Week, which provides the opportunity for teams for North Carolina HBCUs to practice pitching their business ideas in front of judges.
  • Fayetteville State University: Funding will support the buildout of the Fayetteville State University Entrepreneurship Lab (E-Lab), an action learning opportunity designed to help students accelerate new ideas and product development. Student entrepreneur teams creating or growing their own ventures may compete for E-Lab funding to help fuel their projects. Additionally, the E-Lab will offer business and economic development support for community members and fosters self-employment opportunities.
  • Johnson C. Smith University: The university will launch the PNC Entrepreneurship Hub, which will provide selected student-entrepreneurs- PNC Fellows – with space that is conducive to developing and launching new businesses. In addition to incubator space, the hub will equip PNC Fellows with access to technology, seed funding and mentorship to help them launch new businesses to take existing businesses to the next level.
  • North Carolina Central University: Grant funding will help establish the North Carolina Central University Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED), a university-based program that will provide CEED Student Fellows with entrepreneurial and community economic development education and comprehensive small business finance training, with the encouragement to become community development investors.
  • Winston-Salem State University: The grant will fund the development of the PNC Entrepreneurial Fellows Program, which will help selected students fellows learn critical aspects of new venture creation by participating in nationally certified programs, workshops, research and one-on-one mentoring with successful North Carolina entrepreneurs.

“While entrepreneurship is the central focus of the PNC North Carolina HBCU Initiative, each grantee is approaching the scope of their projects differently to meet the needs and opportunities unique to each institution,” said Lori Jones Gibbs, PNC Community Development Banking market manager for the Carolinas. “This initiative underscores the many creative ways entrepreneurship is coming to life for North Carolina students.”

These grants align with PNC’s support for HBCUs throughout the country and complement the ongoing development of the Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship. Additionally, this funding is part of PNC’s nationwide $88 billion Community Benefits Plan, which is inclusive of a previously announced commitment of more than $1 billion to support the economic empowerment of Black and low- and moderate-income communities.

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CHICAGO, IL – In January, several HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) have had to lock down or postpone classes due to bomb threats. Now, on the first day of Black History Month, more than a dozen HBCUs reported bomb threats for the third time. Howard University has received a bomb threat for the third time.

HCF Founder, President & CEO Demetrius Johnson Jr., issued the following statement on the third round of bomb threats targeting and threatening HBCU campuses. More than a dozen HBCUs get bomb threats on the first day of Black History Month

“Several HBCUs have received bomb threats that have put those campuses in harm, and a horrifying situation to react accordingly. As an advocacy organization for HBCUs, we are disheartened and disturbed by the continuous notice of bomb threats at HBCU campuses. The strength of our HBCU institutions truly matter; they are sacred places to our nation that we must preserve. We hope that these crimes will bring justice to those responsible and that this is a top priority for federal law enforcement. Please don’t be silent about this. If you have any information that could assist federal law enforcement in solving this, please call ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) at (888) 283-8477 or the FBI at (800) 225-5324. HBCU Nation, please continue remain strong, safe, and aware of all of your surroundings during this unforeseen times.”

“I am calling for all HBCU advocates of NAACP, UNCF, TMCF, HBCU Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus to come together in urging an end to such crime and challenge the FBI for further investigation.”

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Following an extensive, nationwide search process, the Lincoln University of Missouri Board of Curators has selected Dr. John B. Moseley as the University’s 21st President.

Dr. Moseley has been leading Lincoln University as interim president since May 2021.

He has nearly 20 years of higher education experience, including 13 years at Historically Black College or University (HBCU) campuses. During his interim tenure, he has led key initiatives to improve Lincoln University’s enrollment through new, data-driven admissions strategies and the restructuring of scholarship programs. He has also implemented initiatives to improve student outcomes, such as Lincoln’s new Student Success Center. He has influenced approximately $6.6 million in private donation commitments to the university. He is also leading fundraising for the Lincoln University Health Sciences and Crisis Center, which will expand the University’s School of Nursing and house a Security Sciences Institute, complementing the Lincoln University Law Enforcement Training Academy and criminal justice program.

Dr. John B. Moseley

According to Lincoln University Board of Curators President Victor Pasley, Moseley has also initiated relationships with key educational and scholarship partners for the University. he has cultivated and strengthened relationships between the University and alumni, faculty, staff, students, state and federal partners.

“I am humbled to serve the students, faculty and alumni of Lincoln University in this role,” said Moseley. “This University has always helped students achieve their dreams. I am grateful to be part of a team working together to accomplish that aim, providing financial, academic and social resources. The need for what Lincoln University provides has never been more important and we will continue to address every challenge to better serve our students and the community.”

Dr. Moseley is the second white male to currently serve as president at an HBCU, joining Robin Capehart at Bluefield State College in Bluefield, West Virginia.


HCF Founder, President & CEO, Demetrius Johnson Jr., says that he is confident in the appointment of Dr. John B. Moseley as President of Lincoln University. “I am confident in the appointment of Dr. John Moseley, and I thank the Lincoln University of Missouri Board of Curators for their decision-making in this process. I affirm that Dr. Moseley’s leadership will bring Lincoln University back to higher heights. The John Moseley that I know was the one I worked with between 2018 and 2019 on LU’s campus, the one that was AD/Head Men’s Basketball Coach and dedicated to providing support, leadership, and affectionateness for the student-athletes that were under his wing. He has always been very welcoming and approachable, as well as well-spoken. I wish Dr. Moseley the best of luck during his tenure.”


A historically Black, 1890 Land-Grant, public university, based in Jefferson City, Missouri, Lincoln University provides undergraduates and master’s level degree programs to a diverse student body of nearly 2,000. For more information, visit www.lincolnu.edu.

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Dr. Ivory A. Toldson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Professor of counseling psychology at Howard University and author Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D. has been recognized among the nation’s top scholars in education in the 2022 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings. The annual list ranks the top 200 scholars based on their influence on academic scholarship and public debate as reflected in old and new media.

The ranking is meant to recognize and encourage scholars who successfully merge education scholarship with policy and practice. A scholar and advocate for education, Toldson’s ranking is emblematic of his longstanding efforts to do just that. The author of numerous publications, Toldson’s 2019 book, “No BS (Bad Stats): Black People Need People Who Believe in Black People Enough Not to Believe Every Bad Thing They Hear about Black People,” explores how the common data used to make decisions about Black students is misinformed and offers alternative ways to approach the use of data in pursuit of educational equity.

“Today, I’m working with school districts to help them understand data and how data can be used in responsible ways to understand issues of racial injustice and equity in their schools,” said Toldson. “I’m also doing a lot in STEM education, working with HBCUs in particular to make sure that funding for STEM education and research is equitable.”

For five years, Toldson was president of Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network, a nonprofit dedicated to improving education from underrepresented students. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Negro Education and the executive editor of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Research, published by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. Most recently, he was tapped as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Toldson described his work with the NAACP as “the embodiment of scholar-activisim is national in scope with hyper-local footprint.” To combat the greatest challenges in our education system, Toldson will oversee national strategies to leverage the power of NAACP’s 2,200 local branches and 2.2 million constituents to empower Black learners.

The Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings is in its 12th year of publication and is created by American Enterprise Institute director of education policy studies and Education Week blogger Frederick M. Hess. The ranking metrics are formulated using nine publicly available sources, including Google Scholar, Amazon, Twitter, books, syllabi, press mentions, web mentions, newspaper mentions, and congressional record mentions.

Read more about the 2022 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings here.

About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information, visit www.howard.edu.

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Dr. Cynthia Warrick, president of Stillman College, signs a MOU with Southern Illinois University’s School of Law as Dr. Mark McCormick, Stillman College provost, looks on. (Photo credit: David Miller/Stillman College)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Stillman College and Southern Illinois University Carbondale have signed a memorandum of understanding to help students from the historically Black liberal arts college enroll and earn a degree from the SIU School of Law, with the aim of diversifying the legal profession.

Increasing diversity among attorneys: SIU Carbondale and Stillman College officials sign an agreement to help Stillman students enroll and earn degrees from the SIU School of Law. Participating in the ceremony from SIU were (at table from left): Wendell Williams, associate chancellor of enrollment management; Camille Davidson, dean, SIU School of Law; Chancellor Austin Lane, and Meera Komarraji, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. On the screen are Stillman College President Cynthia Warrick, Stillman alumna and attorney Shalyn McKitt, and Lizette Chevalier, SIU associate provost for academic programs. (Photo credit: Russell Bailey/SIU)

Parties from both Stillman College and SIU School of Law formalized their agreement Wednesday. Stillman is the first HBCU to establish a student pipeline program with SIU School of Law.

“This program will allow selected students to participate in a summer pre-law program to expose them to the rigor and policies of law school admissions,” said Dr. Cynthia Warrick, Stillman College President.

“We are also looking to advance similar programs in pre-health professions for students in Stillman’s Biomedical Academy with SIU. Collaborative efforts like this will ensure Stillman students are competitive for entry and success in law school and other professional programs. We are grateful to SIU for creating this opportunity.”

Under the agreement, SIU and Stillman College, SIU and Stillman College, a 761-student institution in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will engage in collaborative academic activities with the SIU School of Law that promote a path for Stillman College students to enroll in the law school and earn their law degree. The MOU also includes other options for students considering how they can continue their education after earning their bachelor’s degrees.

Camille Davidson, dean of SIU’s School of Law, noted that about two-thirds of minority applicants who apply to the law school are not accepted primarily due to low Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores. In October 2021, there were 246 students in the law school, of which 17, or 7%, were Black. The law school had 41 minority students, including women, last fall.

“We are committed to being an anti-racist and inclusive law school,” said Davidson. “The only way to have real access to justice is to train attorneys from various backgrounds. Students from underrepresented populations are often not exposed to the study of law, and many who are interested are not prepared for the application and admissions process. Building partnerships with HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions, like Stillman, will help SIU School of Law become more diverse.”

SUMMER PROGRAM ALSO PLANNED

A summer program will bring 15 college students from across the country to SIU’s campus, May 25-29, to explore legal careers, understand the law school application process and begin to prepare for the LSAT while honing skills necessary for law school, such as understanding how to read and analyze a case, Davidson said.

“We will answer ‘Why law school?” We want to provide these students with the resources to be successful in applying to and graduating from law school,” Davidson said. “Like SIU, Stillman is located in a rural area and many of the students are first-generation college students.”

About Stillman College
Stillman College is a liberal arts institution with a historical and formal affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It is committed to fostering academic excellence, to providing opportunities for diverse populations, and to maintaining a strong tradition of preparing students for leadership and service by fostering experiential learning and community engagement designed to equip and empower Stillman’s students and its constituents. For more information, visit www.stillman.edu.

About Southern Illinois University Carbondale
SIU embraces a unique tradition of access and opportunity, inclusive excellence, innovation in research and creativity, and outstanding teaching focused on nurturing student success. As a nationally ranked public research university and regional economic catalyst, we create and exchange knowledge to shape future leaders, improve our communities, and transform lives. For more information, visit www.siu.edu.

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Chair Appointment Marks a Historic First for Board

Dr. Laurence B. Alexander, chancellor of University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

President Joe Biden has announced his intent to appoint new members of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), including University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander as Chair. BIFAD is a seven-member, presidentially appointed advisory committee to USAID to ensure it brings the assets of U.S. universities to bear on development challenges in agriculture and supports their representation in USAID programming.

Dr. Alexander’s appointment as BIFAD Chair marks the first time the board is chaired by a leader of an 1890 land grant university, acknowledging the valuable contributions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and presenting an opportunity to further strengthen USAID’s partnerships with HBCUs and other U.S. Minority Serving Institutions.

“Thank you to President Biden for this appointment. I’m honored to serve in this capacity,” said Chancellor Alexander. “As Chancellor of Arkansas’ only land-grant HBCU institution, our mission is steeped in innovation and discovery. This BIFAD appointment will be an excellent opportunity to expand awareness about the leading industry in the state of Arkansas – agriculture. In addition, it will further expand awareness about the research and extension mission of land-grant universities, and specifically about UAPB’s Initiatives, such as the agriculture and aquaculture research in which our renowned faculty are engaged, as well as our outreach services to small farmers in the state.”

Along with the appointment of Dr. Alexander as Chair, President Biden also appointed the following new members: Dr. Marie Boyd, Associate Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina; Dr. Rattan Lal, 2020 World Food Prize Laureate, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science, and Director of the Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration at The Ohio State University; Dr. Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University; Ms. Henri Moore, Vice President and Head of Responsible Business, GSK Consumer Health; and Ms. Kathy Spahn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Helen Keller International. The announcement also extends the appointment of Dr. Pamela Anderson, Director General Emerita of the International Potato Center.

Serving as thought leaders and conveners of diverse expert dialogues, the Board has recently provided evidence-based recommendations to UASID on protecting and advancing nutrition and food security outcomes during COVID-19 response and recovery; improving the agricultural sector and food security in conflict-affected and fragile contexts; and measuring the benefits of global agricultural development investment on the U.S. economy.

Dr. Alexander received national recognition as one of the ‘Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders’ of 2019 by the HBCU Campaign Fund.

About the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB)
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is a public comprehensive HBCU 1890 Land-Grant Institution. The University embraces its land-grant mission of providing cutting edge research, teaching, outreach, and service programs that respond to the social and economic needs of the state and region. Its mission is to promote and sustain excellent academic programs that integrate quality instruction, research, and student learning experiences responsive to the needs of a racially, culturally, and economically diverse student population. Ultimately, the University is dedicated to providing access and opportunity to academically deserving students and producing graduates who are equipped to excel through their contributions and leadership in a 21st century national and global community. For more information, visit www.uapb.edu.

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We are asking for alumni, friends, and supporters to unite around the world to support students, higher education, and the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF).

How YOU Can Help Us Support Higher Education with HCF? This is how you can help below.

$35-$50 Inform & Engage HBCU Campaigners: Your gift of $50 allows HCF to continue sending out our newsletters, producing content for social media and other communications to connect supporters to our advocacy mission.

$125 Annual HBCU Football & Recruitment Tour: Your gift allows us to fund our Annual HBCU Football & Recruitment Tour to support HBCU football classics and assist with recruiting students to HBCUs during the fall season.

$260 Board Meetings & Sponsored Workshops: Your gift allows HCF to support  board meeting and sponsored workshops.

$550 Support Organizational & Staff Needs: As we continue to grow, your gift will contribute to our organizational and staff needs including our website.

$1000 Scholarships & Institution Support: Your gift allow us to provide scholarships to high school and current students at HBCUs as well as support the HBCUs and MSIs we serve.

Students participating in NASA’s MITTIC Challenge showcase their spinoff technology concepts in a poster session at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Credits: NASA.

NASA and the Department of Education are collaborating to enhance the federal Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Scholar Recognition Program using NASA entrepreneurial expertise.

Beginning in 2022, a NASA pitch competition for students at higher education institutions will officially become part of the HBCU Scholar Recognition Program, part of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity. The competition will be a small-scale version of NASA’s Minority University Education and Research Program (MUREP) Innovation and Tech Transfer Idea Competition (MITTIC).

“NASA is excited to formalize our participation and see the innovated ideas HBCU scholars will bring to the competition.” said MUREP manager Torry Johnson. “Since 2018, MITTIC has provided students at Minority Serving Institutions a glimpse into NASA’s Technology Transfer Program and a unique opportunity to explore their entrepreneurial interests using NASA’s technology portfolio.”

Through this “mini MITTIC” pitch competition, teams of HBCU scholars will investigate selected NASA intellectual properties for potential uses in the commercial sector. The teams will work closely with NASA’s MITTIC team and subject matter experts while creating “Space Tank” pitches to explain the commercial viability of their proposed ideas.

NASA has a long history of facilitating the transformation of its technologies into commercial products and services. NASA’s Technology Transfer Program, managed by the Space Technology Mission Directorate, the agency’s headquarters in Washington, ensures that the innovations developed for exploration and discovery are broadly available to the public, maximizing the benefit to the nation.

Through the HBCU Scholar Recognition Program, the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity annually recognizes students from HBCUs for their accomplishments in academics, leaderships, and civic engagement. Over the course of an academic school year, HBCU scholars participate in professional development through monthly classes and have access to a network of public and private partners.

Partnerships, such as the White House initiative’s work with NASA, have helped increase participation in and awareness of the HBCU Scholar Recognition Program.

“Our relationship with NASA validates the Biden-Harris Administration’s and the initiative’s commitment to enhancing STEM in the HBCU space,” said Arthur McMahan, senior associate director for the initiative. “This opportunity provides our outstanding HBCU Scholars with the tools and experiences needed to succeed in the 21st Century economy and beyond.”

Through their relationship with NASA, community-based organizations, and other public and private partners, HBCU scholars will also share promising and proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential.

The 2022 HBCU scholar application is expected to be released Jan. 11, 2022. The initiative will provide more information about the activities of the HBCU scholars on its website. HBCU scholars will begin working with NASA as soon as they are accepted into the recognition program and present their team pitches during the Annual National HBCU Week Conference in September.

For more on the Space Technology Mission Directorate and NASA’s Technology Transfer Program, visit https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/home/index.html.

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mac McCutcheon has appointed Drake State President Dr. Patricia Sims to the Alabama Partnership for Children (APC) Board of Directors. Sims, as President of an Alabama public two-year college, will represent all 24 schools within the Alabama Community College System.

Dr. Patricia Sims, president of Drake State Community & Technical College.

“Dr. Sims has such a broad and deep career in education,” said APC Executive Director Gail Piggott. “She is recognized as a community leader, exemplary administrative head, and someone who promoted building the workforce so that families can thrive.”

Dr. Sims has dedicated her career to education at multiple levels including primary to 12th grade, community college, and university.

“Education is my life’s work and I am honored to serve an organization that is committed to serving Alabama’s families,” said Sims. “The Alabama Community College System provides a unified system of institutions dedicated to delivering academic education, adult education, and workforce development. By providing an impact at an earlier stage, students in pre-kindgarten to high school will be able to gain the support and training needed to enter the workforce.”

The Alabama Partnership for Children relies on community colleges for the early childhood programs that help develop highly skilled teachers for the early childhood sector. Institutions like Drake State also help build skills and competencies for families to improve their livelihoods and incomes.

“Dr. Sims involvement with young people and her interest in their success dovetails perfectly with the vision statement of the Alabama Partnership for Children that ‘every Alabama child will have the opportunity to succeed in life,” said APC Board Chairperson Trippy McGuire. “We welcome Dr. Sims as a new member of our board and look forward to her lending her expertise and enthusiasm to our organization.”

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Dear Supporters,

We are needing your help. Our charge at HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is to work tirelessly to assist students and higher education. Thank you for your unwavering support throughout the years of our organization’s existence; we were able to make dreams come true. Furthermore, as we continue our mission to remain strong advocates for students and HBCUs, we would like your continued support to become an HBCU Campaign Fund donor in helping us in the longevity fight in strengthening the HBCU space.

Our mission is to fundraise a goal of $50,000 while instituting initiative programming and partnerships in support of HBCUs and their communities. We’ll accomplish those goals by providing scholarships, endowments and enhancing the significance of those who our organization supports.

Our fundraising campaigns focus on raising funding for students who have financial needs to continue their college education or assist the organization with the necessary financing for providing initiative programming to students and HBCUs. Your contribution is critical and beneficial to many individuals supported through HCF who fall short financially. Our goal is to assist as many individuals in need and ensure that they accomplish their dreams.

We are calling on all HBCU alumni, friends, affinity groups, and education supporters to help us support students going to college and keep them in college by supporting the HBCU Campaign Fund with a generous gift to continue the proposed dreamed mission.

If you would like to become a donor, you can make an online donation at www.hbcucampaignfund.org/donate. You may donate directly below or mail to HBCU Campaign Fund, 12558 S. Princeton Ave, Chicago, IL 60628-7225. Your donation will provide access to the key of education for many students who are achieving their goals to success. We Are HBCUs.

Yours Sincerely,

Demetrius Johnson, Jr.
Founder, President and CEO
HBCU Campaign Fund

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), the world’s largest express transportation company, is supporting free admission to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and Museum of Mississippi History on Monday, January 17, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The museums will also be free on Sunday, January 16.

“We are grateful to FedEx for their continued support of our annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration,” said Katie Blount, director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

“At FedEx, we believe that when we connect people and possibilities, we can change the world,” said Rose Flenoral, manager of Global citizenship at FedEx Services. “We are proud to support free public admission to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and Museum of Mississippi History, to help visitors connect Dr. King’s legacy, and leave inspired to drive positive changes of their own.”

The museums will open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, January 17. Museum hours for Sunday, January 16, are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Safety precautions at the museums include requiring all visitors to wear face masks and observe social distancing guidelines while inside the building.

At 6 p.m. on Monday, January 17, join us for the annual MLK Night of Culture program in the Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium of the Two Mississippi Museums. This year’s theme is “Those Who Stayed” inspired by the stories in the individuals who remained in Mississippi during the Great Migration, a population movement of African Americans who left their homes to seek better opportunities in the northern and western states in response to racial injustice in the rural South. The event is free and includes live poetry and performances by Jackson State University’s MADDRAMA theatre troupe, Hinds Community College’s MONTAGE Theatre of Dance, and other featured artists. Seating is limited. The event will also be streamed live on the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Facebook page.

Dr. King’s involvement in Mississippi included attending the funeral of NAACP state field secretary Medgar Evers in 1963, visiting Greenwood in support of Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964, and testifying in support of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) during the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

For more information, call 601-576-6850 or email info@mdah.ms.gov.

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CHICAGO, IL – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) has 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 the HBCU Campaign Fund, a non-profit that advocates for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (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.”

The organization has identified ten chancellors and presidents currently serving an HBCU or MSI, who exemplify a prominent and influential role in leadership and model the characteristics of the following responsibilities in the progression of effectively moving an institution forward.

In addition, the organization announced the inaugural Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr. Trailblazers of Higher Education Award among The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders. A new honor that will recognize a current or retiring/retired president or chancellor that serve(s) a HBCU or MSI and upholds decade-long value and contributions to the field of higher education.

Receiving the inaugural award are retiring presidents Dr. Andrew Hugine, Jr., of Alabama A&M University, and Dr. William R. Harvey of Hampton University. Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr. is also among Hugine and Harvey to receive the honor.

HCF Honors AAMU’s 11th President Dr. Andrew Hugine, Jr. as One of Its First Trailblazers of Higher Education Honorees Among Its Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders Award Recipients and Fifth Class

“This is a delightful time for us at HCF as we approach revealing the fifth class of honorees for the annual award recognition. As a student under Dr. Davis’ leadership, I appreciate all of his contributions to our beloved Dear Mother and am honored to acknowledge him in such a prestigious way,” said HC President & CEO, Demetrius Johnson Jr. “I commend Dr. Hugine and Dr. Harvey on a magnificent job well done for the roles that they’ve played at their institutions, and this could not be more than special to salute them for their leadership. We congratulate them both on their retirements and send our very best wishes.”

Click here to view the Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2022 award recipients and fifth-class honorees.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund

The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) was founded in 2012 and is a non-profit educational organization that remains a strong advocate for students and higher education. The mission of HCF is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, programs, and for private and public HBCUs and MSIs. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

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It’s with heavy heart to learn of the passing of former Zoo Director Dr. Lester E. Fisher, who passed away at the age of 100 on December 22. He remarkably transformed the notion of what a zoo is during his 30-year tenure as zoo director of Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, emphasizing the importance of education and conservation while furthering animal welfare and care.

Under his 30-year tenure, Fisher emphasized the importance of educating the public about the role zoos serve in society as conservation powerhouses. Visiting the zoo became an educational journey. He also encouraged animal care staff to further their education and hired experts who had the proper knowledge to provide world-class care.

Chicago has lost one of its greatest giants of humanity, Dr. Lester Fisher. His magnificent life and treasures mean everything to the world and the space of zoology. He was the man with the plan, and he laid the foundation for what Lincoln Park Zoo is today, building the first Great Ape House. It graces his name Dr. Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, known as one of the world’s leading ape behavior and science centers.

Dr. Fisher, who had a affinity for gorillas, spent time studying in Africa. In 1976, the zoo opened the Lester E. Fisher Great Ape House, where it continues to work with lowland gorillas. Under Fisher’s leadership, Lincoln Park Zoo “was home to the largest gorilla population in North America.”

As Zoo Director, Dr. Fisher is also credited with transforming the zoo into a state-of-the-art institution by renovating animal buildings and habitats, improving education around the animals and increasing conservation efforts.

Dr. Fisher worked at Lincoln Park Zoo nearly 45 years, starting in 1947 and later serving as the zoo’s director from 1962 until he retired in 1992. He is noted as the zoo’s first veterinarian.

The HBCU Campaign Fund organization joins the Lincoln Park Zoo family in extending our sincere condolences and thoughts to the Fisher family and friends during this time. We are more than grateful for his remarkable life and the many he has influenced. May Dr. Fisher’s legacy continue to be honored in our hearts going into the New Year, and for Lincoln Park Zoo to continue to carry on with his cherishable contributions forevermore.

With sympathy,

Demetrius Johnson, Jr.
Founder, President & CEO

Wishing you a joyous holiday season! Because of your continuous generous support of the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), you have given us so many reasons to say “Thank You” this holiday season.

On the behalf of everyone at the HCF, we hope you have a safe and very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We thank you for all you do to help us support students and higher education, especially on the fight to Campaign For HBCUs. YOU are the reason that the fight continues and that successes happens at our nation HBCU institutions, and we can’t think of a better gift than that.

Always remember that our supporters is indeed very special to us, and we are forever grateful that we can always count on your support. So again, from all of us at HCF, the students, HBCUs, and MSIs who benefit from your support and advocacy in the fight, happy holidays!

Warmest regards this holiday season,

Demetrius Johnson, Jr.
Founder, President and CEO


Romanian university, UMES enter into academic, culture exchange agreement

A small, private university in eastern Romania and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore have signed an agreement to explore academic and cultural exchanges between the two institutions. Pictured: Dr. William B. Harvey and Dr. Heidi M. Anderson.

Danubius University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore have signed a partnership agreement to explore academic and cultural exchanges between the two institutions.

Prof. univ. Dr. William B. Harvey, Rector of Danubius University visited UMES campus for the signing ceremony of the agreement with UMES President Dr. Heidi M. Anderson and representatives of the university’s leadership.

Professor Harvey said that “the partnership with UMES brings to the fore the growing concern of Danubius University to expand its educational and cultural collaborations around the world for the benefit of Danubian students and faculty.”

“One of the main goals of UMES is to have graduates who are culturally and internationally aware, so our partnership with Danubius University is a step in that direction. When you talk about learning about different cultures, not in your own country, but in other countries, this broadens your horizons. Such an opportunity also trains tomorrow’s leaders from both universities,” said Dr. Heidi M. Anderson, President of UMES.

The agreement signed between the two higher education institutions outlines an appropriate framework for establishing exchange programs for students and graduates, as well as for faculty and for collaboration in the field of scientific research which is a priority for Danubius University.

Dr. Moses Kario, dean of UMES’ School of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, represented UMES in Mid-September on a fact-finding trip to Galati, where he attended an international conference on the impact of COVID-19 as well as met with a leading agriculture science official.

Danubius University is located in Galati, a city about 286,000 on the Danube River. The university has roughly 3,000 students, and offers several bachelor’s degrees and master’s programs.

Harvey was named Danubius’s chief executive officer – or “rector,” in European higher education job terminology – in January and maintains an office in Washington, D.C. He has taught or served as an administrator at such institutions as the University of Virginia, Stoney Brook (N.Y.) University, North Carolina State and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He has emerged as a leading voice who has pushed the higher education sector to focus on cultural and social factors affecting underserved populations.

Among the possibilities UMES and Danubius will explore are joint degree programs, ways to collaborate on best practices in teaching, assessment and institutional management and sharing technology expertise.

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CHICAGO, IL – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) announced the creation of the inaugural Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr. Trailblazers of Higher Education Award among The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders, a new honor that will recognize a current or retiring/retired president or chancellor that serves a historically black college or university (HBCU) or minority-serving institution (MSI) that uphold decade-long value and contributions to the field of higher education.

Receiving the inaugural award are retiring presidents Dr. Andrew Hugine, Jr. of Alabama A&M University, and Dr. William R. Harvey of Hampton University. Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr. will also be among Hugine and Harvey to receive the honor.

The award will be named after the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr. The recipients will have advanced the mission to drive change and inspire others. The individual has proven their responsibilities for shaping policies, changing perspectives, and making decisions that affect millions of people life’s in the higher education space.

Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr., Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

“This is a delightful time for us at HCF as we approach revealing the fifth class of honorees for the annual award recognition. As a student under Dr. Davis’ leadership, I appreciate all of his contributions to our beloved Dear Mother and am honored to acknowledge him in such a prestigious way,” said HCF President & CEO, Demetrius Johnson, Jr. “I commend Dr. Hugine and Dr. Harvey on a magnificent job well done for the roles that they’ve played at their institutions, and this could not be more than special to salute them for their leadership. We congratulate them both on their retirements and send our very best wishes.”

A native of Pine Bluff, Dr. Davis received his formal education at the Arkansas AM&N Laboratory and Merrill schools. A true believer in education, Dr. Davis attended Arkansas AM&N (now UAPB), University of Arkansas, and completed his doctorate degree at Iowa State University. Originally a teacher of Mathematics and Physics, Dr. Davis worked across the United States, from the halls of Mississippi Valley State University to the halls of NASA, before returning to his hometown to become a professor at UAPB. In 1991, Davis was named Chancellor of the university by Dr. B. Alan Sugg, former President of the U of A System. A published researcher, receiver distinguished alum awards from UAPB, U of A-Fayetteville, and Iowa State, and an active community member, Dr. Davis made UAPB athletics one of his many platforms during his tenure with the institution, and made many strides in the advancement and promotion of the various athletic programs the university operates. During his tenure, the football stadium and adjoining field house were constructed and completed, as well as the baseball complex and the UAPB Soccer Field. He led the university through a period of academic growth and spearheaded the accreditation and reaccreditation of various academic programs throughout the university. He also led the construction of three new academic buildings in the center of campus, as well as the renovation and construction of on-campus housing. After 21 years of leading the university, Dr. Davis retired in 2012.

The Annual Most Dominant HBCU Leaders Award & Class is a national recognition ranking that was created by the HBCU Campaign Fund, a non-profit that advocates for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs). The recipients are honored for their prominent and influential role in leadership and displays the characteristics of the responsibilities in the progression of effectively moving an institution forward.

The Class of 2022 is excepted to be announced early January.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) was founded in 2012 and is a non-profit educational organization that remains a strong advocate for students and higher education. The mission of HCF is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, programs, and for private and public HBCUs and MSIs. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

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Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) will send its football team to Canton, Ohio next labor day weekend for the third Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame and WSSU jointly announced the Rams’ participation in the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic 2022 on Friday.The Rams’ athletics administration also announced that nine-year NFL veteran Robert Massey had been promoted from the position of interim head coach to head coach that same day.

The 2022 Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic tentatively is scheduled for Sept. 4 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) has tentatively added the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic to its 2022 Sixth Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour line-up.

WSSU’s opponent, along with ticket information and other details about the 2022 Black College Hall of Fame Classic weekend, will be announced in the comings weeks.

“We are thrilled to host Winston-Salem State University in the third Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic,” said Adrian Allison, Chief Relationship Officer at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Fans of the Classic can expect Coach Massey to bring an energetic team ready to kick off its season in the shadow of the shrine of football. Additionally, the school’s ‘Red Sea of Sound’ band will continue the tradition of having fans experience one of the best halftimes in sports.”

Robert Massey, head football coach at Winston-Salem State University.

Last season, the Rams finished in third place in the Southern Division of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association with Massey serving under the title of interim head coach.

Massey has played nine season in the National Football League following his collegiate career at North Carolina Central University, where he was a standout defensive back who earned All-CIAA honors twice and All-American honors as a senior. He ended his playing days third on the team’s career interception list.

Selected in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, Massey was named to the 1989 NFL All-Rookie Team after starting all 16 games and contributing five inceptions on a team that finished with a 9-7 record. He also played for the Cardinals Lions, Jaguars and Giants.

Another NFL Legend, Eddie George, made his college coaching debut in Canton this year with Tennessee State. His Tiger fell to the Grambling State Tigers 16-10 in the second Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic.

In the inaugural Classic in 2019, Alabama A&M topped Morehouse 35-30 on a last-second touchdown pass.

The game in 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Dr. Glenda Glover, President of Tennessee State University.

NASHVILLE, TNTennessee State University’s President Dr. Glenda Glover has been appointed by President Joe Biden to serve as Vice Chair of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Board will advance the goal of the HBCU Initiative, established by the Carter Administration, to increase the capacity of HBCUs to provide the highest-quality education to their students and continue serving as engines of opportunity.

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting the vital mission of HBCUs. Through the American Rescue Plan and by forgiving capital improvement debt of many of these institutions, the Biden-Harris Administration has already committed more than $4 billion in support. Reestablishing the White House HBCU Initiative – and placing strong leadership at the head of the Board – will allow the administration to build on the financial commitment with continued institutional support.

Dr. Glover serves as the eighth President of Tennessee State University, a position she has held since January 2013. Under her leadership as the university’s first female president, TSU has experience a significant increase in alumni and corporate giving, research funding, and academic offerings. The University has also received the Carnegie R2 “high research activity” designation with Dr. Glover at the helm. In 2020 during the pandemic, TSU set a school record with nearly $71 million in research funding.

Dr. Glover’s educational development began as a student at TSU, where she majored in mathematics. After graduating with honors with a Bachelors of Science degree, she pursued the Master of Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University. She then completed her doctorate in business from George Washington University, and later completed her law degree from Georgetown University. She is also a certified public accountant, and is one of only three African-American women to hold the Ph.D.-CPA-JD combination in the United States.

Her career also includes serving on boards of publicly traded corporations Pinnacle Financial Partners, The Lenox Group, Citigroup Student Loan Corporation, and First Guaranty Bancshares. Dr. Glover currently serves as a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority.

Earlier this year, Dr. Glover was named one of the ‘Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders’ by the HBCU Campaign Fund.

About Tennessee State University
Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and eight doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnvile, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. For more information, visit www.tnstate.edu.

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Mahood Hall, home of the W. Paul Cole, Jr. School of Business at Bluefield State College. Photo courtesy of HCF’s Media Team.

BLUEFIELD, W.Va.Bluefield State College is celebrating another “first,” with the decision by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) to approve the College’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.

“Today’s decision by the Commission empowers Bluefield State College to launch the first graduate degree program in the College’s 126-year history,” said BSC President Robin Capehart. “By offering a graduate program, Bluefield State can now begin the process for pursuing university status.”

The College’s MBA program is designed for both business and non-business majors, and will be offered in an accelerated format with courses offered primarily through online delivery. Students can complete the 36-credit hour program in as little as 12 months.

“Building on Bluefield State College’s fully accredited undergraduate programs in the W. Paul Cole, Jr. School of Business, we are excited to expand into graduate education by offering a Master of Business Administration this spring to meet the educational needs of this region,” said Dr. Ted Lewis, BSC Provost. “By offering this program in a hybrid format, students will gain valuable seat time and opportunities for in-person interaction, engagement, and experiential learning as well as the ability to meet face to face with business leaders.”

The MBA program offered through BSC’s W. Paul Cole, Jr. School of Business will establish affordable and accessible graduate business education for residents of the region and beyond. Southern West Virginia employers surveyed by the Cole School of Business expressed strong support for the program. They saw the BSC MBA as a valuable way to help current employees strengthen their skills and business acumen, and facilitate the recruitment of new employees seeking to further their education while continuing to work.

“Bluefield State College is gratified and excited to announce we will be offering the MBA program through the W. Paul Cole, Jr. School of Business,” said Karen Grogan, the School’s Interim Dean. “The Master of Business Administration program will be offered, beginning in the Spring 2022 semester.”

The intent of the Cole School of Business is to seek program-specific accreditation of the MBA program at the earliest possible time. The undergraduate business program at BSC is already nationally accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

About Bluefield State College
Bluefield State College, a historically black institution, is to prepare students for diverse professions, informed citizenship, community involvement, and public service in an ever-changing global society by providing an affordable, accessible opportunity for public higher education through certificate, associate, bachelor, and master degree programs. For more information, visit www.bluefieldstate.edu.

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ITTA BENA, MSMississippi Valley State University‘s (MVSU) President, Dr. Jerryl Briggs, Sr., has announced that MVSU has received the university’s largest single private gift in school history.

An anonymous donor has made a gift of $2.5 million to support the university’s Finish Line initiative, a scholarship program that assists students in their matriculation to graduation. The gift is the donor’s second to the university this year; the first gift was $250,000.

Mississippi Valley State University President, Dr. Jerryl Briggs.

“Words cannot fully describe how excited and appreciative we are at MVSU,” said Dr. Briggs. “This transformational gift will allow us to continue our commitment to ‘students first’ in pursuing academic achievements. Great things are happening at MVSU. This gift ensures that Valley stays in motion and further allows the university to remain committed to its motto, ‘live for service.’ In addition, this gift will enable students who need financial help, realize their fullest potential and continue their enrollment at the university.”

After receiving the first gift, the university created the Prosperity Scholarship to record the distribution of the funds. All funds from the second gift will be distributed similarly, with the sole purpose and use of fund being to support student scholarships.

The Finish Line Initiative will additionally be used to allow those students who did not receive any scholarship funding at the start of their enrollment at the university but are now excelling academically and actively involved in community activism to receive scholarship support.

“This expansion of the Prosperity Scholarship is for continuing students who have distinguished themselves through outstanding leadership qualities and academic excellence. The primary focus of the award is leadership, which may be demonstrated through traditional school activities, work responsibilities, community activism and involvement, and family commitments,” Briggs continued.

About MVSU
Mississippi Valley State University, as a Carnegie Classified Master’s University, provides comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs in education, the arts and sciences, and professional studies. The University is driven by its commitment to excellence in teaching, learning, service, and research —- a commitment resulting in a learner-centered environment that prepares critical thinkers, exceptional communicators, and service-oriented, engaged, and productive citizens. MVSU is fundamentally committed to positively impacting the quality of life and creating extraordinary educational opportunities for the Mississippi Delta and beyond. For more information, visit www.mvsu.edu.

Dr. Kemba Chambers, President of H. Councill Trenholm State Community College.

MONTGOMERY, AL – On Wednesday, Alabama Community College System Chancellor Jimmy H. Baker announced the appointment of Dr. Kemba Chambers as President of H. Councill Trenholm State Community College. Chambers is the first female to serve in this capacity at the college.

Chambers has 25 years of higher education experience and currently serves as Interim President at Trenholm. She previously served as Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Teaching and Learning and Chief Instructional Officer at the Alabama Community College System, and Executive Vice President and Vice President of Instructional Services at Trenholm State. Chambers has served in various leadership roles at four of Alabama’s community colleges including serving as Interim President at Coastal Alabama Community College in Bay Minette and J.D. Drake State Community and Technical College in Huntsville. She also served at Calhoun Community College in Decatur and Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City.

“The future of Trenholm State is bright with Dr. Chambers at the helm,” Baker said. “Her familiarity with the college combined with her vision and commitment to creating opportunity for students and the greater community, makes her the ideal leader for Trenholm State.”

Chambers earned an Associate of Arts degree from Chattahoochee Valley Community College and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Mathematics Education from Columbus State University. She earned a Master of Science in Secondary Mathematics Education from Troy University, an Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership from Troy University, and a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Administration from Auburn University.

“Opportunities abound at Trenholm State and it’s an honor to serve as President at the college at such an exciting time,” said Chambers. “I look forward to working alongside not only our outstanding faculty, staff, and students at Trenholm but with community leaders across the River Region to continue to provide opportunities for a better future through education and workforce training.”

Dr. Chambers’ tenure as President at H. Councill Trenholm State Community College will begin on December 15, 2021.

About H. Councill Trenholm State Community College
H. Councill Trenholm State Community College is a comprehensive two-year community college located in Montgomery, Alabama. The College provides technical certificate and degree programs; adult learning opportunities; civic, social, cultural and personal development opportunities; business and industry training opportunities; and support of economic development for the central Alabama region. The College is part of the Alabama Community College System, a statewide system of postsecondary colleges governed by the Alabama Board of Education. For more information, visit www.trenholmstate.edu.

Pharrell Williams

NORFOLK, VA Norfolk State University is pleased to announce that Virginia native Pharrell Williams will deliver the keynote address at NSU’s 107th Commencement Exercise, which will honor the December graduates in the Class of 2021. The in-person commencement ceremony will be held on campus at 9 a.m., on Saturday, December 11, at Joseph G. Echols Memorial Hall. It will also be live streamed on the University’s website at www.nsu.edu.

A visionary recording artist, producer, songwriter, philanthropist, fashion designer, and entrepreneur, Pharrell Williams has been a creative force in the music industry and beyond for more than two decades.

Over the years, Williams has been honored with 13 Grammy Awards, including Producer of the Year in the 2004, 2014 and 2019; and ASCAP’s prestigious Golden Note Award in 2012. In 2014, his original song “Happy,” featured in Despicable Me 2, also received an Academy Award nomination. In 2017, he received an Academy Award nomination for co-producing Best Picture-nominated Hidden Figures (2016), as well as a Golden Globe nomination for co-scoring the film. In the summer of 2020, Williams was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame along with Chad Hugo for their work as The Neptunes.

In April 2019, Williams launched Something in the Water, the first-ever multi-day music festival and cultural experience on the beach in his hometown of Virginia Beach. The festival’s mission was to unite the community and celebrate the diversity and magic of Virginia Beach. It also was an opportunity to bring the best of what Williams has encountered around the world back to his hometown.

A longtime advocate again racial injustice, Williams was an integral part in the talks with Virginia Governor Ralph Northam about Juneteenth being a permanent paid state holiday. Virginia has long marked Juneteenth by issuing a proclamation, but the date has not previously been considered a state holiday. In June 2021, Williams joined Governor Northam at a press conference at which he announced his plans to do just that. Since the press conference, he continues to push other states and companies to do the same and remains at the forefont of the fight for racial equality across the country.

At the ceremony, Norfolk State will award Williams a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree. Additionally, NSU will confer degrees for nearly 400 candidates, who have completed the requirements for associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees.

To attend the ceremony, all invited guests must have a ticket, which is provided by their prospective graduate. Norfolk State University also requires proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of the commencement ceremony. Attendees should plan to bring their government ID, vaccination card, proof or COVID-19 test result.

For more information or to ask questions, visit www.nsu.edu/commencement or email commencement@nsu.edu.

About Norfolk State University
Norfolk State University, a comprehensive urban public institution, is committed to transforming students’ lives through exemplary teaching, research and service. Offering a supportive academic and culturally diverse environment for all, the University empowers its students to turn their aspirations into reality and achieve their full potential as well rounded, resourceful citizens and leaders for the 21st century. For more information, visit www.nsu.edu.

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Jackson State University Punches Ticket to ESPN Events’ Cricket Celebration Bowl for the First Time in School History

ATLANTA, GA – The second invitation to ESPN Events’ sixth annual Cricket Celebration Bowl – to be played Saturday, Dec. 18 at noon ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and aired live on ABC – has been extended to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) college football champion Jackson State University. The Tigers (11-1, 8-0 SWAC) defeated the Prairie View A&M Panthers on Saturday, 27-10, and will play the MEAC champion South Carolina State.

Executive Director of the Cricket Celebration Bowl, John Grant, was on-site at the SWAC Championship in Jackson, Miss., to present Jackson State head coach Deon Sanders with the official invitation.

“Congratulations to SWAC champion Jackson State University for punching its ticket to the Cricket Celebration Bowl,” said Grant. “Jackson State, led by Coach Sanders, had an outstanding season. We are excited for the Tigers to join us in the championship matchup against the MEAC champion South Carolina State Bulldogs.”

Jackson State University captured the 2021 SWAC Football Championship on Saturday, Dec. 4. Photo courtesy of HCF’s Media Team.

Entering its sixth year, the Cricket Celebration Bowl has established itself as a premier bowl game, celebrating the heritage, legacy, pageantry, and tradition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The championship-style game between MEAC and SWAC champions is televised on ABC. ESPN Events collaborates with its sponsors and the Divine Nike Greek organizations to schedule the game’s ancillary events which includes a fan experience, community service projects, and more.

Since its debut in 2015, the Celebration Bowl is the only Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision bowl game. It serves as the annual championship game between the MEAC and SWAC conferences.

The Celebration Bowl is returning in 2021 after a one-year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Celebration Bowl Games (2015-present):
2015 North Carolina A&T def. Alcorn State, 41-34
2016 Grambling State def. North Carolina Central, 10-9
2017 North Carolina A&T def. Grambling State, 21-14
2018 North Carolina A&T def. Alcorn State, 24-22
2019 North Carolina A&T def. Alcorn, 64-44

Fans can purchase tickets to the Cricket Celebration Bowl online at thecelebrationbowl.com or www.ticketmaster.com, or calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Prices range from $15 to $175 excluding taxes and fees. A fill list of events surrounding the game are available on the event’s website.

About ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes five early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 12 college basketball events, annd a college softball event, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaching almost 64 million viewers and attracting over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offie in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Dallas-Forth Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and Tampa, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or Youtube pages.

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