ROCK HILL, SC – The Clinton College Board of Trustees announced that it has completed its search and has removed the ‘Interim’ title from Dr. Lester A. McCorn as the 13th President of Clinton College on Wednesday, August 15, 2018.

Dr. McCorn’s has been acting president for the past year and has more than three decades of leadership experience. He joins Clinton College after serving as the senior pastor at Pennsylvania Avenue A.M.E. Zion Church in Baltimore, Maryland.

“As a product of an Historically Black College and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, this appointment allows me the opportunity to expand the very important mission of a faith-based institution of higher learning at a critical period in our nation’s history. I am committed to leading the College and serving the community with ‘Excellence Without Excuse,'” said Dr. McCorn.

Dr. McCorn succeeds Dr. Elaine Copeland, who retired in 2018 after leading as president for 16 years.

“Clinton is entering a growth phrase and we’re projecting increases and advancements in student enrollment, physical plant, and state and federal funding and alumni and community support. We’re confident we have selected the right leader for such a time as this,” said Bishop Mildred B. Hines, Board of Trustees Chairperson.

A news conference with Dr. McCorn is planned for Tuesday, August 21, 2018, at 11:30 a.m. on campus.

For more information about Dr. Lester A. McCorn, click here.


Clinton College is a Historically Black, private institution with a strong Liberal Arts tradition. The College was founded in 1894 by The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church to meet the needs of descendants of slaves who did not have access to higher education. Today, the doors of the institution are open to all, those who have achieved academically and to those who have yet to reach their full potential. In keeping with its rich tradition, the College continues to provide a learning milieu for students to promote academic achievement and positive moral and spiritual development. This environment fosters leadership qualities and encourages students to be good citizens who can contribute to a global society. For more information about Clinton College, please visit

Pictured: VUU student Jamon Phenix and newly appointed VUU President Dr. Hakim J. Lucas. (Photo creds: VUU SGA – IG: @iheartunion)

RICHMOND, VA – Virginia Union University (VUU), a historically black university located in Richmond, Virginia, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, has announced that Hakim J. Lucas, Ph.D. has been named the 13th President of the University.

“Throughout the search process, Dr. Lucas impressed the committee with his clear vision for liberal arts education and creating an enhanced student experience,” said Richardson. “He is an energetic and wise leader and we believe that he will serve Virginia Union University well.”

According to a press release by the university, Dr. Lucas brings nearly two decades of progressive leadership experience in higher education. His career successes include fundraising, strategic planning, and the engagement and retention of students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Dr. Lucas has served as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla. since 2012. Under his leadership, unrestricted and restricted giving rose by 30-percent and the endowment increased by 53-percent. He developed a strategic government relations plan that resulted in millions of dollars in appropriations from the state of Florida. These funds aided in the development of new academic programs and a Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. His responsibilities also included chairing the Strategic Growth and Sustainability Taskforce, as well as, leading the sponsored research team that secured more than $45 million in research grants.

Prior to his accomplishment at Bethune-Cookman, Dr. Lucas served as Director of Development at State University of New York at Old Westbury and the Dean of Institutional Advancement and Development at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, NY. He was also a tenured lecturer and Deputy Chair of the Philosophy and Religion department at Medgar Evers College.

“Virginia Union University has a rich history of academic excellence and I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this distinguished university,” said Dr. Lucas. “I look forward to joining the dedicated administrators, faculty and staff as we continue to make a difference in the academic life of our students.”

Dr. Lucas earned his Bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, a Master’s degree in education from Tufts University, and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. He earned his doctoral degree in education from Fordham University.

Dr. Lucas will begin his appointment on September 1. He replaces Joseph F. Johnson, Ph.D., who has served as Acting President since July 2016 and succeeds former president Dr. Claude G. Perkins, whose contracted ended July 2017 but spend his last year on sabbatical.