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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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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