Dr. Jarrus Hardrick earned the permanent post after serving as interim president since July 2018.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – FMU’s Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Jaffus Hardrick as its 14th president, effective immediately. The Board originally tapped Hardrick to serve as interim president in July 2018. During the institution’s annual Founders’ Day observance, Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert, III boldly declared, “Something is happening at Florida Memorial University. There is new energy and it is exciting.”

The same sentiments have been shared by many key leaders throughout South Florida and the country. Many have expressed support for and have endorsed Hardrick as the right leader for FMU.

“Dr. Hardrick is an ambitious and visionary leader who has demonstrated a commitment to student success and academic excellence throughout his career,” said Attorney JoLinda Herring, chair of FMU’s Board of Trustees. “He brings a wealth of experience and we want to continue the momentum. It is truly a new day at FMU.”

According to a press release by the University, an award-winning academic executive, Hardrick comes to South Florida’s only historically black university with more than twenty years of experience in higher education. He worked for more than ten years at Florida International University (FIU) where he served as vice provost for Access and Success and vice president of Human Resources. Under Hardick’s leadership, FIU earned national recognition from Forbes, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, among other organizations. Prior to FMU, he worked at Baylor University for twelve years serving as assistant provost for Academic Affairs and vice president of Human Resources.

“I thank God for the opportunity to serve and lead FMU to the next level of academic excellence and national prominence. Under my leadership, FMU will be fully integrated into the greater community and focus on preparing students to compete in the global marketplace, transition to rigorous graduate and professional schools, or develop their own enterprises,” said President Hardrick. “Our five strategic principles will help us continue to transform ourselves and our community.”

“A healthy and prosperous FMU is good for our diverse student body and great for this community. We cannot do this work alone. I am inviting the entire community to support our students and help us close the resource gaps that create barriers to graduation.”

Since assuming the role as FMU’s interim president, the Hardrick Administration has accomplished the following, among other things, which has made a difference:

  • Expanded donor pool and raised more than $1.7 million in less than a year;
  • Hosted 50th anniversary gala celebrating FMU’s five decades in South Florida;
  • Secured a partnership with CareerSource South Florida to established a career services center;
  • Expanded micro-credential and vocational opportunities;
  • Approved the development of two healthcare-oriented degree programs;
  • Strengthened FMU’s Division of Academic Affairs and the university’s student engagement infrastructure; and
  • Expanded student internship opportunities with various city and federal agencies.

Hardrick is an HBCU alumnus, earning his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; a master’s in Education in Counseling from Prairie View A&M University; and a doctorate in Educational Administration from Baylor University. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc., 100 Black Men of America, Inc., a board member of the Florida Education Fund, Inc., and is an active participant in several other organizations. His scholarship has been published in the Association of Public and Land-Grant University, Association of American Colleges and Universities. He is also co-author of Making Global learning Universal: Promoting Inclusion and Success for All Students (Stylus).



Located in the City of Miami Gardens, Florida Memorial University is a private, historically black institution that offers 28 undergraduate degree programs and four graduate degree programs to a culturally diverse student body. Since its inception in 1879, the University has upheld a commitment to provide an academic education solid foundation built upon the pillars of leadership, character, and service. As South Florida’s only Historically Black College or University (HBCU), it is widely recognized as the birthplace of the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing. For more information, visit www.fmuniv.edu.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – A veteran of higher education administration has been selected as Florida Memorial University’s interim president on June 22.

Dr. Jaffus Hardrick

Dr. Jaffus Hardrick replaces interim president Dr. Castell V. Bryant, the FMU Board of Trustees announced this past Friday evening, according to The Miami Times. Hardrick, who worked for ten years at Florida International University, begins his tenure on July 16.

Hendrick will be the third interim president since the departure of Roslyn Clark-Artis, who was named the president of Benedict College on July 1, 2017. Michelle Howard-Vital was appointed interim president shortly after and left for medical leave in November. Bryant assumed the role on November 20.

“Dr. Jaffus Hardrick is a visionary and transformational leader with 20 years of higher education experience in academic affairs, student services, human resources and diversity and community relations,” said JoLinda L. Herring, FMU board chairwoman. “He has a strong community presence and involvement, and we look forward to this service to our student, faculty, staff, and community.”

Hardrick was appointed as FIU’s first provost for Student Access and Success in 2014; a role created to showcase the university to “economically disadvantaged students.” Hardrick served as vice president of Human Resources and vice provost simultaneously.

“This appointment recognizes Dr. Hardrick’s commendable efforts in support of our minority student population,” said Douglas Wartzok, FIU provost, and executive vice president.

Hardrick has responsibilities ranging from strategy and innovation in academics, policy development and governance to donor development and community relations. As vice president of Human Resources, he managed an $800 million payroll, as well as a $30 million operations budget. Previous to his 10-year run at FIU, he served as assistant vice president of Human Resources and assistant provost for Academic Affairs at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

While at Baylor, Hardrick earned his doctorate in education, upgrading his education master’s degree from Prairie View A&M University. He earned his bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Hardrick is affiliated with numerous service and civic organizations including the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and the 100 Black Men of South Florida.

Hardrick made the shortlist to become the next president of LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee in 2015. Friday evening he issued this statement regarding his FMU appointment:

“For over 40 years, FMU has been a key educational institution educating and preparing students to be globally competitive leaders. I am honored to serve FMU in this capacity to help move the university to the next level of excellence.”

The FMU board wished Dr. Bryant well. She said she came out of a nine-year retirement to take the reins of FMU and is heading right back in. She served for almost six months, and she didn’t expect for it to last as long.

“We sincerely appreciate the service of Dr. Bryant during her time with us,” said Herring





Miami Gardens

MIAMI GARDENS, FLClub 1964, Inc. invites HBCU Scholars, Leaders, and Advocates from across the nation to join them on Wednesday, March 21 through Friday, March 23, 2018, at the Illustrious Florida Memorial University for HBCU Symposium 2018; themed, “HBCU Tomorrow: Our impact in the 21st Century Beyond.”

Club 1964’s 2016 and 2017 Symposiums collectively gathered nearly 1,000 students, alumni, faculty, and staff from HBCUs and advocates from support organization and other institutions (like the Florida International University Black Student Union). In addition to those who attended from HBCUs like Claflin University (Orangeburg, SC), Jackson State University (Jackson, MS), and Howard University (Washington, D.C.), delegates from both the United States Department of Education White House Initiative on HBCUs and United Negro College Fund (UNCF) have attended each year.

Marquise M. McGriff, M.A., Convener of the Symposium, highlights:

“Considering the nation’s current climate and its impact on our Historically Black Colleges and Universities, it’s now more important than ever to discuss what this all means for us…. not just today, but tomorrow and beyond. That will be the focus point of our three days of discussion, learning, and fellowship in Lion Country – the state and fate of HBCUs. And we have some pretty accomplished and eager speakers sure to help drive the point home. I’m personally excited!”

If you are interested in attending this year’s Symposium please RVSP by Friday, December 29 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Registration will officially open on Monday, January 28, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. To RSVP and for more information, visit www.club1964.org/hbcustomorrow. Club 1964 are also accepting sponsorships, donations, expo reservations, other partnerships, and presentation proposals.


Club 1964, Inc. is a public charitable 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organization that advocates for Historically Black Colleges and Universities through academic, social, and professional ventures that recruit scholars, develop leaders, and educate advocates.

Castell Vaughn Bryant

MIAMI GARDENS – Florida Memorial University, a historically black university located in Miami Gardens, has appointed Castell Vaughn Bryant as its acting president, the school announced.

Bryant will be standing in for interim president Michelle Howard-Vital, who is currently on medical leave. Howard-Vital stepped up following the departure of Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, who accepted presidency at Benedict College in South Carolina.

According to The Miami Times, FMU board of trustees chairman JoLinda L. Herring announced the changes Thursday afternoon in a written statement. The statement said that Howard-Vital is on medical leave.

“With great dedication and much determination, Florida Memorial University is committed to empowering our students to succeed with exceptional excellence,” said Herring, an attorney. “The change in leadership will help position our university’s common core values and services to our students as well as throughout our community. Dr. Bryant brings both the qualifications and experience needed to strengthen this process. Her love for the students, toppled with her extensive knowledge and awareness of our community and the HBCU environment, are but a few of her stellar attributes. Under her leadership, direction and guidance, we are certain that she will provide stability and focus required as we continue our search efforts for a permanent president.”

Bryant was FMU’s interim chief executive officer and has a long record of experience in leadership positions at HBCUs. She served as president of Miami Dade College North and Medical campuses. In 2007, she was interim president at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and interim vice president for academic affairs at Bethune-Cookman University.



COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Benedict College Board of Trustees announced Friday (June 30) that Dr. Roslyn Artis will become the 14th President of Benedict College on September 1, 2017. She will become the first female President in the College’s 147-year history.

Dr. Roslyn C. Artis

Dr. Artis appointment comes after the current president Dr. David H. Swinton announced that after 23 years of service he will retire effective June 30, 2017. His 23 years of service makes him the longest serving President in the history of Benedict College.

According to a press release from the university, Dr. Artis brings to the Midlands college an impressive mix of higher education and corporate experience. As President of Florida Memorial College, she led an unprecedented academic innovation of several programs, expansion of online courses, and developed new majors in high-demand fields. Additionally, she created academic centers of excellence and updated the University’s technology infrastructure and website. She led the development of the University’s Five-Year Strategic Planning Process and increased grant writing productivity. Since assuming the presidency in 2013, unrestricted gifts increased 20% (year over year), restricted gifts increased by 38%, and revenue from grants and sponsored research increased by 22%.

Dr. Artis is also credited with soliciting and receiving the largest gift from a single donor ($3.8M) in the institution’s history. She completed construction on a state-of-the-art Science Annex and a comprehensive Athletic Facility and Wellness Center on campus. Dr. Artist initiated and consummated strategic partnerships and collaborations between the University and external public and private entities for the purpose of revenue generation and the visibility of the institution.

Dr. Artis is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where she earned a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership and Policy. She also holds a Juris Doctorate degree from West Virginia College of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from West Virginia State University. Additionally, she holds a certificate of Fundraising Management from Indiana University and a Certificate of Mastery in Prior Learning Assessment from DePaul University.

HCF welcomes President Artis to the campus of Benedict College and we wish her much blessings during her tenure.


Founded in 1870 by Rhode Island native Mrs. Batheheba Benedict, Benedict College was an 80-arce plantation when purchased as the Benedict Institute. The investors’ – Mrs Benedict and the Baptist Home Mission – long-term goal was to educate emancipated African-Americans and produce citizens “powers for good in society”.

Nearly 139 years later, Benedict College has been one of the fastest growing of 39 United Negro College Fund Schools of the 20 independent colleges in South Carolina, Benedict has the largest undergraduate student body and is the second largest overall. The college has students enrolled from every county in South Carolina. More than 2,800 students currently study at the school and is distinguished by its continued commitment to facilitate the empowerment, enhancement, and full participation of African Americans in a global society.

For more information about Benedict College, visit their website at www.benedict.edu.

Bennett College, Kentucky State University, Florida Memorial University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Oakwood University, St. Augustine’s University, Bluefield State College, Rust College, and Lane College are among the top universities in the south according to recently released 2017 U.S. News and World Report College Rankings.

Bennett College ranked #9, Kentucky State University ranked #16 (tied with Newberry College and Tennessee Wesleyan College), Florida Memorial University ranked #23 (tied with Keiser University, Lees-McRae College, Shorter University and Williams Baptist College), University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff ranked #42 (tied with College of Coastal Georgia and Warner University), Oakwood University ranked #47 (tied with North Carolina Wesleyan College), St. Augustine’s University ranked #49, Bluefield State College and Rust College ranked #52 (tied with Chipola College, and Georgia Gwinnett College), and Lane College ranked #56 (tied with Our Lady of Holy Cross College and University of Arkansas at Fort Smith).

This category is classified by regional colleges which is defined by its emphasis on undergraduate education while awarding less than half of its degrees in liberal arts disciplines.

“Congratulations to the following HBCU’s that are recognized by the U.S. News and World Report. It is a very distinct pleasure to know that those institutions are providing a quality education to future leaders that after leaving the campuses will take on the world by force using what knowledge that the HBCU’s provided with to the best of their abilities and providing services in making the world a better place.” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., President and Founder of HCF.

You can check out the full list of the Regional Colleges South Rankings as well as other rankings that HBCU institutions may have made by U.S. News and Report here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, January 13, 2017, five (5) historically black colleges and universities were honored as an White House healthy campus by President Barack Obama. As part of Obama’s Administration’s ongoing efforts to reach the remaining uninsured, the White House launched the Healthy Campus Challenge in September, hoping to engage college and university campuses in enrollment efforts.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act 20, 20 million more Americans have gained coverage, and the nation’s uninsured rate now stands at its lowest level ever. Access to affordable, quality health care is critically important for young people as they reach adulthood and enter the job market. It gives them peace of mind that allows them to focus on their studies, helps them stay healthy as they join the workforce, and is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class.

More than 350 campuses from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico participated in the Challenge and carried out some enrollment activities, with nearly 100 campuses completing all the criteria. Out of that 100 campuses, 5 HBCU campuses made the list.

  • Bethune-Cookman University (Daytona Beach, FL)
  • Bowie State University (Bowie, MD)
  • Florida Memorial University (Miami Gardens, FL)
  • Livingstone College (Salisbury, NC)
  • Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans, LA)

This past Friday (Jan. 13), nearly 60 leaders of those campuses attended the Healthy Campus Challenge Day at the White House, which was presided by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Congratulations to the following HBCU campuses who were designated as an White House Healthy Campus and we hope that your success continues in remaining to keeping HBCU students healthy and insured for the future years to come!

To read the full White House Healthy Campus Challenge Day press release, click here.

hrdCHICAGO, IL – This past June, HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) held its 3rd annual HBCU Royalty Dictionary competition with the theme “Rulers of the Throne”. The competition highlights newly historically black colleges and universities campus Queens, Kings and SGA Presidents.

The HBCU Royalty Dictionary is an initiative that spotlights the newly elected and crowned campus leaders through a pre-submitted biography with a series of questions relating to their campus improvement, strengths, motivation and upcoming plans during their reign or term.

This year’s competition featured a mixture of 20 campus leaders who holds the title of Queen, King and SGA Presidents that were voted by the public to be featured in the dictionary. The leaders are represented from the following schools: Florida Memorial University, Huston-Tillotson University, Stillman College, North Carolina Central University, South Carolina State University, Saint Augustine’s University, Grambling State University, Virginia Union University, Savannah State University, Bennett College,  Benedict College, Fisk University, Claflin University,  University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Morris College, Savannah State University, Philander Smith College and Chicago State University.

After two (2) years of the competition, this year was the first publication of the HBCU Royalty Dictionary as a magazine. The HBCU Royalty Dictionary is usually published to the HCF’s website featuring the present year induction class.

The 2016 HBCU Royalty Dictionary is now available and can be viewed in PDF format on HCF’s website here. You can purchase the magazine copy for $7.99 + shipping in support of the featured student leaders here.

All proceeds from the magazine will benefit and assist supporting the next HBCU Royalty Dictionary competition, student scholarships, services at HBCU’s and operations of HBCU Campaign Fund.

For more information regarding the HBCU Royalty Dictionary, contact support@hbcucampaignfund.org or call HCF office at 773.988.2106.