ST. LOUIS, MO – Dr. Corey Bradford, Sr. has announced that he is leaving Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) to pursue an opportunity at a research university, the HSSU Board of Regents thanks Dr. Bradford for his leadership. Bradford took over as president in May 2020, replacing Dr. Dwaun Warmack, who left to for an opportunity of president at Claflin University. Bradford’s inauguration ceremony, postponed by the pandemic, was held on April 9, 2021.

Dr. Corey Bradford, Sr.

The university has announced that Dr. LaTonia Collins Smith, currently Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, will serve as Interim President, effective June 1, 2021. Collins Smith has more than 20 years of progressive leadership experience with an extensive background in administration and program development. She began her career in higher education at Harris-Stowe State University in 2010 as a project coordinator in the Office of Counseling Services. She has also served the institution as associate provost, assistant provost and as executive director of Center for Career Engagement.

Dr. Collins Smith is the co-principal investigator of a $5 million National Science Foundation grant to substantially strengthen STEM in the state of Missouri, the largest grant in the history of Harris-Stowe. She currently serves as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the nation’s largest regional accreditation body. She also served as the campus team lead for the following initiatives; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Re-Imagine First Year Project, the Strada Foundation Measuring College Value project, the Complete College America MSI Initiative, the Ascendium Project Success Initiative and the Gallup Alumni Survey Project.

Dr. LaTonia Collins Smith

Dr. Collins Smith serves as chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Statewide Celebration Commission of Missouri and a member of the Downtown Advisory Board for Greater St. Louis, Inc. She served on both the Alumni Board of Directors and Alumni Foundation Board of the University of Central Missouri. She is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Dr. Collins Smith has received several leadership and service awards including the Equal Education Opportunity Group Pioneer Award, the NAACP Ben Hooks Community Leader award and the AKA Central Region’s Outstanding Educational Advancement Foundation Captain award. She is a 2019 Millennium Leadership Initiative Protégé, a St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative Fellow and a Higher Education Leadership Foundation Fellow.

Collins Smith earned a educational doctorate in higher education leadership from Maryville University in St. Louis. She holds a master of social work degree and a master of public health from Saint Louis University. She is a graduate of the University of Central Missouri, where she majored in social work.

Chair of the Board of Regents Ron Norwood commented that “Dr. Collins Smith has a proven record of outstanding leadership and will serve the University well.”


ST. LOUIS, MO – The Board of Regents of Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) has unanimously selected St. Louis native Dr. Corey S. Bradford, Sr. as HSSU’s 20th president, effective May 1.

In addition to earning various advanced degrees during this time away from St. Louis, Dr. Bradford has worked in higher education for more than 26 years. He currently serves as Senior Vice President for Business Affairs at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU). Prior to his current position, he served for 16 years within the Southern Illinois University System in various leadership positions, including the Assistant Vice President for Financial & Administrative Affairs and Assistant to the Vice President for Planning and Budget. Bradford earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Southern Illinois University; a Harvard Institute for Management Development Education Certificate from Harvard University; and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in mathematics from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

“The Board is thrilled Dr. Bradford has decided to return to St. Louis to serve as the next president of Harris-Stowe and believes his vast experience, boundless enthusiasm and creative vision will continue to propel the University to new heights,” said Ronald Norwood, chair of the Harris-Stowe State Board of Regents. “We believe that these attributes, coupled with Dr. Bradford’s demonstrated leadership ability, financial acumen, and student-centered focus, will not only greatly benefit Harris-Stowe, but will also positively impact the entire St. Louis region.”

At PVAMU, Dr. Bradford developed an extensive track record of working with students, faculty, staff and alumni, along with local business and civic leaders, to advance the university’s mission. In 2016, he served as the executive sponsor for the development of a new university strategic plan for PVAMU. His leadership throughout its implementation established fiscally sound practices that increased cash reserves over $170 million. A record for the university, the increase allowed for reinvestment toward hiring faculty, faculty development, upgrading classroom spaces and technology, supporting faculty research, and establishing scholarship opportunities.

“I am honored and humbles to be appointed the 20th president of Harris-Stowe State University. I have great admiration of what Harris-Stowe has achieved for over 160 years, and I am extremely excited to be a part of the university’s bright future,” said Dr. Bradford, president of Harris-Stowe State University. “This is also a dynamic time for me to return to my hometown to advance Harris-Stowe’s impact on our citizens and lead its growing reputation as an innovator in the HBCU community.”

Bradford succeeds former president Dr. Dwuan Warmack, who left Harris-Stowe in August of 2019. Current interim University President Dr. Dwayne Smith, who has served in various capacities at HSSU for 14 years, has provided invaluable stewardship for the University during this transition.


About Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU)

Harris-Stowe State University’s primary mission, as set forth in Senate Bill 153, is a to address the higher education needs of the metropolitan St. Louis region. Toward the fulfillment of this mandate, the University offers a solid General Education curriculum, which serves as the foundation for the University’s various baccalaureate programs in three broad professional areas, including baccalaureate degree programs in business, education, and arts and sciences. For more information, visit

Dr. Dwayne Smith, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Harris-Stowe State University. Dr. Smith has been named interim president while the a full presidential search is completed.

ST. LOUIS, MO – Harris-Stowe State University is please to welcome Dr. Dwayne Smith as the University’s Interim President. Dr. Smith will replace Dr. Dwaun Warmack, who announced his resignation earlier this summer to pursue a presidency at another university. Dr. Smith began his tenure on August 1, 2019 and will serve until a full presidential search is completed.

Smith is no stranger to Harris-Stowe. He is currently in his 12th year as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the institution, and overall has more than 30 years of progressive administrative and faculty experience in higher education.

Dr. Smith is well-versed in accreditation, enrollment management, student success, strategic planning, faculty and staff development, and obtaining external funding. Since his arrival to Harris-Stowe, he has successfully procured more than $12 million in external funding for various university initiatives. He successfully led the institution through five major accreditations, currently serves as a Peer Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission, is the Principal Investigator of a $5 million National Science Foundation grant to substantially strengthen Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the state of Missouri, and serves as a Grants Reviewer for the National Science Foundation.

Under Dr. Smith’s leadership, the institution has increased its degree offering by more than 75%, developed undergraduate research opportunities, added STEM degrees and increased its yearly degree production – ranking as one of the top five institutions in Missouri in awarding undergraduate degrees to Minority Students. Additionally, Harris-Stowe ranked in the top 40 in the nation in graduating African-Americans in Education and the top 50 nationally in graduating African-Americans in mathematics and statistics (out of more than 3,000 institutions nationally). During his tenure, Harris-Stowe has been cited in national college rankings including, U.S. News and World Report, Best Regional Midwest Colleges, the Washington Monthly College Guide Rankings, the Economist College Rankings, Niche College Rankings, and Diverse Issues Annual Degree Producer Rankings. Dr. Smith has been instrumental in developing more than 20 collaborations and partnerships with Harris-Stowe and other institutions and organizations regionally and nationally valued at more than $2 million.

Prior to Harris-Stowe, Dr. Smith served as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at Avila University where he provided leadership over Student Retention, the Weekend and Evening College for adult learners, the Institutional Research Board, and Study Abroad. Dr. Smith has also served as Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management at Park University, was on the graduate faculty at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and as an Associate Dean in the area of multicultural affairs at Truman State University where he created Truman State’s first Diversity Department.

Dr. Smith is a Fulbright Scholar, serves on the Board of Higher Education Consortium, and Chairman of the Board of NewPot Solutions Charitable Foundation. He also serves on the Council of Chief Academic Officers, and the American Academic Leadership Institute Strategic Planning Council. His other honors includes Who’s Who in the Midwest, Who’s Who in America and a member of the national honor societies, Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Delta Pi.

Dr. Smith earned his Ph.D. In Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri, Columbia, M.A. in Education Administration and BS degree in Psychology from Truman State University. He also completed post-doctoral at Harvard University and participated in the Executive Leadership Academy for emerging University Presidents sponsored by the American Academic Leadership Institute.


About Harris-Stowe State University

Harris-Stowe State University’s primary mission, as set forth in Senate Bill 153, is to address the higher education needs of the metropolitan St. Louis region. Toward the fulfillment of this mandate, the University offers a solid General Education curriculum, which serves as the foundation for the University’s various baccalaureate programs in three broad professional areas, including baccalaureate degree programs in business, education, and arts and sciences. For more information, visit

Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack

ORANGEBURG, SC – The Claflin University Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of Dr. Dwuan J. Warmack as the ninth president of the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in South Carolina, effective August 1, 2019. He succeeds Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, who is retiring after 25 years of tranformational leadership at the Orangeburg, S.C., institution founded in 1869.

Dr. Warmack will assume the mantle of leadership at Claflin after serving the last five years as President at Harris-Stowe State University in Missouri. He brings more than 25 years of progressive administrative experience in higher education at five distinct higher education institutions. Provost Dwayne Smith will serve as interim president at HSSU during the search for Warmack’s replacement.

“Dr. Warmack was unanimously chosen to lead Claflin University from a pool of highly qualified applicants,” said James K. Lehman, Chair of the Board. “We believe he will continue Claflin’s upward trajectory, keeping the university among the nation’s leading institutions of higher education. he brings a brand of leadership that is inclusive, transparent and inspires teamwork.”

Under Dr. Warmack’s exemplary leadership, Harris-Stowe witnessed an institutional transformation, which is unparalleled in its 162-year history. He has shepherded more than $24 million in external funding to the institution, including a $5 million STEM grant, the largest in the school’s history. He cultivated more than 16 partnerships and collaborations with Fortune 500 companies, regional organizations and other higher education institutions to strengthen Harris-Stowe’s infrastructure.

“I am honored to lead one of the nation’s premier Historically Black College and Universities that has a tradition of producing visionary leaders and a proven track record devoted to student success,” said Warmack. “My aspiration is to honor President Tisdale’s amazing legacy, by continuing the Claflin standard as a beacon of excellence in higher education for future generation to come. I am humbled by the opportunity afforded me to carry the torch and continue the growth and development of Claflin University as a dynamic and powerful center of scholarship, research and education.”

Prior to his appointment as President of Harris-Stowe, he served as the Senior Vice President, Administration and Student Services at Bethune-Cookman University. Prior to that appointment, he was the Associate Dean of Students at Rhodes College in Memphis, where he had oversight over Student Affairs and Administration including Judicial Affairs, Student Activities, Greek Life, New Student and Parent Orientation and Multicultural Affairs. Dr Warmack also held positions at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., and Delta State University.

Dr. Warmach is committed to developing programs that promote diversity, pluralism and cultural competency. Throughout his career, he has championed inclusion, academic excellence and the retention of underrepresented students. Over the years, he has presented more than 120 diversity and leadership presentations and workshops to an array of individuals and groups. He was recently selected as an Eisenhower Fellow, a highly selective and worldwide competitive fellowship.

Dr. Warmach earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Master’s degree in Sociology from Delta State University. He earned his Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Higher Education from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He completed post-doctoral work in Educational Leadership at Harvard University School of Education.


About Claflin University

Claflin University is a comprehensive institution of higher education affiliated with the United Methodist Church. A historically black University founded in 1869, Claflin is committed to providing students with access to exemplary educational opportunities in its undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs. Claflin is dedicated to providing a student-centered, liberal arts education grounded in cutting-edge research, experiential learning, state-of-the-art technology, community service, and life-long personal and professional fulfillment. For more information, visit

Krishun Lovelace, Mister LeMoyne-Owen College 2017-2018 was crowned as Mister HBCU 2018-2019

ST. LOUIS, MO – Harris-Stowe State University is set to serve as the host of the 15th Annual Mister HBCU Kings’ Leadership Conference and Competition held January 30 – February 2. After 14 years, the conference has tied its knots with Lincoln University of Missouri. The competition with the theme of “Kings in Paris” is scheduled for Saturday, February 2, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. in the Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack Auditorium on Harris-Stowe’s campus. The advance admission is $5, and tickets can be purchase online here.

The mission of the Leadership Conference is to enhance the leadership skills for university males by creating an infrastructure for leadership that enables them to develop as spokespersons, roles models, and leaders in their universities and communities. The participants will gain from experts speakers, forum, and workshops. The conference will culminate in a competition on Saturday, February 2, 2019, that showcases each participants talent, oratorical skills, ease of manner and professional bearing.

The campus queens, and king contestants during last year’s 14th Annual Mister HBCU Leadership Conference and Competition at Lincoln University of Missouri.

This year’s competition will feature 20 plus kings. The creation of Mister HBCU Leadership Conference and Competition is credited to Mrs. Benecia Spencer Williams. Mrs. Williams is former Vice President for Advancement and Director, Alumni Affairs at Lincoln University of Missouri. Now that the event is no longer held at Lincoln University, current Mister Lincoln Dante West will hold the honor of being the first king to represent LU in the competition in 15 years of its creation. The current Mister Harris-Stowe will now step down and will not participate as a contestant. He will serve as a host for the week-long of events.

Each contestant will deliver a three-minute original speech entitled, “How can you, as Mister HBCU, inspire those you represent to define and live their Best Life?” Also, each contestant will perform a three-minute talent presentation. Contestants will be critiqued on punctuality, etiquette, professionalism, and presentation.

Awards are given to the following winners:

  • Mister HBCU will receive $1,500.00 scholarship, Sash, Crown, and Trophy,
  • Mister HBCU will be awarded the Alian L. Locke Fellowship (a 10-week paid internship),
  • First runner-up will receive $1,000.00, Sash and Trophy,
  • Second runner-up will receive $500, Sash and Trophy,
  • Mr. Talent will receive a Sash and Trophy,
  • Mr. Oratory will receive a Sash and Trophy,
  • Mr. Congeniality will receive a Sash and Trophy.

The Mister HBCU Leadership Conference and Competition accepts your support of its campus king participants and endeavors through a donation. Donations are accepted online at

Follow the Mister HBCU Leadership Conference and Competition Facebook page.

Photo of Harris-Stowe State University’s campus in St. Louis, Missouri.

Institutions that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) became in existence. Currently, there are 100 HBCUs in the United States, including public and private institutions. Majority of these institutions lie in the hard of the south, but there are two mid-west HBCUs that served in the northern state of Missouri.

Founded by the St. Louis Public Schools as a normal school and became the first public teacher education institution and the 12th such institution in the United States. Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU), stands as the only HBCU in the St. Louis region, which has ties in the segregation era before becoming a designated HBCU. HSSU celebrates 161 years of existence and has been firmly committed to providing a high-quality higher education experience that is both affordable and accessible to a diverse population.

Referring back to HCF’s The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2018, HSSU has been under the leadership of Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack since 2014. Under his tenure, HSSU has increase grants totaling approximately $3.5 million, approved to offer graduate degree programs for the first time in university history, which was enabled by Senate Bill 334, increased academic degree programs by 100%, going from 14 majors to 31 majors and minors in one year and increasing applications by over 100% in the past five years.

Photo of the campus of Lincoln University located in Jefferson City, Missouri. Photo credits Demetrius Johnson, Jr.

Since 2014, HSSU has been ranked nationally for its academic programs in publications such as Diverse Issues in Higher Education and as one of the top HBCUs in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college ranking. Furthermore, through it all, HSSU has faced punches from drastic state-funding cuts and being one of the “underfunding” HBCUs of Missouri along with Lincoln University located in Jefferson City.

Though Lincoln University faces diversity issues preferably being an HBCU in a more “white” populated town, LU continues to push through striving to serve academic excellence. Selecting a new president, Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk who begun her tenure as of June 1, she comes to the helm of leading the institution with a student population of 47% White, 41% African-American and 12% International and other. A big concern for the African-American students is that Lincoln University may unspecific its status as an HBCU.

Despite that these institutions were established as HBCUs, they are often overlooked and criticized for failure. None like no other black college or university, these institutions are also encountering with enrollment and retention difficulties. Also named as one of The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2018, under Dr. Kevin Rome leadership, Lincoln University was reported to only graduated one-quarter of its student, according to a source and federal statistics. Meanwhile, Lincoln also saw a 7 percent drop in enrollment back in 2016, while losing two-degree programs and sports programs. Though, he was responsible for a 50% increase in student enrollment in addition to the creation of institutional programs and initiatives. Dr. Rome left Lincoln University in the summer of 2017 to become the 16th president of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Recently, published in an op-ed that appeared in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, a “guest editor,” launched a savagely racist rant, attacking HSSU President Dr. Dwaun Warmack, Board of Regents, administration and faculty and staff, stating “Poor leadership is rewarded at Harris-Stowe.” Dr. Warmack was criticized for spending his state-funded travel allowance to walk away with nothing more than a photo and a story about a meeting with President Trump. The article also states, Harris-Stowe failed to meet four out of five basic performance-based funding criteria, and that university official continued to stupidly cheerlead and cover up what has effectively become an academic shipwreck. He was also criticized for asking for more money from the state and allied with the local branch of the NAACP to demonstrate on his behalf and ignoring the consequences of performance-based funding.

In the mist of the NAACP standing to challenge the rights and the state’s treatment towards black colleges. The organization announced the formation of a group called the Coalition of Equity and Excellence in Higher Education, which will “conduct activities to achieve educational and charitable objectives within the State of Missouri, focusing primarily on activities that ensure equity for Missouri’s Historic Black Colleges and Universities.”

Dr. Warmack strikes back with a co-op entitled “Harris-Stowe has the right to exist.” In that article, Warmack expressed that HSSU is far from being an endangered institution and from data the reflects during 2014-2018; three years of enrollment growth landed at 19.3 percent, with no additional state-funding, while donor and external funding has doubled during that same period.

Consequently, as a segregation state being that HBCUs are not wanted in the state of Missouri but were and are allowed, will our HBCUs continue to thrive in the forthcoming years? I have faith they’ll, with the aid of a dominant and compassionate administration, Board of Regents or Curators, faculty, and staff, students, alumni and stakeholders, our HBCUs in Missouri must not continue to be overlooked for their operational and academic serving use as state institutions.

Giving up is not an option when it comes to the state of Missouri and its treatment towards black colleges. A continued fight and given support must occur in so that the black colleges not only in Missouri back across the nation receive the proper state-funding that is needed so that students are adequately equipped with the necessary and demand tools for economic growth. Lincoln University also holds the distinction as an 1890 Land-Grant institution, which was reported that the U.S. House of Representatives voted 213-198 to defeat what is known as The Farm Bill. This bill supports agricultural extensions at 1890 Land-Grant institutions such as Lincoln.

In 1866, Lincoln University (formally Lincoln Institute) was formally established under an organization committee. At the close of the Civil War, soldiers and officers of the 62nd and 65th U.S. Colored Infantry took steps to found such an educational institution in Jefferson City, Missouri. On September 17, 1866, the school opened its doors to the first class.

As President and CEO of the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), our mission is to support the significance and campaign in raising funds for scholarships and services at HBCU and PB institutions, while also advocating for students, alumni, HBCU and PB institutions. We stand behind the Presidents of the two illustrious Historically Black institutions that deserve the right to exist and continue providing that high-quality education to scholar students who will succeed as dominant leaders. HCF will continue to advocates for HBCUs as long as we are in existence as an organization.


Support HBCUs by grabbing your HBCU Campaigner gear. Purchase in benefiting HBCU Campaign Fund and the students, HBCUs and PBIs benefited through the organization and its advocacy work.

HBCU Alumni Spotlight: Jazminique Holley

Jazminique Holley speaking at her graduation on May 16, 2015, at Harris-Stowe State University.

When Jazminique Holley was at Howard University, she was a part of two organization that allowed her to help educate and uplift African-American women; the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and Jewels Inc. The women in NCNW inspired her to reach her full potential as a woman of African descent. Jewels incorporated was a mentoring program in which she was able to mentor young ladies that were students in the District of Columbia Public School District. Holley was able to show those girls that she too, had come from a single-parent home, and she made it. Holley wanted to inspire them just as much as her single mother had encouraged her to dream big.

After returning to St. Louis from Howard University (with a 3.5 GPA), Holley lost sight of that passion. Holley was distracted, and before she knew it, she became that “Girl” that she had tried to prevent all of those young ladies that she had mentored from becoming. She enrolled at Harris-Stowe State University that fall as a bitter, broken, despondent former scholar who had given up on her education but most important herself and was pregnant on academic probation at the end of that semester.

When Holley professors in the College of Education and administrators at Harris-Stowe were informed of her academic standing and pregnancy, they immediately hit the ground running. The entire College of Education worked together in making sure that she had tutoring, and all of her assignments were completed. In addition to that, they spoke life to her and even brought her infant necessities and even re-motivated, pushed and encouraged her to become a campus leader.

In Holley’s opinion, Harris-Stowe is the nation’s best kept secret. What makes the institution so unique is that it is refer to as the “Transformational Institution.” HSSU takes rocks out of the dirt, brushes them off, polishes them and turn them into JEWELS. HSSU accepts students that no other college or university accepts and gives them a second chance at life. Holley was once skeptic as it relates to her university before she enrolled, and as of today, she is a BELIEVER and an ADVOCATE. Harris-Stowe is not just the place where Holley earned her bachelor’s degree, HSSU is HOME and the staff and students there have become family. Her campus activities/achievements have included: Vice Presidents list scholar, President of the campus’ largest organization Sigma Alpha Pi National Honor Society of Leadership and Success, President of NAACP-HSSU Chapter, HSSU strategic planning committee, HSSU Presidential Transitional team, and a student ambassador. As a result of Holley’s exceptional leadership as the president of the HSSU-NAACP Chapter, she was elected president of the NAACP for the state of Missouri’s youth and college division, received numerous recognition across the country (was recently honored and recognized for black history month for her advocacy work and named as a emerging leader of the NAACP.)

Holley graduated from Harris-Stowe State University on May 16, 2015, with her bachelor’s of educational science studies where she was able to share her testimony with nearly one thousand people. Holley currently attends the University of Missouri-St. Louis where she is working towards obtaining her Master’s of Education in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Character and Citizenship. Upon graduation, she was hired at Harris-Stowe State University as the Educational Advisor for the Educational Talent Search Program. The position calls for Holley to serve disadvantaged students at targeted schools by assisting them in college preparation as well as assisting them in achieving their academic goals. This position was confirmation that education is not only her calling but her ministry. Holley has nurtured and supported her students as if they were her own and have built relationships with staff and students that will last a lifetime. What Holley has enjoyed most about her position is being referred to as a hero and role model which is ironic because she is just doing exactly what was done for her. Holley’s ultimate goal in life is to become a superintendent of a public school district that serves students who are disadvantaged as it relates to socioeconomic status. It is also her dream to open eventually her own trauma-informed school that primarily focuses on character and good citizenship.



Tell your HBCU story including your HBCU experience, how well did your HBCU prepare you for life and your successes after college to be featured in the “HBCU Alumni Spotlight” by e-mailing your story/bio along with a picture to