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

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.

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.


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


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.


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.

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

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


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 and @spelmancollege on social media.


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