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.

Dr. Dennis Shields

BATON ROUGE, LA – The Southern University System Board of Supervisors named Dr. Dennis Shields has the next president of the Southern University System and chancellor of Southern University and A&M College during it’s meeting on February 18. Shields, the current chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Platteville, will succeed President-Chancellor Ray L. Belton, who announced his retirement in 2021. Belton’s contract ends on June 30.

“I think the selection of Dennis Shields represents our belief that he’s the best fit to lead the University following Dr. Belton,” said Edwin Shorty, chairman of the Southern University System Board. “We felt that Mr. Shields comes with the right mix of qualities to further advance the University.”

Shields, who has been the chancellor for the University of Wisconsin Platteville since 2010, has spent most of his career advocating for better access to higher education – especially those who have been historically underrepresented. Under Shields’ leadership, the campus has had tremendous growth. Enrollment grew nearly 11 percent from 2010 to fall 2016. Most recently, he led successful efforts to gain legislative and gubernatorial approval to build a new $55 million state-of-the-art engineering facility on campus as well as a $23.7 million renovation project for one of the liberal arts buildings on campus. Those two projects, plus a $15.3 million Williams Fieldhouse expansion, will give the university more than $93 million in upcoming growth and improvements. Additionally, he led the construction of two residence halls, one with a dinning facility.

“I am humbled and honored by your confidence in me to take on this role at this wonderful institution of higher education,” said Shields to the Southern University Board via live stream video during the meeting. “I had a remarkable and inspiring visit (to campus) and was able to spend some time with the students. I take it as a great responsibility to help continue to rise of the Southern University System.”

Prior to his current position in Wisconsin, Shields held administrative positions in admissions at the University of Iowa College of Law, University of Michigan Law School and Duke University School of Law. He has also held a deanship and a teaching position at Phoenix School of Law and act as the vice president for student affairs at The City College of New York.

A champion of diversity and access, Shields served as the first chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group of the National Collegiate Athletics Association for Division lll. With Shields at the helm, the University of Wisconsin Platteville, has focused more on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. Initiatives have successfully doubled the number of students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds over the course of the past decade.

Shields, an Iowa native, earned a bachelors degree in business administration from Graceland College in 1977, and a juris doctoral from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1982.

Shields will officially begin his term once a final contract is approved by the Southern University Board.

About Southern University and A&M College
Southern University and A&M College, an Historically Black, 1890 land-grant institution, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is to provide a student-focused teaching and learning environment that creates global leadership opportunities for a diverse student population where teaching, research, service, scholarly and creative expectations for students and faculty are achieved through the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs offered at the institution via different instructional modalities and via public service. For more information, visit www.subr.edu.

###

NEW ORLEANS, LA – The Kick-off press conference for the 48th Annual Bayou Classic, presented by Procter & Gamble, featuring the historic rivalry between the Tigers of Grambling State University and the Jaguars of Southern University. The Bayou Classic is revered as the “Granddaddy” of HBCU college matchups.

Governmental leaders, tourism leaders, Bayou Classic organizers and representative from both Southern University and Grambling State University will make and provide updates on this year’s 48th Annual Bayou Classic scheduled for November 26-27.

The Bayou Classic is the annual extravaganza bringing the fans and alumni of Grambling State University and Southern University to New Orleans each November for a celebration of football, family and the traditions surrounding Historically Black College and Universities.

Other events include the Bayou Classic Parade, which will once again hit the streets of New Orleans the Saturday of Bayou Classic – Saturday, November 27. The parade starts at 9:30 am. Of note, the parade route has been changed back to its original route.

This year’s Bayou Classic parade will start on Elysian Fields at the river; N Peters Street past the French Market; down N Peters St/Decatur; turn right off N Peters St on Canal; turn left off Canal on St Charles Ave; turn right off St Charles Ave on Poydras Street; turn right off Poydras on Loyola; parade disembarks at Duncan Plaza on Loyola.

###

Five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) presidents has been appointed to the USDA-1890 Task Force. The task force explores cooperative frameworks, partnership opportunities and priority areas.

The appointed president’s includes Tuskegee University President Lily D. McNair, Southern University and A&M College President Ray Belton, Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II, Alcorn State University President Felecia M. Nave, and Langston University President Kent Smith on the task force.

The task force was reestablished along with the USDA-1994 Leadership Group and USDA Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Leadership Group to serve as principal working groups for the USDA secretary to explore mutually beneficial, short and long-term goals.

The USDA/1890 Task Force is a component of the USDA’s 1890 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities National Program. The task force is a joint council of USDA and 1890 Land-Grant University senior officials (e.g, under secretaries, agency administrators, and university presidents) that provides leadership to advance the mutual interests of USDA and the 1890 Land-Grant Universities. The 1890 Land-Grant Universities – which include 18 Land-Grant Universities established under the second Morrill Act of 1890 – are invaluable sources of diverse professionals who work in agriculture and related disciplines.

NEW ORLEANS –The Bayou Classic returns to New Orleans for its 45th year with its series of fan and family-friendly events throughout the Thanksgiving holiday and weekend. Each year, this weekend of events brings together family, friends and alumni of Southern University and Grambling State University to see one of America’s greatest college sports rivalries and celebrate football, family and the traditions surrounding Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

“What we want everyone to hear as we go into this week-long schedule of events is – ONE ROAR.  We welcome fans, families, alumni and visitors to experience the best of the classics at this year’s 45th anniversary celebration of the Number One HBCU Classic in the nation,” says Dottie Belletto, President and CEO of New Orleans Convention Company, Inc. (NOCCI), the management firm of the Bayou Classic.

HIGHLIGHTS IN 2018

SWAC West divisional champion: Alcorn State, Jackson State, Grambling State, and Southern University are the four remaining teams in the Southwestern Athletic Conference still eligible to win a league championship and secure a spot in the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 15. Grambling (6-4, 4-2 SWAC) will face Southern (6-3, 5-1 SWAC) in a contest that will declare the SWAC West divisional champion. The winner of this year’s Bayou Classic will advance to the SWAC championship game to be played December 1 on the campus of the SWAC institution with the highest ranking.

Celebrity Guest JB Smoove: Comedian and actor J.B. Smoove will be in attendance at this year’s Bayou Classic. Smoove is an American actor, writer, comedian, and voice actor. Starting his career off with the television series Def Comedy Jam in 1995, he is best known for his role as Leon on the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. He also starred on the CBS sitcom The Millers.  He most recently portrayed a fictionalized version of himself on the BET improv-comedy reality television parody Real Husbands of Hollywood. Smoove will be part of many events throughout the weekend including doing a comedy skit at the Bayou Classic Greek Show & Battle of the Bands and attending the Bayou Classic Fan Festival.

World Record at Battle of the Bands: BET Networks, in partnering with the Bayou Classic along with National Artist Development Group, will coordinate the execution of the World’s Largest HBCU Soul Train dance line at Battle of the Bands in cooperation with the students and bands of Grambling and Southern Universities and the Bayou Classic. The Soul Train will be documented for the Guinness World Records organization.

Bayou Classic Halftime Show: This year’s Bayou Classic Halftime Show is presented by Procter & Gambel/Crest. This always electrifying performance is one of the highlights of the weekend each year and the presenting sponsor is bringing special surprises to this year’s performance.

QUICK FACTS

Economic impact: Bayou Classic provides a $50 million economic impact to the City of New Orleans.

Visitors to New Orleans: Bayou Classic brings more than 200,000 visitors to New Orleans annually.

Hotel occupancy: Bayou Classic annually delivers a total citywide occupancy of more than 90 percent.

Ticket sales: Ticket sales for the 45th Annual Bayou Classic to date are higher than final totals of last year’s ticket sales.

Bayou Classic rankings: The Grambling State University Tigers lead the series with 23 wins

to Southern University Jaguars 21 wins in the Bayou Classic.

Bayou Classic Telecast: The 45th Annual Bayou Classic will be televised live on NBC Sports Network starting at 4 pm CST on Saturday, November 24. The Bayou Classic has been nationally televised since 1991.

 

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Friday, November 23

Bayou Classic BizTech Challenge: 11:00 am

Presented by GE in partnership with NexusLA

Hyatt Regency New Orleans

Honoring Bayou Classic’s commitment to technology, the Bayou Classic BizTech Challenge is back for the third year in a row. Out of 14 registered teams from three Historically Black Colleges and Universities, five finalists will present their comprehensive business plans on Friday at 1:00 pm. The winning team, selected by a panel of expert judges will be presented with a cash prize of $10,000 before the Bayou Classic kicks-off on the field of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Battle of the Bands and Greek Show: 7:00 pm, doors open at 6:00 pm

Greek Show presented by Be the Match; Battle of the Bands presented by USMC

Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Approximately 25,000 people will be at the show, as the Southern and Grambling’s historic marching bands strut across the Superdome in a colorful showdown that is the highlight of The Bayou Classic weekend for many attendees. In addition, the Greek show will feature creative skits from traditionally black Greek organizations across Louisiana.

Again this year, fans’ votes will play a role in scoring the Greek Show teams, with the results being displayed live. Fans can vote for their favorite performance via the Bayou Classic App.

The Battle of the Bands will also have a special appearances by the US Marine Corps Band and a special skit by comedian and actor J.B. Smoove.

The Battle of the Bands will conclude this year with BET Networks coordinating the execution of the World’s Largest HBCU Soul Train dance line documenting it for the Guinness World Records organization.

Saturday, November 24

Doc Grigg’s 2x Around the Dome: 8:00 am

Mercedes-Benz Superdome

The Doc Griggs 2X’s Around the Dome Family Fitness Fun Walk encourages the community to “Get Checked. Get Fit. Get Moving!” by walking twice around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome while showcasing historical landmarks in New Orleans. The event demonstrates to more than 500 attendees that exercise can be fun while highlighting the importance of health, fitness and wellness through a variety of exercises such as Zumba, Hula Hooping, Second Line Dancing instruction and bicycling.

Annual Bayou Classic Parade:  9:30 am start time

Presented by Cricket Wireless, in partnership with the French Market District

The Annual Bayou Classic Parade continues this year in traditional, New Orleans fashion with twelve floats and more than 45 total units.

The Grand Marshall for this year’s Annual Bayou Classic Parade is Mayor of the City of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell. Miss Louisiana Holli Conway will also be in the parade this year. Parade goers will also be able to catch commemorative 45th Anniversary Bayou Classic cups and medallion beads.

Route details: Parade begins on Elysian Fields Avenue at N. Peters Street; proceeds down N. Peters St onto Decatur Street; turns right on Canal Street; turns left on St Charles Avenue; turns right on Poydras Street; turns right on Loyola Avenue; parade ends at Duncan Plaza located on Loyola Avenue at Perdido Street.

Bayou Classic Fan Festival: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm

Presented by Cox

Champions Square at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome

An extremely popular pre-game celebration where live musical performances and entertainment get the crowd warmed up for the game. Schedule of performances for this year include:

  • Xeno MoonFlower
  • Assatay
  • Kevin Stylez
  • Daniel Heartless
  • Kennedy Drum Line
  • Metro and Honey Jack
  • Keedy Black
  • Tonya Boyd Cannon
  • 5th Ward Weebie
  • Choppa
  • Tweeday
  • Neno
  • Jay Jones
  • DJ Mannie Fresh
  • Juvenile

Fan Fest will also have a special appearance by the United States Army Band. Fan Fest attendees will also enjoy sponsor activations and special giveaways throughout the event.

The 45th Annual Bayou Classic Game: 4:00 pm (doors open at 2:30 pm)

Mercedes-Benz Superdome

More than 200,000 people come to New Orleans for the Bayou Classic weekend, and 50,000 – 60,000 make their way to the Bayou Classic game. The Bayou Classic commemorates historically black colleges and universities, academic achievement, tradition, sportsmanship, marching bands, and friendly competition. The “Classic” is an exhibition of the high standards of academic achievement deeply embedded in the traditions of the two institutions – Grambling State University and Southern University.

Other game highlights:

National anthem: Miss Louisiana Holli Conway will perform the National Anthem at this year’s Bayou Classic.

The 45th Annual Bayou Classic Halftime Show

Presented by Procter & Gamble / Crest

The electrifying halftime show will feature the Grambling State University’s World Famed Marching Band and Southern University’s Human Jukebox and Dancing Dolls.

Tickets still available

Tickets are still available for purchase through Ticketmaster or the Bayou Classic official website, www.mybayouclassic.com.

For more information, download the official Bayou Classic Mobile App, follow Bayou Classic on social media or visit www.mybayouclassic.com.

About The Bayou Classic
The Bayou Classic ( www.mybayouclassic.com ) features one of America’s greatest college sports rivalries, bringing the fans and alumni of Southern University and Grambling State University to New Orleans for a celebration of football, family and the traditions and pageantry surrounding Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Proceeds from the annual series of Bayou Classic events provide support to the campuses’ athletic programs and fund scholarships through the SU System Foundation and the GSU Foundation. The 45th Annual Bayou Classic will be played on Saturday, November 24, 2018.

The 45th Annual Bayou Classic is supported by the following organizations – Procter & Gamble/ Crest; MillerCoors; The Louisiana Office of Tourism, Louisiana Office of Culture Recreation & Tourism and Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser; US Marine Corps; The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation; New Orleans & Company; US Army; Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board; Be The Match; BET; MetroPCS; The Coca-Cola Company; AARP; Republic National Distributing Company/Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey; Cracker Barrel; French Market District; Cox; GE; UBER; New Orleans Plantation Country; FINRA; Entergy; Parish of Caddo – Shreveport, Louisiana; National Wildlife Federation; Visit Baton Rouge; Cricket Wireless; NOMTN – New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network; Mignon Faget; Downtown Development District; Essence; Louisiana Highway Safety Council – LHSC; Black Women’s Health Imperative; McDonald’s; Metro Disposal; Sheen Magazine; Sony Pictures – Spider Man; ULS.

Pete Richardson answering media questions Tuesday (8/21) during a Southern New Conference about the first ‘Pete Richardson Classic.’ Photo creds: Bill Feig – The Advocate Staff

BATON ROUGE, LA – Southern University athletics held an news conference for the announcement of the inaugural Pete Richardson Classic that is set to take place on September 15 when the Jaguars host Langston for the home opener. Beginning this season, all future Southern football home openers will take part in the classic game.

According to an article by The Advocate, Southern’s athletic director Roman Banks said “In the honor of it almost a year in the making since I first proposed it – it is long overdue for a man of Richardson’s stature.”

From 1993-2009, Richardson won five Southwestern Athletic Conference titles, and his team was built on discipline, fundamentals and toughness – were routinely among the best in black college football, with four national championships to show for it.

Richardson is named the second-winningest coach in program history with a record of 134-62.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Banks said. “From an athletics standpoint, I promised I want to do more to recognize those legends for Southern University. It just happens to be a legend that’s personally close to me, but our fans more than anything, this is something they’ve wanted to see for a long period of time.”

SU will also honor Richardson’s 1998 national championship team at halftime, along with other former Southern players of his in attendance.

The school previously announced it is in the process of naming the field at A.W. Mumford Stadium in Richardson’s honor, but will likely wait until future classics as it works through approval.

Richardson’s former players can also purchase special packages for the classic. For a $100 donation, past Jaguars receive two tickets to the Jaguar Den end-zone suite, a parking pass, two drink tickets and food. Players will also be included in an on-field ceremony at halftime.

“Most times we speak about his overall record,” President Raymond Belton said. “But coach Richardson was more than just a coach to Southern University. He’s a shaper of men. His motto has been adopted by other coaches. He’s a humble leader, but one that really defines and epitomizes Southern University.”

Tickets for the Pete Richardson Classic will go on sale September 4 at the Southern University Box Office and online on Ticketmaster.com. Fans are asked to call 225-771-3171 for more details. The SU ticket office is located in the service entrance of FG Clark Activity Center.

A study performed by the American Council on Education Center for Policy Research and Strategy, Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) play an integral role in the education of students of color, those from low-income backgrounds, and students who are first in their family to attend college. The data in the report verify that working assumption with concrete numbers that show income mobility by students who attended MSIs across the country exceeding mobility rates at non-MSIs. This distinction is an important one to make at a time, when public implications for institutions – including many MSIs – already struggling with low general and educational expenditures and endowment sizes. This distinction is further important given the outsized performance of MSIs in generating income mobility even while they are operating with limited resources.

The importance of MSIs to individual students, families, communities, and our national economy cannot be overstated. MSIs are ubiquitous to the postsecondary landscape, representing roughly one-fifth of all degree-granting, Title IV-eligible institutions of higher education in 2014-15. In this same year, taken together, approximately 700 MSIs enrolled 4.8 million students, or 28 percent of all undergraduates enrolled in U.S. higher education.

Finally, there is evidence that MSIs provide students of color with stronger academic experiences and more supportive environments whole in college than do non-MSIs.

According to the latest study conducted by the American Council on Education (ACE) Center for Policy Research and Strategy, Alcorn State University, Southern University and A&M College, Lincoln University (PA), Dillard University, and Alabama State University leads other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the Minority Serving Institutions category as Engines of Upward Mobility study.

View below:

The date presented in this report verify a working assumption of those familiar with MSIs – that these institutions are standouts in the field for their contribution to income mobility. This distinction is important given the outsized performance of MSIs in generating upward income mobility even whole they are operating with limited resources. Further, across the whole of higher education, we could stand to learn and share the policies and practices employed by the top-performing MSIs, such that the field can from their success.

To view the entire study, visit http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Documents/MSIs-as-Engines-of-Upward-Mobility.pdf.

DavidBanner4

PINE BLUFF, AR – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) has announced that GRAMMY Award winning music producer, recording artist, philanthropist, civic activist, actor and HBCU alum David Banner will speak on August 25 during Welcome Week at the university. This free, public event will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the H.O. Clemmons Arena of the Kenneth L. Johnson, Sr. Complex.

Banner recently appeared in Lee Daniel’s “The Butler” and in Tim Story’s movie “Ride Along”. Banner also is founder of A Banner Vision, a multimedia company that specializes in providing emotionally engaging music for iconic commercials, video games and films. A Banner Vision has produced a body of work that Banner’s primary audience and fan base may not know much about, including ads for bands like Pepsi, Gatorade, Paramount Pictures (Footloose Film), Marvel, Capcom, Mercedes Benz and mass-market retailer Kmart, among others.

Banner, who attended his mother’s alma mater, Southern University (Baton Rouge), graduated with a degree in business; and went on to graduate school at the University of Maryland on a full scholarship before leaving to pursue his musical career. He was raised by parents who instilled in him the importance of getting an education and applying his talents to do something of substance in the world.

Banner has exceeded his parents’ expectations. He created a foundation, Heal the Hood, Inc., to provide relief and recovery assistance to lower-income people of the Gulf Region affected by natural disasters. He deeply believes in the philosophy of giving back, especially once someone is in a position to be generous.

Heal the Hood also supports youth development and recreation program in Mississippi. The foundation raised $500,00 for Katrina survivors in Mississippi and Alabama; and 2014 was its eighth year of distributing clothing, toys, and other necessities to Jackson, Mississippi families during the holidays.

Banner finds reward in encouraging young people to gain knowledge, and he leverages his affluence and influence to help make the world a better place. He has been a prominent and passionate voice in the face of social injustice.

For more information about this event, contact the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Office of Student Involvement and Leadership at (870) 575-7060.

Souce: https://uapbnews.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/rapper-activist-entrepreneur-david-banner-to-speak-at-uapb-august-25/