MONTGOMERY, AL – Due to the recent announcement from the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) affecting fall sports, Alabama State and Tuskegee will not meet in the 2020 Labor Day Classic at ASU Stadium.

Tuskegee, a member of the SIAC, followed the announcement from the conference with their own announcement that they would not sponsor any fall sports. The Alabama State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is currently working on a replacement for the Golden Tigers, a game that was scheduled for September 5.

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TUSKEGEE, AL – Tuskegee University President Dr. Lily D. McNair has been named to the Board of Directors for Campus Compact. Campus Compact is a national coalition of 1,000+ colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education and work to build democracy through civic education and community development.

McNair joins member institutions that reflect the full range of diversity among colleges and universities, including public and private, two-year and four-year, rural and urban, faith-based, women’s, tribal, Hispanic-serving, and historically black colleges and universities. Campus Compact’s mission is to support civic engagement and “engaged citizenship” among students. “In today’s turbulent times – Campus Compact’s values and programs are what we need to support our students’ advocacy in the public sphere,” said McNair.

Campus Compact advances the public purposes of colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. In addition, they envision colleges and universities as vital agents and architects of a diverse democracy, committed to educating students for responsible citizenship in ways that both deepen their education and improve the quality of community life.


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.

Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Menafee, a 1894 alumna of Tuskegee University who would go on to found Voorhees College, was inducted posthumously into the South Carolina Hall of Fame in February 2020. She is credited as the first African-American woman to establish an institution of higher learning – and one that remains in operation today.

Manafee was the seventh of 21 children – the daughter of John Wesley Wright and his wife Virginia Rolfe. She enrolled in then-Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute at 16. After receiving her degree in 1894, Menafee took the teaching of Booker T. Washington’s industrial and agricultural model and applied it to helping educate African-American men and women in the area of Hampton County, South Carolina.

After several attempts to establish a school in the area due to arson attacks, Menafee concentrated her efforts in the Denmark, South Carolina, community. With significant funding from churches and community members, Menafee successfully established the Denmark Industrial School in 1897. Now known as Voorhees College, the school’s name was changed in 1902 to honor philanthropists Ralph and Elizabeth Voorhees of New Jersey, who played a major role in the school’s 280-acre expansion.

Menafee received a successful nomination into the South Carolina Hall of Fame because of her efforts to establish the institution and her willingness to provide opportunities for self-advancement through education. The college’s current president, Dr. W. Franklin Evans, was present to accept the award, along with two of Wright’s descendants: Jewel Barrett and her daughter Jewel Delegall.

Today, Voorhees College operates as a four-year, co-educational, career-oriented liberal arts college affiliated with the Episcopal Church and UNCF. The private, historically black college touts an enrollment of around 600 students and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s degrees.

The South Carolina Hall of Fame recognizes and honors both contemporary and past citizens who have made outstanding contributions to South Carolina’s heritage and progress. Each year, the Hall of Fame honors two contemporary and one deceased inductees.

For more information about the South Carolina Hall of Fame, visit


Joseph Montgomery, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success at Tuskegee University.

TUSKEGEE, AL – Joseph Montgomery, a Voorhees College graduate, was recently selected as the vice president of enrollment management and student success at Tuskegee University. The newly created position signals the university’s strategic realignment of functions that recruit, on board and support students throughout their matriculation.

Montgomery will be responsible for four key university areas: admissions, financial aid, registration and records, and retention and student success. These key areas define the size, shape, and character of the student body.

Additionally, he will develop a comprehensive strategy based on enhancing the student experience and the institution’s academic reputation.

Montgomery said he is honored to have been selected for a position that correlates with his passion and years of experience and training. “I have the opportunity to continue making a difference in the lives of HBCU college students. Now I will make a difference at the very institution Voorhees founder Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, received her education from,” said Montgomery said.

Before coming onboard to Tuskegee, Montgomery served as director of higher education services for the College Board, a membership-based advocacy association comprised of 6,000-plus educational institutions and serving more than 7 million students worldwide through college readiness and student success programs.

Montgomery’s career experience prior to the College Board includes more than a decade of progressive university-based admissions leadership assignments at North Carolina A&T State University, Voorhees College, and the University of Miami.

Montgomery graduated from Voorhees with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He earned a master’s degree in adult education from North Carolina Agriculture & Technical State University. In 2018, he was inducted into the Voorhees College Young Alumni 10 Under 40 Program.

Dr. Lily D. McNair

TUSKEGEE, AL – Tuskegee University has announced Dr. Lily D. McNair will become the university’s eighth president after being unanimously selected by its Board of Trustees. She will serve as the first female president in its 136-year history. McNair currently is provost and Senior Vice President for academic affairs at Wagner College in New York City. She will begin her duties at Tuskegee on July 1, 2018.

“When we launched our presidential search last October, our goal was to identify someone who could champion both Tuskegee’s historic legacy and her place in the future of higher education,” said John E. Page, chair of Tuskegee’s Board of Trustees. “Our Board of Trustees is confident that Dr. McNair brings to Tuskegee the precise skill set required to ensure we continue thriving as one of the nation’s leading HBCUs.”

According to the university, since 2011, McNair has served as the second-ranking executive of Wagner College – a private college of 2,200 students located on New York City’s Staten Island. A clinical psychologist by training, Dr. McNair’s higher education career includes other academic, research and executive appointments at Spelman College, University of Georgia, and the State University of New York at New Paltz, and Vassar College.

A native of New Jersey, Dr. McNair holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Princeton University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

McNair’s appointment follows a six-month national presidential search that began on Oct. 18, 2017. During that time, and in partnership with the search firm Isaacson, Miller, the Presidential Search Committee conducted listening sessions with senior administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni; administrated a stakeholder survey to garner additional opinions about the requirements qualifications and opportunities for the university’s eighth president; and evaluated more than 150 prospective candidates, narrowing the field to a small group who were interviewed in person.

Since Tuskegee University’s founding in 1881, it has been under the leadership of seven presidents – the first of which was Booker T. Washington, who led the institution from 1881 to 1915. McNair will succeed interim president Charlotte P. Morris, whose 35-year tenure with the university has included two terms as interim president – the most recent of which began on July 1, 2017.

The university’s presidential search webpage provides additional information about McNair, as well as details about the presidential search process.


Six historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) has been named to participate in the Intel HBCU Grant Program. Intel has announced its three-year, $4.5 million program to encourage students to remain in STEM pathways at six historically black colleges and universities.

According to Intel, shaping a more diverse technology requires that we rethink our sources of talent and broaden our recruiting pipeline to access available diverse talent. As part of their commitment this program was introduce.  The participating HBCUs include Florida A&M University, Morgan State University, Howard University, Prairie View A&M University, North Carolina A&T State University and Tuskegee University.

As part of the program, $3.9 million will be awarded directly to the HBCUs and $600,000 will be used for workshops and activities that bring HBCUs and the technology industry together to ensure students are prepared with the relevant skills to enter the tech workforce.

The three-year Intel HBCU Grant Program supports multiyear investments in computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering programs, curriculum and labs, and has three components:

  • Scholarships: Two-year scholarships for students from college juniors to Ph.D. – level students with majors in computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering.
  • Student Experience: Providing computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering students with opportunities to participate in labs, workshops and research experiences.
  • Tech Industry Workshops: Workshops hosted by Intel that brings together HBCUs and the technology industry to equip students with the relevant skills to succeed in the technology sector.

The Intel HBCU Grant Program resulted from a collaboration between Intel and the HBCUs to address the historic gap in HBCU students pursuing STEM degrees. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that African-American students are more likely to switch out of STEM majors within their first year of college and only 11 percent of bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields are conferred to African-American students.

The Intel HBCU Grant Program is part of Intel’s $300 million Diversity in Technology initiative, which supports Intel’s bold goal of reaching full representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the U.S. workforce by 2020. In support of this goal, beginning in 2015, Intel increased the number of schools at which Intel recruit by 60 percent year over year. Intel also encourage more women and underrepresented minorities to enter and succeed in tech through programs and investments with organizations that include the National GEM Consortium, Georgia Tech, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, CODE2040, and Oakland Unified School District, among others.

Following the success of Intel’s other STEM pathway programs and being named a 2016 Top Supporter of HBCU Engineering Schools by US Black Engineer and Information Technology Magazine, Intel is excited to kick off their HBCU Grant Program and nurture the next generation of diverse talent that will lead us into the future.

To learn more about Intel’s diversity and inclusion efforts, visit as well as Intel’s 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Dr. Brian L. Johnson

TUSKEGEE, AL – The Tuskegee University Board of Trustees has announced that President Dr. Brian L. Johnson will conclude his service as the university’s president on June 30, 2017. This coincides with the end date of his current annual contract.

“We appreciate Dr. Johnson’s service to Tuskegee University and wish him well in all his future endeavors. His enthusiastic leadership will continue to be an asset to him and his career,” said John E. Page, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Tuskegee University is well positioned for greater success because of the combined contributions of its senior leadership, gifted faculty, hardworking staff, accomplished students, and committed alumni and friends.”

According to Diverse Education, Dr. Johnson’s ending of contract comes in conclude of several trustee members were angry to learn that Johnson interviewed for the chancellor position at North Carolina Central University (NCCU), located in his hometown of Durham, N.C. He is reportedly a finalist for the job.

During Dr. Johnson’s tenure, Tuskegee University had made strides in accomplishing many of its strategic goals. Chief among those achievements is the adoption of a five-year strategic plan; additional student engagement and leadership opportunities; and advances in expanding academic offerings.

Dr. Charlotte Morris

The board has appointed Dr. Charlotte Morris to serve as interim president beginning July 1 and until a successor is selected through a national search to begin later this summer. An experienced higher education leader with three decades of distinguished university service, Dr. Morris has served most recently as interim dean of the university’s Andrew F. Brimmer College of Business and Information Science and professor of management.

Her academic leadership and previous service as interim president following the retirement of President Benjamin Payton has earned her the respect of the board, faculty, staff, alumni and university partners. Joseph Grasso, a senior trustee, offered strong support for Dr. Morris’ leadership abilities.

Her academic leadership and previous service as interim president following the retirement of President Benjamin Payton has earned her the respect of the board, faculty, staff, alumni and university partners. Joseph Grasso, a senior trustee, offered strong support for Dr. Morris’ leadership abilities.

“I am honored by the Board of Trustee’s request to serve Tuskegee University as its interim president,” Dr. Morris said. “Thanks to the dedication and tenacity of our incredible faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends, we will continue to bull on the “Tuskegee Tradition.” I am as committed as ever to advancing our focus on students through excellence in academics, research, service and outreach.”

Together, the Board of Trustees and the Tuskegee University leadership remain focused on advancing the university’s existing strategic plan, which includes creating a student-centered culture, integrating modern academic approaches, managing resources effectively, increasing enrollment, and expanding private philanthropy.

“My fellow trustees and I look forward to working with Dr. Morris and the university’s leadership in continuing to sustain our achievements and meet our goals, Page said.

In the coming weeks, the board will announce the selection of a search committee that will be tasked with identifying potential presidential candidates.



About Tuskegee University

Located in Tuskegee, Ala., Tuskegee University is a private and state-related land-grant institution that serves a racially, ethnically and religiously diverse student body of 3,000-plus students. The institution was founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington and is one of 107 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) nationally and the fourth-ranked HBCU nationally by U.S. News and World Report. For more information about Tuskegee University, visit

Payton1.jpgAfter serving the mission of Tuskegee University for almost 30 years as president, Dr. Benjamin Payton passed away on the morning of Wednesday, September 28, 2016.

Dr. Payton was one of nine children born to Reverend Leroy R. and Sarah Payton in Orangeburg, South Carolina. His father was a rural Baptist minister as well as a farmer and teacher. Following his father’s example, Payton attended South Carolina State University where he earned his B.A. in sociology with honors in 1955. In 1958 he received his B.D. in philosophical theology from Harvard University, and was Danforth graduate fellow from 1955 to 1963. In November of the following year he married Thelma Louise Payton of Evanston, Illinois. He continued his education, by earning an M.A. in philosophy from Columbia University in 1960, and in 1963, he received his Ph.D. in ethics from Yale University.

Payton held a variety of leadership positions that intertwined his interests in religion, race, and education. In 1963, Payton became assistant professor of sociology of religion and social ethics at Howard University. He also served as director of the Howard University Community Service Project in Washington, D.C. In 1965, he became the director of the Office of Church and Race, Protestant Council of the City of New York, serving for one year. He than move on as an executive director of the Commission on Religion and Race and the Department of Social Justice of the National Council of Churches in the USA, where he served until 1967. That year, he than became president of Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. He held this position until 1972, when he became program officer of Education and Public Policy for the Ford Foundation in New York City. In 1981, he than became the president of Tuskegee University where he served until 2010. In 2010, Tuskegee University named Payton President Emeritus.

Succeeding Dr. Luther H. Foster, who had served as Tuskegee’s president for 28 years. Payton, as the institution’s fifth president, followed in the footsteps of men who had worked hard to make it a superior institution of higher education for blacks, and later for all races throughout the South and the United States. The institution was founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington to educate rural blacks, most of whom received little or no education at the time. The second president, Robert Russa Moton, battle unbridled racism when he fought to have the Tuskegee Veterans Hospital administrated and rub by an all-black staff. The university developed over the years into an educational institution of renown among black and white colleges for its programs, including a distinguished Ph.D. program in Materials Science and Engineering. Payton became president of the Institute during its centennial celebration.

During Payton’s tenure, he received presidential appointments; Ronald Reagan appointed him to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) in 1983; he served for three years. he became team leader of the Presidential Task Force on Agricultural and Economic Development to Zaire in 1984. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan gave the commencement address to the graduating class. The President was also on hand for the dedication of the university’s General Daniel “Chap-Pie” James Center for Aerospace Science and Health Education. General James was the first black 4-star Air Force general and a graduate of Tuskegee University.

Over 30 years of leadership, Dr. Payton has indeed followed in the footsteps of many great men who served at Tuskegee University or who graduated from it. He helped transform it into an institution of higher learning that is nationally and internationally recognized for its competency in many fields but especially in the biomedical sciences, engineering, life and physical sciences, agriculture and the food sciences, education, and business. He said the goal of his administration is to strengthen significantly Tuskegee’s image as a national and regional center of excellence. He left a solid set of footprints for future presidents of the university to follow.

Dr. Payton leaves behind one son, Mark Steven (Christiane) Payton, one daughter, Deborah Elizabeth Payton; four grandchildren, Danielle Marie, Maya Elizabeth, William Isaac and Nicholas Warren Payton; and three brothers and three sisters. He was preceded in death by his wife, Thelma Plane Payton, in 2013, and by two of his brothers, Leroy Oscar Payton and James Israel Payton, in 1998 and 1999.