Tag: HBCU

Spelman College Receives $1 Million from Barnes & Noble Founder Leonard Reggio For Arts and Innovation Center

(Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

article via thegrio.com

Leonard Riggio, the founder and chairman of Barnes & Noble and his wife, Louise, are donating $1 million to Spelman College. The donation was made to establish the Riggio Scholars Program and to support Spelman’s arts and innovation center.

Half of the donation will go towards underwriting six Spelman students who have gone above and beyond to demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and who engage in community service.

The other half will help design and build an arts and innovation center. This center will house both the school’s arts programs as well as fund their Innovation Lab.

“From the moment I was surrounded by its warm embrace, I was head over heels in love with Spelman College, and especially with the beautiful people who study and teach there,” Leonard Riggio stated.

To read full article, go to: http://thegrio.com/2016/12/23/barnes-noble-founder-gifts-spelman-college-1-million/

Darlene Pitts, 57-Year-Old Grandmother of 12, Earns Bachelor’s Degree From HBCU Norfolk State University

Grandmother graduate Darlene Pitts (photo via hbcubuzz.com)

article by Tommy G. Meade Jr. via hbcubuzz.com

A 57-year-old grandmother of 12 who admitted that college “was a rough four years” graduated from  Norfolk State University, a historically black college or university, alongside hundreds of students this past Saturday.

Darlene Pitts is a hardworking woman in pursuit of higher education living in Norfolk, Virginia. During her time at college, she was working two jobs. But she had to “Quit her job at a Kroger grocery store and focused on her schoolwork and her job as a special education teaching assistant at a local high school,” after she discovered that she was placed on academic probation.

Pitts told The Virginia-Pilot that “I came to work in tears because I got a letter saying I was on academic probation.” “Some of the classes, they were really rough,” Pitts added. “I was ready to throw in the towel. I just wanted to call it quits, but I just hung in there.”

Pitts will graduate from NSU with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and hopes to become a full-time special education teacher as well as probably continue her career as a student.

To read full article, go to: 57-Year-Old Grandmother Earns Bachelor’s Degree From An HBCU | HBCU Buzz

HBCU Stillman College Designated As Historic District in Alabama

Founded in 1876, Stillman College is a liberal arts institution with a covenantal relationship with the Presbyterian Church, USA. Stillman is committed to fostering academic excellence and to providing high quality educational opportunities for all students. With emphasis on three Centers of Excellence: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM), Education, and Religion; Stillman has a proud and evolving tradition of preparing students for leadership and service in society.

To read full article, go to: http://hbcubuzz.com/2016/07/stillman-college-designated-historic-district/

Morgan State University in Baltimore Designated a National Treasure

Morgan State University (photo via wikiwand.com)
Morgan State University (photo via wikiwand.com)

article by Carrie Wells via baltimoresun.com

Morgan State University was named a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation on Tuesday, a designation given to only one other historically black college in the country.

The designation will mean Morgan and the National Trust will partner to develop a road map for preserving the university’s historic buildings, which mostly are a mix of Collegiate Revival and Brutalist architectural styles.

That road map will later be used as a template for preserving historic buildings on historically black college campuses across the country, said Dale Green, a professor of architecture and historic preservation at Morgan who is working with the National Trust.

“They have significant rich legacies that most people are unaware of,” Green said. “They’re more than black schools. … They are the only institutions that never barred other races. They very much reflect the American story.” Continue reading “Morgan State University in Baltimore Designated a National Treasure”

Yes She Can: Melonie Wright, Who Was Considered “Special Ed”, Graduates from Law School

article via clutchmagonline.com

Melonie Wright had tons of obstacles set up against her when she was younger. As a child in school, she was considered a special education student. Then in her adult life, she was faced with getting pregnant at a young age, and was also homeless. But that didn’t stop Melonie from achieving her goals. Next month, Melonie will graduate from Emory University Law School!

Source: Yes She Can: Woman Who Was Considered “Special Ed” Graduates from Law School – Clutch Magazine

HBCU Morris Brown Receives $900,000 to Fight HIV/AIDS in Atlanta

atlanta_university_stone_hall_morris_brown_college_campus_atlanta_fulton_county_georgia
Stone Hall, Morris Brown College (WIKIPEDIA COMMONS)

article by Angela Bronner Helm via theroot.com

Morris Brown College, which has in recent years fallen on some hard times, seems to be back on the mend with a three-year, $900,000 grant to stem HIV/AIDS infections among young black adults, reports HBCU Digest.

The site reports that this is the second such award for the college in the last two years and the money will be used to launch seminar-styled education sessions on campus, with a focus on substance abuse prevention among college-age youth to prevent risky sexual behaviors.

The grant is reportedly part of a national initiative launched by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration targeting HBCUs as service delivery partners in vulnerable areas.

Morris Brown, founded in 1816 as one of only a few historically black colleges and universities founded by African Americans, has served as a lead institution in the program since 2014 to help improve public health outcomes among youth in Fulton and Dekalb Counties.

Greater Atlanta has alarming rates of HIV infections and the state of Georgia ranks second among U.S. states in the rate of new HIV diagnoses. Only 73 percent of the people in the Atlanta metro area who have HIV know it, because not enough people are getting tested for the virus. (The national average is 87 percent.)

The program at Morris Brown hopes to reach more than 400 participants by 2017.

Read more at HBCU Digest.

National Society of Black Engineers Receives $2 Million Grant from Northrop Grumman Foundation

(photo via nsbe.org)
(photo via nsbe.org)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinutcherson)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Northrop Grumman Foundation and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) have launched a three-year, $2-million program designed to expand the nation’s engineering workforce through a partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Northrop Grumman Corporation/NSBE Integrated Pipeline Program will provide 72 engineering students with $8,000 scholarship grants, internships with Northrop Grumman and year-round academic and professional development support.

The program’s three HBCU partners — Florida A&M University, Howard University and North Carolina A&T State University — will receive grants, technical assistance and a package of programs researched and managed by NSBE, to increase their already high capacity to recruit, retain and graduate engineers. NSBE is one of the largest student-governed professional societies based in the United States.

“Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation are committed to helping improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to ensure a future workforce that can protect our nation and maintain our global leadership,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, Northrop Grumman vice president, global corporate responsibility and president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation.  “Our partnership with NSBE will help us achieve that goal and develop the pipeline of diverse talent that is so important to our company and our society’s future.”

“We are delighted to receive this endorsement of our work from one of America’s most innovative companies,” said NSBE Executive Director Karl W. Reid, Ed.D. “For years, we have spoken about the vital role that engineering diversity plays in our national economy and national security. Northrop Grumman’s investment in this program illustrates that they understand the need exists and are willing to do something about it. This fact is reflected not only in their longtime support of NSBE but also in the high ratings the company receives from our membership.”

The first cohort of 24 Northrop Grumman Corporation/NSBE scholars will be selected in December, and their participation in the Pipeline Program will be kicked off with a summit meeting in March 2017, during NSBE’s 43rd Annual Convention in Kansas City, Mo. Summer internships for the first cohort will begin in May 2017.

Entrepreneur Dr. Alvin Perry Works to Build Fashion Empire to Promote Dressing for Success

Dr. Alvin Perry of PV Designs (
Dr. Alvin Perry of PV Designs Inc. (photo credit: Jerome Dorn of ‘In Da House Media’)

Dr. Alvin S. Perry is a charismatic serial entrepreneur on a mission to promote positive self-image and dressing for success through his latest business venture.

The self-confessed fashion geek first came up with the idea for PV Designs Inc. during his busy roster of speaking engagements, where he was well known for his ability to inspire others and his impeccable sense of personal style.

Marked by his signature accessory, the self-tied bow tie, Dr. Perry would often attend conventions clad in a traditional two-piece suit with his youngest child in tow. The father and son duo wore stylish matching bow ties, which made a lasting impression among fellow conference attendees.

This sparked the idea to create a boutique fashion brand that specializes in unisex neckwear and quality accessories, along with a premium reversible bow tie collection for the entire family. “The compliments provided the validation needed to move forward with a new venture,” says Perry.

Dr. Alvin S. Perry with his wife and three children (photo credit: Jerome Dorn of ‘In Da House Media’)
Dr. Alvin S. Perry with his wife and three children (photo credit: Jerome Dorn of ‘In Da House Media’)

Since his initial $250 investment, business has been booming, with over $25,000 in sales generated within the first year.

Much of the company’s success can be attributed to Perry’s business savvy and hustle mentality. He utilizes a rare combination of street smarts, academic excellence, proven success as a serial entrepreneur, and management experience climbing the corporate ladder at Fortune 500 companies.

“The first seven bow tie sets were sold for $100 each to guys that were in my network who loved bow ties,” says Perry, who sold select samples to test the market as he finished off his doctorate degree in entrepreneurship from Walden University.

After working hard to source a manufacturer, PV Designs’ [which started out as PV Neckwear/ P5 Neckwear] first major client was Fort Valley State University.  The HBCU spent a large sum of money on four custom-designed bow ties. Ever since then Perry has been working hard shipping his products across the country and the globe.

To read more, go to: http://urbangeekz.com/2016/01/entrepreneur-carving-out-fashion-empire-to-promote-dressing-for-success/#sthash.8YG6b9ru.dpuf

FEATURE: How HBCU Xavier University Sends More Black Students to Medical School Than Any Other U.S. College

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 6.22.31 PM
Students at Xavier University of Louisiana in a pre-med class. (BRIAN FINKE FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES)

Norman Francis was just a few years into his tenure as president of Xavier University of Louisiana, a small Catholic institution in New Orleans, when a report that came across his desk alarmed him. It was an accounting of the nation’s medical students, and it found that the already tiny number of black students attending medical school was dropping.

It was the 1970s, at the tail end of the civil rights movement. Francis, a black man in his early 40s, had spent most of his life under the suffocating apartheid of the Jim Crow South. But after decades of hard-fought battles and the passage of three major civil rights laws, doors were supposed to be opening, not closing. Francis, the son of a hotel bellhop, had stepped through one of those doors himself when he became the first black student to be admitted to Loyola University’s law school in 1952.

Francis believed he was in a unique position to address the dearth of black doctors. Xavier served a nearly all-black student body of just over 1,300. At the time, most of Xavier’s science department was housed in an old surplus Army building donated to the college by the military after World War II. It had no air-conditioning, and the heater was so loud in the winter that instructors had to switch it off to be heard. But the science program had always been strong, if underfunded, and began producing its first medical-­school students not long after the university was founded in 1925.

Today, Xavier’s campus is mostly wedged between a canal and the Pontchartrain Expressway in Gert Town, a neighborhood in the western part of New Orleans. It has some 3,000 students and consistently produces more black students who apply to and then graduate from medical school than any other institution in the country. More than big state schools like Michigan or Florida. More than elite Ivies like Harvard and Yale. Xavier is also first in the nation in graduating black students with bachelor’s degrees in biology and physics. It is among the top four institutions graduating black pharmacists. It is third in the nation in black graduates who go on to earn doctorates in science and engineering.

Xavier has accomplished this without expansive, high-tech facilities — its entire science program is housed in a single complex. It has accomplished this while charging tuition that, at $19,800 a year, is considerably less than that of many private colleges and flagship public universities. It has accomplished this without filling its classrooms with the nation’s elite black students. Most of Xavier’s students are the first in their families to attend college, and more than half come from lower-­income homes.

‘‘The question always comes: ‘Well, how did this happen, and why are we No.1?’ ’’ said Francis, who recently retired from Xavier after 47 years as president. We were sitting in the dining room of his stately home in the Lake Terrace neighborhood on a sweltering day in August as he thought about the answer. ‘‘We decided we could do something about it. And what we did, what our faculty did, was just plain common sense.’’

Xavier University exists within a constellation of more than 100 schools federally designated as historically black colleges and universities. To achieve this designation, colleges must have opened before 1964 — the year Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which banned racial discrimination in all public facilities and institutions — and must have been founded with the express purpose of educating black Americans, though students of any race can, and do, attend them. Continue reading “FEATURE: How HBCU Xavier University Sends More Black Students to Medical School Than Any Other U.S. College”

Xavier University to Hold its Third Annual “Give. Love. Xavier Day” to Raise Funds for Scholarships

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HBCU Xavier University of Louisiana will hold its third annual Give. Love. Xavier Day – an online, social media-driven fundraising event – from 12:00 a.m. to midnight, June 2nd.

The event encourages alumni and friends to come together for one day to show their support for the University with financial contributions. Participants are encouraged to post about the event via social networks (such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) to spread the excitement and encourage their friends and followers to give. Conversations also are encouraged by sharing the hashtag #GLXU15, connecting to @XULAalumni website, and visiting http://www.xula.edu/givelove to pledge and see real-time results.

This year’s theme is, “Thank You, Dr. Francis”, in honor of retiring XU President Dr. Norman Francis.

Xavier University President Norman Harris
Xavier University President Dr. Norman Francis

Dr. Kenneth St. Charles, XU Vice President for Institutional Advancement, said all gifts made online that day go directly to the Annual Fund, which supports scholarships and other important University programs. The donor goal for this year’s campaign is 2,470 individuals.

“Members of the Xavier community coming together like this showcases the spirit of our University,” St. Charles said. “Part of our mission is to prepare students to assume roles of leadership and service in the global society and these alumni are taking on the responsibility of preserving that tradition. Their donations to the Annual Fund make a vital difference in the lives of current students.”

Tom Joyner, chairman and founder of the Tom Joyner Foundation, said, “I’m hoping alumni, friends, family and other supporters, will show some love by making a gift to Xavier. This is a great way to help out this great HBCU.”

Last year a total of $275,100 was contributed by nearly 1,200 donors, far surpassing the $120,000 collected in the inaugural year of the event.

A key element of Give. Love. Xavier Day is the use of alumni captains to spur interest among fellow alumni, as well as the establishment of key Challenge Grant incentives: dollar for dollar matches that are realized when alumni and friends made their donations on Give. Love. Xavier Day. This year’s event has nearly $135,000 in matching challenge grants which will only be realized if Xavierites and friends make gifts on June 2nd.

“All of last year’s Challenge Grant Initiatives were met,” said Kim Reese, XU Director of Alumni Relations. “Those matches brought in an extra $90,000 in pledges, making many of our donor dollars twice as impactful!”

Continue reading “Xavier University to Hold its Third Annual “Give. Love. Xavier Day” to Raise Funds for Scholarships”