Tag: University of Minnesota

Dr. Prince: Musical Legend Prince is Posthumously Awarded Honorary Degree by University of Minnesota

Prince performs at the 19th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Monday, March 15, 2004, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. (photo via sfgate.com)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

The University of Minnesota honored music legend Prince Wednesday night with the institution’s highest award — an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, CNN reported.

“Prince emulates everything a musician should be,” Michael Kim, director of the university’s School of Music said.  Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson accepted the award from university President Eric W. Kaler and Regent Darrin Rosha at a ceremony in Minneapolis, the city where Prince was born and raised.

“If you (poked) him, you would probably hear a sound of music. He was music, kind of like how God is love,” Nelson offered.

Although Prince died two years ago in April, the university decided to continue a process that had begun in 2015 and honor him with the posthumous degree. Awarding someone who isn’t alive is rare, the school said.

The university said the degree is in recognition of the singer’s “remarkable talent, enduring influence in music, and his role in shaping the city of Minneapolis.”

Kim said the university’s honor to Prince also serves as an important lesson and reminder. “Society pressures young people to conform to certain standards, and Prince was anything but standardized,” he said. “Be yourself, know who you are and good things are going to happen.”

University of Minnesota Launches Vast New Online Archive of African American History Materials

article via jbhe.com

The University of Minnesota Libraries has launched a new online database of African American history. The Umbra Search African American History website offer users access to more than 400,000 digitized archival materials documenting African American history from more than 1,000 libraries and cultural organizations.

Cecily Marcus, director of Umbra Search and a curator at the University of Minnesota Libraries, notes that “no library is able to digitize all of its holdings, but by bringing together materials from all over the country, Umbra Search allows students and scholars to tell stories that have never been told before. Umbra Search partners have amazing collections, and now those materials can sit side by side with related content from a library on the other side of the country.”

Kara Olidge, executive director of Amistad Research Center at Tulane University and an Umbra Search advisory board member, adds that the new service “is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about African American history. By providing access to thousands of digitized materials, Umbra Search makes it possible to do research at libraries all across the country without getting on a plane.”

To read more, go to: Vast New Online Archive of African American History Materials : The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

Dr. Robert J. Jones Hired as New Chancellor for University of Illinois’ Flagship Campus

University at Albany Chancellor Dr. Robert Jones (photo via www.albany.edu)
University of Illinois Chancellor Dr. Robert Jones (photo via www.albany.edu)

article by David Mercer via abcnews.go.com

The University of Illinois has hired a top administrator from a State University of New York campus who has a background in agricultural research to be the new chancellor at the Urbana-Champaign campus.

State University of New York at Albany President Robert J. Jones was named chancellor on Tuesday, pending formal approval by the University of Illinois board of trustees on Thursday. He will take over the university’s flagship campus after a period of turmoil that saw the last permanent chancellor resign under pressure and alleged mistreatment of players by a football coach.

Jones took over at Albany-SUNY after a period of turnover and low morale, which faculty leaders there say he handled well.

Jones is the first black chancellor of the Urbana-Champaign campus and called his new role his “dream job.”

“I have the land-grant mission in my blood. I am a product of it. It is what brought me into higher education, from a sharecropping family in Georgia,” the 65-year-old said in the release.

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen, who came to the university from SUNY and says he knew Jones well, praised his work since taking over at Albany-SUNY in 2013 in developing the campus and linking it to the community around it.

“It comes down to, Robert checks so many of the boxes,” Killeen said in an interview. “His background in academia, in the Big Ten, agronomy. … His leadership building out a research university in Albany.”

Jones, who spent 34 years at the University of Minnesota, will be paid $649,000 a year but with no package of potential bonuses, according to university spokesman Tom Hardy. The last permanent chancellor, Phyllis Wise, was paid $550,000 plus a $100,000 retention bonus that she eventually agreed not to take after her resignation.

Jones will lead a campus with about 46,000 students, 11,400 employees and an annual operating budget of $2 billion. He also will be the vice president of the University of Illinois system, which also includes campuses in Chicago and Springfield and a total of more than 80,000 students.

Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Fort Valley State College, a master’s degree in crop physiology from the University of Georgia and a doctorate in crop physiology from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

To read full article, go to: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/chancellor-university-illinois-flagship-campus-40698680

Pro Football Hall of Famer Bobby Bell Earns College Degree at Age of 74

bobby-bell-college-degreeMINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Bobby Bell sat down in the chair, his black gown draped over his shoulders, the black cap tilted just perfectly and the white tassels hanging to his right.

A representative from the University of Minnesota asked the 74-year-old Pro Football Hall of Famer if he wanted to wear the graduation attire while he was doing interviews with the media.

“Are you serious?” Bell said with wide eyes and a playful grin. “I waited long enough to wear these.”

Fifty-two years after he left campus for pro football, Bell returned to earn his degree in Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies and walk in graduation ceremonies on Thursday. He played in two Super Bowls with the Kansas City Chiefs, won a national championship and was a two-time All-American as an offensive lineman and defensive end at Minnesota. But for him, nothing compared to being able to walk across the stage, receive his diploma and fulfill a promise he made to his father when he left tiny Shelby, North Carolina, for Minnesota in 1959.

“This is the top of the pyramid, man,” Bell said. “This is the top of the pyramid.”

Bell was part of the glory years with the Gophers, teaming with the likes of Sandy Stephens and Carl Eller to make Minnesota one of the premiere programs in the country. He won the Outland trophy as the nation’s top lineman and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting before he was drafted by the Chiefs in 1963.

Bell was 13 credits shy of his degree when he entered the working world, both for the Chiefs and General Motors. He played in two Super Bowls and carved out a pro career that got him enshrined in the Hall of Fame, but he never forgot about the promise he made to his father to make education a priority.

His father has long since passed away, but Bell still made it a point to get his degree and proudly wore a watch his father gave to him when he got on the plane for Minnesota almost 60 years ago.

“I know he’s looking down and saying, ‘I told you you could do it,’” Bell said.

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