FAMU’s Retention Efforts Recognized By US News & World Report

Updated: 4/18/2014 4:39 PM CST BY TOM JOYNER FOUNDATION


April 17, 2014

FAMU logo FAMUs Retention Efforts Recognized By US News & World Report


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M University (FAMU) has been listed as one of the top “Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Where Freshmen Return” by U.S. News & World Report.

Announced on April 15, FAMU ranked No. 4 on the “Freshman Return” list with an average freshman retention rate of 79.5 percent.

The “Freshman Return” list reveals the top 10 institutions, out of 68 ranking HBCUs, with the highest average freshman retention rate for first-year students from fall 2008-2011. FAMU exceeded the list’s average freshman retention rate of 63.5 by 16 percent. The rankings are based on the publication’s 2013 survey.

“One of the common challenges HBCU’s and many other institutions face is institutionalizing, in a systematic and sustained manner, initiatives to increase student retention, progression and graduation. This is due in impart to economic disparities,” said William Hudson Jr., vice president for Student Affairs. “This top ranking by U.S News & World Report is a crucial testament to FAMU’s ability to rise to the occasion, despite the odds, and meet these challenges through its tireless efforts to recruit, retain and graduate the nation’s best and brightest students.”

U.S. News also names FAMU among the top 10 HBCU’s in the nation in its 2014 rankings.

Click here to make a donation to Florida A&M University. 



Kanya Stewart 

Angelica Washington

John M. Belk Endowment Gives $825,000 for scholarships at JCSU

Updated: 4/11/2014 1:41 PM CST BY TOM JOYNER FOUNDATION

Jennifer Gaskins
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing

704-330-1338  jgaskins@jcsu.edu


John M. Belk Endowment Gives $825,000 for scholarships

at Johnson C. Smith University

Belk JCSU John M. Belk Endowment Gives $825,000 for scholarships at JCSU


Charlotte, N.C. – April 10, 2014 – Johnson C. Smith University is pleased to announce a gift of $825,000 from the John M. Belk Endowment to increase access to the university by providing scholarships to deserving students.

The money will help offset a decline in financial aid available to many families due largely to increased eligibility criteria for families seeking college loans from the U.S. Department of Education’s Parent PLUS Loan program. Tighter underwriting restrictions have had a disproportionate impact on historically black colleges and universities, which serve greater numbers of disadvantaged students.

“Many of today’s JCSU students face significant financial barriers that result in gaps between the aid they receive and the total cost of their college education,” said Ronald L. Carter, president of Johnson C. Smith University.  Approximately 85 percent of JCSU students receive some form of financial aid; 45 percent are first-generation college students, and 70 percent come from low-income households.

“Such statistics speak to the compelling and diverse needs of these students and the constant pressure they carry as they seek ways to pay for their education,” Carter said. “We are grateful to the John M. Belk Endowment for helping us maintain our commitment to this group.”

Click here to make a donation to Johnson C. Smith University.

FAMU Hosts an Evening with Orlando Magic Business Director Lucas Boyce

Updated: 4/10/2014 1:14 PM CST BY TOM JOYNER FOUNDATION


April 9, 2014

Lucas Boyce 1 681x1024 FAMU Hosts an Evening with Orlando Magic Business Director Lucas Boyce

ORLANDO, FL – AUGUST 28: Orlando Magic staff photos on August 28, 2013 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Mandatory Copyright Notice: ©2013 Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Division of Student Affairs will present an evening with Lucas Boyce, Orlando Magic director of business development and legislative affairs, and author of the book, “Living Proof: From Foster Care to the White House and the NBA.” The free community event is scheduled Wednesday, April 16 at 6:30 p.m. in Lee Hall, located at 1601 S. MLK Blvd. Boyce’s presentation is titled, “Life Lessons for Success, Leadership and Character.”

About Boyce

Boyce, was appointed to his role with the Orlando Magic in July 2013. His responsibilities include strategic business planning, with a focus on developing a new sports and entertainment district (SED) in downtown Orlando. He also oversees the company’s efforts in statewide legislative and governmental affairs. Prior to this role, he served as director of community relations, multicultural insights, cause marketing and government affairs. Lucas joined the organization in July 2008.

Prior to working with the Magic, Boyce served at the White House in the Office of Political Affairs where he monitored political activity and tracked key races across the Plains-Southwest region of the United States. He also coordinated proactive communication, public relations and education outreach across diverse communities, constituencies and issues on behalf of the President.

During his tenure, Boyce also served in the Office of Public Liaison, where he directed African-American and professional sports outreach in addition to event-related work in the fields of health care and economic policy. Prior to this, he worked for Direct Impact, a public affairs firm in Alexandria, Va., and served in the Vice President’s Political and Communications Office.

 Boyce was appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott as a Valencia College trustee in August 2013. Gov. Scott also appointed him to chair the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group in July 2012. He also serves on the Orange County Library Board, TSA Services Advisory Committee, Central Florida Fairgrounds, the National Coalition for Adoption Institute, Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida and on U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s Service Academy Nomination Board.

Notable Recognitions 

In 2012, Boyce was honored by the University of Central Missouri Alumni Association as an outstanding recent alumnus. In 2011, the Orlando Business Journal recognized Lucas as the 40 Under 40 “Man of the Year.”


Boyce received his bachelor’s degree in political science and speech communication from the University of Central Missouri and graduated with his master’s in business administration from Rollins College in May 2013.He published “Living Proof” in January 2011, and travels across the country giving speeches focused on leadership, teamwork, overcoming obstacles and making a positive impact on the lives of others.

For more information, contact the FAMU Division of Student Affairs at (850) 599-3183 or visit: www.LucasDanielBoyce.com.

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Click here to make a donation to Florida A&M University. 

Media Contact:

Kanya Stewart

(850) 412-5211


Angelica Washington

(850) 561-2499


SSU president appointed to state Child Welfare Reform Council

Updated: 4/9/2014 12:28 PM CST BY TOM JOYNER FOUNDATION

DozierDSsm SSU president appointed to state Child Welfare Reform Council

President Cheryl D. Dozier

SAVANNAH–Savannah State University President Cheryl D. Dozier is one of 21 citizens named by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to serve on the Child Welfare Reform Council, which was recently created to improve the state’s child welfare system.  Gov. Deal announced the council’s formation in March and the appointments were released on April 2.

The council — which includes legislators, juvenile court judges, law enforcement officials, foster youth advocates and others — will convene throughout the remainder of this year to complete a comprehensive review of the Division of Family and Children Services and advise the governor on possible executive agency and legislative reforms.

In a release, Gov. Deal said he is confident the council will uncover new approaches that will produce meaningful and thoughtful reform recommendations to ensure Georgia’s children have the best shot at a good life.


Click here to make a donation to Savannah State University. 

Claflin University President, First Lady Honored with Resolution

Updated: 4/9/2014 12:12 PM CST BY TOM JOYNER FOUNDATION

For Immediate Release

April 8, 2014


Charlene D. Slaughter ~ 803-535-5077 (office)

 803-308-1807 (cell) ~ cslaughter@claflin.edu

Wendy Jeffcoat Crider ~ 803-535-5751 (office)


President and Mrs. Tisdale Honored for

20 Years of Service to Claflin University and Beyond

Tisdales at State House Claflin University President, First Lady Honored with Resolution

Pictured are, from left, Orangeburg Mayor and Claflin University alumnus Michael Butler, state Sen. John Matthews of Orangeburg, Claflin First Lady Alice Carson Tisdale, Claflin President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale and state Sen. Brad Hutto of Orangeburg. The Tisdales were honored on Tuesday with a resolution from the S.C. Senate and House of Representatives for their 20 years of visionary leadership and service at the University and beyond.

Orangeburg, S.C. – Claflin University President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale and his wife, First Lady Alice Carson Tisdale, know what it takes make a difference. Under their visionary and transformative leadership in higher education for the last 20 years, Claflin is now recognized as one of the nation’s top liberal arts institutions.

For their contributions to Claflin University, the state and the surrounding communities, the Tisdales were honored with a resolution from the South Carolina General Assembly on Tuesday, April 8, at the State House in Columbia. The resolution was sponsored by state Sen. John W. Matthews Jr. of Orangeburg.

“I think people who make contributions to our community ought to be recognized, and clearly, when you look at his service to the Orangeburg community, Dr. Tisdale has made a difference,” Sen. Matthews said. “A lot of people don’t make a difference, but he and his wife have made a difference in the community.”

Click here to make a donation to Claflin University. 

A historical performance: Alabama A&M Choir to perform at Lincoln Center

This coming weekend, the Alabama A&M University Choir will perform at Lincoln Center in New York City. The performance will take place at Alice Tully Hall. 

The choir’s performance will be the first time that a choir from a Historically Black College or University has been invited to participate in the Distinguished Concerts International of New York series.

 A historical performance: Alabama A&M Choir to perform at Lincoln Center


Click here to make a donation to Alabama A&M University. 

Courtesy jbhe.com

CSU Professor Graduates as a 2014 ELATE at Drexel Fellow

Updated: 4/3/2014 11:56 AM CST BY TOM JOYNER FOUNDATION

Contact:  Dr. Gayle Barge, gbarge@centralstate.edu(937) 376-6216

Edwina Harris, eharris@centralstate.edu(937) 376-6198

For Immediate Release

Graduationpic.2014 CSU Professor Graduates as a 2014 ELATE at Drexel Fellow

Dr. Kimberly Kendricks (first row, far right) is among the second class of ELATE fellows at Drexel to graduate from the program.


WILBERFORCE, OH – Dr. Kimberly Kendricks, interim chair for the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, an associate professor of Mathematics and director, Center for Human Performance and Sensor Applications at Central State University has was recently announced as an Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering (ELARTE) at Drexel 2014 graduating fellow.

It has been a life-changing, career-advancing year for the 18 fellow graduates.  Cherry Murray, dean of the Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, addressed the graduates as they recently celebrated their achievements at a graduation ceremony accompanied by their deans, provosts and other national leaders.


ELATE is a one-year, part-time leadership development program designed for women faculty in the STEM fields. Its curriculum combines challenging in-residence sessions with immersive tasks at Fellows’ home institutions. The year culminates with a presentation of an Institutional Action Project designed to increase institutional visibility as a leader while advancing an important initiative and to enhance skills of project development and strategy execution through application at a departmental and school level.

“The ELATE program has broadened my knowledge of the organizational system and has enhanced my leadership skills,” said Kendricks.  “It has equipped me with techniques as well as an understanding of the strategic process for working across offices and disciplines to move the institution forward. I am very grateful to have participated in ELATE. The network and relationships that I have formed with the other 17 fellows are truly invaluable. I thank the ADVANCE: LEADER program at Central State University for the financial assistance it provided to support my participation in this one-year leadership program.”

The future of ELATE

Diane Magrane, director of the ELATE program said, “This was ELATE’s second class of Fellows, and it was exceptional. These women excelled in every area of this challenging program, and I know that they will go on to make a great impact at their institutions and beyond. They already are.”

In her address, Murray challenged the class to become change agents in their own institutions. “If you don’t think of yourself as a change agent you need to start thinking this way,” she said. “Your institution needs you to be a change agent.”

Murray also spoke about a powerful history of women making great strides in the history of collegiate education. “I look forward to observing similar accomplishments from all of the ELATE graduates in the next few years,” she said.

ELATE is set to launch its third class with a new group of highly qualified and diverse women faculty leaders. The new class of fellows begins the first of three week-long, in-residence sessions when they meet for the first time at the ACE Conference Center in Philadelphia on August 2, 2014.

Click here to make a donation to Central State University. 

About ELATE at Drexel®

ELATE at Drexel is a core program of the International Center for Executive Leadership in Academics within the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership® at Drexel University’s College of Medicine. For more information on the ELATE curriculum, faculty and participants, visit www.drexel.edu/engineering/ELATE.

About Central State University:

Founded in 1887, Central State University academically prepares students with diverse backgrounds and educational needs for leadership and service in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. The University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


Former ‘Roc’ Star to Speak at UVI’s Health Lecture Series

Updated: 4/2/2014 3:01 PM CST BY TOM JOYNER FOUNDATION


UVI PRESS RELEASE                                                                         April 2, 2014

for immediate release

UVI Roc Star Former ‘Roc’ Star to Speak at UVI’s Health Lecture Series


Charles S. Dutton, actor, director and inspirational speaker, will give the keynote address for the University of the Virgin Islands 2014 Alfred O. Heath Distinguished Lecture Series. He will speak on the topic: “From Jail to Yale,” a personal story reflecting his journey from the Maryland prison system to an award-nominated actor educated at Yale University. The lectures are scheduled at 5:30 p.m. on April 9, at the Reichhold Center for the Arts on UVI’s St. Thomas campus, and at 6 p.m. on April 10, in the Great Hall on the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. The public is invited to both events, which are free. A news release is available from the Media Section of the UVI website – http://www.uvi.edu – and from this direct link.

Click here to make a donation to the University of the Virgin Islands. 

Hartfield Initiative to host Gospel Extravaganza

Updated: 4/2/2014 10:33 AM CST BY TOM JOYNER FOUNDATION

April 1, 2014


Hartfield Initiative to host gospel concerts April 6, May 4

for UAPB students

hartfield2014 slider 1024x423 Hartfield Initiative to host Gospel Extravaganza

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Due in large part to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s mission, the institution educates a disproportionate number of students who would not be able to afford a college education without assistance beyond grants and loans. Hardship cases are not uncommon to UAPB’s students; all too often, such situations are very common. Each year, more than $400k in donations are made available to students for tuition, fees, books, and school supplies.

The Hartfield Initiative is the brainchild of Dr. Freddie Hartfield, professor of mathematics at UAPB and was expanded by UAPB alumnus Bishop Chester Thompson. The Initiative has as its goal to raise $100,000 over a five-year period (October 1, 2012 – September 30, 2017). All funds donated to the Hartfield Initiative will be matched dollar-for-dollar through a grant from the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Institutional Service, Title III Program.

The Initiative has been raising money through a series of Gospel Extravaganzas in local cities. The first two were held in Camden and West Memphis. The next concert will be held Sunday, April 6 at 4:00 p.m. at St. James United Methodist Church located 900 University Dr. in Pine Bluff. Among the choirs to perform is Yard Voice of Praise, an ensemble comprised of UAPB students. The final concert will be held in Little Rock on May 4 at Christway Baptist Church.

Click here to make a donation to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Tom Joyner Foundation Names Langston University April School of the Month

photo 213x300 Tom Joyner Foundation Names Langston University April School of the Month

Click here to make a donation to Langston University. 

The Tom Joyner Foundation is recognizing Langston University in Langston, Okla. as the April 2014 School of the Month.

Listen below to an interview with Langston University president, Dr. Kent. J. Smith, Jr. 

The foundation, formed by the nationally syndicated radio personality, Tom Joyner, chose Langston University as part of its on-going effort to assist these institutions in broadening and strengthening their efforts to raise money to help keep students attending HBCUs.

Established in 1897, Langston University is the only historically black institution of higher education in the state of Oklahoma. A four-year, state-supported, land-grant, regional institution, it has an average enrollment of approximately 3,000 students on campuses located in Langston, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City. The University is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

As one of the Tom Joyner Foundation ‘Schools of the Month’, each school will be promoted by the Tom Joyner Morning Show and receive those funds raised from listeners, alumni and other interested parties that month. The show, aired in 115 markets around the country, reaches nearly eight million listeners.

Click here to make a donation to Langston University.