FAMU student climbs her way to success in tech

Florida A&M University Computer Science Student Tishauna M. Wilson was named the “Next Black Female Mark Zuckerberg” by Black Enterprise and is a 2018 McDonald’s 365Black Award honoree.

McDonald’s 365Black Award honors individuals who make notable work within the African American community. At 20-years-old, Wilson happened to be the youngest of those honored while awarded $10,000 from the McDonalds HBCU Forward Scholarship. The scholarship was made possible by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund was awarded in New Orleans during the Essence Festival.

Receiving such accolades not only motivated Wilson but made her more inspired.

“It validated what I’m doing is on the road to success,” Wilson said. “I use it as motivation.”

The acclaimed “shiny model of sheer determination” was a high honors graduate as one of the top students in her class from Tampa Bay Technical High School.

While in high school, learning to code in HTML and repair computers gave her the initiative to do programming even though the she initially had the desire to major in music.

While journeying through college, Wilson has been acknowledged for her revisions made at FAMU within the computer science research program.

Within this program, artificial intelligence projects focused on issues in the digital sphere are researched. Detecting various types of fraud, developing a voice activated self-driving drone and basketball referee system are just a few projects Wilson is helping to research.

David Wint, computer information systems student believes that Wilson will inspire those in generations to come.

“Ever since I first started talking to Tishauna she seemed like a truly motivated individual,” Wint said. “I’m pretty sure as the world moves forward people are going to want to be the next Tishauna Wilson.”

The tech scholar has received praise and recognition from FAMU’s National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Essences Magazine, various news stations and at the 2018 FAMU Young Alumni Giving brunch.

Celebrities such as actress Ryan Destiny and former NFL running back Thomas Q. Jones have also congratulated Wilson.

Shalanda Ward, theatre performance student felt that Wilson’s accomplishments were remarkable.

“Wilsons drive and ambition shown at large is inspiring and commendable,” Ward said.

Being a McDonalds 365black Award honoree was a big accomplishment for the scholar but just a start toward her accolades.

As she progresses through her collegiate and technological advances, her ambition to do greater is at an all-time high. The mentor and tutor aspires to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company after receiving a Ph.D., in computer science.

Wilson also plans to launch her own LLC, “AI-X7” which she said represent inventions for all with an aim to bring technology into various industries. This FAMU scholar is sure to continue to shine!

By Precious J. Tankard of the FAMUAN



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TMCF announces Honorary Congressional Host Committee

WASHINGTON, DC (October 22, 2018) – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is proud to announce its 31st Anniversary Awards Gala Honorary Congressional Host Committee.  This bipartisan and bicameral support from members of the U.S. Congress is in support of the TMCF Anniversary Awards Gala, Oct. 29 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

The following members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives make up the Honorary Congressional Host Committee for the 2018 black-tie gala:

U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Patty Murray (D-Wa.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). U.S. Representatives Alma Adams (D-N.C.), Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), Bobby Scott (D-Va.), and Mark Walker (R-N.C.).

“It is a privilege to join my colleagues as a member of the Honorary Congressional Host Committee for this year’s TMCF Anniversary Awards Gala,” said U.S. Senator Doug Jones. “Working to advance our nation’s HBCUs has been a priority for me since I entered office. I am proud to have partnered with my colleagues across the aisle and those who serve in the House of Representatives and look forward to continuing that tradition in the next Congress. I extend my congratulations to this year’s deserving awardees and, most importantly, applaud TMCF for working tirelessly on behalf of the 47 publicly-supported HBCUs.”

Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, president of Tennessee State University (TSU), will receive the Educational Leadership Award; Dennis Muilenburg, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The Boeing Company, will receive the CEO of the Year Award; and Leslie T. Thornton, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of WGL Holdings Inc. and Washington Gas, will receive the Thurgood Marshall Legacy Award.

“Dr. Glover is a terrific leader who has taken TSU to great heights,” said U.S. Representative Jim Cooper. “Her success in higher education is a wonderful example for students and university leaders across America.”

This year’s black-tie affair will feature special guests including television personalities NeNe Leakes and Terrence J, Miss USA 2017 Kára McCullough, and noted community leaders John Burns and Officer Tommy Norman. Thanks to gala entertainment partner Honda, GRAMMY Award nominee and American Idol winner, Ruben Studdard and the acclaimed Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University will be the featured performers. Urban One is the exclusive gala media partner.

TMCF’s anniversary awards gala is one of Washington’s largest nonpolitical fundraising events, raising over $50 million since its inception in 1987.

For more information visit: https://www.tmcf.org/our-events/31st-anniversary-awards-gala.



Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions, enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending black colleges and universities. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the PK-12 and higher education space. The organization is also the source of top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.

TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit :www.tmcf.org.

Learning how USDA operates: Internship gives SCSU junior look at dream job

Breanna Guinyard is a South Carolina State University junior agribusiness major from Orangeburg.

During the summer, she received a glimpse into her dream job with the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the department’s headquarters in Washington. She completed various essential tasks within the Foreign Agricultural Service Department.

She received the USDA internship through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which supports publicly supported historically black colleges and universities.

Guinyard was recently awarded a $10,000 Magic Johnson Scholarship, which will be applied toward her tuition, fees and books. She received the scholarship after writing an essay about growing up in poverty and having to apply for multiple loans in order to pay for her college education.

Excelling academically, she has been named the highest-ranking agribusiness major by the dean of S.C. State’s School of Business, for having the highest grade-point average.

“During the internship, I have developed better problem-solving skills and networking techniques. I can now advance in my field and have insight into how the USDA operates. I’m very confident that this experience has granted me the tools I need to be successful as a full-time USDA employee in the future,” Guinyard said.

Her job responsibilities included conducting surveys of Cochran Fellowship Program alumni, assisting with analyses of program impact and performing other monitoring and research activities.

Guinyard said her decision to study agribusiness stemmed from wanting to contribute to a field that significantly impacts society. She emphasized that food is key to survival for everyone and is devoted to helping others live healthier lives.

“With this major, I’ll be able to have a massive impact on the American people’s lives and others in foreign countries as well. I’ll be able to promote the growth of national and regional trade, uphold quality agricultural standards and ensure that food safety policies and procedures are being followed,” she said.

Guinyard said that through the internship, she learned more than ever how important it is to work diligently, no matter the task. She said there is a purpose behind every assignment and thoroughness illustrates good work ethic to supervisors.

The Orangeburg native avidly talked about her experience as an undergraduate at S.C. State.

“S.C. State has been incredible so far. From learning experiences to building relationships, I know I’m in the right place. From the beginning, I was welcomed with open arms and surrounded by people who genuinely care. I don’t think I would’ve received the love that S.C. State gives me anywhere else. The nurturing atmosphere molded me into an outstanding professional and enhanced my entrepreneurial skills,” Guinyard said.

Heavily involved on campus and in the community, she serves as a student orientation leader and student ambassador, and is a member of the Honors College. She is also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society, Golden Key International Honour Society, National Association for Black Accountants and National Society of Leadership and Success. Additionally, she serves on her church’s praise dance team, Spiritual Xpressions.

Guinyard’s community service includes participating in clothing drives, school tours, food drives and tutoring at the Boys and Girls Club in the Orangeburg area.

Despite having her share of challenges, Guinyard stands firm in her will to succeed.

“I have to strive for the best despite the environment I was raised in. I grew up in a neighborhood filled with crime, where kids have a slim chance of graduating from high school. I vowed to make a change, and I express gratitude for my mom, family and church family for being an amazing support system,” she said.

She lives by the scripture, Deuteronomy 28:13, “And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them.”

Her advice to other students who are seeking an internship is for them to stay true to themselves, pray, get out of their comfort zone and keep applying.

In addition to praise dancing, she enjoys playing her favorite music loudly and shopping in her spare time.

After completing her undergraduate career, she plans to attend graduate school at S.C. State or the University of Kentucky. Her long-term career goals include becoming a health inspector, business investor and earning a doctorate.

By The Times and Democrat



Top corporate and government recruitment partners attend to identify top talent from HBCUs

WASHINGTON, DC (October 17, 2018) – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) continues its tradition of convening one of the largest, most exclusive, talent and development recruiting conferences for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs) at the 18th Annual Leadership Institute presented by Wells Fargo, pledging an additional $1.1M into TMCF.

The four-day award-winning conference will be held Friday, October 26 – Tuesday, October 30, 2018, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC. Leadership Institute is designed to develop the hand-picked scholars’ leadership skills, provide companies access to a talented and diverse student population, and help students make meaningful connections that lead to successful internships, fellowships, and careers at Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.

“Wells Fargo has invested over seven million dollars into TMCF and the Leadership Institute because we believe that these students are the best of the best,” said Jimmie Paschall, Wells Fargo executive vice president and head of enterprise diversity and inclusion & strategic philanthropy. “Seeing them succeed, and have the resources and opportunities to make sound financial decisions, both now, and in the future is our main priority.”

One of the highlights of the conference is the recruitment fair where major companies, government agencies, and graduate program representatives identify top talent and offer jobs, internships and continuing education opportunities.

Black Enterprise Magazine will serve as the 2018 Leadership Institute media partner highlighting the main focus areas of the conference: financial literacy, personal branding, 21st Century skill development, and leadership. Through a host of plenary sessions and, experiences the students will be exposed to critical insights and techniques to help them achieve success in the next phase of their lives as students and future graduates.

“No other organization in the higher education and talent development space provides Corporate America and government entities with such a diverse, high-quality talent pool of HBCU and PBI students in one place,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, TMCF president & CEO. “We appreciate our presenting partner Wells Fargo’s $1.1M gift, and all of our recruitment partners who are investing not only in TMCF, but in the future global leaders by supporting Leadership Institute and literally changing lives.”

On the final evening, students will attend TMCF’s 31st Anniversary Awards Gala on October 29.

Note: Members of the media, who wish to cover Leadership Institute, must obtain pre-approval for press credentials by emailing: tmcfpress@tmcf.org.


Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions, enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending black colleges and universities. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the PK-12 and higher education space. The organization is also the source of top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.

TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit: www.tmcf.org.

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It’s a Family Reunion: Thurgood Marshall College Fund Teacher Quality and Retention Program

What’s a family reunion without good food, karaoke, a mandatory Soul Train line, matching shirts, the critical spades tournament and all your favorite aunties, uncles, cousins and other relatives gathered in one location? This summer, I attended the best family reunion ever. But here’s the catch; none of us who attended the reunion were actually blood-related. In fact, most of us had never seen each other in our lives. However, the kinship was there from the start and we were definitely a family.

I mean, what is a family reunion anyway? To me, a family reunion is a gathering of people who love and care about each other and who are connected to one another in various ways. Usually, by the time you leave a family reunion, you learn something new about the family and about yourself. And you return home with lots of laughs, memories and a shared history.

The family reunion I attended this summer definitely had me in my feelings when I left, but what if I told you that the gathering I attended wasn’t an official family reunion at all? In fact, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Teacher Quality and Retention Program Summer Institute is a professional development program designed specifically for pre-service and in-service teachers from HBCUs and PBIs across the nation. For the sake of conciseness, let’s call it the Annual TQRP Family Reunion.

Before I dive into TQRP, it’s important to acknowledge the organization’s namesake, Justice Thurgood Marshall. Think of him as the patriarch of the family — the quintessential grandfather, the one who is the figurehead of the family, doesn’t get around as well as he did in his heyday, but is the gatekeeper for all things historical regarding the family. Thurgood Marshall is best known for being the first Black United States Supreme Court Justice, but his legacy is much deeper than the surface.

In 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund was formed with the purpose of helping students who attend HBCUs and PBIs receive funds and opportunities that may not be available to young students of color otherwise.

The Teacher Quality and Retention Program is a fellowship within the Thurgood Marshall College Fund that provides high-caliber training to aspiring educators from HBCUs and PBIs from around the nation. TQRP provides high-quality, pre-service training, as well as personalized support once teachers enter the classroom. The fellowship lasts five years. The first-time fellows are typically college juniors or seniors, and the returning fellows (also known as the returners) are first, second, or third year teachers. Because the fellowship lasts five years, the influx of new ideas is never-ending. During the summer, TQRP offers an intense two-week institute designed to support scholars in the development of sound pedagogy, assist with developing and demonstrating research-based educational practices and help teachers analyze current educational policy – all with the goal of developing the skills needed to be future teacher leaders.

When I found out that I’d been selected as a fellow, I was elated but nervous about the unknown. All I knew was that I was going to Houston, Texas for two weeks for some type of teacher professional development. Little did I know, I was getting top-notch training in pedagogy by way of informative sessions on such topics as the 5 E Lesson Plan, classroom management, differentiated instruction, educational technology, teaching ELLs and many more. The sessions were all taught by veteran, highly-qualified classroom teachers who served as faculty. They were all very knowledgeable, willing to help and most importantly, current. It was comforting to know that the information provided was relevant to the 21stcentury classroom.

One important takeaway from the program was the level of positivity regarding our career choices. So often, I am pounded with negativity when I reveal to people that I am majoring in education— “You won’t get paid much,” “These kids now-a-days are awful,” “I would never do that,” or my personal favorite, “You’re such a smart young lady, why would you want to be a teacher?” At my own institution, I find comfort in my classmates and professors concerning my decision to become an educator, but at TQRP, there was an understood idea that teaching is our passion and although this is a challenging career, we have a responsibility to educate and empower our students to reach their full potential.

In addition to the valuable skills and knowledge, I also expanded the network of people that I consider my close friends, and even my family. After all the training during the day, I found myself wanting to spend even more time with the other fellows. Throughout the two weeks, we went to lunch and dinner together, had game nights and did partake in a round or two (or three) of karaoke. Much like the family reunion, the spades tournament got pretty heated — but it wouldn’t be a family reunion otherwise, right?

I spent the final days at TQRP dreading my departure. So many lessons learned. So many affirmations — my career choice, gender, culture, theoretical foundations — all considered assets rather than deficits in this space. I left knowing that I made authentic connections with genuine people. I know that if I am faced with a problem, whether it is in my own classroom, within my school, or even personal, I can reach out to my TQRP family and they are only a call, text, or Facebook message away.

Thank you TQRP for inviting me to the best family reunion EVER. See you next year!

Tiyana Herring is a senior majoring in Elementary Education at Florida A&M University. She is also a Thurgood Marshall College Fund TQRP Fellow and PURPOSE Fellow.

DIVERSE: Issues in Higher Education



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WASHINGTON, DC (October 15, 2018) – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is proud to announce its 2018 award recipients, being honored for their commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their bold leadership in the higher education, corporate and legal communities. This will take place at TCMF’s 31st Anniversary Awards Gala, October 29th in Washington, DC at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

TMCF’s Anniversary Awards Gala is one of Washington’s largest nonpolitical fundraising events, raising over $50 million since its inception in 1987.

The following distinguished individuals will be honored at this year’s black-tie event:

  • Glenda Baskin Glover, president of Tennessee State University, will receive the Educational Leadership Award.
  • Dennis A. Muilenburg, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The Boeing Company, will receive the CEO of the Year Award.
  • Leslie T. Thornton, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of WGL Holdings Inc. and Washington Gas, will receive the Thurgood Marshall Legacy Award.

“Supporting this gala shows our students that we value them, and want them to succeed by helping eliminate financial barriers to them fulfilling their dreams of graduating from college,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, TMCF president & CEO. “We are honored to recognize Dr. Glover, Mr. Muilenburg and Ms. Thornton, who inspire all of our scholars through their bold leadership examples, making a difference not only in America, but globally.”

This year, Urban One is the exclusive media partner for the gala with R&B, pop and gospel GRAMMY Award nominee Ruben Studdard headlining as the night’s featured entertainment. Studdard rose to fame as the second season winner of “American Idol.” Studdard’s best-known hits songs include “Superstar,” “Flying Without Wings” and “I Need an Angel.” His most recent album, “Ruben Sings Luther”—a tribute to Luther Vandross—was released in March. The acclaimed Howard Gospel Choir will join Studdard as the gala’s special musical guest.

For more information on TMCF, the gala or this year’s honorees, visit https://www.tmcf.org/our-events/31st-anniversary-awards-gala.


Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions, enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending black colleges and universities. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the PK-12 and higher education space. The organization is also the source of top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.

TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit: www.tmcf.org.

SOCAL Black McDonald’s Operators Association Are Carrying the Torch for Their Community

The McDonald’s 2018 Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour (ICGT) will once again be culminating at the annual Taste of Soul festival, bringing renowned local and national talent to perform on the Brenda Marsh-Mitchell Gospel Stage. Now in its 13th year, the event has become a family-favorite tradition for the entire community and a true Los Angeles staple.

The McDonald’s gospel stage is championed by the local chapter of the Black McDonald’s Operator Association (BMOA) and is coordinated in collaboration with Los Angeles Pastor, Kelvin Sauls.

Pastor Sauls has been a long time advocate and contributor to the McDonald’s gospel stage, helping identify and secure local talent that will inspire attendees with their messages of faith. Like the many BMOA members who are actively involved with the event, he sees gospel music as part of the fabric of the Black community.

In addition to giving back to the community in the form of this free concert series, BMOA members strive to make a positive impact in a variety of ways. As independent business owners, they provide jobs to thousands of local residents, including many that live within walking distance of their establishments. They also express their commitment as community leaders by hosting fundraisers for local schools, offering grants to local charities and funding scholarships for local youths.

Locally, BMOA also collectively and individually supports Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southern California‎ (RMHCSC). In keeping with McDonald’s longtime tradition as founding mission partners of the charity, this year’s tour will again support the Southern California chapter and its six Ronald McDonald Houses located throughout the region. Every penny raised stays right here in the local community, directly supporting families who need a home away from home as their ill child undergoes life-saving medical treatment. Since 2012, the tour has helped raise more than $510,500 for local RMHC Chapters, with the 2017 tour alone generating over $240,000 in funds.

Another element of the tour is the addition of a scholarship opportunity. This year, McDonald’s will award one HBCU college student with a $10,000 Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholarship during an ICGT tour stop. The winning student will be able to use the funds to cover the costs of tuition and fees, on-campus room and board or required textbooks. This is one of five scholarships McDonald’s is sponsoring throughout the year.

McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour is an extension of the brand’s 365Black platform, an initiative that celebrates the pride, heritage, and achievements of African Americans year-round. With an impressive lineup that includes popular local choirs and performers alongside national gospel stars, the tour will once again give families and gospel music lovers an uplifting and unforgettable experience.

By Los Angeles Sentinel News Service

Conference aims to empower women featuring Dr. Payne

NASHVILLE — More than 200 women from across the Twin Counties came out Wednesday to the Rose Hill Conference Center for an inaugural Rocky Mount Area Chamber event.

The purpose behind the first-time SHE-E-O Women’s Conference Kick-Off was to help women explore where they can add the most value in the community, at their jobs, with their peers and in their professional lives. The theme of the event was “Re-Imagining the Power of Women” to push women to help empower each other.

The conference featured a message from guest speaker Renee Chou, morning anchor at WRAL, and included a panel discussion from a group of female business leaders that was followed by a table discussion led by Amanda Bell, customer service and marketing manager at Family Medical Center and executive board member of the Chamber, among other women at each table.

Chou, who is marking 14 years at WRAL, talked about her perseverance in working to become a journalist and the importance of women empowering each other in the workplace. Chou said breaking into broadcast journalism after college was tough and demoralizing because she kept getting rejected by news stations because she was seen as looking too young for viewers to take her seriously.

After she started working for a news station, Chou talked about how several of the male reporters became mentors by allowing her to shadow them when going out on assignments and helping her hone her craft as a journalist. Although they were cordial, Chou acknowledged the other female reporters weren’t as willing to help.

As a veteran reporter, Chou said, with WRAL having several female reporters on staff, she feels it’s important to offer praise when they’re doing good work and to try to get to know them beyond the newsroom. Chou said she wants women to understand that it’s better to be a resource for rather than an obstacle to each other.

“The generalization or stereotype is that women tend to view themselves as competition — but rather than compete, why not collaborate instead?” Chou said.

The panel discussion consisted of Dr. Monique Brown, owner of a medical practice in downtown Rocky Mount, Evan Covington Chavez, development manager of the Rocky Mount Mills, Deborah Sperati, partner of Poyner Spruill and co-owner of Koi Pond Brewing Co., Kimberly Thigpen, owner of The Bath Place in downtown Rocky Mount, Tina L. Taylor, CEO and founder of Heritage Leadership Academy-STEM Education for Young Women in Emerging Markets and former CIO of GE and Sarah Hicks, development officer of Nash UNC Health Care Foundation and owner of Bin & Barrel: Wine Bar and Bottles, which is opening next month in Station Square.

Dr. N. Joyce Payne served as the moderator for the panel discussion. Payne serves as the International Affairs and STEAM advisor to the president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which she founded in 1987.

“As women, we multitask and we usually do everything well, but it also means that we need to start getting paid for that,” Payne said. “We need to look at those issues about gender equity, and we need to make sure we aren’t segregated where policies aren’t being made. We also need to make sure we hold politicians and our colleagues accountable at getting promotions for upward mobility and recognizing our skills and our talents by giving us an opportunity to play that game as well.”

By Corey Davis of the Rocky Mount Telegram

Lincoln University gives warm welcome to new president

JEFFERSON CITY – Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk made history with her installation Friday as the third female president for Lincoln University.

The university held an inauguration on Friday to welcome Woolfolk, who is also the 20th president. The auditorium in the Richardson Fine Arts Center was packed to the brim with people.

Along with the audience, many speakers and friends of Woolfolk showed their support in her journey to obtain this new title. One of the guests was Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, who opened the ceremony. Kehoe said having Woolfolk as president will keep Lincoln University in the right direction.

“We couldn’t be anymore prouder of the campus facility and what we know the future is like with Dr. Woolfolk in charge,” Kehoe said.

Former students of Woolfolk spoke at the ceremony as well. Dr. Toni Owens, one Woolfolk’s students at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff gave Woolfolk high praise.

“From the moment I met her I observed her like an astrologists observing the constellations,” Owens said. “She showed me the importance of being a strong black woman in this country.”

Owens went on to say Woolfolk is the definition of black woman who is living her best life.

“She’s living her best life, by what I call the ‘Three G Philosophy:’ with gratitude, with grace, and with grit.”

Woolfolk’s son Brandon attended the ceremony and gave insight on what type of person his mother is.

“She always showed me that whatever I’m willing to work at, if I’m willing to put in that amount of time, I can accomplish anything,” Brandon said.

One of Woolfolk’s longtime friends, Dr. Harry Williams, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund says there are four traits that make up a good president and a good leader.

“Determination, persistence, commitment, and endurance; she is all of these,” Williams said.

The church choirs ended the ceremony with singing Lincoln’s alma mater and a standing ovation for Woolfolk.

Woolfolk promises to give her full effort to enact great change.

“We must go beyond our comfort zone and do what is necessary,” Woolfolk said. “It’s on us. It’s on us. It’s on us. We must put ourselves aside and build our best everyday.”

“We are Lincoln University.”

By Makayla Looney, KOMU.

Woolfolk formally installed as LU’s 20th president

She’s been on the job since June 1, but Jerald Jones Woolfolk was installed formally Friday as Lincoln University’s 20th president.

“There are really no words to adequately describe my feelings today,” Woolfolk said at the beginning of her acceptance address. “The emotions that I feel are overwhelming. Today officially marks the beginning of a new day, a new dawn, as we continue to move Lincoln University forward to her true destiny of being among the elite institutions of higher education in this country.”

Woolfolk repeated several times: “I do not stand alone,” then noted her debt to LU’s current and past faculty, students, staff, administrators, presidents and curators since its founding in 1866.

“I stand on the shoulders of the soldiers of the 62nd and 65th Colored Infantries, who founded this great institution of higher learning, understanding that, if African-Americans were to prosper as free men, they would have to be educated,” Woolfolk said. “So, with their life savings of somewhere around $100, these soldiers founded what is now Lincoln University.

“Our commitment is to continue their dream, and to continue to provide access and opportunity to all, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Our commitment is to ensure that Lincoln University is sustainable for another 152 years.”

As she has said before, Woolfolk noted LU’s future will be formed “through increased enrollment, increased retention and graduation rates, increased employability of our graduates, providing academic programs that meet the needs of the 21st century workforce, strategic planning, marketing and branding.”

Lincoln’s success, she said, also will come through “developing stronger collaborations with the Jefferson City community, local and state government, increasing research funding, providing an inclusive environment where everyone has a sense of belonging to our university community.”

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe was one of several speakers welcoming Woolfolk into her new job.

“When I travel and I meet people all over the United States — it just happened to me (again) last week in Georgia — I’m asked ‘Where are you from?’ I say Jefferson City, and they say, ‘I went to Lincoln,'” Kehoe told Woolfolk. “The footprint that I find from Lincoln University is so far reaching that it’s absolutely unbelievable, and I think that speaks to the quality of the institution that we have and its historic significance.”

LU is one of two historically black colleges and universities in Missouri and, Kehoe noted, one of two federal land grant universities in the state.

He noted Lincoln still faces many challenges in its future.

“I don’t think any of those troubles will be any more severe or significant than the troubles that the soldiers who founded this institution had back when they were taking this on,” Kehoe said. “If you think about the trials and tribulations they went through, you quickly realize that all those pains and all those things you think are insurmountable are nothing compared to what they would have (gone) through.”

Woolfolk grew up in the Mississippi Delta region of West-Central Mississippi and later earned her bachelor’s and doctorate’s degrees from Jackson State University.

Alfred Rankins, commissioner of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Education, urged her to have five goals while serving as Lincoln’s president, including ensuring financial stability, keeping focused on students, treating “all the campus constituency groups equally,” being clear about her expectations and never selling her integrity.

Dwaun Warmack, president at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, added four other goals: remain dedicated to the folks that matter, especially family; be committed “to the mission of this amazing institution;” stay motivated; and “stay prayed up” because “faith is everything.”

William Bynum, Jackson State’s president, called Woolfolk one of his school’s most accomplished graduates and noted she is one of those people who is “just made for certain roles and responsibilities.”

Woolfolk thanked several of her mentors and previous bosses and her son, Brandon Woolfolk, for their support and encouragement, telling each of them: “Without you, this (inauguration) would not be possible.”

Deborah Stanley, president of the State University of New York-Oswego — where Woolfolk worked until being hired by Lincoln — said she knew as soon as Woolfolk interviewed for the Oswego job that she eventually would be a college president.

“She is an excellent example of a leader who understands the centrality of higher education to make a difference,” Stanley said. “Jerald has that kind of striking presence — you just know that she understands the importance of our work.”

Harry Williams, president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, said he told Lincoln’s Search Committee they should stop their search and hire Woolfolk.

She has the determination, persistence, commitment and endurance to do the president’s job well, he said.

Stanley said: “You can count on her bravery and her tenacity and, of course, her never-ending good will and good humor and her style.”

By Bob Watson of the News Tribune.