Thurgood Marshall College Fund Appoints Two HBCU Presidents To Join Board of Directors


Washington, DC (May 10, 2018) – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) Board Chairman, Jim Clifton announced the additions of Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, President, Central State University, and Dr. Kent J. Smith, Jr., President, Langston University, as the two newest additions to the TMCF Board of Directors.

Recognizing the importance of having more HBCU subject matter experts to help lead the 31-year-old organization into the future, the decision was made to identify leaders from the HBCU community at large to bring the expertise and first-hand perspective to our diverse Board of Directors.

“Our board is proud to have Dr. Hammond and Dr. Smith join the TMCF family because we know they appreciate the work we do as an organization and will work to find ways to make TMCF an even better partner in advocacy, scholarships and capacity building for our 47 member-schools,” said TMCF board Chair and Chairman and CEO of Gallup, Jim Clifton.

Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond is the eighth president of Central State University where she is recognized as an innovative leader expanding course offerings and infrastructure for the students. She earned a Doctorate of Higher Education from Grambling State University, an Education Specialist degree in counseling education and a Master’s degree in communications from the University of Louisiana-Monroe, and a Bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University in English and communications. Hammond was recently awarded HBCU Digest’s Female President of the Year for her bold leadership.

“I am pleased to serve on the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Board of Directors, said Dr. Hammond.” “I look forward to contributing to the strong advocacy and support for countless students which has been the hallmark of TMCF’s tremendous success!”

Dr. Kent J. Smith, Jr. serves as the 16th president of Langston University with more than twenty years of experience in higher education. Under his leadership, Langston University has seen record highs in fundraising, admissions applications, and freshman enrollment. Dr. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in secondary education, a Master of Education in educational administration and supervision from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, and a Doctorate in education and human resources studies, with a concentration in educational administration and student affairs, from Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

“Thurgood Marshall College Fund has been a valued partner of Langston University for over two decades, providing significant resources to our students, faculty, and staff, said Dr. Smith.” “I am honored and proud to have an opportunity to serve as a board member for such a prestigious organization. I look forward to working with Dr. Williams, his leadership team and my colleagues across the HBCU nation to advance the mission of TMCF.”

“As a former college president who also served on our board, I found the experience to be incredibly rewarding, said TMCF president and CEO, Dr. Harry L. Williams. “I know Dr. Hammond and Dr. Smith well, and am confident their perspectives as HBCU presidents, being so connected to our students and faculty, will prove to be invaluable to our TMCF Board of Directors.”


About Thurgood Marshall College Fund
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 publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). Publicly-supported HBCUs enroll over 80% of all students attending HBCUs. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the K-12 and higher education spaces. The organization is also a source for 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:

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