Huston-Tillotson University last week announced the accreditation of its School of Business and Technology by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The accreditation certifies HT as a program of excellence for business education and teacher training.
“This confirms that the HT SBT has reached its goal of providing its students with an education of excellence and is preparing them to succeed in the corporate world,” said Steven Edmond, D.B.A., Dean of the School of Business and Technology.
Former Texas Southern University football standout Michael Strahan returned to his alma mater this weekend for its annual commencement exercises, bringing words of love and lending his celebrity star power to the event.
He received an honorary doctorate from TSU, an honor unanimously voted upon by the Board of Regents.
“He joked with the crowd and flashed his trademark, infectious smile after accepting the award which he said he did not take lightly.
‘When you earn a degree from TSU, you have met the standard of excellence,’ he said.”
Strahan is current co-star of the morning talk staple ‘LIVE with Kelly and Michael’ and is a former NFL all-pro defensive lineman with the New York Giants.
Richard and Ryan Fauci are the second set of twins to make HBCU commencement headlines this week, joining Spelman’s Kristie and Kirstie Bronner as identical siblings earning their degrees from the same school on the same day. And like the Bronner twins, co-valedictorians of Spelman’s commencement, the Fauci twins will also enjoy a unique place in commencement day.
They will both be commissioned into the United States Navy later that afternoon. From KBTX:
“The twins will both be headed to the USS Bataan in Norfolk, VA after graduation. The Fauci twins’ graduation and commissioning make them the second and third members of the Fauci family to walk the hallowed halls of PVAMU. Older cousin Lt. Robert Fauci graduated from the University and was commissioned in the Navy in 2007.”
Texas Southern University today announced Johnetta Hayes-Perry as the new head coach of the university’s women’s basketball team. Hayes-Perry, a TSU assistant coach under former head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, was a part of the 2012-13 Lady Tigers who clinched the SWAC regular season conference title and earned a berth in the post-season WNIT, the first in the university’s history.
“We’re extremely excited about the future of the women’s basketball at Texas Southern with Coach Hayes-Perry at the helm of the program,” said (TSU Athletic Director Dr. Charles) McClelland. “She has significant experience coaching at the Division I level and she also brings with her head coaching experience. We feel that Coach Hayes-Perry undoubtedly provides us with the best option towards making Texas Southern a legitimate contender in the current landscape of women’s college basketball.”
Cynthia Cooper-Dyke could have been the missing piece to move the needle on national attention for historically black colleges and universities. Not just the women’s ranks – all black college sports.
And now, she’s leaving another HBCU, Texas Southern, for a dream gig at the school where she made a national name as a world-class athlete, the University of Southern California. It is the second gut-punch departure for Cooper-Dyke from a Texas HBCU. The first, Prairie View A&M University, she left as the greatest coach in the history of its women’s basketball program. There she delivered to the Panthers three regular season SWAC championships, two SWAC tournament titles, two conference coach of the year awards, and four straight NCAA postseason tournament appearances in either the national championship or the women’s national invitational tournaments.
This past season at Texas Southern, her first at the university, she captured the regular season championship and turned a 5-26 roster from 2012 into a 20-12, number one seed in the SWAC women’s basketball tournament. The Lady Tigers also appeared in the WNIT.
And now, the coaching legend who also earned the title of PVAMU alumnae during her journey, is gone again.
For as much as Cooper-Dyke has done for HBCU athletics and women’s basketball as a player and coach, it’s painful to consider that her stops at black colleges were only and always stepping-stones to greater opportunities. She is one of a literal handful of coaches, male or female, to move from an HBCU sports program to one of the NCAA’s power conferences with her return to USC, where she starred as an All-America guard and led the Lady Trojans to two national titles in the 80′s.
It is not to judge Cooper-Dyke’s defection back to California. As a competitor and proven program builder, it’s only natural to expect her to seek out and embrace the biggest challenges in front of the largest audiences. But within the black college ranks, she had an opportunity to help build a culture – a legacy that would have transformed conditions and perceptions about black college sports, black college student athletes, and black colleges as institutions of national importance and value.
She’s gone again. And probably for good this time.
Bethune-Cookman University will soon host its inaugural women’s football clinic, giving women who actively support the MEAC football champs a chance to see football through the lens of strategy and execution, and in the process, knocking down a lot of gender-based sports stereotypes on both sides.
This kind of outreach is part of a classic trend at HBCUs finding innovative ways to grow brand and buy-in among campus constituents. While some HBCU leaders desperately search for ways to grow awareness among neutral or non-supporters, other black colleges, like BCU, are working hard to make sure their home bases remain committed.
If black colleges are to thrive against the growing appeal of online and community colleges and ramped-up recruitment efforts from predominantly white colleges, events and satellite academic programming are going to be at the heart of the renaissance. HBCUs are in the business of providing to black communities opportunities and exposure they otherwise would not have, and some HBCUs are accelerating the reconsideration of cultural and learning outreach.
Paul Quinn College in Dallas has been on an outreach blitz over the last several months, introducing new campus service learning initiatives to blend with cultural and fundraising programs that build awareness. The Tigers hosted students from Abilene Christian College in a social demonstration against poverty and food deserts. The experiment pushed racial, economic and cultural notions to the side in an effort to show community solidarity and empathy for residents of South Dallas who live the experiment on a daily basis.
Thursday, the school will host some of Dallas’ most esteemed chefs in it’s ‘A Community Cooks’ fundraiser, an event bringing the city’s culinary talent to a big cookout on the college’s ‘WE Over ME Farm’ to raise money for development and fresh food options in the region.
Alcorn State University recently announced campus expansion into the Vicksburg Mall, an innovative outreach efforts to reach potential college students, continuing learners and potential corporate partners with one dynamic planting of the Braves’ flag. The move to bolster recruitment and develop opportunities accompanies the university’s upcoming national diversity conference, a first among HBCUs, to examine cultural and social strategies to build the HBCU brand among racial and ethnic communities.
Dillard University last week capped a massive week of festivals dedicated to health, music and culture. On a recent episode of Digest Radio, Dillard President Walter Kimbrough said that the festivals are part of the HBCU responsibility to bring affordable learning and social opportunities to communities which want them, but often can’t reach them.
Nearly every HBCU has outreach opportunities which build upon new and existing visions of a better campus and better communities, but these in particular get to the heart of what is needed in their surrounding cities and towns, and to the core of their institutional strengths. BCU is a football champion, why not build the Wildcat fanbase to higher levels of acumen and frenzy?
Paul Quinn is in the middle of a food desert. Why not leverage what it yields from its organic farm in support of what citizens need around them?
Alcorn is growing its academic footprint in a state that is big on colleges, but low on opportunities at the secondary level for many students to realize college as a real option. Why not go to the places where students and parents spend all of their time, and why not make more than just African-Americans feel welcome?
New Orleans is a hot bed for arts and athletics. Why wouldn’t Dillard provide opportunities for citizens to be exposed to different sports and cultures beyond events at the Superdome and the Essence Music Festival?
HBCUs make a difference in communities when they move beyond the walls of the campus. And it’s that difference which will help make black college culture more vibrant and more necessary for advancement in the years to come.