HBCU Story Founder Crystal deGregory to Head Kentucky State Institute on Race, Democracy

Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II recently announced accomplished historian Crystal deGregory, Ph.D.  as the director of the newly founded Atwood Institute for Race, Education and the Democratic Ideal.

deGregory is the founder and executive editor of HBCUstory, an advocacy initiative supporting the future of the nation’s HBCUs by preserving, presenting, and promoting inspiring stories of their past and present.

During her visit to campus recently, deGregory acknowledged the importance of “holding aloft the legacy of Rufus Atwood.”

The Institute is named for former Kentucky State President Rufus B. Atwood, who served for 33 years and helped to cultivate the school as an accredited land-grant institution.

deGregory says while she is incredibly humbled by the opportunity to join the Kentucky State University family, she is prouder to keep alive the courageous story of Dr. Rufus B. Atwood for future generations.

She also expressed her appreciation to the Kentucky State family. “I sincerely thank each of you for making my campus visit both warm and memorable, and I look forward to hitting the ground running. While tenor of our times is daunting, I remain undaunted by the good and important work ahead.”

deGregory received her Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in history from Vanderbilt University. She also holds a Master of Education from Tennessee State University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Fisk University.

Her research interests include black higher education and college student activism, with a specific focus on historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). She is also the founder and executive editor of HBCUstory.

deGregory takes the helm as the inaugural director of the Institute Sept. 1.

President M. Christopher Brown II says he is delighted to have deGregory join Kentucky State’s leadership team in such an important role. “She is an accomplished historian and scholar who has an impressive vision for the Center’s future and we know her contributions will be vast and long-lasting.”

The Atwood Institute will advance research, dialogue and the exploration of the elements of democracy in solving intractable social problems like poverty, race, and geography. Special research emphasis will be placed on Appalachia, the African Diaspora, and migrant communities.

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