Virginia State University was named the 2018 HBCU of the Year at the HBCU Digest’s annual HBCU Awards ceremony held Friday night in downtown Baltimore.
Members of the university’s administration, alumni association and student body were on hand to see VSU capture the award presented for all-around excellence in academics, athletics, community outreach, leadership and media making.
VSU earned headlines for enrollment increases, and more than $800,000 in funding to the school’s Agricultural Research Station.Paired with success in football and men’s basketball, officials credited the Trojan community for its full investment in the school’s success.
Virginia State captured three awards on the evening, including Best Board of Trustees and Female Student of the Year, awarded to Briana Bundick Kelly. She attracted millions of views, fans and headlines worldwide after video of her executing choreography from Beyoncè’s Coachella performance earlier this year went viral.
I am forever grateful! I dedicate this award to my Trojan family @VSUTrojans, the other finalists @sauthentichick @marthabaye19 #TheresaLyles, and every girl who dreams big. Thank you @HBCUDigest for everything❤️
Male and Female President of the Year awards went to Paul Quinn College’s Michael Sorrell and Benedict College’s Roslyn Clark Artis, respectively. Dr. Sorrell is a three-time recipient of the honor, and was this year named among Fortune Magazine’s 50 Greatest Leaders.
“It’s encouraging,” Sorrell says of making the Fortune list. “It says that people have looked at us, kicked our tires, and determined we’re doing what we’re supposed to do. It’s validation that our concept is not just transforming this part of this city, but what we’re doing has promise for the world.”
Dr. Artis’ daughter received the award on her mother’s behalf, and in her speech, referenced her mother’s commitment to BC’s alumni and navigation of gender inequity in higher education.
Hampton University captured the award for Best Student Organization, and HU President William Harvey was honored as the recipient of the lifetime achievement award, which was named in his honor.
“We must become more vocal and more involved in support of the wonderful work that we continue to do,” Dr. Harvey said during his remarks, which earned a standing ovation from the audience of more than 250 HBCU college leaders, alumni and students, along with corporate supporters. “This is one of the reasons why HBCU Digest is important. It gives us an opportunity to communicate with one another and work together to make HBCU’s and all of higher education better. It gives us an opportunity to share information and serve as I have been fortunate in my life because I’ve been given the power to serve.”
Over his tenure as Hampton University President, Dr. Harvey has introduced innovations that have solidified Hampton’s stellar position among the nation’s colleges and universities. His extraordinary leadership is reflected in the growth and quality of the University’s student population, academic programs, physical facilities and financial base. During Dr. Harvey’s 40 years of visionary leadership, 92 new programs have been introduced, 28 new structures now dot the landscape of the campus surrounded on three sides by water, and the university’s endowment has grown 866% from $29 million to $280 million and growing.
Kentucky State University, Winston-Salem State University and Howard University all captured two awards. KSU Vice-Provost Kristen Broady was named Female Faculty Member of the Year, and its Atwood Center on Race, Education, and the Democratic Ideal earned the award for Best Research Center.
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ON HONOR // The @AtwoodInstitute for Race, Education, and the Democratic Ideal took home the 2018 HBCU Research Center of the Year Award. The Mighty Thorobreds of Kentucky State University everywhere, have cause to celebrate; and Dr. M. Christopher Brown II, 18th president and the institute’s founder, can take pride in this affirmation of the Atwood as the realization of a much-needed, forward-vision for HBCUs as authorities on—you guessed it—HBCUs and the black experience. And since I’m a storyteller, let me tell you a story, about working without glory… In the fall of 1999, I arrived on the Fisk University campus from The Bahamas. Although it’s hard to believe it now, at the time I did not know that Fisk was an HBCU, and knew nothing about what HBCUs were. I found my campus home in the library’s Special Collections and Archives, where, laboring in love, was fourth-generation Fiskite and archivist Beth Madison Howse. Beth not only taught me the Fisk story—which was inextricably linked to her family’s—she taught me the @HBCUstory. She gave her boundless love of and for them to me—and loved me boundlessly too. For forty years, in book stacks and in archival boxes processed with her own two hands, without recognition beyond the preface of author’s books, without great compensation, largely without even occasional recognition or award, she freely gave her expertise on the black experience in America to world-class researchers, history buffs, genealogy enthusiasts and meddlesome students still trying to find themselves like me alike, up until her death in 2012. And so I am mindful. Being honored, while wonderful, is not as enduring as being honorable. When fortunate to experience the two together it is infinitely more rewarding—not only or even principally because the former is well-deserved; but rather because of all the people who remained and remain deserving despite being looked over. As the inaugural director of the Atwood Institute, I accept this award while ever-mindful that beyond award shows, beyond trophies, beyond praise—no matter how hard-fought or well-earned—it is the work, and only the work—and our love—that ensures.
WSSU earned awards for best nursing and social work programs, while Howard’s Greg Carr earned his second Male Faculty Member of the Year and the Howard Hilltop Newspaper its second Best Student Newspaper Award.
Howard University @TheHilltopHU wins Best Student Newspaper at the 2018 HBCU Awards. Accepting the award is Editor-In-Chief Jazmin Goodwin.❤️💙📰 HU! https://t.co/EMrGJt4Olx
The full list of winners:
Awards in Student Activities
Best Marching Band
Miles College Purple Marching Machine
North Carolina Central University Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Best Student Government Association
Best Student Organization
Tennessee State University Collegiate Citizens Police Academy
Awards in Publications
Best Student Newspaper
Howard University “The Hilltop”
Best Alumni Publication
University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff – UAPB Magazine
Awards in Academic Excellence
Best Research Center
Kentucky State University Atwood Center for Race, Education, and the Democratic Ideal
Best Fine Arts Program
North Carolina A&T State University Theatre Arts Program
Best Business Program
Central State University Ohio Summer Banking Institute
Best Science, Technology, Engineer and Mathematics (STEM) Program
Alabama A&M University College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences
Best Nursing Program
Winston-Salem State University
Best Social Work Program
Winston-Salem State University
Awards in Alumni Activity
Alumnus of the Year
James Shaw – Tennessee State University
Alumna of the Year
April Ryan – Morgan State University
National Alumni Association of the Year
Texas Southern University National Alumni Association
Awards in Athletic Excellence
Female Coach of the Year
Sandy Pugh – Southern University Women’s Basketball
Male Coach of the Year
Rod Broadway – North Carolina A&T State University
Female Athlete of the Year
Tiaria Norman – Claflin University
Male Athlete of the Year
Juan Scott – Central State University
Best Women’s Team of the Year
Dillard University Women’s Basketball
Best Men’s Team of the Year
Morehouse College Men’s Basketball
Awards in Individual Achievement
Female Student of the Year
Brianna Bundick-Kelly – Virginia State University
Male Student of the Year
Jonathon Randle – Prairie View A&M University
Female Faculty Member of the Year
Kristen Broady – Kentucky State University
Male Faculty Member of the Year
Greg Carr – Howard University
Female President of the Year
Roslyn Clark-Artis – Benedict College
Male President of the Year
Michael Sorrell – Paul Quinn College
Board of Trustees of the Year
Virginia State University
Historically Black College/University of the Year
Virginia State University
The HBCU Awards is the first and only awards ceremony honoring achievement at historically black colleges and universities throughout the United States.