Sunday, February 23, 2014
We had a great weekend in Little Rock as Dillard took on my old school, Philander Smith College. A few years ago the Black College Fund of the United Methodist Church started Project Ambassador. This was a way for local congregations to connect with UMC schools when they come to town.
On Friday night we were hosted by Wesley Chapel UMC pastored by Ronnie Miller-Yow, also the PSC chaplain. This was where my family was a member. It was a great meal and great hospitality. I think we lost both games because they fed us too well!
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Congratulations to Nicole Tinson '14 of Los Angeles for being named a White House HBCU All-Star. This new program recognized "75 students nationwide... for their achievements in academics, leadership, and civic engagement."
Nicole truly has maximized her experience. If a student goes to a small school, she should be the role model. Every event, she is there. Every internship in her field, she applies for. She is senior class president and has been active with a number of groups. And with all of this she maintains a great grade average.
I guess her only problem is what to do next. She has so many options and I think she'll find her way. No matter which road she takes she'll make a difference along the way.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
This year we partnered with the Anna Julia Cooper Project at Tulane to host a conference in December on hip hop and feminism. The keynote speaker, Joan Morgan, had to be rescheduled due to travel challenges (the story of the entire winter for everyone). But she made it on Thursday.
The really interesting thing was the cultural critiques the audience participated in with two of the new Beyone songs/videos- Flawless and Drunk In Love. I really appreciated the level of thought that Joan led the crowd through, as part of her speech indicated that courses on popular culture should be very rigorous, and not simply something fun or cool to do. I agree.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Last Thursday we hosted Gospel icon Kirk Franklin. This is my second time hearing him and he was awesome once again. The main thing I like is that he does a very good job of using real life situations to illustrate a point. His whole theme was based on Jeremiah 29:11 reminding all of us there is a plan for us, and like the choreographed lighting in the "Billie Jean" video, all we have to do is follow the steps.
He spent about 45 minutes speaking, then another hour or so taking pictures and signing autographs. He ended the night by accompanying one of our seniors so he could hear her sing. What a wonderful experience for our students.
Monday, February 3, 2014
I am glad to share information about a new book on HBCUs and social transformation. The foreward is actually written by Dr. Samuel DuBois Cook, former Dillard president. The first section looks at some of the iconic presidents: Benjamin Mays, Mary McLeod Bethune, & James Shepard.
And I am most excited about chapter four which is a case study of Philander Smith College. This chapter tells about the work our advancement team did with social media. So while I am part of the focus, a lot of the background was provided by Dr. Shannon Fleming, Sericia Cole, and Reginald Hammeth, all who worked in advancement at PSC (we had a great team).
So I hope you'll check out this book. Chapters 5 & 6 deal with access and civic engagement. I think you'll find this a useful volume.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Yesterday my wife and I attended St. Matthew UMC on the West Bank for Friends and Family Sunday. The speaker was our freshman class president, Jordan C. Johnson. At 17, Jordan finished high school in 3 years and has been setting DU on fire!
So we were not disappointed as we saw all that energy on display. Definitely headed to seminary (and law school), and already like a preacher with his singing, dancing, little hoop, and saying "as I take my seat" about 3 times! I laughed when he said his grandma was in the back telling him to sit down!
This is what the small university experience is about. It means your students invite you to events special to them- and you go! In fact this is the hallmark of the HBCU experience as well, and I am trying to continue that legacy.