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Rhodes College will charge students who have not vaccinated against COVID-19 a $1,500 fee per semester, The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.

The fee will cover testing costs.

"A campus-wide commitment to vaccination will mean that we can move towards full capacity and reduced masking allowing for the intentional in-person campus life experience that we all love about Rhodes," said Meghan Harte Weyant, vice president for student life. "We hope our students will choose to be vaccinated to keep themselves, our campus and community safe."

Fisk University announced today the single largest gift from a Nashville family since Fisk’s inception in 1866.  The $2.5 million gift from Amy and Frank Garrison will be utilized for both the establishment of an Endowed Chair in recognition of Diane Nash at Fisk’s John Lewis Center for Social Justice as well as an endowed scholarship fund.Dr. Nash, a former Fisk student, was a leader in the student wing of the Civil Rights Movement and played a prominent role in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins. The Endowed Chair is for the Director of the John Lewis Center and will be named The Diane Nash - Descendants of the Emancipation Chair.

“We could not be more excited about this extraordinarily generous gift and we are grateful that Dr. Nash has allowed the University to name this historic Chair in her honor”, said Fisk President Vann Newkirk. According to Dr. Nash: “This is the first and only endowed chair with my name and I am so pleased to have it at my alma mater. This is such an honor and it belongs not only to me, but also to the thousands of people who participated in the freedom movement with me”. 

“Fisk’s extraordinary contributions to the fabric of American life are well documented and today’s students are eager to continue in the footsteps of those legendary leaders, like Diane Nash and John Lewis, who helped shape a better future and set lasting  examples of courage and purpose for all of us” said Frank Garrison. Amy Garrison added “Fisk is such an important asset to our ever-changing city and we wanted to recognize that; Fisk is so deserving of city-wide support and we are very happy to be in a position to lend ours”.

Fisk is uniquely poised to provide insight and leadership and this gift will allow the University to recruit a national scholar and innovator. The Director will be essential in repositioning Fisk at the center of the national conversations around race relations and social justice. According to Executive Vice President Jens Frederiksen: “Fisk students, the University’s partners and the broader community are all looking for thoughtful and focused programming, inquiry and discussion around social justice. With this remarkable gift and the endowed Director role, Fisk will be able to address this need for the next 155 years and we are beyond grateful to Amy and Frank Garrison for their vision and support.”

Fisk has experienced a major upswing over the past five years with enrollment growth and significant increases in the academic profile of the incoming classes. The accrediting body SACSCOC recently lauded Fisk for running a sustainable, viable and scalable institution of higher learning and the future has never looked brighter.

General Discussion Forum / Fisk University Off SACS Probation
« on: September 03, 2020, 04:17:45 PM »
On September 2, 2020, the University received notification from Officials with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (Commission of Colleges), that Fisk University’s three-year process to settle its accreditation has concluded. Probation has officially been lifted. 


According to Interim President Vann Newkirk, “This is a great day, and it would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the faculty, staff, students, alumni and other supporters of the University. We also would like to thank members of the Commission for recognizing the strength of our finances, and the value of our educational product.”  According to Frank Sims Chair of the Board of Trustees, “This exciting news is the product of a deliberate plan to build a sustainable and scalable business model for Fisk University. We have strengthened each of our major revenue streams, set fundraising records, grown enrollment, lowered the discount rate, improved the academic quality, strengthened our balance sheet and this SACS decision is a wonderful acknowledgement of Fisk’s outstanding progress.”


Fisk University was also granted permission to operate its first off campus location in Clarksville, TN. 


Fisk Forever!

Vann R. Newkirk, Sr., Ph.D.
Interim President
 :clap: :clap: :clap:

General Discussion Forum / Trump-ism is Coming to an HBCU Near You
« on: July 14, 2020, 08:58:03 AM »
(from HBCU Digest)

Trump-ism is Coming to an HBCU Near You

In less than a month, governors in two beet-red Republican-led states have cut historic checks to public and private historically black institutions.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed legislation awarding more than $92 million to public flagship Florida A&M University, and more than $30 million to Bethune-Cookman University, Edward Waters College and Florida Memorial University — increased appropriations for each of the four institutions from prior years.

In South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster signed off on more than five percent of a $48 million payout to the state through the federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund to be awarded to the state’s eight historically black colleges and universities.

DeSantis and McMaster remain policy and cultural loyalists to President Donald Trump, and they are both clear disciples of Trump’s revision of the GOP playbook on race relations throughout the south — take care of black people and silence the minority voice when opposition arises to culture wars and progressive-crushing policy changes.

For every dollar that helps Bethune-Cookman to remain open, renovate a facility at Edward Waters or establish a new program at Florida Memorial, there will be a greater debt owed to Florida’s Republican political machine. When alumni and advocates in South Carolina wonder how an unpopular and unproductive president like James Clark can remain as president when so many want him gone, and how an HBCU like Denmark Technical College which months ago was on the verge of closure and is now an object of affection for the highest seat of political leadership in the state — the answer is clear.

Every ‘yes’ to increased public funding for HBCUs, no matter how urgent, pleasantly received and survival-driven they may be, comes with a heavy political price for the campuses, and that debt is almost always assumed by presidents and chancellors. It doesn’t matter which party is in control or which handshake seals the deal; public funding for higher education is little more than a political transaction between a party and an institution with the understood agreement of “now for later” or "a favor for a favor.”

Not too long ago, some people would’ve called it a “quid pro quo.”

Whether quietly requested or silently forced, each of these schools will have a hard time saying ‘no’ to GOP mayors, legislators, fundraisers, and political operatives who want to use institutions for events, photo opportunities, and political cover for complex or controversial policy moves. While HBCUs are not likely to have to worry about their students storming state capitals, rallying against political causes or signing up thousands of new Democratic-leaning voters in the coming months or even years, Republican leaders throughout the south are wielding the power of the dollar to support HBCUs and to secure greater control of the campuses as political assets.

The concept started years ago when Talladega College accepted an invitation for its marching band to perform in Trump’s inaugural parade. It continued when HBCU presidents accepted a historic invitation to the Oval Office, and when U.S. Secretary Betsy DeVos served a controversial turn as Bethune-Cookman’s commencement keynote speaker just a few months later.

At the time, former President Edison Jackson’s non-sensical handling of the invitation and the speech itself clouded the view of what was really happening to his school and to the sector at large — a growing and necessary culture of political bipartisanship in an effort to save the schools.

For the most part, HBCUs have handled the partnership beautifully. Save for a misguided reaction to a campus invitation extending to a sitting United States’ Senator, and the occasional, hypocritical presidential outburst, schools like Benedict College have dealt with the fire and brimstone of bipartisan engagement with grace and tenacity.

But if black people are tired of HBCU presidents and chancellors dealing in political exchange, then they must rise to the cause of giving to the institutions, sending their children or themselves to the institutions for degrees, and advocating for HBCU support in policymaking at every level of governance. As the pandemic rages on with its epicenters growing in radius throughout the south, it is not a reach to assume that governors and lawmakers’ support for HBCUs in some states will be cashed in for compliance on reopening efforts, or at least, silence on the issue.

We don’t get to call our presidents and chancellors sellouts, Uncle Toms, or agents of ‘The Man’ when ‘The Man’ is saving HBCUs for less honorable principles than the ones we should hold high in the protection of our schools. It is inexcusable for a school like Edward Waters to pair an endowment of less than $2 million with aspirations of recurring positive cash balances and expansion as a university to be able to rely on Republican outreach more than it can the college’s one-percent alumni giving rate.

This move will only grow to states throughout the south, and to be clear, it is not a game that is strictly played by Republicans. So black people must decide; either we will use the power of organizations like black churches, local chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities and sororities, and other collectives to stand up for HBCUs, or we will be comfortably silent and complicit with our HBCUs being stood up as political props.

As Edison Jackson infamously asked the class of 2017, it is time to choose which way we’re going to go.

General Discussion Forum / Fisk Receives $1.5 Million Gift
« on: October 09, 2018, 12:18:52 PM »
Before anyone asks, I only have an institutional email so no direct link YET, but...

Dear Fisk Community,

Today Fisk University announced a gift from the Cal Turner Family Foundation which will be earmarked for a chair in the University’s School of Business.  This gift will establish the Cal Turner Chair of Business at Fisk University with a focus on marketing, sales and leadership.

"Fisk University is absolutely thrilled to announce a $1.5 million gift from the Cal Turner Foundation,” said President Kevin D. Rome, Sr. "The Cal Turner Chair, coupled with the recent announcement of a new career center, is a wonderful boost to Fisk University's strategic goal of fostering the next generation of executive leadership locally as well as nationally."

“Cal Turner, a former Fisk Trustee, has been an inspiration to so many people and we are honored by his support,” said Jens Frederiksen, vice president of institutional advancement and strategic development. “Fisk University is committed to promoting a culture of success and philanthropy and what better example of this than Cal Turner."

 “Nashville has a rich history of both public and private institutions of higher education, and Fisk has been a historic contributor to that legacy for more than 150 years,” said Cabot Pyle, executive director of the Turner Foundation.

In addition to funding an annual stipend for the chair holder, income from the endowment can also provide scholarship support to students majoring in business at Fisk, based on the investment performance in a given year. Fisk will begin recruiting for the inaugural chair holder in January, with the goal of having someone in place by the Fall of 2019.

General Discussion Forum / Forbes Top Colleges 2018
« on: August 23, 2018, 01:41:31 AM »
The Forbes ranking of top colleges differs from many other college rankings in that it doesn't consider "input" statistics, such as SAT scores and acceptance rates. Instead, Forbes ranks schools according to a composite score made up of alumni salary (20 percent), student debt (20 percent), student experience (20 percent), alumni professional accomplishments (15 percent), academic success (12.5 percent) and graduation rate (12.5 percent)...

Congrats to Spelman, Howard, Fisk, and Morehouse for making the list of 650 colleges! :clap:

General Discussion Forum / Fisk Receives $3 Million Gift
« on: August 20, 2018, 02:57:38 PM »
Fisk University is excited to announce a $3 million gift from Dallas Businessman and Philanthropist Roland G. Parrish, one of the largest gifts in the school’s history.

This historic gift will fund the construction of the new Roland G. Parrish Center for Career Planning and Development that will house everything from classrooms to conference rooms, as well as meeting and innovation spaces.  The highly anticipated new construction is part of President Rome’s strategic initiative to prepare the next generation of business executives and community leaders. 

“I believe in the Fisk future and the University’s leadership. Fisk’s extraordinary history is well documented. I am excited about its future and the impact this will have on students for generations to come,” said Roland Parrish. “My hope is that this gift will inspire others to get even more engaged.  The campus has been void of construction for a number of years.  It takes something like this to remind people that Fisk is about succeeding, not surviving. The sky is the limit for Fisk.”

“Mr. Parrish embodies a truly altruistic ‘doing well, doing good’ vision, which is evidenced not only by his tremendous success with Parrish Restaurants, Ltd., but also by his unparalleled belief and extension of community support, from Dallas to Uganda and now Nashville,” added Dr. Jens Frederiksen, vice president of institutional advancement and strategic development. 

Parrish is highly committed to giving back to the community, especially causes that support the education and welfare of youth. He is currently CEO of Parrish Restaurants, Ltd., which owns and operates 25 restaurants in Dallas and surrounding areas.  His company is the 7th largest minority owned firm in North Texas. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army. Parrish received his BS and MBA from Purdue’s Krannert School of Business.

For the second year in a row, Fisk has posted record fundraising totals. The unaudited 2017-2018 fundraising totals exceeded $7.7 million (excluding private grants) and alumni giving participation increased to over 33 percent. The 2018 – 2019 fall freshman class is twice the size of last year’s class. The campus has undergone some significant renovations including the Fisk Jubilee Singers’  new home, the Talley/Curb House, and a newly modernized cafeteria and dining room.

The Student Government Association (SGA) of Fisk University has announced that Tanya Torres will serve as 2017-2018 President. A native of Houston, TX, Torres is the first Latina to lead the SGA in the 150-year history of the university.

"There is no doubt that Tanya’s leadership will greatly impact the Student Government Association. Over the past three years, the SGA has grown to become one of the most diverse campus organizations on campus, much to the credit of Tanya’s involvement and leadership,” said Lamar Allen, 2016-2017 president. “Her political ambitions, coupled with her passion for serving students, will enable her to create and champion new ideas for the Fisk community. It will be exciting to watch as she creates her own legacy as the first Latina SGA president.”

Running her campaign on the platform of “Awake and Together; We Are Stronger”, Torres aims to strengthen the relationship between Fisk students and the Nashville community, neighboring universities and developing collaborative partnerships with administrators. In addition, she hopes to improve student morale through innovative projects and community service.

“Since arriving at Fisk, I have been committed to serving an institution whose mission has been to ‘cultivate scholars and leaders; one by one’. My achievement does not belong to just myself, but also belongs to those who continuously prayed, supported, and believed in me,” said Tanya Torres.

“The opportunity to even seek such an important position has been an honor. To be elected as the SGA President and to be the first Latina to serve at one of the most respected HBCU’s in the country is a privilege I do not take lightly.”

Torres will begin her term August 2017 at the university’s annual opening convocation. :clap:

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi urged Fisk University students on Monday to embrace public life and advocacy "at this hour of challenge."
Speaking at the university's graduation ceremony, Pelosi, the U.S. House minority leader from California, repeatedly referenced the 2016 election of President Donald Trump, though she did not use his name or delve into specific policies.

"The world you face today is much different than the world when you even first enrolled," she said. "The election showed how much work needs to be done to rid our nation of negative attitudes that have haunted us for generations".

Fisk students were at the forefront of protest marches that closed down Nashville streets in the days after Trump's election. Pelosi praised the graduates for "mobilizing against prejudices and injustices that have been tolerated, or ignored, for too long."

The receptive crowd of hundreds at The Temple Church broke into applause multiple times during Pelosi's 20-minute address.

Invoking the work of previous generations of Fisk students — who led sit-ins that de-segregated Nashville' lunch counters and participated in the Freedom Rides — Pelosi asked the university's latest crop of graduates to remain engaged in politics after they leave campus.

"Draw on the strength of the education you have received at Fisk and insist on the truth of your right to every opportunity," Pelosi said from the pulpit. "Insist on the truth that we must make good on the full promise of our democracy. Insist on the truth that black lives matter. Insist on the truth by voting."

More than 150 Fisk students graduated at the Monday ceremony. Pelosi and record executive Mike Curb received honorary degrees from the university.
Curb, who has a long history in Republican politics, joined Pelosi in offering oblique criticism of the Trump White House. After he received his honorary degree, he blasted the "national debate of hurting our immigrants."

He spoke warmly about his grandmother, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico, and criticized politicians who are against former President Barack Obama's policy allowing people who came to into the country illegally as children to stay here.

"Those same (politicians) will also be the ones that are negative toward our LGBT community," Curb said, referencing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. "Those will be the same people who under their breath will attack people based on their religion, based on their race. Don't allow it." and 615-726-5986 or on Twitter @tamburintweets.


Organizers of President-elect Donald Trump's inaugural parade say the marching band of Alabama's oldest private, historically black liberal arts college has accepted an invitation to perform.

The move comes as historically black schools like Howard University, which marched in President Barack Obama's first inaugural parade, said they didn't apply to march at Trump's inauguration.

The move has lit up Talladega College's social media sites with a sharp debate about the band's decision to participate. Some people voiced strong opposition, while others support the band's participation.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Friday that the Talladega College Marching Tornadoes was among 40 groups, including high school bands and military organizations, scheduled to perform in the parade.

Talladega College officials haven't returned phone calls and emails seeking comment.

General Discussion Forum / Forbes Best Colleges 2015
« on: July 30, 2015, 06:28:34 PM »
The 2015 Forbes magazine list is out. I know people have their own opinions of the VALUE of these things but I like to see our schools recognized. Of the 650 colleges on the total list, there are several HBCUs:

Spelman (#273)
Fisk (#322)
Howard (#351)
Morehouse (#354)
JSU - (#548)
NCAT - (#557)
FAMU (#611)
Tuskegee (#625)
Claflin (#627)
Morgan (#640)
TnState (#647)

Congrats to all!!!!!!! :clap:

Dennis D. Deveaux has been promoted to director of finance for Toyota's North American Material Handling business unit, which is responsible for Toyota's forklift and related equipment businesses. Prior to receiving his recent promotion, Deveaux lived and worked in Nagoya, Japan, and worked at the global Toyota Material Handling Group (TMHG) headquarters for four years. This role involved significant finance, cost accounting, strategic planning and procurement responsibilities for the world's largest manufacturer of forklifts and related equipment..   
Before his dispatch to Japan, Deveaux worked as a financial analyst at the Raymond Corporation - a $1.3 billion North American consortium of manufacturing plants, dealerships and service centers. In this former role, he led the profit planning and goal setting exercises at both the enterprise and functional levels.
In his short career, Deveaux has worked on acquisitions that have added more than $150 million in revenues, and was a leading catalyst behind an ongoing acquisition that will grow the company's asset base by $1.6 billion, adding an additional $50 million in pre-tax profitability.  Based on his past accomplishments, Deveaux is widely recognized in the Toyota (Material Handling) Group as a rising star with leadership potential. At 32, he is youngest person in the company's history to earn director-level responsibilities in any function.

Deveaux holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration (financial economics concentration) from Fisk University (2004), Nashville, Tennessee, where he earned summa cum laude honors.  At Fisk, he also served as a member of the 2004 University Board of Trustees (by election) and as president of the Student Government Association. His participation in numerous community-based programs was recognized when he received the 2004 Wesley Foundation Award for Leadership, Scholarship & Character. He later earned a master of business administration (MBA) degree with an emphasis in international business (2006), and a master of science degree in finance (2007), both from the E. Phillip Saunders College of Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology, in Rochester, New York

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