Friday, March 24, 2017

Black College News

President Donald Trump’s recent proposed budget reduction for Historically Black Colleges and Universities was met with this statement from Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04).

“When during the campaign, the president repeatedly asked the African-American community what do we have to lose, clearly one answer was funding for the historically supportive and important institutions and colleges in our community. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have provided low-income and first generation college students and their families with a high-quality education for almost 200 years. Once again, the president has reneged on a promise and is not providing these historical institutions with the fiscal resources that they need to continue serving our communities.

“Recently, when the president invited HBCU presidents to the White House for a meeting many hoped –including me –  that would result in increased funding for our HBCU institutions.
We now know that it resulted in a decrease masked as maintaining the level of spending.

“As the alumnus of an HBCU (Virginia Union University) and the representative of a congressional district that is home to two HBCUs and neighbors another district home to two more HBCUs, I am alarmed by the message that was sent to these treasured institutions. These institutions have an important impact for many young people in my district and in Virginia.

“I call on this Administration to allocate more funding for HBCUs instead of providing taxpayer dollars for a racially charged border wall. The budget states that it protects support for HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), while suggesting a decrease in spending, cancelling $3.9 billion for Pell Grants funding, and reducing Federal Work-Study funding.

“I look forward to my upcoming conversations with HBCUs during the Congressional Black Caucus College Tour. I will ask them directly about their needs at the federal level to best serve our students. I believe that these nationwide conversations between CBC Members and HBCU leaders will be an important information source so that funding can be appropriately allocated.

“Our HBCUs should be empowered to meet the needs of this underserved population. Once again, this budget does not make America great again.”

The second time was the charm for the ladies of Virginia Union and as a result one black college basketball team was still alive on Wednesday.

The Virginia Union Lady Panthers out of the CIAA, repeat champions of the Atlantic Region and in the NCAA Div. II Elite Eight for the second straight year, pulled out a heart throbbing 78-73 win Tuesday afternoon over Peach Belt Conference and Southeast Region champ Columbus State to advance to the NCAA Div. II Final Four national semifinals on Wednesday.

Down 63-57 entering the final quarter, VUU outscored CSU 21-10 in the final period, holding them scoreless over the last 4:45 to get the win. CSU led 73-70 before VUU closed on an 8-0 run.

VUU (27-4) took the lead for good at 74-73 on junior Alexis Johnson’s jumper in the lane with 1:43 to go. Johnson canned one of two free throws with just under a minute left to put the Panthers up 75-73 before freshman Kishona Sutton drained two free throws with 20 seconds left to stretch the lead to 77-73. CSU continued to misfire, in one sequence missing three straight shots from in close. Johnson capped the win with a free throw in the final seconds.

The loss snapped a 21-game win streak for the Lady Cougars (30-2). VUU and head coach AnnMarie Gilbert were facing a familiar foe in CSU head coach Anita Howard, who last year was the head coach at CIAA member Livingstone.

VUU played the winner of Tuesday’s 2:30 p.m. quarterfinal Elite Eight game between 2nd-seed Cal Baptist (34-2) and 7th-seed West Florida (28-6). The semifinal game was set for Wednesday at 6 p.m. and was to be carried live on CBS.

The Div. II championship game is Friday at 7 p.m. and will also be carried live on CBS. Johnson, a 6-foot junior from Hamilton, New Jersey, led a balanced attack for the Lady Panthers (27-4) with 22 points. She also had a team-high 11 rebounds. CIAA Player of the Year and Tournament MVP, 6-2 senior Lady Walker had only 4 first-half points but was a key factor in the second half finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Walker, Johnson, Rachael Pecota and 6-2 sophomore Jasmine Carter did a good job limiting CSU standout center Alexis Carter. Carter had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Cougars but shot just 5 of 16 from the field. Britteny Tatum led CSU with 18 points. VUU senior guard Ashley Smith and Johnson had 11 big first-half points that kept VUU in striking distance. Smith finished with 14 points while Pecota had 10.

The Lady Panthers pushed the pace continuously in the first half but were plagued by 18 turnovers. They trailed 22-16 after one period and 45-41 at the half. They were down 29-17 in the second quarter but went on a 12-0 run, with nine by Smith to pull even at 29. The run grew to 18-3 as they took their biggest first-half lead at 35-32 with 3:26 left in the half. VUU turned the ball over only nine times in the second half. Last year in the Elite Eight, the Lady Panthers led by Div. II Player of the Year Kiana Johnson, lost to Bentley 53-52.

BCSP Editor

Mahogany Duvall

On Saturday March 4, students from Hampton Roads woke up at the crack of dawn to meet the bus for Road Show Six’s trip to the 2017 DC/Maryland Black College Expo at Bowie State University in Bowie, Md.

My name is Mahogany. I was asked to write about my trip to the expo.

Now many people have gone on one of the memorable journeys to experience new things, trying to discover the right college, asking serious questions, and getting a real grip on college life. But this college fair was a bit different than most, and what I mean by that is, it was held at an HBCU, formally known as an Historically Black College and University.

You are probably wondering why an HBCU. Well, with the majority of the students on the bus being African-American, many parents, faculty and staff thought this would be a great experience. The trip was sponsored by GOing2COLLEGEisEZ (EZ).

Its website said it was established in July 2013 as “a social enterprise of educational consultants that partners with like-minded educators, administrators, entrepreneurs, and mentors to deliberate and deploy strategies that help deter school dropout and close the achievement gap among at risk (i.e., first-generation, low-income, minority) and other underrepresented student populations in Grades 6-12. It provides educational consulting services that support educational processes or systems to enhance student achievement and offer college and career planning as a simple, manageable, and seamless alternative.”

Mr. Willie Lee, a businessman who volunteers each year, was one of our chaperones who helped organize our trip. First, the bus picked up a diverse group of students at New Hope Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, VA. Then it picked up a few students at my high school, Booker T. Washington in Norfolk. While talking with Mr. Lee, I discovered that he also attended and graduated from an HBCU, even an historically (predominantly) African-American high school known as Booker T. Washington High, my school.

Bowie State University, an HCBU, was founded in 1865, making it the oldest HBCU in Maryland and one of the 10 oldest in the United States.

Inside the vast college expo, I discovered many colleges that I hadn’t heard of, some which weren’t even HBCUs. Some of them I had heard about, like Morgan State University, Howard University, North Carolina A&T, Lincoln University, Alabama State, Delaware State University, Liberty University, Florida A&M and many others.

Each was very informative and very attentive of all of the guests. With over 150 colleges being there, it could seem very overwhelming; but, honestly, after speaking with specific colleges, it seemed to go well.


My name is La’kia Burns.

I attend Heritage High School in Newport News.

My aunt arranged for me to make this trip. Though she lives in Norfolk, she took me to New Hope Baptist Church on Indian River Road, because she didn’t want to take any chances of my missing this opportunity. She wanted me to experience the whole trip since this was my first experience going to a college expo.

Nothing quite compares to having your senses tested by trying to function correctly at three o’clock in the morning. In my personal opinion, it is inhumane to be up so early in the morning. Between getting out of bed, shivering from the cold breeze of opening the bathroom door, and having a civil war with the toothbrush and your mouth, it is almost unheard of for teenagers. The only explanation or excuse  for the sleep deprivation is going on a trip to a well-known HBCU college expo.

Getting on the bus was a memorable experience. I can’t speak for everyone’s personal anxieties; but, I don’t like the idea of sitting with strangers. Especially when the places you are going to are unfamiliar. It would be recommended that you choose wisely where you sit and whom you sit with.

Coming on campus was a great experience. Thanks to Mr. Wille Lee, and the other directors of the trip, who made it possible.

Stepping onto the campus was nothing short of a phenomenal experience. It helped expose me to the different opportunities and roads I can take. When I first went into the crowd of noisy students, I wasn’t sure where to start. It took me a while to figure out where to begin due to the many choices of universities.

As I walked around, I ran into colleges I had never even heard of. I probably never would have heard of them if not for the efforts of Mr. Lee and the other adults.   As an executive for the Bank of America, it means a lot that he took time out of his schedule to help plan our futures. The multitude of colleges there were ready to answer the accumulating questions of future scholars.

Because of Mr. Lee, I got the chance to meet another outstanding individual by the name of Dr. Margaret Calloway. She specializes in infectious diseases, and she is an assistant professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University Uniformed Services He’bert SOM (in Bethesda, MD). My aunt made me Google her after I told her I met her, and that she wanted to help me. Dr. Calloway gave her office number and email address.

Dr. Calloway was not a college recruiter. She was at the expo to do some research and network. She told me she had some contacts at different colleges and universities that I may be interested in since I want to major in architectural engineering. She also gave me a site that would help me study with my SAT.

When I got home I called to thank her for reaching out to me. For this story I asked her why she attended college. She said furthering her education was something she wanted to do to “pursue the field of medicine she was interested in.” She spent many years pursuing her education. She even quit jobs just to do so. Her dedication to what she strived to do will forever be an inspiration.

“In order to open more doors, you must close some,” she told me.

After the expo, we were treated with mouth-watering selections at  brunch. As our day ended, the different fraternities put on a showcase demonstrating what they are all about.  All and alI I would say the trip was a great step in the right direction for students on the road to better themselves. I would recommend this trip to anyone looking for a route to be a successful individual wherever they may be. I would say this was a great excuse for getting out of bed so early in the morning. Thank you Mr. Lee. Thanks, Auntie!

Mahogany Duvall is a junior at Booker T. Washington in Norfolk, VA. She plans to major in Journalism and/or Theater in college. La’kia Burns is a junior at Heritage High in Newport News, VA. He is interested in pursuing Architectural Engineering. Student notes were edited for publication.

Norfolk State (17-16) could not overcome a second-half collapse that saw them give up a 3-point lead at 14:33 minute mark as North Carolina Central (25-8) ignited a 19-0 run that kept NSU scoreless for 11 minutes in the MEAC championship game at the Scope. NCCU guard Patrick Cole, the MEAC Player of the Year and the MVP of the tournament, led the Eagles with 18 points. NCCU coach LeVelle Moton was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Coach.

NSU was led by guard Zaynah Robinson, who scored 18 points. The Eagles will get an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament. NSU will be invited to a lesser post-season tournament. The Eagles have won 3 regular-season MEAC titles over the past 4 years. Coach Moton dedicated the championship victory to late NCCU chancellor Debra Saunders-White, who died of cancer in November.

In the women’s championship game, Hampton University (20-12) captured the MEAC hoops title with a 52-49 win over Bethune Cookman (21-10).

HU guard Jephany Brown, the game’s MVP, and center Mikayla Sayle, each scored 10-points to lead the Pirates. HU coach David Six was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Coach. HU gains an automatic bid to the NCAA women’s tournament.

By Randy Singleton
Community Affairs Correspondent

Men’s and women’s Div. I HBCU Basketball Tournament champs again have the unenviable tasks of taking on much bigger and more ballyhooed programs as the NCAA Tournament tips off this week. All but one of the teams’ coaches – fourth year women’s head coach Johnetta Hayes-Perry of SWAC champion Texas Southern – has been down this road before. Her counterpart at Texas Southern, men’s coach Mike Davis, is taking his SWAC champion Tigers to the Big Dance for the third time in five years.

This will be Davis’s eighth appearance in the tournament overall. He made four others as head coach at Indiana and one trip while leading Alabama Birmingham. Davis’s troops (23-11) are a 16th seed in the South Regional and will face top seed North Carolina (27-7) Friday (4 p.m.) in Greenville, S.C.

For MEAC women’s champion Hampton, it’s six for Six. Head coach David Six, after winning five straight MEAC titles and making five straight NCAA appearances from 2010-2014, will be taking his sixth team to the tournament. His Lady Pirates (20-12) are seeded 15th in the Bridgeport Regional and take on 2nd-seed Duke (27-5) on its home court in Durham, N. C. Saturday (9 p.m.).

Eight-year head coach LeVelle Moton will be taking his MEAC men’s champion North Carolina Central Eagles to the Dance for the second time in four years. His team has the best
overall record of the four at 25-8 but perhaps got the worst deal. NCCU played in the First Four game Wednesday (6:40 p.m.) in Dayton, Ohio vs. UC Davis (22-12). The winner gets a 16th-seed in the Midwest Regional and gets to take on top seed Kansas (28-4) on Friday (6:50 p.m.) in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The TSU’s women’s date Saturday (6:30 p.m.) in the Oklahoma City Regional on the home court of top seed Baylor (30-3) in Waco, Texas will be the initial baptism as a head coach for Hayes-Perry and the TSU program. The Lady Tigers (23-9) are seeded 16th.

Ironically, neither Kansas in the men’s Big 12, North Carolina in the men’s ACC, Baylor in the women’s Big 12 or Duke in the women’s ACC won their conference tournament title.

UC-Davis is the only opponent of the four HBCU conference champs that won its conference tournament. The Aggies won the men’s Big West Tournament championship over UC Irvine to earn that conference’s automatic bid.

BCSP Editor

On the eve of the 2017 NCAA Basketball Tournament, an HBCU legend who made one of his marks in the tournament has passed.

Ben Jobe, who amassed 524 wins over 31 seasons in brilliant stints as head basketball coach at Southern, Tuskegee, Talladega, Alabama State, South Carolina State, Denver and Alabama A&M, died Friday at his home.

Jobe, 84, from Nashville, Tennessee attended Pearl High School in the city and Fisk University where he was an all-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player before embarking on his coaching career. He learned up tempo basketball at the knee of legendary HBCU basketball pioneer and trailblazer John McLendon and parlayed those lessons to the teams he coached.

His most noteworthy victory at Southern was a 93-78 win in the 1993 NCAA Tournament over ACC champion Georgia Tech that shook up the basketball world.

The always nattily dressed Jobe won three regular season and four Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament titles and made four NCAA and one NIT appearance while at Southern.

Among his prized pupils at Southern were NBA champion and current Alabama head coach Avery Johnson and late NBA standout Bobby Phils.

Jobe was prominently featured in the 2008 highly acclaimed two-part ESPN documentary “Black Magic” that links the rise of the United States civil rights movement to the history of African-American basketball players and coaches at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) men’s and women’s basketball tournament is underway and thousands  of fans are in Norfolk to see which  teams will capture the crowns.

The tourney features 12 Historically  Black Colleges and Universities  (HBCUs) and is taking place at Norfolk’s Scope Arena. 

Norfolk invests some $240,000 annually to support the tourney which has injected millions of dollars into the city coffers in tax revenue from sold out hotel rooms, meals and shopping over the past four years.

Last year the Hampton University men’s  and the North Carolina A&T women’s teams won crowns.

This year the Bethune-Cookman women’s team and  the North Carolina Central University’s men’s teams are considered top seeds. Tourney winners advance to a spot on the  NCAA National Basketball Tournament.

MEAC pays the city up to $90,000 to cover building expenses.  Direct revenue (economic impact) to the city is more than $4.6 million.

When President Donald J. Trump met with over 80 Presidents and Chancellors of Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs) Feb. 27-28, the reaction was a mixture of optimism and skepticism not only from the university attendees but the students of the schools they lead.

For two days, the HBCU  leaders met with Trump, along with Vice President  Mike Pence, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos and GOP Congressional leaders.

During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Trump promised he would “do more for HBCUs than any other president has done before.”

The university presidents  heard promises about  a goal of 5 to 10 percent for federal agency funding to HBCUs, a special HBCU innovation fund, large boosts in Pell Grant and Title III funding, and extra tax breaks for those in the private sector who contribute to HBCUs.

All of these proposals  must first be approved by a Republican-controlled Congress which has promised to reduce domestic spending for social programs and inject more money into the defense.

Trump did announce he has moved the HBCU initiative from the Education Department to his office.

Two area university presidents meeting with the White House and Congressional leaders were Hampton University’s Dr. William Harvey and Norfolk State University’s Eddie N. Moore, Jr.

Moore, who was appointed last year to lead Virginia’s largest state-supported HBCU,  said that  despite some reservations about  attending the meeting, it could have a positive outcome.

Moore pointed out that despite the political dynamics, most people do respond to an invitation  by the White House, out of respect for the office of the U.S. Presidency.

“A lot of  people misunderstood the purpose of the meeting,” said Moore. “We could make progress. If you are not in the room … your voice is not heard. I hope this is the first of many meetings.”

The meeting was organized in part by the White House and the Thurgood Marshall Fund, one of a number of organizations which lobby on behalf of the nation’s 105 HBCUs. Moore said he has been associated with the organization for over 20 years and respects its work.

Moore said many of the HBCUs have physical and financial needs which could be resolved to a degree with $125 billion in funding proposed by the Trump Administration.

He said he would prefer each school gets its fair share of that money in a lump sum to avoid the possibility of their being affected by future budget cuts.

Moore said he would use his share of the federal largesse to upgrade NSU’s academic programs, notably for research.  He said the money could be used to upgrade, repurpose or renovate existing buildings.

The NSU president said he would like to expand his campus’ capacity to house students. He envisions a multiple purpose facility which would be used for student  living, instruction and dining.

State colleges and universities are hard pressed due to state funding regulations to build auxiliary enterprises such as living and sports facilities, he explained.

Moore said he would also use the additional revenue to bolster faculty salaries, in the form of bonuses.

In an open letter from Morehouse College President John Wilson Jr. released March 3 on the school’s website, Wilson called the meetings “nothing more than a photo op with the African-Americans at the White House.”

In his statement, Wilson said rather than signing an executive order that would produce more funding  for the 105 schools  Trump merely moved the HBCU initiative from the Education Department to his office with no additional money or tax breaks.

“It is not possible to measure the impact of this gesture anytime soon, if ever,” said Wilson.

Dr. Lezli Baskerville, the president and CEO of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), who also attended the meetings, had praise for the meetings. She credited Trump advisor Omarosa Manigault for her role in setting up the meetings between Trump and the HBCU leaders.

NAFEO is a membership association for the presidents and chancellors of the nation’s HBCUs.

“I want to withhold judgment,” said David Beckley, president of Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi. “I want to believe that you would not have these men and women parade to Washington for a show and tell and you do nothing. I’m going give them the benefit of the doubt. We all wait with great anticipation to see what the response will be.”

At nearby Howard University in the nation’s capital, students disrupted the annual Spring Convocation because they felt that the school’s president, Wayne A. I. Frederick,  was cozying up to  the Trump Administration, in light of the racist tone of his 2016 presidential campaign.

Also, on a sidewalk of the 150-year-old Howard campus, a student scribbled “Welcome to the Trump Plantation. Overseer Wayne A. I. Frederick.”

Howard students  said they received support via Tweet and other social media from other schools, including Spelman, North Carolina  A&T and Hampton University.

But one of the most controversial episodes during the White House meetings was related to comments by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos during a special luncheon at the Library of Congress on Feb. 28. DeVos compared the creation of HBCUs to charter schools of choice, completely ignoring the fact that HBCUs were created because of racist Jim Crow laws that kept Black students from receiving education.

“HBCUs were not created because the four million newly freed Blacks were unhappy with the choices they had,” Morehouse President Wilson asserted. “They were created because they had no choices at all.”

Also during the Oval office visit of the HBCU leaders, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway was photographed sitting on her legs on a couch, an image many found disrespectful.

By Leonard E. Colvin
Chief Reporter

Norfolk State University recently observed the retirement of Dr. Sandra J. DeLoatch after more than 40 years of service.

Dr. DeLoatch served in several positions to include educator, professor, founding chair of the Computer Science Department, dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and as Acting President (August 23, 2013 to September 22, 2013).

In his statement to NSU faculty, President Eddie Moore said, “She has broken many barriers in the field of Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics. Dr. DeLoatch has been an innovator, collaborator, champion and distinguished leader.

“Because of her love for Norfolk State, Dr. DeLoatch has been one of the University’s most charitable donors, having been inducted into the Lyman Beecher Brooks Society in March 2015 for giving more than $100,000 to our institution.”

According to Moore, DeLoatch achieved many “firsts” during her career including serving as the Principal Investigator for one of the first two research contracts ever awarded to an HBCU by the National Security Agency (NSA). 

“Her pioneering efforts in information assurance and computer science laid the groundwork for NSU’s emerging prowess and success in Cybersecurity,” said Moore.    

“Dr. DeLoatch has administered more than $50 million in external funding for computer science and mathematics research and educational projects from agencies such as the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA Langley Research Center, Department of Defense (National Security Agency), Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Education, Department of Energy and others. She has also authored research articles, textbooks, and technical reports.

“More importantly, Dr. DeLoatch has served as an educator and mentor to thousands of students who have attended Norfolk State.”

The retirement celebration for Dr. DeLoatch was held February 24, 2017, in Scott/Dozier Dining Hall.

On March 1, Morehouse College President John Wilson issued an official statement on the university’s website questioning the intent and purpose of the recent visit of HBCU presidents to the Oval Office at the invitation of President Donald Trump.

“Many had high hopes about this meeting,” Wilson wrote.  “There was much advance chatter about it being ‘historic,’ and there were many signals from key Trump administration officials that they would surprise HBCUs with favorable treatment.”

Wilson’s letter continued “…since President Trump pledged to ‘do more for HBCUs than any other president has done before,’ we could have reasonably expected him to get started by announcing at least an additional $500 million to HBCUs…this year!”

Wilson concluded, “It is not possible to measure the impact of this gesture anytime soon, if ever.”  

Five days later, an update on March 6 on the Morehouse website by Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Morehouse College Robert C. Davidson, Jr., announced the transition of leadership from Wilson to William “Bill” Taggart, Chief Operating Officer, Morehouse College.

“I, along with the entire Board of Trustees, have the utmost confidence in Bill as he steps into his new role and leads Morehouse in the coming months,” Davidson wrote to the Morehouse community.

The Morehouse Board had said earlier that Wilson’s contract would not be renewed this year; however, its announcement of Taggart three months earlier than Wilson’s scheduled departure gives speculation that Wilson is being ousted for his outspokenness on the White House visit.

Days after returning from the Oval Office visit, Wilson appeared on several broadcast television and radio programs in which he reacted to the visit.

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