New Morehouse president has a fan in the White House

John Silvanus Wilson, Jr., a 1979 graduate of Morehouse College, wass only named the 11th president of the men's college Monday.

John Silvanus Wilson, Jr., a 1979 graduate of Morehouse College, was named the 11th president of the Atlanta men's college Monday.

Morehouse College has a new president, John Silvanus Wilson Jr., who was the executive director of  President Obama’s White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

According to the AJC:

Wilson will be the 11th president in the Atlanta school’s 145-year history. He will follow Robert Franklin and be tasked with maintaining the college’s reputation while making advances in fundraising, graduation rates and retention.

A 1979 graduate, Wilson is no stranger to Morehouse. In 2007, he and Calvin Butts, pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, were finalists for the presidency, which went to Franklin.

At the White House Initiative, Wilson tried to strengthen the capacity of the nation’s 105 recognized black colleges by working with the White House, federal agencies and private corporations to secure funding. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Obama, who called on Wilson to continue “to inspire more of our nation’s youth to pursue higher education,” raved about the hiring.

“John has been a trusted voice, helping my administration follow through on our commitment to strengthen historically black colleges and universities, ” Obama said in a statement. “I wish John the best.”

Marybeth Gasman, a professor of higher education at the University of Pennsylvania who has written extensively about black colleges, said Morehouse should benefit by getting someone with deep ties to the Obama administration. “He is on the radar of the Department of Education and the White House, ” Gasman said. “They respect him immensely. ”

Wilson returns to Morehouse with more than a quarter century of higher education and institutional leadership roles. After graduating from Morehouse, he attended Harvard University, where he got a master’s of theology and master’s and doctoral degrees in administration, planning and social policy. He spent the first 16 years of his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including stints as director of foundation relations and assistant provost.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

49 comments Add your comment

bootney farnsworth

November 14th, 2012
12:12 am

endorsements from Obama and Duncan are not exactly comforting.

and here’s another thought: when will the taxpayers quit having to support HBCUs? got no issue with them as strictly private institutions, but not as one’s which feed at the taxpayers trough.

daemonova

November 14th, 2012
4:34 am

bootney, what are you talking about?? Morehouse gets the same grant money that Emory and Duke get.

First off, not all HBCUs are private, most are not, Florida A & M is a public university, so it is supposed to get federal money. Whites choose not to go there. No one stops them from going there.

So get mad at Duke for using federal money to fund its carnival traveling basketball team and leave HBCU’s alone. Morehouse is actually doing something productive with black men which is more than what I can say for a whole lot of other bright ideas. When white private schools stop asking for federal money, Morehouse, Spelman, Howard, and Hampton will too.

Can’t believe I had to come in here and defend a former employer but you put me too it early this morning…

Keekee

November 14th, 2012
6:26 am

bootney farnsworth please go away! Have you not heard taxpayers do not support HBCU’s. Please find some other sight to start blasting you hate! People like like you really need to find another outlet instead of thinking what little taxes you do pay is running the world. You are not the only people in this world that pay taxes! How many HBCU’s do you see on mainstream t.v.? Not many honey, so quit thinking you are paying for anything going on at a HBCU! And yes Obama and Duncan endorsement do me a lot to some of us. Stop being so angry and get a life!

Pride and Joy

November 14th, 2012
6:35 am

I agree with Bootney. This statement concerns me greatly “Wilson tried to strengthen the capacity of the nation’s 105 recognized black colleges by working with the White House, federal agencies and private corporations to secure funding.”
Secure funding from federal agencies and the White House?
To secure funding means to take tax payer money — MY money — and give it to…who? My children? Nope.
The days of the need for HBCUs are over.
Colleges not only allow blacks to attend — they recruit them. They have standards to give them a hand up to get in.
Let’s just turn the tables for a moment.
An historically white college and university touts its new president as the man who can “secure funding” (get more taxpayer money) for white men to attend.
How would that go over?
Black colleges don’t need more tax payer money. They need to recruit rich black people to secure funding. Lord knows there are enough of them in the NBA and NFL to pay for all the historically black colleges and universities.
Whitney Houston was worth a hundred million dollars. How about asking HER estate to fork over some donations?
If an institution wants to be historically black, then it should stay open with black money.

Johnny Too Good

November 14th, 2012
7:06 am

some HBCUs are public schools, why shouldnt they be funded thru taxes like every other public school?

Cindy Lutenbacher

November 14th, 2012
7:23 am

Bootney, I don’t know where you get your faulty information, but you’re simply wrong. Morehouse gathers no more taxpayer funds than does any other private institution. The White House Initiative is the same as any other effort to improve the entire nation. If you look hard enough, you will find other initiatives that address a plethora of issues in our country, including efforts to aid PWIs (Primarily White Institutions).
I speak as one who has been full-time faculty at Morehouse since 1990. I can absolutely guarantee that no one is getting rich there. If I wanted to teach high school English, my starting salary would be about 20K to 30K more than I make now. I just happen to love what I do and where I do it. So, I live on saltines. No complaint! I love my job and am grateful for it every single day.
The “taxpayers’ trough” issue belongs to millionaires paying 14% (or less) in taxes, to oil companies sucking down billions in “subsidies” (um…entitlements?), to corporations raking in unbelievable profits and paying NO taxes, to a Pentagon that is more than the next dozen countries’ military budgets combined.

bootney farnsworth

November 14th, 2012
8:10 am

1- at no time did I mention Morehouse specifically, so either a) some of you can’t read or b) have a pre set chip on your shoulder

2-ever heard of Savannah State? HBCU, member of the Regents System

3-until you’re ready to allow state support for schools who have as their stated goal providing
education for whites, indians, asians, gays, ect as a primary function, then it is wrong to have
state support for HBCUs

bootney farnsworth

November 14th, 2012
8:13 am

@ Cindy

I’m betting you voted for Obama. did you?

your rant against achievers is fine, and you are welcome to your opinion. however, it has NOTHING
to do with any point I brought up.

but it wasn’t intended to, was it? rants like that are intended to shut critics down, not address
their issues.

bootney farnsworth

November 14th, 2012
8:15 am

interesting how the opposition comments contradict themselves. and few actually deal with the issue.

bootney farnsworth

November 14th, 2012
8:18 am

never heard the term PWI before, and I worked in higher edu for decades. most of that time at predominantly black GPC.

did Obama and co release a new list of “offical” terms to used when on the attack?

bootney farnsworth

November 14th, 2012
8:30 am

funding info on HBCUs – both pro and con

http://www.examiner.com/article/md-hbcus-receive-12-2-million-federal-funding
http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/research-focused-hbcus-should-pay-attention-to-fayetteville-state-u/33207
http://www.theroot.com/views/your-take-hbcu-funding-chopping-block
http://www.jessicapettitt.com/images/Merisotis.pdf
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/04/23/hbcu

agree, disagree, I don’t care. that’s for you and your intellect to sort out. but it does put the rest the notion that taxpayers are supporting institutions whos primary aim is to promote one specific part of US society.

if you’re OK with this, then you should be leading the charge to create state supported schools who cater primarily, as a stated mission, educating the LGBT community, the orthodox Jewish community, Madrassaes, even the Aryan institute for nazis.

unless your agenda isn’t education, but entitlement. but that becomes another issue

bootney farnsworth

November 14th, 2012
8:33 am

agree, disagree, I don’t care. that’s for you and your intellect to sort out. but it does put the rest the notion that taxpayers AREN’T supporting institutions whos primary aim is to promote one specific part of US society.

sorry, typo on my part. but hey, I went to school in DeKalb County. whatta ya expect?

indigo

November 14th, 2012
8:45 am

Strong civil rights laws have been in effect since the 60’s. And yet, over forty five years later, we are still talking about strengthing recognized black colleges.

If a white politician in the Senate said something to the effect that we should strengthen recognized white colleges, we can only imagine the uproar from national black leaders.

How much longer will this double-standard plague our country?

Truth in Moderation

November 14th, 2012
8:51 am

“He spent the first 16 years of his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including stints as director of foundation relations”
Sounds like a Rockefeller patsy.

AWard

November 14th, 2012
9:06 am

@Bootney, as someone who has worked at two HBCUs and an Ivy League school, and attended an HBCU and an Ivy League school, I do have to say you’re misguided. The institution I attended for undergrad (a private HBCU) receives grant funding for research, yes. But so does Emory and so does Agnes Scott. And so do other private colleges and universities in Georgia. My institution didn’t get funding “just” for black students; we don’t only serve black students. Anyone is eligible to apply, and anyone qualified is eligible to attend. As a result, we are a “Historically” black college, but we do not have a 100% black population. The HBCU designation refers to the history of the school and its founding, never on restrictions to its enrollment.

Additionally, I find it odd that you don’t rail against other MSIs (Minority Serving Institutions) that are not HBCUs. Do you feel the same way about them receiving “taxpayer funding”?

You also have to look at the fact that not all HBCUs are mostly black, and no HBCU serves only black students. Bluefield State College, for instance, is an HBCU, but the majority of its student population is white.

Burroughston Broch

November 14th, 2012
9:19 am

Two of the four original HBCUs at Atlanta University Center are on financial life support and Morehouse is retrenching its finances.

Mr. Wilson was unsuccessful in his role at the White House as a guide and fundraiser for HBCUs. Why should we expect him to be successful as a guide and fundraiser at Morehouse?

I also wonder why HBCU alumni don’t support their alma maters more.

SBinF

November 14th, 2012
9:19 am

Bootney sounds confused. “Historically” doesn’t mean “Serves only.” It simply means that over time, the college has served primarily blacks, and they were begun when other colleges wouldn’t allow blacks to attend. Anyone can attend an HBCU, regardless of race. Keep in mind that it wasn’t until the 60s that many colleges in the South even admitted black students. And don’t be silly, there are hundreds of historically white colleges in the country. Most colleges in the country are historically white. Most people (of any race) who attended college did so at a historically white college. I’m black, and as a Georgia Tech graduate I attended a historically white college!

Sounds like you’re just letting your prejudice show.

SBinF

November 14th, 2012
9:21 am

“Two of the four original HBCUs at Atlanta University Center are on financial life support and Morehouse is retrenching its finances.”

A common refrain at colleges around the country. That’s what happens when states cut funding to higher education. Any entity which relies on government support has had to retrench its finances. I’m in the master’s program at Ga Tech….that school has had to retrench its finances in the years since I was an undergrad there. What’s your point?

Nate ArchuBALL

November 14th, 2012
9:42 am

Foundation money……
At MIT, John Wilson was part of two campaigns, the first for $700 million, and the second for $1.5 billion, which stretched to $2 billion. After becoming MIT’s director of foundation relations, he said, “I was understanding and demonstrating how a college or university can position itself to receive transformational gifts from the philanthropic marketplace.”

taken from Marts & Lundy Counsel – June 2008
http://martsandlundy.com/closing-the-gap-john-wilsons-quest-to-help-historically-black-colleges-and-universities

factchecker

November 14th, 2012
11:17 am

Howard and Hampton are State funded

Point/Counterpoint

November 14th, 2012
11:23 am

The term historically refers to the fact that the college has been in operation a long time (Morehouse founded 1867). These colleges don’t get any more tax money than any other private institution. Alumni do give back. If it makes you feel better, start calling UGA the predominantly white University of Georgia. A simple congratulations, Dr. Wilson will suffice.

back2bama

November 14th, 2012
11:31 am

@Bootney you are misguided and next time please do a tad bit of research prior to making false accusations. You should be aware that HBCU’s glady embrace any and all ethnicities not just African-Americans and there are white students enrolled at these institutions this very day. If I am not mistaken the 2008 Valedictorian at Morehouse was indeed white, so please stop being divisive and celebrate those achieving higher education. I can’t think of a college in this country that doesn’t receive federal funding for grants and research. It’s the nature of the beast and what keeps faculty and staff employed…..

Prof

November 14th, 2012
12:19 pm

Just as a matter of information here, federal education grant-support also goes to those attending Tribal Colleges and Universities on Native American reservations, and to Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) that assist first-generation, majority low income Hispanic students. HSIs make up 10% of the total number of U.S. public institutions of higher education

I completely fail to see why there should not be federal funding for HBCUs as well. Any exclusion of white students at them is due to self-selection by those students; and as several here have pointed out, many HBCUs today have growing populations of white students.

AWard

November 14th, 2012
12:21 pm

“Two of the four original HBCUs at Atlanta University Center are on financial life support and Morehouse is retrenching its finances.”

This isn’t accurate. What were the four original HBCUs at the Atlanta University Center? If you want to get technical (or in this case “accurate”), Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse School of Medicine and ITC weren’t part of the original HBCUs at the AUC. This leaves Morris Brown (which isn’t currently an AUC school), Spelman College and Morehouse College (which weren’t included in the two HBCUs you referenced). You don’t HAVE to be accurate in your posts, but it would be nice to make an attempt if you really want to get your point across.

Regarding HBCU alumni not supporting our alma mater more, that’s a gross over-generalization. Spelman College has an enviable alumnae giving rate that rivals some of the best institutions in the country. Spelman’s giving rate in 2009 was 31%, which was on par with Cornell University (31%) and just below Harvard (37%) and Yale (38%). The alumnae giving rate has only increased since then.

For reference…
http://www2.acs.ncsu.edu/upa/peers/current/research_intensive/alumgiv.htm

Prof

November 14th, 2012
1:28 pm

@ Bootney Farnsworth, Nov. 14, 8:30 am: “if you’re OK with [supporting HBCUs], then you should be leading the charge to create state supported schools who cater primarily, as a stated mission, educating the LGBT community, the orthodox Jewish community, Madrassaes, even the Aryan institute for nazis.”

None of those groups are federally protected against discrimination, as are blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans. There has been a well-established pattern of past discrimination against these racial/ethnic minority groups for admission to colleges and Universities that caused the original creation of these HBCUs, HSIs, and Tribal Colleges and Universities . And why do you leave out state-supported schools for women? They are also a federally protected group.

Also, just because GPC has a large black student population at present it does NOT qualify as an HBCU, which has definite legal and federal characteristics. For example, it has not been historically black nor was it formed because there were no white colleges at the time that would accept black students.

Truth in Moderation

November 14th, 2012
2:22 pm

@Nate ArchuBALL

Great website and article. I thought this excerpt was interesting:

“Wilson traces the widening quality gap at least to the late 1960s, when HBCUs began to lose some of their best and brightest students and, later, faculty. This “brain drain” from the applicant pool of most HBCUs occurred in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., as the Ivy League colleges, and later other predominantly white colleges and universities, actively began to recruit African-American students. This trend, coupled with the skyrocketing endowments at the predominantly white schools, began to hurt even the best of the HBCUs such as Morehouse, Spelman, Howard, and Fisk.

“So then the question becomes, what is it about black higher education, especially the best of the black colleges, that can make them much more attractive to the donor community? And what is their appeal to the high-performing black high school students who can go anywhere? That’s the question in the philanthropic marketplace, and I don’t think many black colleges have figured out what it is about their historic mission, current function and future plans that can speak to this philanthropic marketplace that’s just gone wild.”
http://martsandlundy.com/closing-the-gap-john-wilsons-quest-to-help-historically-black-colleges-and-universities

Perhaps losing their former “black” identity would get the schools more business. The original purpose the schools served is no longer necessary.

Pride and Joy

November 14th, 2012
6:46 pm

Some on this blog have said that some HBCUs are no longer majority black and that any race is welcome and can attend.
So the big elephant question in the room is…
why are they still being identified as an HBCU?
Why is it even relevent?
Why should anyone care?
I mean, other than a brass and iron historical marker that tells the history of the college, why would any student care?
Why would a philanthropist care?
Colleges and universities recruit the best and the brightest students. Black high-achievers and athletes can pick and choose which college they attend and overwhelmingly, they are not picking HBCUs.
So…
If students and parents and philanthropists are avoiding HBCUs — why even call them an HBCU?
What’s the big deal?
Someone educate me.

Pride and Joy

November 14th, 2012
6:48 pm

Prof, what is the ” definite legal and federal characteristics..” of an HBCU?
And does it get more money because it is an HBCU?

Pride and Joy

November 14th, 2012
7:03 pm

Ah, HBCU is all about the money too. If they were formed before 1965 to serve black students then they get more and more federal money.
Of course.
It all makes sense now.
The people in power in these HBCUs want to stay in power and they do that by siphoning off more federal tax dollars.
HBCUs have served their purpose.
Their time is over, just like Morris-Brown but those administrators and others making money off the HBCU colleges dont’ want to lose their money nor their power.
Of course.
just exactly like Atlanta Public Schools.

Nate ArchiBALL

November 14th, 2012
7:26 pm

Prof

November 14th, 2012
8:07 pm

@ Pride and Joy. This is the legal/federal definition: “Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are educational institutions founded primarily to serve African Americans, although they are not exclusionary in their admissions. According to the Higher Education Act of 1965, an HBCU is defined as “ . . . any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans.”

The reason they were “founded primarily to serve African Americans” is because other institutions of higher education wouldn’t even admit African Americans. HBCUs originated in the South during Reconstruction days; and in those days many of the HBCUs were endangered–burned down with their presidents risking lynching– by angry local whites who did not want to see the former slaves educated. The teachers at these schools always had more than an educational mission; they had the mission of trying to preserve their black students’ sense of self-worth in a culture that did not value them at all. And that continued to be true for those HBCUs that managed to survive through the days of Jim Crow, and on into the mid-1960s and the birth of the Civil Rights movement.

This traditional, almost religious mission of the HBCUs is well-known to black folks and valued as part of their culture even today, I think. I disagree with you that “black high achievers…are not picking HBCUs.” Many are picking the best of the HBCUs rather than the Ivies: Spelman, Morehouse, Howard University, Hampton Institute…there are many that are very good schools.

Some of those HBCUs are struggling financially today, as many majority schools are. Most tend to be rather small, and all are private schools. Some are folding for individual reasons, such as Morris Brown that had financial scandals with its administrators. In any case, I’m sure they don’t get any more federal funds than other schools.

I think that students of other races attend, aside from academic reasons, because they wish to know more about this race, its culture and sense of pride. They may also prefer to immerse themselves in black culture rather than today’s mainstream white culture. They’re certainly preparing themselves to enter a global, diverse society that is moving further and further from the old white majority.

Prof

November 14th, 2012
8:21 pm

P.S. I also think that “the original purpose they served” is indeed still necessary, with their sense of “mission” to their students. I certainly don’t teach in my own classroom with this sort of “mission,” but then I teach at a USG school. And my black friends, who are also my professional colleagues, often tell me of the “micro-aggressions” they experience because of their race. Social class has nothing to do with it.

Truth in Moderation

November 14th, 2012
9:31 pm

@Prof
John Wilson clearly disagrees with you.
“…HBCUs began to lose some of their best and brightest students and, later, faculty…as the Ivy League colleges, and later other predominantly white colleges and universities, actively began to recruit African-American students.”
As Pride and Joy pointed out, the “best and the brightest” voted with their feet. They did NOT choose an HBCU, and neither did your “black professor friends”.

And isn’t that what they wanted all along, to be accepted and be given equal opportunity? Now you are telling me that they don’t like their success? Just blame whitey. Sheesh.

Prof

November 14th, 2012
9:50 pm

@Truth. Yes, in fact one “black professor friend” chose Atlanta University for her M.A. degree (and UGA for her Ph.D.). Another got her Ph.D. from Howard.

You certainly have twisted what I wrote above at 8:07 pm, and illustrate what I wrote at 8:21 pm.

Burroughston Broch

November 14th, 2012
10:07 pm

@AWard
1. The original three members of AUC were Spelman, Morehouse, and Atlanta University. Clark and Morris Brown joined later in 1957. So what?
2. Morris Brown is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Clark Atlanta is on life support (termed an enrollment emergency). Morehouse is wisely retrenching its finances. Spelman seems to be doing the best of the four. Two of the four are in bad shape, as I stated.
3. Interesting note from Clark Atlanta’s State of the Institution in February of this year. Alumni giving is at 4% while faculty and staff giving is at 32%. The faculty and staff get the point while the alumni don’t. Contrast that to approximately 25% alumni giving at Tech.

Truth in Moderation

November 14th, 2012
10:09 pm

@Prof
I twisted nothing. Your “best and brightest” professor friends chose not to teach at one of the HBCU’s.
This is exactly what Wilson’s quote pointed out.

And regarding those “micro-aggressions” they experience because of their race,” years ago I lived on the edge of a predominantly black neighborhood. I experienced plenty of black on white discrimination at my neighborhood stores. It was clear I was unwelcome. I also lived in a gay midtown neighborhood (I’m not gay nor male) and also experienced discrimination. They didn’t want “outsiders” in their community. Those “profs” need to GET OVER IT. Thank goodness Jesus does not look on the outward appearance, but on the heart. My church is a unified mix of black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Indian, and anyone else who professes Christ as their Lord and Savior. Dr. Martin Luther King was right.

AWard

November 14th, 2012
10:59 pm

@Burroughston Broch:

1. and 2. If you ever decide to be factual, we can continue this debate. In the meantime, I’m moving on.
3. Spelman’s alumnae giving rate (34%) trumps Tech’s (25%). Once again, let’s move on.

Burroughston Broch

November 15th, 2012
12:52 am

@ AWard
What have I posted that is not factual? Please be precise, if you can.
As to Spelman’s alumni giving rate, that is part of why Spelman is not in trouble and Clark is in trouble. I gave Tech as an example because they are local and have a high % for a public institution.

daemonova

November 15th, 2012
12:58 am

i see yall just going to ignore that federal funding supports Duke’s traveling basketball team, more than it supports any HBCU, that’s cool though, I’m out

Burroughston Broch

November 15th, 2012
1:20 am

@daemonova
You’ve learned the truth about Washington – don’t listen to what they say, but watch what they do. As Deep Throat said, “Follow the money.”

Prof

November 15th, 2012
8:58 am

@ Truth. I remember the old story of Tarbaby, and I too am moving on.

Truth in Moderation

November 15th, 2012
9:28 am

Yes. But you are still stuck to the tar baby. I did not throw you into the briar patch.

daemonova

November 16th, 2012
5:14 am

@ Truth it doesn’t matter that the best and brightest of the black community don’t go to HBCU. That is not the point. The point is the students get a job when they leave. Fortune 500 companies recruit at Morehouse/Spelman because they have proven to have a track record to developing the type of talent that they want. And this is from a person who didn’t like Morehouse as a employee and I would have never attended it as a student. No one is forcing you to go to Morehouse, truth be told, you do have better options. But most black males/females don’t. There are more private white colleges in North Georgia than there are black colleges period. But y’all are going to fry three colleges?? More federal money went into a basketball exhibition in the Georgia Dome for a grudge match between two school from two states NOT Georgia than went into Morehouse this year. So be mad at that!!!

And not only are you mixing up the point of the briar patch, it doesn’t have anything to do with the tar baby story.

Prof

November 16th, 2012
11:22 am

@ daemonova. All of the points you make above are true. In addition, the criticism by Truth in Moderation that my “black professor friends” have chosen to teach at my school rather than an HBCU is ridiculous, and shows she has never gone to college. Faculty positions at colleges are very different from teachers’ positions at high schools. College positions are not only designated for specific fields, but for sub-specialties within those fields. If there are none of these positions open at an HBCU (say, for a specialist in East African History, or 19th century American Literature) when the faculty member specializing in that sub-specialty is applying for a position, then he or she is obviously not going to teach at that HBCU.

I have to say that the rancor, resentment, and what seems like envy of HBCUs by some of the posters (Pride and Joy, and Truth in Moderation) on this blog-thread is quite revealing. Why do they begrudge HBCUs their continuing existence? Why do they scorn the attempt to HBCUs to maintain a cultural identity? How does that differ from the religious schools’ similar attempt to maintain a Catholic or a Baptist or a Jewish identity? And if some black professors report that they know the “micro-aggressions” of racism, why deny their experiences and tell them to “GET OVER IT”? The smugness of white privilege takes many forms. And going to a multi-racial church proves nothing….one can be smug toward those non-white church members too.

AWard

November 16th, 2012
2:27 pm

“@ Truth it doesn’t matter that the best and brightest of the black community don’t go to HBCU… No one is forcing you to go to Morehouse, truth be told, you do have better options. But most black males/females don’t.”

I don’t necessarily agree with this. I “could have” attended other schools, but I chose Spelman because I felt it was the best fit for me (Initially I wanted to attend Harvard for undergrad, but after visiting Spelman I changed my mind. I went to Harvard for grad school instead). I have other friends who went to Spelman and Morehouse who chose those schools over “majority” schools such as Cornell, NYU, UCLA, Harvard, Stanford, etc. I also had professors who left Ivy League schools to teach at Spelman (i.e. Dr. Desiree Pedescleaux). The Dean of Harvard College is a Spelman alumna, as are many others in high level positions. I doubt she went to Spelman because she didn’t “have better options,” and I’m sure she was considered one of the “best and brightest of the black community” in her day. HBCUs, just like majority schools, attract a variety of students who come from many different backgrounds and for many different reasons. Some are the “best and brightest” and some just barely made it to college. This is no different than if you were to look at Ivy League schools and compare them to 2nd- or 3rd tier (non-HBCU) colleges and universities.

daemonova

November 16th, 2012
4:27 pm

AWard, i don’t think we are disagree on anything

Kylee Simpson

November 19th, 2012
4:39 am

As a current first generation college student at one of the repeatedly named institutions in the Atlanta University Center I would first like to state that I personally didn’t know what an HBCU was until I attended one. One adage I was raised on though was “different strokes for different folks”. Many of my peers black, white, hispanic, or other have decided to attend these institutions for multiple reasons (research, history, noted faculty, resources, etc.) the same reasons anyone else would have chosen any other institution of higher learning and I have yet to meet someone here that was not accepted into at least one other non-Historically Black College or University of Ivy League standing. However, the purpose of this article was to uplift and introduce the new President of Morehouse College and showcase his accolades for the Atlanta community (public, private, black, or white) and reconfirm why the board chose this man to take the place of Robert Franklin. I’ve reread this article to see why there seems to be this mis communication about funding and it says by “working with the White House, federal agencies and private corporations to secure funding.” for the ultimate goal “to inspire more of our nation’s youth to pursue higher education,” and isn’t that something we should all be MORE concerned with?! It says to secure funding, not suck it dry from the American populous!

It’s true, other institutions now accept African- American/Black students but HBCUs have never had a closed door policy. Just as the point is being argued about the “best and the brightest” BLACK students can come to the popular Ivy Leagues same goes for HBCUs. A lot of these institutions are not getting a ton of funding because enough people don’t understand why we still exist!

What’s wrong with options?!

It’s like limiting people to what kind of dressing you want on your salad or music you want to listen to or phone you want to buy.

Kylee Simpson

November 19th, 2012
4:45 am

Besides, the real crisis we need to address is Education and Education reform for ALL students.

Owen

November 21st, 2012
2:27 am

I tip my hat too all involved in this dialogue. I read every single comment posted and enjoyed the presentation of ideas. I commend all sides for limiting the personal attacks and waging a spirited battle over data and facts.