Tag: Tuskegee University

Morehouse Wins First Game of Weekend Series Against Tuskegee 

By Michael February 20, 2022 Off

Braves World Series Trophy Tour to Highlight Sunday’s Double Hitter

The Maroon Tigers of Morehouse College won their first game since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down baseball at the premiere all-male HBCU on Saturday, defeating Tuskegee University 8–4.

Saturday’s game was the prelude for a weekend series that will feature a display of the Atlanta Braves 2021 World Series Trophy before the start of the double hitter on Sunday. Morehouse Coach Antonio Grissom expects the Braves trophy tour to bring over 2000 fans out to see the World Series trophy and the Morehouse-Tuskegee clash on the diamond. read more

Miles,Albany,Claflin Kentucky State Advances in SIAC Tourney

By Michael May 5, 2018 Off

Miles College and Albany State squeaked out one-run wins to cap off an exciting day of baseball at the SIAC Baseball Tournament, which will crown a conference champion on Sunday.

Both schools came into the tournament favored to reach the championship game.

They are ranked number one and two in the HBCU National Baseball Poll. Miles sits atop the poll and Albany is in the number two spot.

Miles faced a determined Tuskegee team and trailed most of the game as they could not ruff up Christian Marshall who kept them at bay with his fastball for seven innings.

Tuskegee took an early lead on a homer to left by Josh Lewis. Miles came back to take a 4 to 1 lead in the eighth.Tuskegee started a rally in their half of the eighth.

They had runners sitting on first and second when Miles pulled off a hidden ball trick on a pick-off attempt at second.

The runner thought the ball had sailed into center field, only to be caught in a rundown when he discovered the ball was in the shortstop’s glove.

Tuskegee rallied for two runs in their half of the ninth, but fell short 4-3.

In an elimination game later in the day, Tuskegee lost another one run game, 8-7, to Kentucky State.

This game was marred by charges of unfairness from the Tuskegee coaching staff to the umpires before the crew left the field.

When the umpires were escorted past the Tuskegee cheering section by security, they were taunted with charges of racism.

In the seventh inning a controversial call on a ball hit down the right field line was ruled a fair ball and resulted in a double that tied the game.

The ball appeared to be at least 10 feet in foul territory when Tuskegee right fielder Ryan Green dove to catch what everyone in the ball park thought was a foul ball. The ball popped out of Green’s glove.

Hank Aaron, Jr. Scouting the SIAC Tourney for the Atlanta Braves said, “That Ball was clearly foul.”

Kentucky State advanced to play Claflin University, who plummeted Lane College and Clark-Atlanta University to stay alive in the losers bracket.

Albany State earned the right to met Miles College after a hard fought 8-7 victory over CAU. The game was won on a homer in the top of the ninth off the bat of the right fielder Rilan Familia. It was his second blast of the day.

CAU had led the game most of the day on the strength of a two homer day from Andredus.

According to Albany head coach, Scott Hemmils, both teams will start their number one pitcher in the matchup between the two top HBCU small college baseball programs in the country.

Tuskegee University Poised To Pick New President Despite Growing Dissension

By Michael May 3, 2018 Off

Tuskegee University is poised to announced the selection of the university’s eighth president this weekend. However, a growing number of alumni are calling on the university to slow down and start the search process over.

Last week, the university announced it would soon select one of two candidates to emerge from the search process. The two candidates are Dr. Lily McNair and Dr. Jack Thomas.

According to a press release from the university, “Dr. Lily McNair,… currently serves as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Wagner College — a private liberal arts school of 2,200 students located on New York City’s Staten Island. A clinical psychologist by training, Dr. McNair’s higher education career includes other academic and executive appointments at Spelman College, University of Georgia, the State University of New York at New Paltz, and Vassar College.”

That same press release announces Dr. Thomas as follows:

“Dr. Jack Thomas,… currently serves as president of Western Illinois University — a public university of about 10,000 students based in Macomb, Illinois, with an additional metropolitan campus in the Quad Cities/Moline area. With an academic background that began with teaching English, his rise through the academic and executive higher education ranks includes more recent appointments at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Middle Tennessee State University, in addition to WIU.”

Dr. Thomas is currently seeking the presidency of a liberal arts university in the Midwest. He is one of five candidates being considered for that post.

“Some people are going to complain no matter who they pick,” said Simon Newbold, a Tuskegee alum with university administrative experience.

But Dr. Zelma Payne is not just any old alum. Payne is a member of the Tuskegee class of 1953. She has been lobbying younger alumni to resist efforts by the university to name either of the two finalists.

In an epistle circulated to younger alumni, Dr. Payne writes:

“My recommendation is to campaign for Dr. Morris to stay at least two years so we can take time to find a person with potential who can help Tuskegee University meet the critical problems we face.”

Since June of 2017, Dr. Charlotte Morris has served as the university’s Interim President. This is Dr. Morris’ second stint as Interim President of one of the nation’s oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Following the retirement of Dr. Benjamin Payton in 2011, Morris served as Interim President until Dr. Gilbert Rochon was hired in 2012. Rochon abruptly resigned following the board’s annual fall meeting on campus a few years later.

Last year the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees failed to renew the contract of Dr. Brian Johnson after it learned that Johnson had applied to become the Chancellor of North Carolina Central University, a position Johnson did not receive. Morris was brought back out of retirement and has served as Interim President while the Board searched for a replacement for Dr. Johnson.

“We don’t need to get into a situation as the past two Presidents who had no knowledge of how to run a university such as Tuskegee,” Dr. Payne explained.

The school was founded in 1881 by Louis Adams, a mulatto shopkeeper and political operative during the period of Reconstruction following the Civil War. At that time the school’s mission was to provide educational opportunities for the children of Tuskegee who were first generation post enslavement.

The original mission has long since expanded to include educating students from around the globe in science, technology, and the arts. Tuskegee, as other HBCUs is in a daily struggle for the resources it needs to continue providing a superior education to its students.

“Neither Thomas or McNair have a record of raising money while motivating faculty to advance their programs,” Payne pointed out.

“Bottom line,” Payne said, “we need more time to search for a leader with stature and aggressiveness to make contacts with corporations, foundations, etc.”

“I wish I was young like some of these young people, I would get in my car and be down there every day resisting the final decision on these two. This selection needs to be stopped pronto,” Payne said.

Unfortunately, for Dr. Payne, younger alumni are reluctant to get involved in the nitty-gritty politics that is necessary to get the attention of the Tuskegee Board of Trustees.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com

Griffin Withdraws Without a Fight-Skegee Alumni Angry

By Michael March 18, 2018 Off

Floyd Griffin withdrew his attempt to replace John page as chairman of the Tuskegee Board of Trustees. His withdrawal left Skegee Alumni angry.

Griffin had promised to bring transparency to the board and to open up board meetings to members of the Skegee Alumni.

Skegee alumni rallied around Griffin in his desire to become chairman of the board of Trustees. They argued that Skegee was the only elite HBCU that did not have an alumnus as head of its board.

Today, Skegee still does not have a graduate as its chairperson. This honor remains with John Page, a graduate of two Historically White Institutions.

The alumni push for an alumnus as chair fell on deaf ears as members of the board were not in the mood to entertain the alumni position during lobbying efforts the first day of the Board’s spring meeting last week.

In a conversation with construction magnet H. Jerome Russell, CEO of H. J. Russell & Company the Skegee alumni were notified that there was no reason why an alumnus should be the chair of the board.

Russell is an alumnus of Georgia State University. He was asked to name the chairman of the GSU board of trustees. He could not name his alma mater’s chairperson.

Georgia public colleges and universities do not have boards of trustees. They are governed by the Board of Regent. But GSU does have a Foundation and Deepak Raghavan a 2009 graduate of GSU is the Chairman of the Georgia State University Foundation. Of the 41 members on the board, 25 are graduates. Tuskegee alumni numbers do not come anywhere close to GSU’s alumni representation on its board.

Russell acknowledged he was only on the board because his father the late Herman J. Russell, a Skegee alumni, had served on the board. He said he was reluctant to vote against Page because Page had brought him onto the board.

“I counted the noses,” Griffin, a veteran of Georgia politics said, “and the votes simply were not there. So I decided to withdraw before a vote was taken.”

Several alumni said they were not satisfied with either Griffin’s withdrawal or the outcome of the Trustees re-election of John Page.

According to several prominent alumni, since they were unable to get the ear of the Tuskegee Board of Trustees, they will seek to get the attention of Golden State Food Corporation, where John Page is employed as Senior Corporate Vice President, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility and Legal Officer.

The group is exploring a nationwide boycott and social media campaign against products distributed by Golden State Food Corp., until Page steps down as chair of the Tuskegee Board of Trustees.

GSF supplies meat and liquid products like ketchup and mustard to McDonalds and through a joint venture with Mid-South Bakery in Bryan, Texas supplies buns that are used by McDonald’s for its hamburgers.

Given the absence of nutritional value, McDonald’s is an easy target. Drive down the sales of quarter pounders and GSF has fewer beef patties and buns to distribute.

Mark S. Wetterau, Chair and CEO of the $50 billion company can expect to receive a deluge of letters bearing the tenor of those submitted to the Tuskegee Board detailing their dislike of Page and the intimation of threats he has made to alumni with his reference that he grew up in Brooklyn.

Soon Page will have to decide whether he likes his job more than he like being chair of the Tuskegee Board of Trustees, especially, given the fact, that a large contingent of alumni do not like him as their board chair.

One member added that Trustees like Russell should be placed on notice that a similar boycott of their business interests maybe the price they will have to pay to keep Skegee alumni locked out of the process of helping to maintain the legacy of the Pride of the Swift Growing South.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com



Alumni Trustees Key To Tuskegee Chairman Election

By Michael March 3, 2018 Off

This week Floyd Griffin, a 1966 Tuskegee Institute graduate tossed his hat into the ring to become only the second Tuskegee alumni in the 137 year history of the “Pride of the Swift Growing South,” to serve as chair of its Board of Trustees.

Current board chair John Page is maneuvering to keep the board out of the hands of an experienced Tuskegee alumni when the second of his two-year terms expire later this month.

According to all indications, Page is ready to ditch the Trustee Board for the Tuskegee Foundation. However, to keep board leadership away from any experienced alumni on the board, Page is quietly supporting former Boeing executive, Norma Clayton, who currently serves the board as First Vice Chair.

Should Clayton receive the nomination of the nominating committee, it would present the Tuskegee Board of Trustees with an ethical dilemma because Clayton serves on this committee.

Early in the week when Griffin announced his intentions to seek the nomination from the floor, he cautioned the board not to nominate any elected officer of the board serving on the nominating committee.

Provided Tuskegee follows ethical standards in the selection of the nominees, this will also eliminate Tuskegee alumni Erick Harris, a gas and energy attorney in Oklahoma, who also serves on the nominating committee. Both Clayton and Harris are elected First Vice Chair of the Board.

It is clear that in a fair election,Tuskegee alumni on the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees are the balance of power when the board meets to elect a new board chairperson for the next two years.

There are 23 members on the Board of Trustees. Of this number only 20 have voting rights. Therefore it takes 11 votes to win the chair position. There are eight Tuskegee alumni with voting rights. Thus, the Tuskegee alumni trustees hold in their hands the keys to deciding who will become the next board chair.

What are Griffin’s strengths?

He is a combat tested soldier. As a 20 year-old, he flew helicopters in the Vietnam War following his graduation from Tuskegee. Griffin has unsuccessfully run for Lt. Governor of the state of Georgia, becoming the first Black person in the 20th century to seek that post, none have sought it since.

In 1994, he became one of the first Blacks to win a state senate seat in a rural majority white senatorial district in Georgia.

Later, Griffin was elected to represent his hometown, Milledgeville, Georgia as its mayor.

In addition to his building construction degree from Tuskegee, Griffin earned a degree in funeral service from Gupton Jones College. Last year Griffin retired as CEO of Slater Funeral Home in Milledgeville, Georgia.

In 2009, Griffin published his autobiography,Legacy to Legend: Winners Make it Happen.

Griffin lives in Milledgeville, Georgia with his wife of 51 years Nathalie Huffman Griffin. The couple met as student on the campus at Tuskegee.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com


Retired Colonel Floyd Griffin Seeks Board Chairman Post At Tuskegee

By Michael February 27, 2018 Off

Floyd L. Griffin, a retired Colonel in the United States Army has announced his intentions to seek the Chairmanship of the Tuskegee Board of Trustees. This position will become open in March and is expected to be filled during the Board’s annual spring meeting.

If successful Griffin will replace corporate attorney John Page, who has chaired the Tuskegee Board since 2015.

Recently, Page has been the target of concerned Tuskegee alumni. They have waged a letter writing campaign to the Board of Trustees not to nominate Page for another term as chairperson of the Board.

In a letter to the Board, Griffin said he decided to seek this position after he had “been inundated with telephone calls, emails and letters from members of the Tuskegee family…”

“The morale of the alumni is down. There is a sense that the chairperson of the board has a condescending attitude when addressing members of the alumni community. This sentiment was also expressed by civic leaders of the city of Tuskegee,” Griffin wrote.

In the schools 137-year history only one other Tuskegee alumni has been chairperson of the Board of Trustees. At other elite HBCUs, the chair of the board is an alumnus.

Also, less than half of the members of the Tuskegee board comes from the ranks of the alumni. This is not the case with other HBCUs.

Griffin, 73 years-old and a Milledgeville, Georgia Mortician said that his candidacy will address this disparity head on. He pledged his tenure as chairman will seek to develop younger alumni on the board to succeed him.

“I pledge to work to improve relations with all Tuskegee alumni to stop the bickering between the board and concerned alumni,” Griffin wrote.

The family of the university’s first principle, Booker T. Washington, has submitted a letter to the Board of Trustees announcing their support of Griffin as the next board chairman.

In a letter signed by Marshall Cabiness-Washington, the oldest living male descendant of Washington, the family expressed their support in Griffin:

“Everything about Floyd Griffin reminds me of the thousands of illustrious early Tuskegee alumni who were the personification of “that old Tuskegee spirit,” Cabiness-Washington wrote.

“It is my firm belief, and the belief of the family of Booker T. Washington, that Colonel Floyd Griffin is right person, at the right time, to be the leader and guide of the governing body of our illustrious alma mater, Mother Tuskegee,” the Washington family wrote.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com

Tuskegee University Alumni Group Seeks Ouster of John Page As Board Chair

By Michael February 20, 2018 Off

Tuskegee, Alabama, (Cascade Press) A group of Tuskegee University alumni have issued a letter to members of the Board of Trustees requesting that the Board elect a new chairperson when the board meets on March 24, 2018.

Corporate attorney John Page has been the chairperson of the Tuskegee Board of Trustees for the past two years. According to Board rules, the board can reelect Page to another two year term or they can nominate a slate of candidates and hold an election to fill the chairperson position.

An unsigned letter from the Concerned Tuskegee Alumni was obtained by Cascade Press over the weekend from Dr. Clarence Jones, a high ranking official in the Concern Tuskegee Alumni group. read more

Media Roll Tide Is A Misplaced Metaphor

By Michael December 13, 2017 Off

“Roll Tide Roll” is a misplaced metaphor being bandied about in the National media, one day after Doug Jones’ stunning upset win over Roy Moore. Misplaced because the Roll Tide as in the Crimson Tide is not what led to Jones’ victory which seemed unlikely just a few days ago. Yet the media is quick to roll the words roll tide off their lips as if the spirit of the roll tide can explain what occurred on Tuesday.

It can not.

Moore’s defeat can be attributed to the roar of the Tiger coming up from the rich black soil of Alabama’s “Black Belt” and her urban centers in Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile in Tuesday’s election.

A more reflective metaphor would be “Roar Golden Tigers Roar,” in reference to the Tuskegee University Golden Tigers, which symbolically represents all Black Alabamians as the University of Alabama Crimson Tide traditionally represents white’s in the state.

Both schools have accomplished football programs. Alabama has won over 903 football games, while Tuskegee’s over 560 wins is more football wins than any other Historical Black College and University in the country.

Alabama has won 29 Southeastern Conference (SEC) titles. Tuskegee won its 32nd Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) crown this year.

Albeit, the Tide did roll just enough in the Moore-Jones race to make a difference, but the power punch came from the roar of the state’s Golden Tigers.

Black voters cast 96 percent of their ballots for Jones, four more percentage points than the 92 percent of Blacks who voted for the reelection of President Barack Obama in 2012.

The turnout of Black voters in Tuesday’s runoff election in Alabama was 40 percent, which is higher than the turnout percentage in 2008 and 2012 when Barack Obama was on the ballot.

Jones spent the weekend stumping for votes on the campus of Tuskegee University. He dined with students in old Thompkins Hall, a building erected in 1905 by students, who made the bricks by hand and read the architectural blueprints drawn up by Robert Taylor, the first Black architect to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

While Moore left the state to attend the Army-Navy football game over the weekend, Jones was petting the Golden Tigers. On Tuesday, those Golden Tigers, as we like to see down in the “Bowl” on Saturday afternoons in the fall, rose up and roared.

Roar, Golden Tigers, Roar!

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com

Tuskegee Successful in removing SAC Warning

By Michael June 15, 2017 Off

CASCADE PRESS (CP), Atlanta, Georgia, Today, Tuskegee University successfully navigated itself through a series of accreditation warnings notices imposed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SAC). This agency grants accreditation to the university’s degree granting programs.

Back in June 2015, Tuskegee University for the first time in its 135 year history saw its accreditation threaten. In 2015, SAC gave the university 12 months to resolve 18 issues. When Tuskegee issued it responds to those issues in June 2016, SAC found the university had successfully addressed 14 of their concerns, but placed the university on warning status for an additional 12 months so they could address the remaining four items.

Two weeks ago, John Page, Chair of the Tuskegee Board of Trustees told the Atlanta Tuskegee Alumni Club that the four remaining issues were financial issues that related to how the BOT handled certain matters.He pledged to the group at a banquet honoring Willie Slater, the university Head Football Coach, that the BOT would address those concerns.

Last month, Tuskegee University announced that it would not renew the contract of its president, Dr. Brian L. Johnson when it expires on June 30 this year.

Prior to the Tuskegee’s announcement that Johnson would not return to the university during the 2017-18 academic year, a story ran in Diverse Education indicating that Dr. Johnson had been fired by Tuskegee because, the university learned that he had interviewed for the Chancellor job at North Carolina Central University in his hometown of Durham, North Carolina.

The university later released a statement simply announcing that Johnson’s contract would not be renewed.

Today, Johnson, a master social media communicator, caught Tuskegee flat-footed again by being the first to announce the news. He did so via a twitter announcement.

As of our publication time, Tuskegee had not made an official announcement alerting its students, faculty, staff and alumni that the warning notice has been lifted.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round, edited Easier to obtain Than to Maintain: The Globalization of Civil Rights by Charles Steele, Jr.; and the host of Beyond the Law with Harold Michael Harvey. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.