20th Century Presidents

20th Century Presidents
Who Have Influenced the Higher Education Landscape

Institutions that have made the most progress in terms of access, matriculation and diversity in the 20th century owe much of their success to the leadership of bold chief executives  who were unafraid to take risks and unyielding in their commitment to educational equity.  Black Issues salutes the following change agents.

Derek Bok,Harvard University
William Bowen, Princeton University,
 Mellon Foundation
They know rivers and write eloquently about the ebb and flow of affirmative action in higher education.

Horace Mann Bond
Fort Valley State College, Lincoln University-Pennsylvania
This father of civil rights activist Julian Bond emerged as an early critic of the dubious intelligence theories and myths springing up from the IQ testing movement.

Lionel Bordeaux
Sinte Gleska University
He led his institution to become one of the first two tribally controlled colleges to receive accreditation for a bachelor’s degree program and the first to earn accreditation for a master’s program.

Ray Bowen
La Guardia Community College
Distinguished for his candor in describing the plight of minorities in higher education and articulating what higher education must do in the face of its demographic imperative.

Oswald Bronson
Bethune-Cookman College
He does Mary McLeod Bethune’s legacy proud.

Clinton Bristow Jr.
Alcorn State University
He shows what can be done even in the belly of the beast.

Ruth Burgos-Scasscer  
Houston Community College
She brings a distinguished career in international women’s issues to bear on this fast-growing urban community college.

Roscoe C. Brown Jr.
Bronx Community College
He is a former Tuskegee Airman who successfully flew through New York’s educational politics.

John Casteen University of Virginia
Though recently challenged, his policies resulted in an enviable recruitment record and a 90 percent Black graduation rate.


Rufus Clement
Atlanta University
This former university president went on to become the first African American to be elected to a citywide office in Atlanta since the  Reconstruction era.

Jewell Plummer-Cobb 
California State University-Fullerton
This pioneering researcher brought a perspective about the benefits of diversity in the pursuit of academic excellence to the California State system that continues to this day.

Johnnetta B. Cole
Spelman College
This “sister president” showed that you don’t have to be a “seven sister” to be top rate.

Thomas Cole 
Clark Atlanta University
His steadfast leadership of this anchor institution in the Atlanta University Center has been a model for others to replicate.

Samuel DuBois Cook 
Dillard University
Thanks to his many years of leadership, Dillard is now positioned to compete with the leading institutions in Louisiana.

John Crecine
Georgia Institute of Technology
Because of him , Georgia Tech is envied in terms of minority engineer production.

Jim Duderstadt
University of Michigan
He believed that unless one could show that the numbers of underrepresented minorities on campus had increased, claiming to have a commitment to diversity was meaningless.

Vera King Farris
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Because of her, students in South New Jersey have a first-rate educational option.

Edward B. Fort
North Carolina A&T University
He understood how to make his institution thrive in an Adams environment.
Juliet Garcia
Texas Southmost College
Thanks to her, the fastest growing minority group in America, Latinos, has a brighter educational prospect.

J. Wade Gilley
University of Tennessee
In Virginia, West Virginia, and now in Tennessee,  he has constantly opened the doors of opportunity to Black students,  faculty and staff .

Frank Hale
Oakwood College
Through his work with Anne Pruitt, he showed how much you can accomplish even after retirement.

William “Bill” Harvey
Hampton University
Through to his bold entrepreneurial style, he has made  Hampton is the envy of private colleges in America while holding true to the legacy of former President Jerome Brud Holland.

Freeman Hrabowski
University of Maryland-Baltimore County
Against all odds, he is showing what an urban college can be.

Frederick B. Humphries
Florida A&M University
Through his leadership, Florida A&M is now number one in student production, but more importantly, the university is outstanding in academic achievement across the board.

Shirley Jackson
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Defying the laws of gravity, this doctor of physics just keeps rising.

Joseph Johnson  
Grambling University
Under his leadership, Grambling University became known for academics as well as athletics.

Augusta Kappner 
Bank Street College of Education, Borough of Manhattan Community College
This compassionate leader has brought uncanny insight to the plight of older and returning students as well as the educational needs of children amid           growing diversity.

Eamon Kelly
Tulane University
He did an exemplary job of getting African American students into college.

Bill Kirwan
University of Maryland-College Park,          Ohio State University
He took the University of Maryland to the top of Black Issues In Higher Education’s Top 100  list and seems to be steering Ohio State in the same direction.

Yolanda Moses
City College-City University of New York
This bicoastal leader has brought an anthropologist’s insight to difficult challenges of urban education.

Eduardo J. Padrón
Miami-Dade Community College
He has paved a pathway for the realities of achieving diversity and all of its
complexities.

Benjamin F. Payton
Benedict College
Thanks to his leadership, Booker T. Washington’s and George Washington Carver’s visions still shine brightly.

Paul Pearson
Miami University of Ohio
By doubling the number of Black faculty on his campus in less than three years, he proved that where there is a will, there is a way.

Donald G. Phelps
Seattle Central Community College
The many minorities enrolled in community colleges have a better chance of success thanks to his leadership.

Janine Pease-Pretty On Top
Little Big Horn College
American Indian education has gained national visibility through the efforts of this visionary pioneer in tribal college leadership.

Samuel Dewitt Proctor
Virginia Union University, North Carolina A&T
A preacher and a teacher in the classic sense of the word.

Earl Richardson
Morgan State University
New buildings, new programs and new vision have been achieved in the rough-and- tumble world of Maryland educational politics.

Luns Richardson  
Morris College
When he got there the college was teetering on failure. Now it’s aglow in prosperity.

James Rosser 
California State University-Los Angeles
His impact reached from Watts to East L.A. to Brentwood, providing an educational oasis for the Los Angeles basin.

Gloria Scott
Bennett College
She spearheaded Zimbabwe’s Africa University while raising Bennett’s profile among private colleges.

Donna Shalala  
Hunter College, University of Wisconsin-Madison
A mentor to many, she made Hunter and Wisconsin-Madison major contributors.

Ruth Simmons  
Smith College
If you had to have a seven-sister first, you couldn’t have done better than Ruth Simmons.

Joshua Smith  
Borough of Manhattan Community College, California Community College System
This former chancellor  and advocate for minorities in higher education is now in a position at NYU to not only advise and write about his experiences, but to give sage advice to community college leaders around the country.

Bob H. Suzuki
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona
In a career field in which so few Asian Americans have made it to the ranks of president, Suzuki makes it look easy.

Delores Spikes  
Southern University, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore
This dynamic leader has forged an institution-building legacy that will endure.

David Swinton  
Benedict College
He has given a whole new meaning to the term community service.

H. Patrick Swygert  
Temple University, SUNY Albany, Howard University
Taking the leadership on the flagship Black institution in the world, building on his successes at Temple and SUNY Albany, he has steadied Howard with declining federal support, having to make tough decisions as the No. 1 producer of Black Ph.D.s in the country.

Mavalene Styles Hughes 
Cal State Stanislaus
She boldly got her institution involved in forging Middle East solutions.

Niara Sudarkasa
Lincoln University-Pennsylvania
She kept the Pan-African link alive.

Jerry Sue Thornton
Cuyahoga Community College
She brought jazz and a whole lot more to her Cleveland campuses.

Chang-Lin Tien  
University of California-Berkeley
A staunch supporter of affirmative action, this outstanding researcher vigorously fought the forces bent on limiting opportunity to U.C. Berkeley.

James Walker  
Middle Tennessee State University
With surging enrollment and new programmatic thrusts, there is nothing middle of the road about this emerging power.

LeRoy Tashreau Walker
North Carolina Central University
He proved that the skills and leadership learned in sports can be excellent preparation for an exemplary career in higher
education.

Blenda J. Wilson
California State University-Northridge
She withstood an earthquake and a whole lot more in steadying this L.A. campus.

Belle Wheelan
Northern Virginia Community College
As an African American female leader of the second largest community college in the country, situated in one of the nation’s technology hubs, her aggressive recruitment of a diverse faculty and staff will provide a model for community colleges in accessing high tech employment in the next century.

Stephen J. Wright 
Fisk University, Bluefield State College
This recipient of more than 10 honorary doctorates practiced a quality of educational leadership that many would do well to emulate.

Cordell Wynn
Stillman College
Thanks to his leadership, the University of Alabama is not the only show in Tuscaloosa.

Dorothy Yancy
Johnson C. Smith University
She demonstrates what the aggressive use of technology can accomplish in a small private HBCU.

Albert Yates
Colorado State University
This former chemistry professor has put all of the right leadership ingredients together to make Colorado State a recognized force among land grants        



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