Dillard President Michael Lomax to Head UNCF
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) has announced that Dr. Michael L. Lomax will succeed William H. Gray III as president and CEO of the organization. Lomax, who currently serves as president of Dillard University in New Orleans, will officially join UNCF on June 1, 2004.
“Dr. Lomax brings a wealth of talent and experience to this organization and we are confident that his impressive background in education, management and fund raising, will help UNCF continue to grow and expand its mission,” said Michael H. Jordan, chairman and CEO of EDS, and chairman of UNCF’s Board of Directors.
“I am honored to have this opportunity and look forward to this exciting new challenge. UNCF plays a critical role in creating educational opportunities for deserving young men and women and in supporting historically Black colleges and universities,” Lomax said.
At a news conference in Washington, Lomax told reporters that he intends to launch a 10-year capital campaign to grow the UNCF endowment to more than $1 billion. Lomax also pledged to increase operating budgets, access to technology and financial aid for students at the UNCF’s 39 member colleges and universities. The fund is the nation’s largest provider of scholarships to minority students.
Lomax has served as president of UNCF member college Dillard University since 1997, where he implemented several initiatives to strengthen the school. During his tenure, student enrollment increased by 49 percent, private funding by 300 percent, and alumni giving more than 2,000 percent. In addition, he led an aggressive $60 million campus renovation program to improve the living and learning environment for Dillard students. Lomax has been on the faculties of Morehouse College and Spelman College and has taught at Emory University, University of Georgia and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
“Dr. Lomax understands the challenges our colleges and universities are facing,” said Dr. Sebetha Jenkins, president of Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas, and chair of the UNCF college presidents. “He is sensitive to and good at navigating the political landscape.”
Gray, who has led UNCF for nearly 13 years, said that Lomax has demonstrated strong management skills and knowledge of fund raising. For 12 years, Lomax served as chairman of the board of commissioners of Fulton County in Atlanta, the top elected official in Georgia’s largest and most populous county. He was responsible for a $500 million operating budget and 5,000 county employees.
Lomax currently serves on the board of trustees of the United Way of America, where he is chairman of the National Center for Community Leadership and assists in developing national strategies for increasing donations from corporations, foundations and individuals.
“Michael is a strategic thinker, strong manager and an effective fund raiser. I think UNCF is very fortunate to have Dr. Lomax as its new president and CEO,” Gray said.
“I must say we went through a vigorous process, and we were able to come up with an extraordinary choice in Michael Lomax,” said Bennett College president Dr. Johnnetta Cole, who served on the eight-person UNCF presidential search committee.
Cole said more than 70 candidates were considered for the position.
Lomax attended Morehouse College, where he received a bachelor’s in English and was among one of the first group of students inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He earned a master’s in English literature from Columbia University and a doctorate in American and Afro-American literature from Emory University.
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