Atlanta University Center Consortium

AUC Offers A Treasure Trove of Beauty, History and Art

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It was 1931 when Hale Woodruff, an abstract painter, and Nancy Prophet, a painter and sculptor, established the art departments for the Atlanta University Center institutions. Through the visionary genius of Woodruff, AUC’s cultural heart and soul emerged as the staging ground for some of the world’s most talented Black artists.

For nearly 20 years, Woodruff would not only develop art instruction for AUC students but also would create a platform for the Atlanta University Art Annuals and catapult AUC as an art haven.

Whether ingesting the murals of Woodruff, being inspired by the wordsmith Martin Luther King Jr., experiencing a vibrant art collection in a library setting, or bearing witness to art by and about women of the African Diaspora, the AUC is a canopy of artistic treasures that rival any museum.

Nancy Prophet

Clark Atlanta University, the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library and Spelman College serve as purveyors of beauty, knowledge, history and social justice. Unmistakably individual, yet linked by common treads of talent, culture, experiences, civic engagement and righteous indignation.

The must-see works in the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, unique and rare collections at the Woodruff Library, and femininity and originality at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art are a treasure trove of beauty, art and history in the AUC.

Clark Atlanta University Art Museum

With a permanent collection of 1,215 works, the CAU Art Museum features bodies of work that include the likes of Henry Ossawa Tanner’s “Disciples Healing the Sick,” Romare Bearden’s “Snow Morning,” Jacob Lawrence’s “Brownstones,” Elizabeth Catlett’s “Negro Women,” and Woodruff’s “Art of the Negro” mural series.

Fathi Hassan’s “Nubia,” 2012

Through Woodruff’s efforts with juried exhibitions from 1942 to 1970, CAU, formerly Atlanta University, served as a conduit from which to build the University’s collection. According to Brenda Thompson in the book “In the Eye of the Muses: Selections From the Clark Atlanta University Art Collection,” it was 1988 during the consolidation of Clark College and Atlanta University when then-President Thomas W. Cole Jr., Ph.D., asked Tina Dunkley to oversee CAU’s Trevor Arnett Hall renovation.

From this renovation, the CAU Art Museum moved from the basement to the second floor of Trevor Arnett. “When the new galleries opened, many of us were startled, feeling both proud and amazed that these quality works were a part of Clark Atlanta University’s permanent collection,” Thompson, an avid Black art collector and philanthropist, wrote.

Through the national juried competitions, Woodruff began the core foundation for what is now the permanent collection of the CAU Art Museum.

“If you’re really trying to understand African-American art, you would really want to come here,” said Maurita Poole, Ph.D., director of the CAU Art Museum. “People do not know about our collection of art and how it is a resource for them and how there is so much history about Atlanta University’s history and the art as well.”

Currently, the museum features two exhibitions, “Bitter/Sweet,” and “Fathi Hassan: Edge of Memory.” Running from Oct. 9-Dec. 9, 2016, “Bitter/Sweet” highlights works from the 1940s to the present featuring all nuances of the African-American experience. “Fathi Hassan: Edge of Memory,” which runs from Oct. 9-May 26, 2017, showcases the works of contemporary artist Fathi Hassan’s mixed-media works that explore the plight of Nubians, an ethnic group from southern Egypt and northern Sudan.

Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

Just like many other libraries, there are books and periodicals, electronic resources, a learning commons, smart classrooms, study rooms, a print shop, free Wi-Fi, and a coffee shop in the Robert W. Woodruff Library; however, take another look, and one might think this is an art museum. With approximately 200 pieces of artwork on exhibit at a time, the art crux of the Woodruff Library is to have art that inspires the learning space.

From the “Start Something: Activism and the Atlanta Student Movement” exhibition

“A modern academic library should not just be considered as a place of information resources, but also as a place to motivate learning and thinking,” said Loretta Parham, CEO and director of the Woodruff Library. “When AUC faculty and students are studying or conducting research in an academic setting that is warm, inviting, and reflects beauty and creativity, we feel it serves to inspire them.”

It began where any education institution might begin – with students. In the mid-2000s, students would showcase their capstone art projects in what is now called the Woodi Gallery. From that, Mrs. Parham wanted to take it a step farther. With funding in 2010 for a renovation, the Knowledge and Arts Initiative was born.

The effort of the initiative is to promote student pride and ownership of the library, as well as inspire student thought and conversations through the visual arts. A range of works that includes sculpture, photography, loaned and owned art, including a signature piece titled “People of Color,” by Jonathan Romain, who has created work for President Barack Obama.

“People of Color” by Jonathon Romain

Four colorful student portraits representing CAU, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse and Spelman, “People of Color” demands notice. Romain was allowed to visit each campus to take photos. From those photos, he chose one that best captured that campus and that is the student he painted.

“I call it the centerpiece of the library, and it is captivating and is the staple of our Arts Initiative,” said Carolyn Hart, assistant director, Planning, Assessment & Communications for the Woodruff Library. “From the Carolinas to California, we have visited libraries and I have to say I’ve seen absolute gorgeous buildings. I’ve admired architecture, but as far as the art I really think we hands down are in a league of our own.”

Also, the library features AUC artists who include: Dr. William Anderson, Dr. Louis Delsarte, Derek Fordjour and Ross Oscar Knight (Morehouse College); Dr. Frank Toby Martin, Dr. Althea Murphy-Price, and Dr. Duhirwe Rushemeza (Spelman College); Tina Dunkley (Atlanta University); Ron Young (Clark College); Dante Yarbrough (Clark Atlanta University); and Freddie Styles (Morris Brown College).

In addition to the art, the AUC Woodruff Library Archives Research Center is home to several unique manuscripts, archival, photographic, art and media collections, including original pin and ink drawings by Hale Woodruff, photographic collections documenting the historical Atlanta University Center institutions, as well as the Countee Cullen-Harold Jackman Memorial Collection, Hoyt Fuller Collection, and Lemoine DeLeaver Pierce Papers containing prints and photographs from the Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movements.

Adding to the more than 100 collections in the Archives Research Center are the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection. It was 2006 when a coalition of Atlanta movers and shakers led by former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin brokered a $32 million deal to land the papers in the AUC.

Owned by Morehouse but housed at the Woodruff, the collection is made up of some 13,000 items, including some 1,100 books owned by the Nobel Peace Prize native son.

Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

CNN coins it as one of the six reasons to love Atlanta, and the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art’s mission to inspire and enrich the lives of all through art by women of the African Diaspora is the reason for such a designation.

“When Dr. Donald Stewart was president, he said, ‘You know we need to make sure we begin to collect art by Black women artist,’” said Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D., director of the Museum of Fine Art and a 1993 Spelman graduate. “When the college’s collection began, we certainly didn’t have this precise mission.”

Located on the first floor of the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D., Academic Center at Spelman, the Museum of Fine Art was established in 1996 from part of a $20 million gift to the college from the Cosby family. The 4,500-square-foot exhibition features a climate-controlled vault for the permanent collection, a lab for routine art preparation, and a museum store.

“Most of what you get from the Museum of Art is the crème de la crème of contemporary art,” said Dr. Poole, who spent three years at the museum training as the graduate assistant before serving as the Andrew Mellon Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts at Williams College Museum of Art, followed by her current position at CAU Art Museum

Some of its more than 350 permanent holdings include the works of Kofi Bailey, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence Valerie Maynard, Faith Ringgold, Henry O. Tanner and Hale Woodruff. Also, the Museum of Fine Art was awarded a $250,000 grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to pilot a curatorial studies program. Designed for juniors and seniors in various academic majors, the two-year collaborative program seeks to prepare the next generation of students of African descent for curatorial professions and serve as a pipeline to diversify a field described as 80 percent White, according to the American Alliance of Museums.

“When you think of the fact that there are only five of us in the field at the director level now, there just had to be some kind of effort to help diversify the field. We can begin to address that through our curatorial program,” said Dr. Brownlee, who is celebrating the museum’s 20th anniversary.

Currently on view until Dec. 3, 2016, at the Museum of Fine Art is “AFRICA FORECAST: Fashioning Contemporary Life,” an original exhibition that looks at fashion through two overlapping perspectives – an ever-changing global marketplace and the unique ways Black women construct their lives.

CAU Celebrates Presidential Inauguration with Scholarship Reception and Gala and Afterglow Party

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ATLANTA (Sept. 26, 2016) The pomp and circumstance surrounding the official installation of Ronald A. Johnson, Ph.D., as the fourth president of Clark Atlanta University continues at the Presidential Scholarship Reception and Gala; then, immediately afterward at the Paws on Peachtree Afterglow post-party with a purpose. Proceeds from both of these inauguration events will benefit the President’s Scholarship Fund.

Read more.

AUC Schools Continue to Rank as the Nation’s Best

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For more than 30 years, U.S. News & World Report has provided rankings for the nation’s best institutions of higher education. Spelman and Morehouse colleges have consistently ranked on the listings. For the past 10 years since the historically black colleges and universities listings have been added, the two institutions have placed in the top-spots of the listings. This year, Spelman is ranked No. 1 and Morehouse is ranked No. 4 on the HBCU list. Both schools are also ranked on the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges list – Spelman, No. 72; Morehouse, No. 159.

According to the sites ranking criteria and weights, colleges are ranked based on measures that fall into seven broad areas: undergraduate academic reputation (including peer assessment and, for the National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges categories only, high school counselors’ ratings); graduation and retention rates; faculty resources (class size, for example); student selectivity (for example, average admissions test scores of incoming students); financial resources; alumni giving; and graduation rate performance.

See the complete listings for best Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges.

‘START SOMETHING’ EXHIBIT BRIDGES HISTORIC YOUTH-LED PROTESTS AND TODAY’S SOCIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT

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AUC Woodruff Library extends exhibit through May 22, 2017

ATLANTA (Aug. 8, 2016) – Using archival photographs and documents along with compelling narratives, “Start Something: Activism and the Atlanta Student Movement” provides an in-depth look into student activism within the Atlanta University Center and across the city of Atlanta. In response to continued public interest, the AUC Woodruff Library has extended the exhibit through May 22, 2017.

“Start Something” documents the history and legacy of the Atlanta Student Movement of the 1960s. During the movement, students from Atlanta University, Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University), the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College and Spelman College organized protests to end legalized segregation practices in Atlanta. The students penned and published the manifesto, “An Appeal for Human Rights,” and organized nonviolent marches, sit-ins, picket lines, and boycotts that forced Atlanta merchants and government officials to desegregate stores and public facilities. The contributions the Atlanta Student Movement made to the civil rights movement helped change not only the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia, but also the nation. The exhibit also ties the student-led, civil rights protests of the 1960s with today’s youth-led protests, such as #AUCShutItDown, #ItsBiggerThanYou and the Black Lives Matter movement.

“The ‘Start Something’ exhibit is an ideal tool to connect Atlanta University Center history with the issues that our students are delving into today in the classroom and in their personal lives,” said Loretta Parham, CEO and director of the AUC Woodruff Library. “We have extended the exhibit to allow more students and the broader Metro Atlanta community the opportunity to discover the important but often overlooked role of Atlanta University Center student activists in the pivotal events of the American Civil Rights Movement.”

In support of the exhibit, a variety of special programs will be presented throughout the academic year. Each program is free and open to the public. Upcoming offerings include:

The Politics of the U.S. Presidential Electoral College – September 15, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.: Panelists will discuss the history of the Electoral College, how it works, why it continues, who benefits, and why your vote counts. Participants include panelists Dr. Marilyn Davis (Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Spelman College) and Mr. Noel Whelchel (Doctoral Student, Department of Political Science, Clark Atlanta University) and moderator Dr. William Boone (Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Clark Atlanta University).

Lecture and Book Signing by Dr. Carol Anderson, author of “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide” – Oct. 18, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.: In her book, Dr. Anderson, a professor of African American Studies at Emory University, pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, and protection against fraud; rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, “White Rage” adds an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.

“These ongoing programs are designed to further connect the exhibit with current events and today’s social issues. Because they are free and open to the general public, they create a forum for dialogue among diverse audiences across our community,” added Parham. 

Events will take place in the Library’s Exhibition Hall. For more information about the events, call 404.978.2003. Visit http://research.auctr.edu/AtlantaStudentMovement for details about the exhibit, which is also free and open to the public. 

About the AUC Woodruff Library

The Atlanta University Center (AUC) Woodruff Library is a member of one of the nation’s oldest and largest consortiums of historically black colleges and universities, which includes Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College and Spelman College. As the intellectual center of this prestigious, academic community, we strive to accomplish our mission of providing the highest level of information resources and services in support of student and faculty success and the cultural preservation of the AUC. In addition to the aesthetic benefits of this state-of-the-art facility, the Library has evolved into a model repository of information resources and a front runner in the innovative delivery of those resources. The AUC Woodruff Library is the winner of the 2016 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award in the university category from the Association of Collegiate and Research Libraries. Learn more at http://www.auctr.edu.

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Jennifer M. Spann

Communications Manager

Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

111 James P. Brawley Drive SW

Atlanta, GA 30314

404.978.2114 – office

404.577.5158 – fax

AUC Fulbright Students Become Global Citizens

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They have celebrated the turning of the tassel, moving from undergraduate to graduate and ready to begin the next phase of life. For five Atlanta University Center graduates that means beginning their global Fulbright fellowships.

For high-achieving Rami Blair, Tyra Beaman, Sarah Brokenborough, Lindsey Burgess, Jumaanah Harris, and Willie Thompson international awareness and cross-cultural exposure are next-level passages to becoming tomorrow’s future leaders. All will spend their after-graduation year in another part of the world teaching and researching for life and work in a global community.

Blair

Blair, Morehouse’s 2016 salutatorian majored in French and will be in Trinidad and Tobago at the University of the West Indies researching representations of manhood in Caribbean literature. Upon completing his Fulbright opportunity, he will attend Northwestern University.

“Fulbright is an excellent opportunity for students like me who are interested in pursuing research that will feed into doctoral programs and post-graduate studies,” said Blair in a Morehouse news story by Add Seymour. “I’m excited about the opportunity.”

Beaman (right)

Beaman, a Spelman international studies graduate, is also a Charles B. Rangel International Affairs fellow. She will travel to the Dominican Republic in the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program to supplement local English language instruction. After her Fulbright assignment, Beaman will begin her Rangel fellowship at a U.S. Embassy.

Upon completion of her international fellowships, she will work on a master’s degree at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown. Beaman plans on becoming a U.S. diplomat.

Brokenborough (left)

A comparative women’s studies graduate from Spelman, Brokenborough has traveled the world. She has traveled to Fortaleza, Brazil, Johannesburg, and Berlin between 2014 and 2015. Also a Fulbright ETA, Brokenborough will travel to Laos.

“I’m incredibly proud and honored to be one of the 12 ETAs traveling to Laos, and for me the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship is further support and encouragement for me to continue my plans of being an educator,” said Brokenbrough who plans on teaching English with the Peace Corps after the Fulbright, followed by entering a doctorate program for cultural anthropology.

Burgess on BET.com

Burgess, a history graduate from Spelman, is traveling to Morocco for her Fulbright ETA. Interested in 20th-century Black transnationalism, African decolonization, globalization and foreign policy, the wordsmith who writes her own blog, Noire Cosmopolite, has been featured in the Washington Post, Fusion.com and BET.com discussing her presidential campaign work and voter apathy with Black millennials.

Burgess is deferring attending Columbia Journalism School for her Fulbright assignment. Her long-term goals are to complete a doctorate in African history and become a historical author.

Harris

“Receiving the Fulbright award for an ETA in Malaysia means I have earned the opportunity to continue a legacy of fulfilling appreciating life’s possibilities by sharing in the experiences of others around the world,” said Spelman English graduate Jumaanah Harris, who grew up admiring a father who traveled the world for philanthropic work and a grandmother who owned a school in the Bronx, New York, and traveled to different countries with her students.

Upon completing her Fulbright duties, she plans on attending veterinary school and becoming a veterinarian who provides care for animals around the world.

Thornton

Thompson graduated from Morehouse with a degree in economics. Making history as one of three 2016 valedictorians, he will travel to Taiwan as an ETA Fulbright. “I definitely feel blessed,” said Thompson in a Morehouse news story. “Taiwan plays an integral part in the history of China and I wanted to see and experience that.” Thompson will work for a social impact consulting group before attending Harvard Business School.

Honoring Our Best and Brightest

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Georgia Tech offered the most acceptances of third-year AUC students.

Call it an evening of stars. More than 200 students, parents, corporate sponsors, and program institutions were on hand at the 39th Annual AUC Consortium Dual Degree Engineering Program Networking Event and Awards Ceremony, Saturday, April 16, at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot. Held to recognize outstanding dual-degree engineering students from Clark Atlanta UniversityMorehouse College and Spelman College.

The awards banquet offers a great opportunity to showcase all the involved participants – students, partnering and member institutions, as well as the corporations who sponsor and hire Atlanta University Center students. AUC schools are a major feeder for minority students who enter engineering schools. AUC students have the benefit of receiving two degrees – one from the home institution and one from the engineering institution – in approximately five years.

Students received the following awards:

AUCC DDEP Alumni of the Year

Marcus-Tor Strickland

  • Marcus-Tor Strickland, Morehouse College/Missouri S&T University

As a liaison between DDEP alumni and AUCC, Strickland has taken a lead role in revamping participation between the organizations. He is a person about town with roles as director of Development at Prevention Partners Inc., troop leader with Boy Scouts – Atlanta Area Council Troop 100, B.E.S.T. Academy, and business development engineer at Murata Electronics. He has intensely pursued his passions to support healthy lifestyles, develop young African-American men, and development a financially stable community.

Asia Kindley and Natasja Baldwin

Work Study Student Recognition

  • Michala Mercer, Senior, Spelman College
  • Asia Kindley, Sophomore, Spelman College
  • Natasja Baldwin, Freshman, DDEP, Spelman College

These students assist AUCC in moving projects forward with their tireless support. Without these students, much of the work of this office could not be possible.

ExxonMobil Achievement Award Recipients

  • Perry Francois-Edwards, Third-Year, Morehouse College
  • K’yal Bannister, Third-Year, Spelman College

Dinushka Herath

ExxonMobil Most Outstanding Third-Year Chemical Engineering Student

  • Dinushka Herath, Clark Atlanta University

ExxonMobil Most Outstanding Third-Year Mechanical Engineering Student

  • Christian Griffith, Morehouse College

Most Outstanding AUCC Dual Degree Engineering Students of the Year

This highest honor goes to students who have been extraordinary examples while matriculating and remaining an active participant in the program.

  • Patrick Brobbey, Morehouse College

    Patrick Brobbey

After completing his degree in 2013 in applied physics from Morehouse, Brobbey attended Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis where he will be graduating in May with a degree in electrical engineering. While a student, he worked as a General Motors intern and IUPUI ambassador. Upon graduation, he has accepted career-position with the company.

  • Joshua Mann, Morehouse College

Graduating from the University of Michigan in May, Mann completed his degree in mathematics from Morehouse in 2015. After graduation, he will begin working on his master’s degree.

AUCC Outstanding Achievement Awards

Steven Ragland

This award is presented to students who have displayed outstanding achievement.

  • Kofi Bonner, Third Year, Morehouse College
  • Caleb Davis, Sophomore, Morehouse College
  • Darrell Fambro, Sophomore, Clark Atlanta University
  • Nia Fears, Sophomore, Clark Atlanta University
  • Malik Franklin, Third Year, Morehouse College
  • Melvin Hill, Fourth Year, Morehouse College/Auburn University
  • Ronald Hobson, Fifth Year, Morehouse College/University of Michigan
  • Ronald McCullough Jr., Third Year, Clark Atlanta University
  • Hamim Nigena, Fourth Year, Morehouse College/Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Cedric Porter, Third Year, Morehouse College
  • Joshua Pulliam, Third Year, Morehouse College
  • Steven Ragland, Third Year, Morehouse College
  • Francis Rozier, Second Year, Morehouse College
  • Amadi White, Fourth Year, Spelman College/North Carolina A&T
  • Michael Worthen, Third Year, Clark Atlanta University

Leading By Example Awards

Gabriel Anayanwu

This award is presented to students who know what it means to lead by example.

  • Gabriel Anyanwu, Third Year, Clark Atlanta University
  • K’yal Bannister, Third Year, Spelman College
  • Jeffery Butler, Freshman, Morehouse College
  • Lucius Campbell, Third Year, Clark Atlanta University
  • Travis Clark, Freshman, Clark Atlanta University
  • Zacorian Collins, Third Year, Clark Atlanta University
  • Kayla Dean, Third Year, Spelman College
  • Kamlynne Fontan, Freshman, Spelman College
  • Christian Griffith, Third Year, Morehouse College
  • Lamar Lee Jr., Third Year, Morehouse College
  • Austin Little, Third Year, Morehouse College
  • JaMon Patterson, Sophomore, Clark Atlanta University
  • Tyler White, Third Year, Clark Atlanta University

Excellence Awards

This award if for those who exemplify excellence during the academic year.

India Banks

Mykala Jones

  • Jeremy Robinson

    India Banks, Third Year, Spelman College

  • Latonya Beverly, Sophomore, Clark Atlanta University
  • Saleigh Derico, Sophomore, Spelman College
  • Perry Francois-Edwards, Third Year, Morehouse College
  • Bakari Greene, Third Year, Morehouse
  • Nathan Hines, Third Year, Morehouse College
  • Sylvester Jackson, Third Year, Morehouse College
  • Mykala Jones, Fourth Year, Clark Atlanta University
  • Allen Lee, Freshman, Clark Atlanta University
  • Alexander Meyer, Sophomore, Morehouse College
  • Nacarri Murphy, Fourth Year, Spelman College
  • Steven Ragland, Third Year, Morehouse College
  • Indigo Rockmore, Sophomore, Spelman College
  • Jeremy Robinson, Sophomore, Clark Atlanta University
  • Lelyn Scurlark, Third Year, Morehouse College
  • Umaru Waizoba, Sophomore, Morehouse College
  • Courtney Wallace, Third Year, Clark Atlanta University

Engineering Success Awards

Christopher Jackson

This award is for students who have gone above and beyond in their engineering discipline.

  • Christopher Jackson, Sophomore, Clark Atlanta University
  • Nia Jones, Sophomore, Clark Atlanta University
  • Tori Orr, Fourth Year, Spelman College
  • Wayne Stevens, Third Year, Morehouse College

Shining Star Awards

Frank Adams

Ogechi Irondi

Kayla Newsome

 

  1. Frank Adams, Third Year, Clark Atlanta University
  2. Natasja Baldwin, Freshman, Spelman College
  3. Latonya Beverly, Sophomore, Clark Atlanta University
  4. Jonah Bishop, Fourth Year, Morehouse College/University of Michigan
  5. Deandre Borders, Freshman, Clark Atlanta University
  6. Vincent Chester, Third Year, Morehouse College
  7. Obey-Justice Chiquta, Sophomore, Morehouse College
  8. Malik Farmer, Freshman, Morehouse College
  9. Nyles Fleming, Freshman, Morehouse College
  10. Precious Gibson, Fourth Year, Spelman College
  11. Trent Gilliam, Freshman, Morehouse College
  12. Keyoncé Glenn, Third Year, Clark Atlanta University
  13. Ashlee Gordon, Sophomore, Spelman College
  14. Kanis Grady, Freshman, Clark Atlanta University
  15. Dinushka Herath, Sophomore, Clark Atlanta University
  16. David Holden, Freshman, Morehouse College
  17. Jordan Howie, Third Year, Morehouse College
  18. Ogechi Irondi, Third Year, Clark Atlanta University
  19. Aisha Jackson, Fourth Year, Spelman College/Georgia Institute of Technology
  20. Jefty Jerome, Sophomore, Clark Atlanta University
  21. Mykala Jones, Fourth Year, Clark Atlanta University
  22. Enlylh King, Freshman, Spelman College
  23. Kennedy Kishumbu, Freshman, Morehouse College
  24. Ashley Lofton, Third Year, Spelman College
  25. Khensu-Ra Love El, Sophomore, Morehouse College
  26. Antonio Mallard, Sophomore, Clark Atlanta University
  27. Josuel Musambaghani, Sophomore, Morehouse College
  28. Kayla Newsome, Freshman, Clark Atlanta University
  29. Sarai Neloms, Third Year, Spelman College
  30. Nicholas Porter, Freshman, Morehouse College
  31. Damon-Elliott Redding, Freshman, Morehouse College
  32. Rashaad Robinson, Third Year, Clark Atlanta University
  33. Malik Schkoor, Freshman, Morehouse College
  34. Bob Turay, Fourth Year, Morehouse College
  35. Donovan White, Freshman, Morehouse College
  36. Maxwell Williams, Freshman, Clark Atlanta University
  37. Lauren Winston, Sophomore, Spelman College
  38. Rakiya Winton, Third Year, Clark Atlanta University

Christian Griffith Finesses Academics and Athletics

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This family photo includes Christian’s father Dr. M. Christopher Griffith, Christian, mother Jeana Griffith and sister Jewelian Griffith.

Jeana Griffith went to the stage eight times to stand in for her son Christian. A third-year student at Morehouse, Christian was playing in a SIAC baseball game against Paine College. At the 39th Annual AUC Consortium Dual Degree Engineering Program Networking Event & Awards Ceremony, where there were more than 200 students, family, friends and corporate guests, Mrs. Griffith represented one of the afternoon’s most outstanding students.

“I felt very proud and blessed to receive the awards for my son, [and] it highlighted for me all of the hard work he has done,” said Mrs. Griffith, who wished Christian could have been there to receive the awards himself.  “I also admired his commitment to his team. He sacrificed receiving praise and awards to support his team.  His decision to support his team over individual accolades makes me even more proud of my son and the man that he has become.”

More than 88 awards were presented in seven categories. Held to recognize outstanding dual-degree engineering students from Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College, more than $200,000 were awarded to the 225 students enrolled in DDEP from the three institutions.

Not only did the 3.95 GPA mechanical engineering major receive academic awards through DDEP, he also received the James E. Haines Sr. Most Scholarly Athlete Award at the Morehouse athletics banquet for having the highest GPA of all the athletics at Morehouse.

Pictured with head baseball coach Robert Mitchell, Christian received the James E. Haines Sr. Most Scholarly Athlete Award at Morehouse.

“Working to be at my best both academically and physically has become a way of life for me. My parents have taught me to never give up and be humble, and that with hard work anything can be achieved,” said Christian, who received both an academic and baseball scholarship to attend Morehouse. “Playing sports has helped teach me time management. I love to win and getting A’s is winning.”

Through AUCC DDEP, member institutions and the engineering institutional partners afford students the benefit of receiving two degrees in approximately five years. Students at the member institutions will attend their institutions for three years. Upon completing the three years, the student will graduate and move on to an engineering institution for an additional two years. After the five-year program, the student graduates holding a Bachelor of Science degree awarded by an AUC Consortium institution, and a Bachelor of Science degree in a specific engineering discipline from the affiliated engineering institution.

Partnering engineering institutions include Auburn University, Clarkson University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Missouri University of Science & Technology, North Carolina A&T State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Alabama in Huntsville, University of Michigan, and University of Notre Dame. Of the 11 schools, Christian applied to six – Michigan, Georgia Tech, Rochester, Rensselaer, N.C. A&T and Clarkston.

“I applied to six schools and was accepted to all of them receiving scholarships,” said Christian, who attended Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School where he played baseball. “I chose Rochester because the engineering school is in the top 100, and I feel I won’t be treated like a number and that I will get to know my teachers and get help from them.”

Located nearly 1,000 miles away from Morehouse, Christian is excited about more than just Rochester being one of the best engineering schools in the country.

“They have an excellent Formula 1 race team. I also am able to play my last year of college baseball there,” he said “and I have a great chance of starting.”

After Rochester, Christian plans on designing sports cars, ultimately becoming the head engineer for a race team.

See all the 39th Annual AUCC DDEP Networking Event & Awards Ceremony recipients.

Commencement – A Time to Walk the Walk and Hear the Talk

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From the nation’s top law enforcement officer to the world’s first black female astronaut to Zimbabwe’s first billionaire, May marks the time when heavy hitters make their way to the Atlanta University Center. It is the time when administrators, families and friends all come together for the big weekends of caps, gowns and tassels. It is the time to pray, celebrate honorary degree recipients, commencement speakers, and the oh so important graduate.

Jonathan L. Walton, Ph.D

Beginning Saturday, May 14, 2016, at 9 a.m., Spelman College will host Jonathan L. Walton, Ph.D., Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard Divinity School, as its baccalaureate speaker; Morehouse College will host the Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, pastor of Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, on the same day at 3 p.m. Clark Atlanta University will hold its baccalaureate services Sunday, May 15, at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Yvette D. Massey, senior pastor of Central United Methodist Church will address the students.

Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa, one of Africa’s most influential businessmen and Zimbabwe’s first billionaire, is Morehouse’s commencement speaker Sunday, May 15, at 8 a.m. Loretta E. Lynch, America’s top law enforcement officer and the nation’s first African-American female to hold the post of U.S. attorney general, is Spelman’s 3 p.m. commencement speaker on the same day. CAU’s commencement address is Monday, May 16, at 8 a.m., with Dr. Mae Jemison, physician, engineer, and the first African-American woman astronaut. Stephen J. Hemsley, CEO of UnitedHealth Group, will serve as the Saturday, May 21, commencement speaker for the Morehouse School of Medicine graduating class.

Mae Jemison

For more information on AUC baccalaureate and commencement speakers in the AUC, see CAU, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine and Spelman College.

AUC Graduates Launch Education Incubator

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Spelman College alumnae Karina Liles and Gayla Robbins and Morehouse alumnus Emmanuel Deas have co-founded Acceler8K12, an educational incubator for entrepreneurs who want to transform K-12 education. On May 9, 2016, the three will host the Atlanta Innovation Inaugural Meetup at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

“Our mission is to empower a community of problem solvers who are passionate about innovating K-12 education,” said Liles, a 2007 Spelman graduate in computer science, who is pursuing a doctorate in computer science and engineering, and has received a master’s both in educational technology and computer science and engineering from the University of South Carolina. “Our educational incubator will build a community of education professionals, entrepreneurs, and innovators to develop products and solutions for education.”

Liles, Robbins and Deas came up with Acceler8K12 after years of wishing for an organization that could help cultivate more education entrepreneurs in the K-12 markets, particularly in Atlanta. According to Liles, they would regularly speak to others who wanted the same opportunity. Finally, they adopted the Nike principle and just did it.

“It’s important to have an ecosystem of education entrepreneurs dedicated to transforming Atlanta’s K-12 schools,”said Robbins, who graduated from Spelman in 2007 with a degree in chemistry and later received a master’s degree in organizational and school leadership from Columbia University. “Having such a community allows for the leveraging of resources, insights, and inspirations that will ultimately increase academic performance and 21st century skills of Atlanta’s K-12 students.”

The Atlanta University Center graduates believe in the power of education, and standby the core values that an education is a pipeline to success. The trio hopes to bridge the entrepreneurial, technological and educational gap by bringing together like minds in meetup sessions.

“The three of us share the vision of an empowered community of problem solvers dedicated to innovate Atlanta’s K-12 schools,” said Deas, who graduated from Morehouse in 2001 with a degree in business management. “All of us have always had a passion for educating and delivering quality education to teach, and through our new venture we will help generations of learners.”

The Atlanta Education Innovation Inaugural Meetup is Monday, May 9, 2016, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. The price to attend is $10 if purchased by May 6 and $15 thereafter. Food and drinks are provided. To reserve your ticket, visit www.the liveconnect.com/Acceler8K12.

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