Atlanta University Center Consortium

AUC’s Phenomenal Women Presidents

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Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell

A leader in education, the arts, and the public sector for nearly 40 years, Dr. Campbell became Spelman College’s 10th president Aug. 1, 2015. Since then, she has captured the hearts of students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as the Atlanta community.

She was recently named to the High Museum of Art’s 77-member board of directors. A leading museum in the southeastern United States, the High holds more than 15,000 works of art in its permanent collection and hosts an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African-American art; and collections of modern and contemporary art, photography, folk art and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists.

Read more about Dr. Campbell being named to the High Museum’s board of directors.

Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice

As the sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine and the first woman to lead the free-standing medical institution, Dr. Montgomery Rice serves as both the president and dean.  She is a renowned infertility specialist and researcher.

Dr. Montgomery Rice has received numerous accolades; however, her most recent accolade is of significant note. Dr. Montgomery Rice was recently named to receive the 2017 Horatio Alger Award, an award that symbolizes the organizations’ values, including personal initiative and perseverance, leadership and commitment to excellence, belief in the free-enterprise system, and the importance of higher education, community service, and the vision and determination to achieve a better future.

Read more about Dr. Montgomery Rice being a Horatio Alger Award recipient.

 

AUC Schools Offer a Near-Century Holiday Tradition

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For nearly 100 years, Morehouse and Spelman colleges have wowed audiences with the annual Christmas carol concert. Always held the first weekend in December, this year being Dec. 2-4, Morehouse-Spelman Christmas carol concert features traditional, spiritual, pop and original Christmas favorites.

According to Spelman College archives, it was a chilly December night when the first Spelman-Morehouse Christmas carol concert was held at Spelman in Sisters Chapel; however, former Spelman president Florence Read writes in her book, “The Story of Spelman College”: “The first Spelman-Morehouse Christmas Carol Concert was sung in 1928, in holly-bedecked Sisters Chapel….”

From that first one-night event to today’s three-night launch into “the most wonderful time of the year,” the annual free-to-all-who-will-come event is an enduring Southern tradition.

Don’t miss the 90th Annual Morehouse-Spelman Christmas Carol Concert

Kickoff Performance
Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel
Morehouse College Campus

Second Performance
Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
Sisters Chapel
Spelman College Campus
A complimentary ticket is required for this performance only.

Final Performance
Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, 6 p.m.
Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel
Morehouse College Campus

 

 

Building Wealth in the Black Community

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From credit cards to student loans, learn how to master your debt at the four-day Clark Atlanta University and Atlanta University Center Consortium Financial Literacy Initiative, Friday, Nov. 4, through Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Highlights of the event include a special performance by New Orleans rapper Dee-1, who has rapped about paying off his student loans; a viewing of “The Film Black Friday,” a documentary that examines the spending habits of African-Americans, chronicles the bad financial moves we as a people make, and offers solutions on how to manage our $1.2 trillion buying power; and a “Talk Back” discussion with celebrity panelists from the documentary.

Panelists include: Spelman alumna and financial coach Gianna Brown, life coach Ona Brown, Grammy Award-winning music producer and empire-builder David Banner, entrepreneur and radio veteran David Anderson, media mogul and Morehouse man Munson Steed, natural hair proponent and empowerment guru Mushiya, and image and community rebuilder Freeway Rick Ross, and visual storyteller and director Ric Mathis.

All events held at Clark Atlanta University Student Center. RSVP at TheFilmBlackFriday.com.

See the schedule of events.

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.

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.

AUCC MEMBER INSTITUTIONS RECEIVE A CAMPUS-WIDE ASSESSMENT GRANT TO REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT

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Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta award will help AUC improve its bottom line and adopt more eco-friendly practices.

ATLANTA (Sept. 12, 2016) – The Atlanta University Center Consortium received a Grants to Green Assessment Award from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to help its member institutions and the Robert W. Woodruff Library identify opportunities to reduce a collective $11.7 million in utility expenses.

Founded in 2008 by the Community Foundation in partnership with energy-efficiency expert Southface, and funding provided by The Kendeda Fund, Grants to Green gives nonprofits the opportunity to renovate or build healthier work places that are environmentally efficient, and provides environmentally focused knowledge and funding that strengthens nonprofits in the Atlanta region. Upon completion of campus assessments and recommendations for how to improve efficiency, AUCC institutions may apply up-to $500,000 matching implementation funding to execute the recommendations.

“This initiative is in line with the Atlanta University Center’s spirit of service – this time to our environment, as well as to our institutions,” said Morehouse College President John Silvanus Wilson Jr., board chair of the Atlanta University Center Consortium.  “The dual opportunity to further our sustainability efforts and to positively affect our bottom-line is a win-win for the entire Consortium.”

Collaborative efforts by AUCC member institutions and the Woodruff Library include the installation of 35 security cameras and five license plate readers around the campus community; insurance pooling, Woodruff Library; central plant; AUCC Career Fairs and Dual Degree Engineering Program; joint radiation safety program; joint laboratory animal facilities; joint safety programs along with Atlanta Housing Authority and Atlanta Police Department; and EverFi Alcohol, Sexual Assault and Financial Literacy Modules.

Over the next year, Southface will extensively assess AUCC’s campus facilities to identify ways to improve energy and water efficiency. The assessment will also include organizational operations, such as waste reduction efforts and procurement, exterior site analysis including landscaping, waste reduction efforts, affirmative procurement, integrated pest management and green cleaning policies.

In 2008, Spelman College, along with Agnes Scott College, was one of the early institutions to receive the Grants to Green grant. The $50,000 grant, combined with an $80,000 matching grant from Home Depot enabled the College to reduce its annual utility cost by $90,000.

“We have seen remarkable results from our Grants to Green recipients,” said Alicia Philipp, president, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. “The whole process is data driven, enabling grant recipients to track data before, during and after assessment and implementation, which includes tracking energy and cost savings that can be significant over time. Having Green Champions engaged in the process helps to teach and inspire others to implement their own green practices both on campus and in their lives outside the University,” she added.

Tyronda Minter, director, Community Foundation added, “I’m thrilled to see how Art Frazier, as Spelman’s Green Champion, helped to leverage the Grants to Green resource as an opportunity for the partnership effort between the many universities in the Atlanta University System. That’s a sign of true Green Champion.”

For more information about the green efforts implemented at the AUCC institutions, please contact one of our Green Champions: Bonita Dukes at Clark Atlanta University; André E. Bertrand at Morehouse; Lawrence Jones at Morehouse School of Medicine; Kenneth Smith at Woodruff Library; and Don Blackston and Art Frazier at Spelman. In addition to working directly with the assessment team from Southface, the Green Champions will receive training and network with other Green Champions.

To know more about the Grants to Green Initiative, visit www.cfgreateratlanta.org or email GrantstoGreen@cfgreateratlanta.org.

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About the Atlanta University Center Consortium Inc.

Founded in 1929, the Atlanta University Center Consortium is the world’s oldest association of historically Black colleges and universities. Comprised of four member institutions – Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College – the Consortium is a vibrant intellectual community with a long tradition of scholarship, service and community engagement. AUC Consortium Inc. is a nonprofit organization that operates on behalf of its members to advance each institution’s mission and strategic goals by fostering collaboration, managing centerwide initiatives, offering services that benefit our students and community, and leveraging our shared resources. Visit us at http://aucenter.edu/, or on Facebook or Twitter.

About the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Since 1951, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has been connecting the passions of philanthropists with the purposes of nonprofits doing that work. With 65 years serving the 23-county Atlanta region and a robust team of experts, the Community Foundation manages the behind-the-scenes details, empowering our donors to focus on the joy of giving. The Community Foundation is a top-20 community foundation nationally with $920 million in current assets and is Georgia’s second largest foundation. Through its quality services and innovative leadership on community issues, the Foundation received more than $113 million from donors in 2015 (unaudited) and distributed more than $139 million that same year to support nonprofits throughout the region and beyond. In 2016 Charity Navigator named the Community Foundation a four-star rated nonprofit, its top distinction. For more information, visit: cfgreateratlanta.org or connect with the Foundation via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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.

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