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.

 

Atlanta Area High School Students Surprised With Nearly $200k in Clark Atlanta University Scholarships

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Admissions Officers Hand-Delivered Acceptance Letters to 15 Local Students

ATLANTA (Dec. 15, 2016) 15 Atlanta-area high school students got a huge surprise Dec. 14, when admission officers from Clark Atlanta University hand- delivered to them acceptance letters to join the CAU Class of 2021. Nine of the students were offered academic scholarships to CAU for 2017-2018 totaling approximately $180,000.

The exciting news was given to three students at KIPP Academy, two at Washington High and 10 at Westlake High. They all were part of CAU’s early action plan, which guaranteed a response from Admissions before January to high school students who applied to CAU by Nov. 1. At each school the announcement was met with a thunderous applause by classmates, teachers, counselors and administrators.

“At the end of the day, our mission is to transform students’ lives one student at a time,” said Dr. Michael Marshall, associate vice president of Enrollment Services at CAU. “By extending acceptance offers to these young scholars, we are setting them on a transformative path to success,” Marshall finished.

The Office of Student Recruitment and Admissions, led by Lorri Saddler Rice, plans to expand in January 2017 this new tradition of surprising local high school students with a hand-delivered CAU acceptance letter. “It was an absolutely amazing day,” Rice said. “It underscores why we do what we do,” she continued.

In the fall semester of 2016, CAU enrolled its largest freshman class since 2007. We hope to continue this trajectory of smart growth by enrolling more students like the 15 who were surprised with acceptance letters and scholarships.

For more information on applying to CAU contact Student Recruitment and Admissions at 404-880-6605 or email admissions@cau.edu.

— By Mario Boone, CAU media relations manager.

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CAU Alumnus Directs ‘Hairspray Live!’

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Kenny Leon is a theatrical wunderkind. The Clark Atlanta University graduate is the recipient of the 2016-2017 “Mr Abbott Award.” Named in honor of director George Abbott, the award is presented to a director or choreographer in recognition of lifetime achievement.  A Tony Award-winning Broadway and film director, Leon has worked with Hollywood and Broadway’s most luminous talent, including Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Samuel Jackson and Angela Bassett.

Dec. 7, 2016, marked his second “live-theater-on-TV” presentation — the first being “The Wiz” — with “Hairspray Live” on NBC.

For more on CAU alum, Kenny Leon, visit kennyleon.com.

 

Bridel F. Jackson III: An Honest, Ethical and Smart Engineer

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Birdel Jackson III pictured with Melvin Hill, the 2016 DDEP recipient of the Jackson-Davis Foundation award.

Birdel F. Jackson III’s lifelong commitment has been to make the engineering profession more diverse and inclusive. A crusader for helping minority students become civil engineers, Jackson, a civil engineer himself, passed away Oct. 20, 2016.

Since he established the Jackson-Davis Foundation in 2002 to award scholarships in honor of his grandparents Gladys Davis and Birdel F. Jackson who attended Spelman, Rust and Knoxville Colleges, 37 AUC Dual Degree Engineering program students have received $50,000 from his foundation. Awarded to civil engineering students interested in pursuing careers in consulting engineering, obtaining their professional engineering license, or becoming a leader in the field, Jackson’s philanthropic spirit has greatly benefitted DDEP.

Jackson began his professional career in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with the American Bridge Division of U.S. Steel. His next job took him to Washington D.C. and the Bridge Division of the District of Columbia Highway Department. He moved to Atlanta where he was employed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. After which he served as General Electric Project Engineer responsible for construction of a Caustic Soda Plant in Indiana and miscellaneous manufacturing facility construction. He later returned to Atlanta where he served as a regional manager, division director and vice president for a national black owned consulting engineering firm and later a major black-owned architecture and engineering firm. In 1988, he purchased the Atlanta office of the architecture firm and began his entrepreneurial effort, B&E Jackson Engineers, and the firm’s staff grew from three to 47 professionals.

“Birdel and I both worked and marketed projects together. Birdel is an ‘old-time engineer’ in the best sense of the phrase – honest, ethical and smart,” wrote Robert Bielek, district engineer at Texas Department of Transportation, on Jackson’s LinkedIn page. “ You can’t go wrong with Birdel on your team.”

He was a registered professional engineer in Georgia and 13 other states; a member of the Society of American Military Engineers, Consulting Engineers Council of Georgia – named 1997 Engineer of the Year, American Society of Civil Engineers, National Organization of Minority Architects, National Technical Association and National Society of Black Engineers. Birdel’s professional experience included Engineering Design and Surveying for several municipal governments, design and construction of highways, bridges, wastewater facilities, military buildings and housing projects. He has supervised and scheduled more than $1 billion in projects.

Initiated into the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in November 1964, at the Xi Tau Chapter at Toledo University, he has remained an active and ardent Life Member and participated in the establishment of Delta Kappa Chapter at Georgia Tech; reactivating Tau Chapter at Atlanta University; charter member of Beta Xi in Evansville, Indiana and Chi Gamma Gamma in Marietta. His community service work involves mentoring programs with CHI GAMMA GAMMA Chapter of Omega Psi Phi; 100 Black Men of Atlanta; Aviation Career Enrichment (a program to encourage black youths in Aviation) and Engineering Rap Session Counselor at Douglass High School. He was selected as the 1997 Engineer of the Year and awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies and Georgia Society of Professional Engineers. Mr. Jackson was selected by the University of Toledo, College of Engineering as the 2001 Civil Engineer of the year. He was elected to the Academy of Distinguished Engineering Graduates at Georgia Tech in 2002. Mr. Jackson was chosen as a 2004 Diversity Champion for the American Society of Civil Engineers in recognition of voluntary services to make the profession more inclusive. 

He was a civil engineering graduate of the University of Toledo with a master’s degree in civil engineering from Georgia Tech. Jackson served on the Industrial Advisory Board of the University of Toledo’s College of Engineering, and the Civil Engineering Advisory Board. He served as national alumni president of the University of Toledo Alumni Association and is an emeritus member of Georgia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s external advisory board.

Jackson was a registered professional engineer in 14 states; a Fellow of the Society of American Military Engineers; member of the Consulting Engineers Council of Georgia, American Society of Civil Engineers, National Organization of Minority Architects, National Technical Association and National Society of Black Engineers.

The Atlanta University Center Consortium is forever grateful and honored for the path Mr. Jackson has paved in the engineering profession.

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.

Financial Empowerment Series

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Good credit is the gatekeeper to every thing from homeownership to securing cable. In two upcoming CommUniversity workshops, Common Cents: Financial Empowerment Series and Homebuyer Workshop, get free admission, free lunch, prizes and tips on how to increase credit score and make ends meet. From baby boomer to millennial, financial literacy will lead to better life choices.

Don’t miss the Financial Empowerment series workshop Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016; register at Common Cents. Get free admission, prizes, lunch, and down payment assistance; register now for the Homebuyer Workshop.

Small Business ARC Program

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Assessment, Resources and Consultation to expand your business possibilities!

ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING:

  • Has your business growth and expansion stalled?

  • Can you boost your marketing without a business assessment?

  • How can you get expert assistance and access to capital?

  • Can you get to the next level in managing your business?

The AUCC and UCDC Small Business ARC is a project of Atlanta University Center’s CommUniversity Program designed to assist local, small, emerging, and start-up business owners with the tools to expand their business possibilities. The tools include Assessment, Resources, and Consultation to help small business owners continuously progress from a “surviving” to a “thriving” mode of business development. The Small Business ARC project is seeking seven small business owners who recognize the need for technical assistance, and are willing to commit to three months of premium business service collaboration this year. 

                          Information Packages Now Available

Small Business ARC information package.

Small Business ARC application.

For more information, call 404-523-5148.

Community Leadership Development Certificate Program

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Are you interested in serving your community, enhancing your personal growth and fulfillment, or improving your leadership skills? Apply to become part of the AUC Consortium’s Community Leadership Development Program. Our certificate program is designed to prepare residents for leadership roles in their communities and organizations.

Participants will:

  • Identify and sharpen personal strengths
  • Discover your greatest talents
  • Explore different models of leadership through conversations with exemplary leaders
  • Learn to build effective teams and coalitions
  • Learn strategies for managing conflict

For more information, call 404-523-5148 for class schedule;
Email: Anthony Otey or Angela Yarbrough

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