NASHVILLE, TN.—Tuesday, April 1, 2014: Nashville-based HBCUstory Inc. announces a brand new strategic partnership with the Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU) to host its second annual HBCUstory SYMPOSIUM, Oct. 24-25. Amidst the backdrop of historic Washington D.C. at APLU headquarters, the two-day research and cultural symposium will convene more than 100 historically black college and university (HBCU) presidents, researchers, administrators, faculty members, students and alumni from across the nation.
Themed, “Where Do HBCUs Go From Here? Strategic Partnerships + Sustainable Futures,” this year’s symposium will highlight the importance of the nation’s 105 HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions to develop non-traditional, strategic partnerships and adopt community-serving sustainability programs that assert their role as social change agents and providers of invaluably rich service to young professionals, seasoned alumni and other important stakeholders.
“With these types of partnerships, we are changing what it means to be a part of the HBCU community,” said John Michael Lee Jr., APLU’s vice president for its Office for Access and Success and a Florida A&M University alumnus. “Sharing our successes through innovation and research is essential for thriving in a competitive marketplace.”
Crystal A. deGregory, convenor and executive editor of HBCUstory Inc., agreed, saying, “HBCUstory is excited to forge this partnership with the APLU in our nation’s capital. (The partnership) represents the type of dynamic collaboration necessary to leverage unique platforms to share the good news of America’s HBCUs. Our theme honors the importance of strategic partnerships, as well as reinforces the importance of HBCU cultural traditions and the advancement of HBCU operations.”
Offering open-access to academicians and practitioners, the symposium is the first of its kind for the nation’s 105 HBCUs. The symposium’s collection of scholarly research and case studies outline the historic and contemporary value of HBCUs, and convenes expert voices in areas of history; information science; STEM; fundraising and development; partnerships and mergers, student persistence and retention; diversity and inclusion (LBGTQ, women studies); as well as athletics and wellness.
The symposium will also feature the Storyteller of the Year Legend and Legacy awards which recognize preservationists of the HBCU experience. This year’s posthumous award recipients will include: Spelman College alumna, archivist and historian Taronda Spencer; West Virginia State University President Emeritus Dr. Hazo W. Carter Jr.; North Carolina State A&T University Band Director Dr. Johnny B. Hodge, Jr.; Dillard University alumnus and Fisk University Professor Emeritus Dr. L.M. Collins, and Tennessee State University alumna and staffer Mary Yancey Love.
HBCUstory Inc., founded in 2012, is an advocacy initiative to preserve, present and promote inspiring stories of Historically Black College and University (HBCU) communities, past and present, for our future. As proponents of the collective mission and vision of HBCUs, HBCUstory and its platforms HBCUstory.com and The Journal for HBCU Research+Culture, seek to leverage our HBCU stories as more than mere memories. Our memories must serve as compelling evidence for the future of these educational, cultural and social treasures.
The inaugural HBCUSTORY SYMPOSIUM played host to more than 500 presenters and guests from HBCU communities nationwide who gathered in Nashville or watched the live streaming broadcast. The event’s keynote speaker, Paul Quinn College President Michael J. Sorrell Esq., was the recipient of the Storyteller of the Year Legend Award. A fourth generation Fiskite and legendary Fisk University Special Collections librarian, the late Beth Madison Howse was posthumously awarded the Storyteller of the Year Legacy Award.