From the Desk of the President




March, 2019

Presidential Search Committee

February 1 and 2, 2019, the Presidential Search Committee (PSC) conducted off-campus interviews with the four presidential finalists to select two final candidates.

 February 11 and 12, 2019, the two finalists had on-campus interviews with the various constituency (administration, alumni, faculty, staff and the community) groups. An on-line survey prepared by the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) was made available to provide comments on the four candidates.

On February 15, 2019, the Board of Trustees met to discuss the candidates for President of Tougaloo College. An official announcement will be made by Dr. Wesley Prater, chair of the Board of Trustees and Mr. Edmond Hughes, chair of the Presidential Search Committee.

Tougaloo College Days in Faith

Trustee Alvin Jackson and Provost Bianca Garner conducted a conference call with the chapter presidents, Doris Bridgeman, Joyce Delk and me to announce Tougaloo College Days in Faith for January and February 2019. Students, families, trustees, alumni and friends of the college were invited to join in the worship service and reception afterwards with recruiters, administrators and enrollment staff present to process applications and offer preliminary acceptance to the College. Listed below are the cities where these Tougaloo College Days in Faith were held:

  • Sunday, January 13, 2019-Cade Chapel, Jackson, MS (11 received, 3 accepted)
  • Sunday, January 20, 2019-Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, Memphis, TN (15 received, 1 accepted)
  • Sunday, February 10, 2019-Park Manor Christian Church, Chicago, IL
  • Sunday, February 17, 2019-Brentwood Baptist Church, Houston, TX

Commencement Weekend

The Steering Committee is planning activities for the commencement weekend. Ms. Annie Archie is chair of the committee and can be contacted via email:

73rd UNCF National Alumni Council/61st National Pre-Alumni Council Conference

I am proud to announce that our Board Chair, Joyce Delk ’72, was selected as the recipient of the James E. Stamps Award, which is the highest award presented at the 73rd National Alumni Council Conference held on February 5-8, 2019 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The National Alumni Council (NAC) was founded in 1946 by Fisk University alumnus James E. Stamps, and its mission is to support, promote, influence and strengthen historically black colleges and universities (HBCU’s).

Other Tougalooians honored at the conference were:

Outstanding Young Alumnus – Mr. Cornell A. Lynch’08

Outstanding Alumnus/Hall of Fame – Mrs. Grace Britton Sweet’52

The National Pre-Alumni Council

Twenty students from the college’s Pre-Alumni Council (PAC) were registered for the conference, including Tougaloo College Miss UNCF, Brittnie-lee Duffus, Mr. UNCF, Zannie Montgomery, PAC President Jasmine Farmer and other PAC leaders and members.  Tougaloo’s Chaplain, Victor Tate ‘21, received the Exemplarity Leadership Award, named in honor of the late Chase LaRoy Gayden ’07 and PAC Advisor Doris Griffith Bridgeman ’69, received the NPAC Matriarch Advisor Award for providing motherly guidance to students and other advisors and for going above and beyond; serving as a true example of a great PAC advisor.

2020 Student Center and Honors Dorm

Calling All alumni!!! Please support the efforts to build a $23 million-dollar Student Center and Honors Dorm. A group of alumni led by Dr. Patricia Cole are asking all alumni to support this project by making donations. To make your donations please visit the website https/, and select 2020 Student Center to make their donations via credit card or complete the Donor Pledge Form and set up payments on a regular basis. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Patricia Cole via email at

By-Laws Committee

The By-Laws Committee is meeting by teleconference to discuss proposed amendments to be presented at the May alumni board meeting. The committee members are: Judge Shirley Byers, Attorney Tylvester Goss, Dr. James Curtis Smith and Elane Coleman.

Arizona Alumni Chapter

Ms. Doris Bridgeman announced that an alumni chapter is in the process of being established in Phoenix, Arizona.

Renovation of the Mansion

February 13, 2019, John Rosenthall, Kellie Menogam and I, along with members of the Physical Resource Committee met to discuss the next steps in the renovation of the Mansion. John Rosenthall has informed the college that the $1million dollars from the Department of Commerce has been deposited in the Tougaloo College Research Foundation account.

Alumni House Restoration Campaign

Our 2019 Commencement and Sesquicentennial exercises are quickly approaching; therefore, TCNAA is hosting an “Alumni House Restoration” fundraising campaign by requesting 200 alumni to donate $100 for renovations.

Improvements to the alumni house have not been made in several years and we are requesting alumni to become a part of the movement of making necessary repairs to “Our House”. A Blue Ribbon Committee is being composed and alumni support will be greatly appreciated. You can make your donations via TCNAA website by clicking “Shop” and choosing your donation amount or you can send a check or money order to: TCNAA, Post Office Box 288, Tougaloo, MS 39174. Please make all donations by March 15, 2019 and, they are tax deductible. Should you have any questions, please contact our administrative assistant, Brian Wesley Harrington, at or (769) 218-8815.

Tougaloo College Basketball

The Tougaloo College Bulldogs have climbed 7 spots in the latest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Coaches Top-25. The Bulldogs are now ranked No. 10 in the NAIA. The Bulldogs are under the leadership of legendary coach Thomas J. Billups, who is in his 5th season as head coach.

Tonzell Handy, the team’s captain and 2018-2019 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) Preseason

Player of the Year leads the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounding. Handy a senior from Jackson, MS is currently averaging 19.6 points per game and 12.7 rebounds per game. He is 2nd in the conference in scoring and1st in rebounding. He ranks 2nd in the NAIA Division 1 in defensive rebounds (9.3), total rebounds per game (12.7) and total rebounds (216). He also ranks 6th in offensive rebounds per game (3.4), 16th in points per game (19.6) and 17th in total scoring (333). Handy has received GCAC Player of the Week honors six times this season, including this week as the reigning GCAC Player of the Week.

Kourey Davis, the Bulldogs’ other captain follows Handy in scoring and rebounding; averaging 13.6 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game. Also receiving Player of the Week honors this week are teammate Kourey Davis and Datavian Porter.

The Tougaloo Basketball team finished the regular season with a 24-2 record after beating Rust College Monday night 107-73. Tougaloo will play next in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference tournament beginning Friday in Jacksonville, Florida.

Office of Academic Affairs

The official enrollment for the fall 2018 semester was 736, including both undergraduate and graduates’ students. At the completion of the fall semester, 709 students were listed as eligible to return: eighteen (18) students were suspended for academic reasons and nine (9) students completed their degree requirements. Currently, a total of 942 new students have completed acceptance for the fall 2019 semester. Scholarship applicants are available, and students are receiving communications reminding them of important due dates and answer enrollment questions.

All SACSCOC documents have been submitted to the On-Site Committee in preparation for the SACSCOC Reaffirmation Accreditation visit.

Department of Athletics

Under second-year coach Erika LeFlore, along with Assistant Coach Eric Pilcher, the women’s volleyball team finished the season as the GCAC Regular Season and Tournament Runners-up with a 201-15, 12-2 GCAC record, the best record in the program’s history. The team was awarded numerous awards at the conference banquet with Megan Besecker and Carolyne Edwards being named 1st team All-Conference. Obadiah Montgomery being named 2nd Team All-Conference and Alexander Jwainat All-Tournament Team and Edward Besecker were named to AVCA All-Regional Honorable Mention.

The men’s Basketball Team has gained national recognition in the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, and is currently 17-2, 6-0 GCAC; which is good for 1st place in the conference. The team claimed its first national ranking at #17 since 2016 before moving up 7 spots to #10, the highest ranking in school history. Tonzell Handy, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder is currently ranked #1 in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference in scoring (19.6 ppg) and #1 in rebounds (12.6 rpg). Handy was named Preseason Player of the Year and has earned GCAC Player of the week honors seven times this season; the most earned of any Tougaloo College student-athlete in a single season.

In October, Megan Besecker and Stanimir Zivulj were recognized by the Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities with the David M. Halbrook Certificate for Academic Achievement among athletes.

Office of Student Affairs

The Office of Student Affairs is responsible for the outside-the-classroom aspects of student life while working collaboratively with the Office of Academic Affairs to holistically prepare students for a successful matriculation.

Lunch with the Vice President is scheduled for every Wednesday this semester to dialog with the students on their issues of concerns.

A hockey table, Pac-man table game, and a refinished pool table were added to the Co-Op for students’ recreational needs

The Office of Career Pathways/Career Services is responsible for counseling students concerning the selection of career objectives, internship and employment opportunities, graduate and professional school selection, and other career-related activities.

In an effort to increase the number of opportunities for students to find employments and internships, the following activities occurred:

  • Held the Annual Career Fair on Friday, February 1, 2019
  • Assisted with the daily monitoring of Tougaloo’s Career Pathway Initiative “ConneXions,” which ConneXions is the operations technology, developed by Tougaloo College, that will improve delivery, efficiency, and effectiveness of career preparations to students, enhance their connections to career information, employers, alumni mentors, and others.
  • Advertised internship and employment opportunities
  • Sent communications to students electronically, via Career Services website and faculty distribution

Residential Life is responsible for all aspects of campus living at Tougaloo College.

There is a slight decrease in occupancy numbers in residence halls

  • AA Branch: Fall 2017 (123): Spring 2018 (115): Fall 2018 (118): Spring 2019 (103)
  • Berkshire A: Fall 2017 (65): Spring 2018 (66): Fall 2018 (67): Spring 2019 (61)
  • Berkshire B: Fall 2017 (69): Spring 2018 (64): Fall 2018 (71): Spring 2019 (69)
  • New Women: Fall 2017 (184): Spring 2018 (167): Fall 2018 (189): Fall 2019 (175)
  • Renner: Fall 2017 (138): Spring 2018 (120): Fall 2018 (112): Spring 2019 (104)
  • Totals: Fall 2017 (579): Spring 2018 (532): Fall 2018 (557): Spring 2019 (512)

Student Government Association

The mission of the entire SGA is to build a stronger relationship and communication between the students and administration, provide students with more social, intellectual and physical activities, and be the voice for the students, in order to make Tougaloo College a better place.

Spring Goals and Objectives:

  • Bridge the gap between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs
  • Promote effective communications with student body, administration, faculty and staff, including but not limited to: “in person,” “on call,” via social media, Remind App, and Tougaloo Email
  • Host Student Body Meeting and Town Hall Meetings
  • Ensure the student voice is heard
  • Works towards getting outside/patio furniture for student body, i.e., picnic tables/benches placed throughout the campus

Office of Facilities and Real Property Management

Blackmon Building: Is currently receiving an upgrade to its flooring in the first and second floor corridors and stairways of the building. The carpeting is being replaced with luxury vinyl tile which is a more durable and lower maintenance product and the stairwell will receive new non-slip stair treads. Additionally, the walls along the second-floor corridor were painted in a new color scheme and moderate exterior painting and repairs were recently completed,

A.A. Branch: Currently, 6 new shower units are being replaced in A. A. Branch Hall. These represents the first phase is a multi-phase deferred maintenance projects that will eventually upgrade all 16 shower units in the residence hall.

Restoration of the Mansion: The restoration process will get underway within a few months. The College recently received two grants for the interior restoration of the Mansion. The United States Department of Interior’s National Park Service is providing a $270,000 grant through its HBCU Grant program and the State of Mississippi is providing a $1,000,000 grant funded through the proceeds of the state’s legal settlement with BP Oil Company for the oil spill off the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Office of Facilities and Real Property Management is preparing the newspaper advertisement, soliciting architects to submit their qualifications to provide architectural services for the project. It is anticipated that the architects will be selected by Mid-March and that the successful firm will begin work in April. The actual renovation work should begin in late 2019 and with completion expected one-year later in 2020.

West County Line Road: The West County Line Road re-alignment project continues to progress well. Currently, construction crews continue to perform major site work including drainage upgrades, compacting of the railroad base and making preparations to begin the construction of the two bridges over W. County Line Road and Tougaloo Village Road.

Office of Institutional Advancement

The 2018 – 2019 fundraising goal is 5.7 million, representing a 39.02% increase over last year’ goal of 4.1 million. The 2018 – 2019 alumni goal is $1,500,000 and $405,652.46 has been raised or 26% of goal.

2018-2019 Sesquicentennial Events:

  • Tammy Boyd, Esq., Lead Author of Legislation for the National Museum of African American History and Cultural Museum, January 23, 2019
  • The 31st Annual Business Luncheon, February 22, 2019: Speaker: Mr. Michael Petters, CEO and President, Huntington Ingalls Business
  • Former Ambassador Andrew Young, April 2019
  • New York University Roundtable for Foundations Leaders, April 2019 
  • Commencement Weekend
  • Sesquicentennial Baccalaureate Services: 8:00 a.m.

Speaker: Reverend Dr. Janet Cooper Nelson

Chaplain of the University, Director of the Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life, Brown University

  • Sesquicentennial Commencement Exercises: 10:00 a.m.

Speaker: Stacey Y. Abrams, Esq.

Former Minority Leader of the Georgia House of representatives

  • Sesquicentennial Two Rivers Gala-Tougaloo Honors-May 18, 2019

Honoring the Legacies of Tougaloo College and President Beverly W. Hogan

Guided by the Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA) strategic goals and opportunities inherent in the 150th Anniversary, OIA continues to launch diverse coordinated and integrated fundraising and promotional activities. The following summary details are provided:

  • Fall Appeal: A personalized direct mail appeal was delivered to over 1,500 constituents with a return of approximately $40,000 over a three-month period. Of significance, this appeal featured young alumni who, through their professional positions, impressively represented the college’s global impact.
  • Comprehensive End-of-Year Fundraising Push: Throughout the month of December several integrated and highly engaging initiatives were implemented. They were designed to draw attention to the sesquicentennial options for giving and end-of-year charitable giving. These included a holiday greeting card that featured the Mansion; Twelve Days of Giving, targeting alumni; President’s holiday video message; social media messages, etc. Gift donations received December 1st through 31st netted approximately $500,864.
  • Foundations and Corporations Proposal Submissions and Visits: A number of meetings and visits were held with Foundation program officers and/or CEOs to discuss funding opportunities. These visits included: Phil Hardin, Kellogg, Sam E. & Burnice, C. Wittel and Sloan Foundations. The list below indicates those visits/meetings that have resulted in the following proposal submissions:

Foundation                                       Request                        Purpose

Charles Frueauff                                  $150,000                      Scholarships

Chisolm                                               $10,000                       Scholarships

Coca-Cola                                            $150,000                     Scholarships

IMLS                                                   $50,000                       Collections Preservation

Kellogg                                                $2 million                     Increasing the pipeline of teachers

Lettie Pate                                           $188,000                      Scholarships (Funded)

Levi Strauss                                         $10,000                        Scholarships

Nissan                                                 $100,000                      Community Conversations

Phil Hardin                                           $124,000                      Literacy Laboratory (Funded)

Robert M. Hearin                                  $200,000                      Teacher Education

Sam E. & Bunnie C. Wittel                     $15,000                       Scholarship (Funded)

Sherman Fairchild                                $450,000                     Scientific Lab Equipment

Walker                                                 $25,000                      Scholarships   

  • Endowment and Major Gifts: For major gifts prospects, particularly alumni, the 150th Anniversary provides a perfect opportunity to consider perpetual gifts-endowed scholarships, naming opportunities, and pavers on the Walkway of Freedom. Concomitantly, we have developed strategies and submitted proposals to alumni who have established giving histories and/or capacity to give a major gift. The identified prospects will yield a projected $2.9 million in legacy gifts and pledges that will be satisfied on or before June 23, 2020. 
  • The Sesquicentennial Campaign for Solicitation: With an established goal of $10 million, the campaign will conclude June 30, 2020 to support the campaign, an “Options for Giving” response device was designed to reflect the diverse interest for our constituents. It includes three categories and expanded options: Annual Gifts (1869 Fund, annual named scholarships, general scholarships and the Hogan Challenge); Legacy Gifts (those that are perpetual e.g., naming opportunities, pavers and endowments); sponsorships of the Annual Business Luncheon and Two Rivers Gala. Tougaloo Honors. A major aim is to develop strategies that will encourage and enhance alumni participation and contribution.

The Office of Sponsored Programs

The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research has reached about 97% ($21,359.786) of the $22,000,000 in grants and contracts. Also, the office is on pace to reach its goal of a minimum 3% increase in proposal submissions.

The Office facilitated its first workshop on September 7, 2019, faculty and staff were given information regarding internal processes and procedures for grant applications, submissions, and management. A mandatory Title III Directors’ meeting was held on October 1, 2018.

George A. and Ruth B. Owens Health and Wellness Center

The mission of the George A. and Ruth B. Owens Health and Wellness Center is to foster a holistic approach to health and wellness at the institution and in the community, by improving access to health care, reducing health disparities through community outreach, and creating strategic partnerships that will implement evidence-based programs to aid in improving health outcomes across the lifespan,

The office had the following outcomes:

  • Celebrated 20th anniversary of the Office of Health and Wellness Center
  • Collected $9,845.00 in fees generated through clinic and fitness center
  • Completed DHP, UnitedHealthcare, Healthy Start Pilot agreement; hired staff
  • Submitted HRSA Healthy Start Imitative Grant proposal
  • Completed Mobile Health Unit diagnostics
  • Provided primary care services to at least 896 campus and community patients
  • Provided dental services to at least 283 campus and community patients
  • Closed USDA 2501 grant program

Office of Information and Technology

The office completed installation and updates to learning and living spaces throughout the campus, providing technology solutions. These improved solutions were implemented in learning and dining spaces of Ballard, Holmes, and Warren Halls. The Office of Information Technology has completed the installation of a projector, speakers, and wall control systems in Ballard Hall Choir room. In Holmes Hall, additional access points were installed, providing more wireless access to students in these learning spaces.

The department completed the installation of five (5) new L. G. Supersign W digital menu displays in Warren Hall cafeteria. These displays include a server software package that includes a graphic based dashboard, content schedule distribution, and server IP for localhost users. The Supersign allows the user to check the information page for distribution selections and edit its information. Menus are created which allows students to view the nutritional information of the food options available to them at each meal offered.

In collaboration with Public Safety, the Office of Information Technology identified twenty-eight (28) security cameras which had reached the end-of-life. These twenty-eight cameras were replaced with new Axis PTZ Network cameras, The Axis cameras has a 1080p resolution, 10x optical zoom, and a continuous 360-degree pan that lets you easily follow objects.

The Office of Information Technology in collaboration with the Office of the President, and the Office of Facilities and Property Management has entered into an agreement with A T&T to install small cell projects on campus. Four small cells nodes have been installed around campus to provide an improved cellular signal to A T&T customers when visiting campus.

The Office of Information Technology upgraded the virtual network software from VMware 5.1 to VMware 6.0 and during the upgrade process and determined that some of the virtual network needed to be replaced. Also, purchased a Dell PowerEdge 740 server to begin the replacement of virtual network end-of-life hardware.

The Office of Information Technology will be repurposing space at the Jackson Medical Mall as an offsite data storage and recovery center. This offsite location will serve as a center where Tougaloo College’s critical systems data will be backed up on a scheduled basis to protect the college against data loss. This offsite location will also serve as a recovery center, intended to help Tougaloo College rapidly recover from a hardware or site outage by failing over to another copy of data in a near-consistent state. The offsite data and recovery center will allow us to restore systems in the event of a failure or natural disaster.

Let’s continue to support the efforts of the College to reach our alumni goal of $1,500,000 by June 30, 2019.  At present, we are at 29.41% of our financial goal, with 366 donors contributing to our goal of 1,500.  We can celebrate Tougaloo’s 150th by donating to our Sesquicentennial Campaign for Scholarships and invest in our students’ future.

We are a TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More)!

Yours for Tougaloo,

David E. Miller, Esq.

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