National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week

September 19, 2017

Public Relations

While President Donald J. Trump proclaimed Sept. 17-23 as National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week, one student from the nation's largest HBCU was in Washington. D.C., training prior to a year of public service aimed at helping officials in the White House and at the Department of Education meaningfully connect with students in order to evaluate and advance academic excellence at historically black colleges.

The HBCU with the nation’s largest enrollment is St. Philip’s College and Passion Williams-Toomer (kinesiology) is the college’s 2018 season HBCU All-Star. After applying in the spring, Williams-Toomer was among several students at the college screened and then recognized locally for accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement. Williams-Toomer was selected as the college’s HBCU All Star by officials in Washington, D.C., and officials reviewed more than 450 applicants nationwide, explained St. Philip’s College President Dr. Adena Williams Loston. All-Stars nominees at St. Philip’s College traditionally learn if they have been selected by The White House as All-Stars in the fall, just before college classes begin, explained Dr. Angela McPherson Williams, the college’s director of student success. Williams-Toomer’s initial formal training coincided with the 2017 Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week Conference www.sites.ed.gov/whhbcu/2017/05/04/save-the-date-2017-hbcu-week-conference/ Sept. 17-19 in Washington, D.C., and included touring both The White House and the African American Museum.

Williams-Toomer became only the third All-Star from St. Philip’s College in this four-year old program. College leaders in Washington, D.C., included Dr. Loston, Dr. Erick Akins, the college’s Title III Director, and McPherson Williams. In addition to Williams-Toomer and 61 other up-and-coming leaders, the Trump administration announced that entrepreneur Johnathan Holifield has been named to lead the White House Initiative on HBCUs that also administrates the HBCU All Star program. Earlier in the month, U.S. Secretary of Education The Honorable Betsy DeVos appointed Dr. Loston to serve as a board member on the HBCU Capital Financing Advisory Board. Loston has served multiple consecutive terms in this capacity since 2010. While Loston’s upcoming appointment is effective Oct. 1, 2017, her appointment term ends Sept. 30, 2020. As a trained HBCU All Star, Williams-Toomer will benefit from mentorship with such college leaders as Loston and Dr. Erick Akins. Dr. Akins has been elected president of the National Association of HBCUs Title III Administrators, Inc.; a nonprofit association responsible for the stewardship and administration of a multimillion dollar annual federal appropriation to HBCUs. Akins assumes his new leadership role of president on Oct. 1, a few weeks following the installation of the association's newly elected executive board members on Sept. 20 in Washington, D.C.

St. Philip’s College is among 95 HBCUs in 19 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Those institutions strengthen their academic resources, financial management systems, endowment-building capacity and physical plants as a result of grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. Activities at St. Philip’s College enhanced under the HBCU grant allocation in its fifth year will consist of student services, centers of excellence in mathematics and science; instructional labs; campus renovation; information and communication technology; institutes for teaching excellence and staff development and the Good Samaritan Veterans Outreach And Transition Center in partnership with the City of San Antonio.

For details on the HBCU All-Stars program at St. Philip's College, contact Williams at (210) 486-2090, awilliams284@alamo.edu. Find details on the National Association of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Title III Administrators, Inc. at http://www.hbcut3a.org/. Find details on the HBCU Capital Financing Advisory Board at http://www2.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/hbcu-finance.html.

HBCU Week 01
CAPTION: A highlight of training Sept. 17-19 in Washington, D.C., as a member of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities HBCU All-Stars program for St. Philip’s College kinesiology student Passion Williams-Toomer was a photo session at The White House with St. Philip’s College President Dr. Adena Williams Loston in her capacity as a member of the of the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs. (Courtesy images)
 
HBCU Week 02
CAPTION: A highlight of training Sept. 17-19 in Washington, D.C., as a member of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities HBCU All-Stars program for St. Philip’s College kinesiology student Passion Williams-Toomer was a photo session at The White House. (Courtesy images)
 
HBCU Week 03
CAPTION: A highlight of training Sept. 17-19 in Washington, D.C., as a member of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities HBCU All-Stars program for St. Philip’s College kinesiology student Passion Williams-Toomer (center) was a photo session at The White House with St. Philip’s College President Dr. Adena Williams Loston (right) in her capacity as a member of the of the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs and Dr. Angela McPherson Williams, the college’s director of student success (left). (Courtesy image)