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Charles Butt donates $1 million to PVAMU; Funds to support Ruth J. Simmons Center for Race and Justice

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PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas (June 11, 2020) – Charles Butt, H-E-B Chairman, announced today a $1,000,000 personal contribution to Prairie View A&M University in honor of University President Ruth J. Simmons.

President Simmons joined Prairie View in 2017 after retiring as President of Brown University where she served as President from 2001 to 2012.  She had previously served as President of Smith College from 1995 to 2001. Born in Grapeland, Texas, she grew up in Houston’s Fifth Ward where she graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School.  She holds both a Master of Arts and Ph.D. degree in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University.  Simmons chairs the Board of Directors of the Holdsworth Center for Excellence in Education Leadership.

“When I learned of Mr. Butt’s gift, I was overwhelmed,” said President Simmons. “His generosity to the children of the State of Texas and his concern for the quality of education afforded Prairie View students is inspiring to us all.  Our students can learn a good deal from his humanity and the manner in which he lives and practices his values.”

The funds will be used to support The Ruth J. Simmons Center for Race and Justice at the University.  This Center will be proposed for approval to the Texas A&M Chancellor and Board of Regents and the Coordinating Board with the following proposed mission:

The Center positions itself as a multidisciplinary effort, drawing from an array of existing programs that can, together, facilitate greater understanding of racism and discrimination on the one hand and the need for justice on the other hand to strengthen and sustain civil society.  The center’s activities will include:

  • encouraging curricular innovation that helps students better understand how racial and other biases can impact their beliefs, affect their choices and shape their opportunities in life;
  • educational programs for the public on how to combat bias in their communities;
  • expert support for government and organizations seeking to understand how they can improve upon their efforts to assure a bias-free, inclusive environment;
  • training for individuals in leadership positions who wish to improve upon their leadership for inclusion; and
  • support for scholarship and research that adds to knowledge about new areas of injustice that are in need of urgent attention from policymakers and others (such as human trafficking).PVAMU President Ruth J. Simmons

Prairie View A&M University is a state-assisted, public, comprehensive land grant institution of higher education. It is dedicated to achieving excellence and relevance in teaching, research, and service and seeks to invest in programs and services that address issues and challenges affecting the diverse ethnic and socioeconomic population of Texas and the larger society, including the global arena.

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Education

Apple Pre-Ed Scholars Program

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As a highly regarded HBCU, Huston-Tillotson University (located in the heart of Austin, Texas) is proud to announce our Apple Pre-Ed Scholars Program! 

The Apple Pre-Ed Scholars Program, housed within Huston-Tillotson University’s African American Male Teacher Initiative funded by Apple Inc., provides one year of scholarship support to high-achieving HT freshmen who intend to pursue a career in Education.  

Scholars are selected on the basis of financial need, academic performance, demonstration of leadership, commitment to service, and dedication to pursuing a career in the Education field.  

Total award will cover all tuition, fees, room and board for an academic year. Scholarships are eligible for max three-year renewal, dependent on meeting scholarship requirements, persistence towards graduation, demonstrated financial need, and availability of funding.  

Who can apply? To be eligible to apply, applicants must:  

– Be a citizen, legal permanent resident, or national of the United States  

– Identify ethnically as African American, or Black  

– Identify as male – Classified as a Freshman  

– Be currently enrolled and in good standing at Huston-Tillotson University  

– Minimum 2.5 GPA on an unweighted 4.0 scale  

– ACT Composite Score of 18, or greater; or SAT score 900, or greater (Combined Evidence Based Reading and Writing, and Math)  

– Program of study in Education  

– Demonstrate a strong academic record and evidence of persistence  

– Exemplify leadership and demonstrate a passion for improving representation of underrepresented groups in the field of Education  

– Have demonstrated financial and unmet need as measured by the university 

Attached to this correspondence, you will find the Apple Pre-Ed Scholars Application as well as an informational flyer for announcement purposes. 

Questions may be directed to:   

Dr. Jennifer Miles, HTU’s Director of the Center of Academic Innovation; jpmiles@htu.edu 

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Where Will You Be For History?

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021 marks the day for the 59th Inaugural Ceremony. This historical event has been witnessed by Americans for over 200 years. The moment marks the transition of power for the President and Vice President of the United States. From the first Inauguration of George Washington, in New York City, in 1789, to the present, the 59th Inaugural Ceremonies, the Swearing-In Ceremonies represent both national renewal and continuity of leadership. Several Inaugurations have held great importance and significance including the swearing in of Barack Hussein Obama II, the 44th President of the United States, but what makes this year’s inauguration so remarkable? Well, as we reflect on the current time we are in; a divided nation where hate is at the forefront of the actions of many American citizens, COVID has devastated the population, historic election voting percentages have reigned, the inaugural events are closed to the public, and where gender and race have for far too long been the basis as to why some have been denied opportunities to fulfill “positions of power,” this milestone marks another step towards us becoming “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.” Kamala Harris already made history when she was elected as the first Black and South Asian woman elected Vice President, however January 20, 2021 her role will be official and she will officially be Madame Vice President.

The ceremony traditionally begins with a procession to the capitol beginning about 11:00 ET. Harris will be sworn in first by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and Latina Justice appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States. (She was nominated by President Barack Obama.). Joe Biden will be sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts followed by remarks from both.

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Remembering Mr. Clark

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Morgan Freeman portrayed him well in the 1989 classic film “Lean On Me.” He was the baseball and bullhorn toting, HNIC, firm and forward thinking principal of the then troubled Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey. Joe Louis Clark, the real ‘Mr. Clark’ a.k.a. ‘Crazy Joe’ died in his Florida home at the age of 82. He was loved and hated by his critics because of his actions and his untraditional methods used to clean house and turn the school around. Mr. Clark earned national coverage including President Ronald Reagan offering him a White House policy advisor position after his success at the high school.

Mr. Joe Clark changed the game and set the example for turning around failing urban schools by offering children, educators, parents and community hope while maintaining high expectations. He will forever be remembered especially in the lives of those he challenged and changed. RIP Mr. Clark.

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