people creates an economic global power of thought
leaders that are already driving decisions in academia
and on a global scale.”
HBCUs continue to play a relevant role in higher
education. “Any institution that has the capacity to
create skilled employees for the work force is important,” says Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, president of UNCF
member school Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C.,
a historically Black liberal arts institution with about
1,800 students. A 1965 Claflin University graduate, Dr.
Tisdale, UNCF’s chair of member presidents, returned
to his alma mater as its eighth president in 1994.
“My experience was very positive, and I had many
choices when I left the university,” says Dr. Tisdale, a
first-generation college graduate who earned a Ph.D.
in mathematics at Dartmouth after graduating from
Claflin. “Understanding the difference that Claflin had
made in my career and in my life, I wanted to return to
South Carolina and give back to an institution that had
given so much to me.”
The quality of education provided by HBCUs is
demonstrated by the results. HBCUs, private and public, represent only 3 percent of all American colleges
and universities and enroll only 14 percent of all Black
college students. However, they’ve produced 70 percent of all Black dentists and physicians, 50 percent of
all Black engineers, 50 percent of all Black public-school
teachers and 35 percent of all Black attorneys.
“Xavier University made all the difference in terms
of my life’s choices,” states former Labor Secretary
Herman. “Xavier encouraged my own style of leadership. I wasn’t lost in a sea of thousands of students,
and I was able to get the close attention and nurturing
that’s so important.” Herman also notes that being a
student at a Black college at the height of the civil-rights movement was critical to her leadership development. “I can’t imagine how my life might have been
different if I hadn’t been in that kind of environment
when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated during
my junior year. It was incredibly empowering,” she says.
According to Herman, the ability to empower
students is one reason among many why HBCUs are
more important than ever. “Minority graduates represent a competitive edge for companies today,” she says.
“Our history is about understanding, managing and
leveraging differences. That’s what companies will have
to do to make it in this global marketplace. We are
uniquely positioned today to be great assets.” z
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COX COMMUNICATIONS PREPARES
STUDENTS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION
Youth, education and technology are education for all students, so we work to
cornerstones of the corporate philosophy prepare underrepresented groups in part
at Cox Communications, No. 6 on The by closing the technology gap and also by
DiversityInc Top 50 nurturing their interests in education and
Companies for Diversity® technology,” Thomas says. As a found-list. “Where these three ing member of Cable in the Classroom,
come together, you’ll find a nonprofit organization, Cox, in partner-Cox providing services that ship with other cable companies, provides
give access to the Internet cable service and commercial-free educa-and cable programming tional content to 3. 2 million students in
and mentoring kids to more than 5,300 schools nationwide.
help them excel in school,” says Manager To support youth outside the class-of Corporate Social Responsibility room, Cox is a national technology part-
Kimberly Thomas. ner of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America
In addition, the company has donated (BGCA). Cox provides many local clubs
more than $400,000 in support of UNCF with free or discounted Internet and ca-educational activities. “We believe it’s ble services, public service announcement
important to expand access to higher time and other in-kind contributions. Em-
ployees of Cox also mentor, volunteer
and sit on local BGCA boards. Cox Communications President Pat Esser serves as
a National Trustee for the BGCA.
Cox Communications also offers
summer internships to college students
by working with the Emma L. Bowen
Foundation for Minority Interests in
Media. Each year, students recruited from
HBCUs and other institutions begin their
professional careers at the company’s
headquarters in Atlanta or Cox facilities
around the country.
After graduation, Cox helps foster
professional growth among historically
underrepresented groups through
leadership programs and services.