WILBERFORCE — Central State University has won the acclaimed HBCU of the Year Award, a prestigious national honor which acknowledges the university’s growth and elevated public impact and exposure at the state, national and international level.
The accolade, announced July 14 in Washington D.C., is the top university award given at the HBCU Digest Awards Ceremony. The university also received recognition when women’s basketball coach Sheba Harris won the Female Coach of the Year Award. The HBCU Digest Awards celebrate excellence in a number of categories including academics, student activities and athletic excellence. Its highest honors are reserved for university leadership and impact. Finalists were selected from more than 175 nominations from historic black colleges and universities across the country.
“Central State University is honored to receive this prestigious award from HBCU Digest,” said President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, who last year was named Female President of the Year by HBCU Digest. “There are 107 HBCUs and this award is received in recognition of our commitment and mission to provide quality academic collegiate experiences to the students that we serve.”
A regionally accredited 1890 Land-Grant Institution, Central State’s growth and focus on academics and affordability have been recognized at the state, national and international level.
“Without question, Central State University had a banner year in showing the full capacity of HBCU operational and cultural excellence,” said Jarrett Carter Sr., founding editor of HBCU Digest. “The coverage the university earned for fiscal growth, academic development, athletic achievement and community service met all of the standards that most HBCU advocates would hope to see in all of our historically black institutions, regardless of size or designation. It was a tough year of competition for this award, but in the end, I believe the voting academy made a great decision in honoring Central State and the state of Ohio with this award.”
The State of Ohio acknowledged CSU through four proclamations congratulating the university on its academic impact and presidential and organizational leadership. President Jackson-Hammond was one of three HBCU presidents invited to provide testimony to a congressional committee on the importance of recruiting African American males for careers in Agriculture.
Also, this year, CSU increased its international diversity by 13 percent, and Jackson-Hammond travelled to Nigeria and Grenada seeking international partnerships that extend CSU’s academic programming to international communities.
U.S. News and World Report ranked Central State the fifth most affordable university nationwide for out-of-state students. The national recognition cited a 70 percent reduction in out-of-state tuition.
The university achieved a 22 percent increase in new first-time students for fall 2016 and that class of new first-time students — at 634 — was the largest in the past five years. The university has experienced an 82 percent increase in incoming student applications for fall 2017. Enrolled students from the Bahamas tripled for fall 2017.
Central State’s new Department of Agricultural Sciences offers a four-year degree in sustainable agriculture — one of only a few offered in Ohio. The university’s new School of Agricultural Education and Food Science will soon offer a degree in agricultural education, a critical workforce need in Ohio.
Central State exceeded financial liquidity benchmarks set by the state of Ohio for public university reserves. In addition, Central State became one of the first universities in Ohio to publicly post its spending online.
Story courtesy of Central State University.