Alcorn State University President M. Christopher Brown II to Receive APLU Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence Distinguished Service Award
APLU’s Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence (CADE) has named Alcorn state University President M. Christopher Brown II, Ph.D. as the 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for significant contributions to increasing diversity and access in the higher education community. Brown is the first president of a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to be honored with the CADE Distinguished Service Award. The award will be presented during a mid-day luncheon on Sunday, November 10, 2013 during APLU’s 126th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.
Now in its 14th year, the Distinguished Service Award was established to recognize individuals who have demonstrated sustained accomplishments in one or more of the Commission’s targeted focuses, including providing access and opportunity in higher education; enhancing the undergraduate experience; increasing diversity in the academic community; creating socially beneficial partnerships; and providing leadership related to diversity and beneficial social change.
“Having a leadership team that fully understands and embraces diversity as a strategic advantage not only for Alcorn, but for our nation makes my work as president important,” President Brown said. “Diversity and excellence go hand and hand. At Alcorn, we welcome a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints, because we understand that it enriches our dialogue and benefits us all while challenging us to grow and think differently.”
Brown added, “I thank CADE for recognizing the work we [Alcorn] are all privileged to do each day. Valuing inclusion benefits Alcorn students who advance knowledge and character by being open and exploring the questions that arise from our differences.”
“Dr. Brown’s long and successful record of broadening access to higher education serves as an example for all institutions,” said John Michael Lee Jr, vice president for the Office of Access and Success at APLU. “Dr. Brown is an innovative and committed president and his bold and visionary leadership serves as an example of what is needed at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and throughout higher education to meet the challenges of serving increasingly diverse and low-income student populations.”
Throughout his professional career, Brown has dedicated his life to CADE’s mission by helping students receive a high-quality education and achieve their goals. Brown’s presidential initiatives and transformative scholarship are changing the conversation about the educational experiences of underrepresented people of color, and he is responsible for largely defining diversity leadership at HBCUs. President Brown inaugurated one of the first HBCU offices of equity and inclusion and appointed Dr. Derek Greenfield, who is white and Jewish, to lead it. The office’s multipronged mission values every member of the Alcorn family regardless of race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, and other identity positions. Attention is also being placed on partnering with the surrounding community to promote social justice initiatives that impact humanistic outcomes for students at Alcorn.