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SU President Freeman presents award to former SU President Delores Spikes - Thursday, October 15, 2009

SU System President, Kassie Freeman, presented an award to president emerita Delores R. Spikes during the first reunion of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) Kellogg Leadership Fellows program held August 30, 2009 in Washington D.C.   Spikes was recognized for her major contributions to enhancing the quality of leadership, excellence and commitment to Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and to higher education in general.


“It was very special to be recognized by NAFEO with this honor,” said Spikes. “During this event I had the opportunity to reassemble with program participants and directors, all of whom have made significant impacts among colleges and universities nationwide.”


The Leadership Fellows program was created by a grant funded by the Kellogg Foundation to assist minorities who aspired to become leaders.  Spikes was instrumental in the development of the NAFEO Kellogg Leadership Program by serving on its Board of Directors.  “We were successful because this group of individuals was specifically trained to excel as leaders in higher education, and all have risen to positions of authority,” said Spikes. “The success of this program has proven that our people can go anywhere and become leaders, and I’m happy to know that we produced fine young leaders from this program.”


The NAFEO Kellogg Leadership Fellows Program, a four year program, ended officially in 2006.  The program was designed for the specific purpose of assisting in the preparation of outstanding HBCU Presidents.  The goal was for ten participants to become presidents in ten years.  To date, the Fellows are in key leadership positions in thirty-three of the one hundred and eight HBCUs.


Of the thirty-three Fellows that have completed the program, four are now presidents.  They are Dr. Melvin N. Johnson, President of Tennessee State University, Dr. Earl G. Yarbrough Sr., President of Savannah State University, George T. French Jr., Ph.D., Esq., President of Miles College and Dr. Karl S. Wright, President of Florida Memorial University. On Friday, June 26, 2009, Dr. Kassie Freeman was appointed Interim President of the Southern University System. Additionally, eighteen Fellows have been promoted. 

“It was an extreme honor to present such an award to Dr. Spikes who is one of my personal mentors,” said SU System President Kassie Freeman.  “Dr. Spikes is a true leader and trailblazer for all in higher education.”  


Spikes is a native of Baton Rouge, and has devoted more than 50 years of her life to the field of education.  Additionally, Spikes has the unique ability to teach and mentor students, professors and administrators. Even though she is currently retired, Spikes does not tire of listening, advising and helping her mentees and former colleagues, and takes enormous pride in their accomplishments, many of whom have become administrators in higher education. Dr. Spikes is a former President of the Southern University System and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. 


“Dr. Spikes has made significant contributions to the NAFEO Kellogg Leadership Fellows Program by enhancing the quality of leadership, excellence and commitment to all HBCUs and to the advancement of our people and to higher education,” said Arthur Thomas, past Chairman of NAFEO’s Board of Directors.  “We sincerely appreciate all of her contributions to institutions of higher education throughout the country.”


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