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VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY - Embracing Opportunities for Excellence! (12007 hits)


Virginia State University's new president wants the world to know that VSU is a great value and a great source of leaders.

In his first 100 days as the 14th president of Virginia State University, Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D., has shared a clear vision for the University’s future.

Dr. Abdullah wants VSU to prepare its students to excel in an ever-changing global marketplace, “We want to grow leaders in every sense of the word,” he says. “Not just great employees for their first jobs, but young people who are culturally competent and ready to solve the world’s problems.”

While Dr. Abdullah is settling into his role on the campus, his message is being heard well beyond the VSU borders through a 30-second TV spot. In it, students from various VSU disciplines are highlighting the university’s advantages and its growing campus, echoing Dr. Abdullah’s passion for education and the theme for his presidency: Embracing Opportunity for Excellence.

(click play above to watch VSU commercial)

“Embracing represents coming together as a family, working as a team,” he says. “We want to wrap our arms around the students, but our team includes potential employers, potential donors and the community as a whole.” As for opportunities, Dr. Abdullah says, they have always been at the heart of Virginia State University, “Going to college is getting a chance,” he says. “We have a history of giving that chance to people who might not otherwise have it.” Dr. Abdullah says he wants the university to always honor its mission as an 1890 land-grant institution -- and to do it proudly.

“I believe historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are among the best values in higher education,” he says. “But we haven’t always been in the business of telling our story.” Dr. Abdullah’s own story is one of breaking barriers: Upon receiving his doctorate in engineering from Northwestern University, he was recognized as the youngest African-American student to do so. Milestones like that, he says, are made up of smaller but significant steps. “I want people to know that great things are happening at VSU every day. Even the things that seem small are huge. When a student gets a passport, or learns to tie a tie, that is the beginning of something great.”

To arrange an interview with Dr. Abdullah, please contact Gwen Williams Dandridge at gdandridge@vsu.edu or Jesse Vaughan at jvaughan@vsu.edu

Posted By: Will Moss
Monday, May 9th 2016 at 5:25PM
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