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The 90s: New Beginnings

This decade witnessed leadership in mainstream student organizations. Derrick Hudson was the first African-American elected to student government president. Colby Potts and Karen Price won the Southeast Man and Woman of the Year award. African-American alumni began sending their children to Southeast.

Monique Maxey was one of the first African American Governor’s Scholars. Denise Leonard was the first African-American female graduate student in the College of Science and Technology. Trent Ball graduated from the Education Administration and Counseling master’s degree program with Academic Distinction (4.0 GPA). The first four Heartland Alliance for Minority Participation Scholars (scholarships for Science and Technology) enrolled in 1997.

The community lost an important hero with the sudden death of Dr. Edward Spicer. Drs. Paul Keys and Shirley Stennis-Williams, the first African-American Deans; Dr. Kimberly Barrett, the first African-American Dean of Students; and Dr. Leonard Clark, Assistant to the President, hold key leadership positions. Patricia Washington, a Southeast Alumn, was the first African-American woman appointed to the Board of Regents in 1994. Mr. Harry Schuler worked with students to create Ebony Players and expand the Black Fellowship Mass Gospel Choir. Schuler was instrumental in the creation of the successful TRIO programs on Southeast’s campus. His efforts enhanced the retention and graduation of African-American students.

African Americans continued to succeed despite the tremendous decline (less than 400 students) in African-American enrollment. Students responded to this problem with organized, pro-actions. Danielle Carter, Tiffany Ford, Shawn Harris and other African-American students, made use of an opportunity to work with Southeast’s then new President, Dr. Dale Nitzschke, to create the Minority Student Programs Office in 1996. This office, under the leadership of Trent Ball, has given students the foundation needed to connect to the greater University community.


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