6 Academy Award attendees who attended MSIs

by Will Ndeh Anyu

1) Taraji P. Henson: North Carolina A&T State University (HBCU)—Greensboro, CC / Howard University (HBCU)—Washington, DC

 Taraji P. Henson

Henson starred in “Hidden Figures,” which was nominated for Best Picture. Prior to starting her acting career, she attended North Carolina A&T before transferring to Howard University.

2) Mykelti Williamson: Los Angeles City College (AANAPISI/HSI)—Los Angeles, CA


Williamson starred in “Fences,” which is nominated for Best Picture. Mykelti is also a proud alumnus of Los Angeles City College.

3) Stephen Henderson: Lincoln University (HBCU)—Jefferson City, MO


Henderson, who also starred in “Fences” is a proud alumnus Lincoln University in Missouri.

4) Javon Adepo: Bowie State University (HBCU)—Bowie, MD


Adepo, who plays Cory, the son of Troy—played by Denzel Washington—in the movie “Fences,” is a proud alumnus of Bowie State University.

5) Bradford Young: Howard University (HBCU)—Washington, DC


Howard University’s own Bradford Young was nominated for Cinematography for “Moonlight.”

6) Samuel L. Jackson: Morehouse College (HBCU)—Atlanta, GA


Jackson, who starred in the new documentary, “I Am Not Your Negro” which was nominated for Best Documentary, attended Morehouse College.

Want to share more Academy Award attendees who also attended a Minority Serving Institution? Let us know in the comments below!


How 4 HBCUs are Celebrating Black History Month

by Larry McDaniel Jr.

Black History Month is upon us! It is such an exciting time of the year for many colleges and universities around the nation, but especially for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Given that HBCUs were primarily established to serve African American students, it is a time to further highlight the stories, achievements, experiences, faces, and triumphs of Black Americans. Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up looks at 4 HBCUs and the events that they are hosting for Black History Month.

1) Xavier University (HBCU)—New Orleans, LA


As a part of Xavier University’s Black History Month events, they hosted two guest speakers on February 16th: Dr. Marc Lamont Hill (a professor, writer, and TV personality) and Shaun King (civil rights advocate and writer for the New York Daily News). Both spoke on controversial social and political, including police brutality, President Trump’s Administration, and race relations.

2) Howard University (HBCU)—Washington, D.C.


On February 23rd between 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Howard University will be hosting its monthly Bison Market, a fair that allows students and members of the community to showcase music, food, art, and more. This month, the fair will be appropriately themed to celebrate Black History Month.

3) Spelman College (HBCU)—Atlanta, GA


This month, ESPN W will spotlight Spelman College for its Black History Month Celebration. They will feature a story on how they discontinued their sports program five years ago in favor of the development of a wellness program. ESPN will “explore the state of the college today and the impact that redirecting the funds from athletics to wellness has had on its students.”

4) Tuskegee University (HBCU)—Tuskegee, AL


Tuskegee University has a host of Black History Month lectures laid out for the entirety of February. Some of the most noteworthy ones are: “The Importance of African-American History in the Age of Trump” by Dr. Steven A. Reich, Professor of History, James Madison University, and “Booker T. Washington and the Black Belt” by Dr. Robert Zabawa, Research Professor, College of Agriculture. For the complete list of the events, visit their online 2017 Black History Month Celebration flier.

Know how other HBCUs or MSIs are celebrating Black History Month this year? Share in the comments below!


5 Grammy Nominees that Attended an MSI

by Carol Sandoval

Last night the 59th Annual Grammy Awards took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Did you know that several of the nominees are proud MSI alumni? Check out five of these artists below, who were nominated for categories ranging from country to jazz!

1) Shirley Caesar: Shaw University (HBCU)—Raleigh, NC

Known as the “First Lady of Gospel Music,” Shirley Caesar studied Business Administration at Shaw University. She was a nominee for both Best Gospel Performance/Song and Best Gospel Album.

2) Gregory Porter: San Diego State University (HSI)—San Diego, CA

Gregory Porter attended San Diego State University, where he was also a lineman on the football team. He was a nominee for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

3) Herb Alpert: University of Southern California (AANAPISI)—Los Angeles, CA

Nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, Herb Alpert was a member of the USC Marching Band.

4) Carrie Underwood: Northeastern State University, (NASNTI)—Tahlequah, OK

Majoring in mass communication, country superstar Carrie Underwood graduated magna cum laude from Northeastern State University. She was a nominee for Best Country Solo Performance.

5) Michael Tilson Thomas: University of Southern California (AANAPISI)—Los Angeles, CA

Michael Tilson Thomas studied piano, composition, and conducting at USC. His style and expertise has paid off, as he was a nominee for Best Orchestral Performance.

What performance from last night’s Grammys was your favorite?  Let us know in the comments below!

10 NFL Players From HBCUs

by Aisha Bowen

Super Bowl Sunday brings of food, noise, and competition to households all across the country. Interestingly, there are many NFL players from MSIs whose talent has made Super Bowl Sunday the most anticipated American pro-football game of the year. In this spirit, today’s Monday Morning Line Up highlights 10 NFL players who hail from HBCUs.

1) Robert Mathis: Alabama A&M University (HBCU) — Huntsville, AL



Mathis is a 14-year veteran of the Indianapolis Colts. He hails from the great Alabama A&M University (Source).

2) Antoine Bethea: Howard University (HBCU)—Washington, D.C.



Bethea is a graduate from Howard University in Washington, D.C. He began his NFL career in 2006 with the Indianapolis Colts. Now in his 11th season, Bethea is a Strong Safety for the San Francisco 49ers (Source).

3) Ryan Davis: Bethune-Cookman University (HBCU)—Daytona Beach, FL




Davis is a 4-year NFL veteran and graduate of Bethune-Cookman University. He began his NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and currently plays linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys (Source).

4) Kendal Langford: Hampton University (HBCU)—Hampton, VA




Langford is an 8-year veteran in the NFL world. A Hampton University graduate, Langford was first drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 2008. He currently plays Defensive End for the Indianapolis Colts (Source).

5) Isaiah Crowell: Alabama State University (HBCU)—Montgomery, AL



Crowell is currently in his 3rd season as Running Back for the Cleveland Browns. Brown attended Alabama State University (Source).

6) Chris Hubert: Fayetteville State University (HBCU)—Fayetteville, NC


Chris Hubert

Chris Hubert is a 2016 Rookie NFL player for the Arizona Cardinals. He recently graduated from Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, NC (Source).

7) Deji Olatoye: North Carolina A&T University (HBCU)—Greensboro, NCnc-at


Olatoye hails from North Carolina A&T University. He is currently in his 2nd year in the NFL as a Corner Back for the Atlanta Falcons. Good luck at the Super Bowl, Deji (Source).

8) Jalen Simmons: South Carolina State University (HBCU)—Orangeburg, SC



Jalen “Scoot” Simmons is one of the many 2016 Rookie players from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). Simmons is a graduate of South Carolina State University and currently a Running Back for the Carolina Panthers (Source).

 9) William Hayes: Winston Salem State University (HBCU)—Winston-Salem, NC



Hayes is currently in his 9th NFL season playing Defensive End for the Los Angeles Rams. Hayes is a graduate of Winston Salem State University in Winston-Salem, NC (Source).

10) Ryan Smith: North Carolina Central University (HBCU)—Durham, NC



Ryan Smith is originally from Augsburg, Germany, but attended North Carolina Central University. He is currently a Rookie Corner Back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Source).

Know any other NFL players who graduated from Minority Serving Institutions? Tell us in the comments below!