Central State University was named the HBCU of the Year, a prestigious national honor that acknowledges the university’s grown and elevated public impact at the state, national and international level.
The accolade was announced Friday in Washington, D.C., during the HBCU Digest Awards Ceremony. The university also received recognition for its women’s basketball coach, Sheba Harris, who was named Female Coach of the Year, the university announced on Sunday.
The awards celebrate excellence in a number of categories, including academics, student activities and athletics. Finalists were selected from more than 175 nominations from historically black colleges and universities across the country.
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“Central State University is honored to receive this prestigious award from HBCU Digest,” said CSU President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, who last year was named Female President of the Year by HBCU Digest.
Central State is a regionally accredited 1890 Land-Grant Institution. The university reported that it increased its international diversity by 13 percent; The fall 2016 class of 634 freshman was a 22 percent increase and the largest class in the last five years; and the university has seen an 82 percent increase in student applications for the fall 2017. Also, Jackson-Hammond traveled to Nigeria and Grenada to seek international partnerships to extend CSU’s academic programs, according to the university.
“Without question, Central State University had a banner year in showing the full capacity of HBCU operational and cultural excellence,” said Jarrett Carter Sr., founding editor of HBCU Digest.