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LeMoyne-Owen College Receives Largest Beneficial Gift in the School’s 158-Year History

LeMoyne-Owen College is named the beneficiary of a $40 Million Endowment at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis 

Memphis, Tenn .—LeMoyne-Owen College, the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Memphis, Tennessee, has been named the beneficiary of an endowment of $40 million, one of the largest gifts to any HBCU and the largest for the school in its 158-year history. The endowment was created from assets from the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, an organization that works to strengthen the community through philanthropy.

Like other colleges across the country, LeMoyne-Owen College is working to ensure their students, many of whom are first-generation college attendees, return to school following the pandemic. Recent initiatives include partnerships to provide Wi-fi access and electronic devices to students for remote learning, emergency assistance for displaced students and scholarships for students in need.  

“Even before the pandemic, there has been transformative work happening at LeMoyne-Owen College,” Bob Fockler, Community Foundation of Greater Memphis president says. “The college offers unique opportunities for African-American students, and we are committed to ensuring that work continues to benefit students and their families for years to come.”

The endowment fund is a major stepping stone on the path toward advancements in the quality education the College can provide for a larger number students, at a critical time when HBCUs nationally face unique funding challenges and equity issues. LeMoyne-Owen College has the lowest tuition rate of any of the private colleges in the state of Tennessee, nearly 90 percent of students qualify for financial aid or currently receive Federal Pell Grants.

“Many of our students and their families were already struggling, even before COVID-19. Recent demonstrations have heightened our awareness and commitment to do more to address the inequality and racism that has led to their financial challenges and the critical need to create a more equal and just world,” says Dr. Carol Johnson Dean, interim president of LeMoyne-Owen College. “The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis has generously and courageously helped LeMoyne-Owen College take a huge step forward in educating our future leaders and providing a stronger financial foundation from which to grow.”

This beneficial gift allows unrestricted use of the funds for purposes determined by LeMoyne-Owen College. The money will be distributed to LeMoyne-Owen College annually in an amount equal to 5% of the average balance of the Fund. Annual distributions will be made as long as the college maintains its active nonprofit status and continues to perform its mission as publicly stated.

Situated in the poorest zip code in Memphis, LeMoyne-Owen College was originally established in 1862 as an elementary school for freedmen and runaway slaves after the occupation of Memphis during the Civil War. Today, it’s home to more than 800 students from across the United States, Virgin Islands and African countries. The college’s rich history of developing leaders boasts notable alumni including former National NAACP President, Benjamin L. Hooks, several State of Tennessee legislators and a host of city and county officials. Learn more about LeMoyne-Owen College and its programs at


About LeMoyne-Owen College

LeMoyne-Owen College provides a transformative experience educating students for urban-focused leadership, scholarship, service and professional careers. The only historically black college in Memphis, Tennessee, LeMoyne-Owen is poised for growth, success, and economic impact; and now, more than ever, prepared to embrace the future.

About the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis

The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis is a philanthropic organization that manages charitable funds with a broad base of donors to benefit West Tennessee, eastern Arkansas, and northern Mississippi. Founded in 1969, the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis brings a half-century of experience and expertise, working with donors, professional advisors, and nonprofits to help strengthen the Mid-South community through philanthropy.

A Message on the Passing of Trustee Herman Strickland

On behalf of the entire LeMoyne-Owen College family, we are deeply saddened by the loss of Trustee Herman Strickland. He was an integral part of the LOC Board of Trustees as chair of the finance committee. Just this past week, he graciously volunteered hours assisting us with our application for stimulus funds. 

Herman was not only a banking and financial expert, but also a selfless community servant and a true friend of our college. With heavy hearts, we extend our support and sympathy to his family and all who knew him.

Dr. Carol Johnson Dean
Interim President

Dr. Christopher Davis
Board of Trustees Chair

LeMoyne-Owen selects Dr. Carol Johnson-Dean as interim president

MEMPHIS, TN, July 30, 2019 – The Board of Trustees of LeMoyne-Owen College, a four-year historically black college in Memphis, today announced it has selected Dr. Carol Johnson-Dean to serve as Interim President, effective Aug. 26, 2019.


“Dr. Johnson-Dean’s breadth of educational leadership experience and unique understanding of the inner workings of HBCUs made her stand out as a highly qualified candidate for interim president,” said Dr. Christopher Davis, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Selecting Dr. Johnson-Dean to serve in this critical role is just one of the many great strides LeMoyne-Owen is making as we push forward in our mission.”


Dr. Johnson-Dean currently serves as executive director of New Leaders - South Region in Memphis. She has also previously served as superintendent in Memphis, Minneapolis and Boston Public Schools.


“It is truly an honor to assume the role of Interim President of LeMoyne-Owen College, an institution with a more than 150-year legacy in Memphis,” Dr. Johnson-Dean said. “As an HBCU, LeMoyne-Owen College continues to play an integral role in educating and serving students, many of whom are first-generation college-goers. I am humbled at the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead for the College, and I look forward to working with faculty, students and community partners in this critical endeavor.”


A permanent president for the College will be determined at a later date. LeMoyne-Owen also recently appointed Dr. Christopher Davis – pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church and local community advocate – to serve as chairman of the Board of Trustees.


 For more information about LeMoyne-Owen College, visit

LeMoyne-Owen in the News: LOC's legendary basketball Coach Jerry Johnson and LOC alum Verties Sails named to inaugural Memphis Sports Hall of Fame

Coach Jerry Johnson and LOC alum Verties Sails, former Southwest Tennessee Community College basketball coach, are among the 22 members of the inaugural class of the Memphis Sports Hall of Fame, the Memphis Sports Council announced Wednesday, May 22, 2019.


LeMoyne-Owen College in the News: Dr. Denise Ferebee featured in WREG-TV story about video doorbells

LOC's Dr. Denise Ferebee, director of Center for Cybersecurity and assistant professor of Computer Science. was featured in a news story about video doorbells on WREG-TV Channel 3 Monday (May 20).

LeMoyne-Owen in the News: LeMoyne-Owen's legendary Coach Jerry Johnson named one of the most notable sports figures in Bluff City history

The Commercial Appeal names Jerry Johnson, the longtime and legendary LeMoyne-Owen men's basketball coach,  as one of the most notable sports figures in the city's history. Johnson led the Magicians for 46 seasons, guiding them to the Division III national championship in 1975. According to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Johnson learned basketball from John McLendon, who played basketball at Kansas when the school's athletic director was James Naismith (the inventor of the sport). Johnson's 821 career victories are the 21st-most in NCAA history.

Photos from LeMoyne-Owen College's 149th Commencement and Lantern Service

LeMoyne-Owen College had its largest graduating class in recent years when it conferred 156 Bachelor degrees and four Associate degrees to graduates during LOC’s 149th Commencement May 11, 2019 at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church-Westwood.

LeMoyne-Owen College's 149th Commencement draws coverage by local media

LeMoyne-Owen College's 149th Commencement drew significant coverage by local media outlets. Graduate Alison Turner earned three degrees, with honors, ending a 40-year quest to earn a college degree. Larry Dodson, the former lead singer for the legendary Bar-Kays, and actor/activist Lamman Rucker were awarded honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees.

LeMoyne-Owen College in the News: Former LOC instructor Mary Ernestine Holloman honored on Mother's Day

 Touch By An Angel Ministries presented its annual Mother's Day Giveway Sunday. For the past 10 years, Larry Hunter has been giving away a recliner to a deserving mother at area nursing homes.  This year he gave a recliner, roses and a plaque to 83-year-old Mary Ernestine Holloman.


LeMoyne-Owen College in the News: LOC students Gabrielle Morgan and Tyquavious Noland among First Apex Institute Fellows

Eight undergraduate students at Memphis area colleges have been named recipients of the first Fellows class by the Apex Institute. Members of the Civic Fellows Program Spring Class of 2019 will develop creative ideas, encourage conversations, and cultivate original approaches for advancing equality in Memphis in line with the objective of The Apex Institute, which is to equip future generations with new approaches for addressing age-old problems of injustice, inequity, and inequality.

59-year-old Memphis woman to receive three degrees from LeMoyne-Owen College

When LeMoyne-Owen College confers 156 bachelor and four associate degrees to graduates Saturday, May 11, 59-year-old Alison Turner will receive three of those.

LeMoyne-Owen in the News: LOC's Concert Choir performs at consecration ceremony for new Episcopal bishop

The LeMoyne-Owen College Concert Choir performed four songs during the consecration ceremony forThe Rt. Rev. Phoebe A. Roaf Saturday May 4, 2019), the first female and African-American to serve as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee.

Danielle Porter named Executive Director of Human Resources

LeMoyne-Owen College President Andrea Lewis Miller announced Monday (May 6, 2019) that Danielle Porter has joined the college as executive director of Human Resources. Ms. Porter comes to LOC from an IT staffing company, where she served as Employee Services Director. She has more than 20 years of human resources experience in various service-related industries, with eight years in the nonprofit sector.

LeMoyne-Owen in the News: Larry Dodson to receive honorary degree from LeMoyne-Owen College

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The sound of music is something Larry Dodson has been surrounded by for decades. But this time his music has a different tune to it. A different band and now, one solo artist.

LeMoyne-Owen in the News: EDGE approves ICED loans for Soulsville burger joint, Whitehaven hair salon

Terry Peete will receive a $20,000 forgivable loan from the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis & Shelby County (EDGE) to open Al’s Tasty Burger in its original location at 965 E. McLemore. The restaurant first opened there in 1971. Peete plans to host a hiring fair at LeMoyne-Owen College.

LeMoyne-Owen in the news: LOC alumna Johnnie Rodgers Turner is honored by Manassas High alumni

Former head of the Memphis NAACP and retired Tennessee state representative Johnnie Rodgers Turner is presented with the coveted “Gold and Blue Award” during Manassas High School supporters' recent 26th Annual Unity Brunch.

Dr. Mohammed Uddin garners his third Fulbright U.S. Scholar honor

Dr. Mohammed Uddin, a professor of Biology at LeMoyne-Owen College, has been selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar for 2019.

Actor and activist Lamman Rucker to deliver keynote address during LOC's 149th Commencement May 11

“Greenleaf” actor and activist Lamman Rucker will deliver the commencement address during LeMoyne-Owen College’s 149th Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11 at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church-Westwood at 620 Parkrose Rd.

Larry Dodson, the multi-gold and platinum selling singer, songwriter, and producer who for almost five decades was the lead singer of The Bar-Kays, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from LeMoyne-Owen. 

LeMoyne-Owen in the News: LOC participates in Collierville Literacy Council trade, career fair

LeMoyne-Owen College will be among the vendors participating in the annual Collierville Learn to Earn Trade and Career Fair. In the expanded second annual Learn to Earn Trade and Career Fair, participants can meet more vendors, attend seminars and get help with resume-writing and interviewing, get door prizes, and enjoy food trucks. The event is free.

LeMoyne College Class of 1968 honored with historical maker

The LeMoyne College Class of 1968, the last to graduate under the LeMoyne College banner, was honored with a Shelby County Historical marker during an unveiling ceremony on the LOC campus April 12.

LeMoyne-Owen College in the news: Former Walmart executive and LOC alumna LaTricia Hill-Chandler named diversity and inclusion officer at Arvest Bank

Arvest Bank on Tuesday (April 9) announced the hiring of former Walmart executive and LOC alumna LaTricia Hill-Chandler as the company’s new diversity and inclusion officer.

SGA officers and LOC royalty chosen for 2019-2020 academic year

LeMoyne-Owen College students elected Student Government Association officers and LOC royalty for the 2019-2020 academic year during elections April 3 and April 6.

LeMoyne-Owen College in the News:

The 9:01: Revelations shouldn't mean dismissal of Memphis 3.0 concerns. LOC Biology Professor Nabil Bayakly, quoted in The Commercial Appeal article about Dr. King's legacy.

WGU Tennessee, LeMoyne-Owen College Announce Partnership

LeMoyne-Owen College (LOC), a historically black college providing an excellent liberal arts education based in Memphis, Tenn., has partnered with nonprofit online university WGU Tennessee. The partnership ensures that LOC graduates and alumni have access to graduate degrees and programs through WGU Tennessee.

LeMoyne-Owen College applauds release of first UNCF HBCU Congressional Honor Roll

New UNCF Congressional Honor Roll Recognizes Members of Congress for their Support of HBCUs.

Local AKA's donate to LOC

Jane Venson-Talford and Ellen Edge, representing Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, presented a $1,000 check to LeMoyne-Owen College Feb. 3, 2019.

Sixty-first International Tea was another fund-raising home run for LOC

As a fundraiser, the 61st International Tea on Feb 17 once again was a success, garnering nearly $23,000 in donations from area churches for LeMoyne-Owen College.

Sixty-first International Tea is Sunday, Feb. 17

For 61 years, members of Memphis’ faith community have partnered with LeMoyne-Owen College to stage the International Tea, a major fundraiser for the college.

LOC will host National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame legacy lecture series

National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame brings legacy lecture series to LeMoyne-Owen College.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. to aid LOC's endowment

 Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA), in partnership with the Educational Advancement Foundation (EAF), has pledged an endowment in the amount of $100,000 to LeMoyne-Owen College as a part of the organization’s AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund.

LOC's longtime director of alumni affairs and sustained giving retires

LeMoyne-Owen College alumna Frankie Jeffries served the college for 31 years.

Dr. Strayhorn keynotes TOLEDO (Ohio) EXCEL program’s 35th Annual Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth

LOC's Vice President for Academic Affairs leaves message of hope and motivation with minority young people and their parents.

Black History Month Chapel features dedication of historical marker honoring Owen Junior College and LeMoyne College students

LOC's Black History Month Chapel Wednesdsay, Feb. 6,will include dedication of aTenessee historical marker honoring Owen Junior College and LeMoyne College students who helped desegregate public facilities.

Byam joins LOC as vice president of information technology/chief information officer

Stephan Byam brings 20-years of IT expertise to LeMoyne-Owen College on Feb. 14.

Professor Phillip Dotson receives LeMoyne-Owen College Community Partnership MLK Golden Award

Dotson's longtime advocacy for safe and clean neighborhoods is recognized on the MLK holiday.

President announces hiring of interim HR director

Ms. Quinn Slaughter tapped to head HR.

Telissah Williams becomes Interim Chair of the Division of Fine Arts and Humanities

Telissah Williams replaces retiring Clay Foster.

W. Anthony "Tony" Neal joins President Miller's Leadership team

Former United Way of the Mid-South executive is the new vice president of Institutional Advancement.

Second President's Gala is Saturday, Nov.10

The 2018 President's Gala celebrates the 50th anniversary of the merger of LeMoyne College and Owen Junior College.

Celebrated author Kiese Laymon to hold book signing and reading

Celebrated Southern writer Kiese Laymon will be at LeMoyne-Owen College Tuesday, Nov. 6, to read from and sign copies of his critically acclaimed memoir “Heavy: An American Memoir.”

President Miller to appear on Live at Nine on Monday morning

LeMoyne-Owen College President Andrea Lewis Miller and Adrienne Bailey will appear on WREG TV’s (Channel 3) local morning talk show Monday, Oct. 29, to discuss this year’s President’s Gala.

Congrats to our 2018 Homecoming Week winners

Homecoming Week winners are anounced.

Breakfast with LOC's National Alumni president

Newly elected LeMoyne-Owen  College National Alumni President Jesse Chatman (’71) will discuss his goals during a breakfast gathering Friday, Oct.26.

Tickets for the Second LOC President’s Gala are now on sale

Tickets for the second President’s Gala are now for sell. The price is $150.

Mt. Olive Cathedral CME Church pledges $5,000 to LOC

LeMoyne-Owen College’s Homecoming 2018 kicked off with an inspiring and entertaining start Sunday, Oct. 21, at Mt. Olive Cathedral CME Church, which celebrated LeMoyne-Owen College Day.

Dr. Ferebee joins Women in Technology panel

Dr. Denise Ferebee, LeMoyne-Owen College's director of cyber defense, will participate in  Women in Technolgy panel discussion.

2018 Homecoming schedule set

Homecoming runs from Oct. 21 through  Oct. 27.

LOC students will battle faculty and staff in annual Homecoming basketball game

Signup deadline approaches for annual students vs. faculty and staff basketball game.

LOC students and faculty and staff to battle basketball court

Signup deadline approaches for annual Homecoming students vs. faculty and staff basetball game.

Tickets for Second President's Gala are available

Tickets for the Second President's Gala celebrating the merger of LeMoyne College and Owen Junior College are available.

Volunteers from LOC and its community partners clean up campus and surrounding neighborhood

Volunteers from LeMoyne-Owen College and its community partners spent Saturday morning, Oct. 6, cleaning up the campus and surrounding neighborhood.

LeMoyne-Owen "Career Connections" career day

Students will be able to receive career information from more than 40 comapnies.

LeMoyne-Owen to host community cleanup

LeMoyne-Owen College and its community partners will holds a community cleanup on Oct. 6 

LOC president recognized as a "Super Woman in Business"

The Memphis Business Journal names Dr. Andrea Lewis Miller one of 25 Super Women in Business.

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