VSU President selected for Biden’s Board of Advisors for HBCUs


VSU President Dr. Makola Abdullah speaks with students.

On March 31, 2022, President Biden announced the selection of Virginia State University’s President Dr. Makola M. Abdullah, for Biden’s Board of Advisors for HBCUs. 

President Abdullah’s selection for the Board came as a surprise. 

“I am truly honored that Virginia State University and I, as a representative of Virginia State University, can serve at this high level,” Abdullah said. “With things like these, people will let you know if you are being ‘vetted’ for something. So, I certainly knew it was a possibility, but before I found out it was a possibility, I did not expect it to happen.”

According to an article by The Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The board will submit an annual federal plan for assistance for HBCUs, advise the Secretary of Education and make recommendations on how to increase the private sector role in strengthening HBCUs.”

While the Board has yet to meet, President Abdullah is ready to get to work.

I want to be a listener,” Abdullah said. “I want to advocate for all of our institutions and do the best we can to make sure that we highlight the great work that the faculty, staff, and students do at Virginia State University.”

The Board also includes 17 other notable people, like Norfolk State President Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, Chief Executive Officer for Prince George’s County Public Schools, Dr. Monica Goldson, and Golden Globe-winning actor and HBCU Graduate Taraji P. Henson.

“Everybody on the Board of Advisors, whether they be presidents or non-presidents, have strong ties and have already shown in their past to be advocates for HBCUs,” Abdullah said. “So I would expect us to try to work together to be great… To do the exact same thing that we have always been doing, which is a fight for the young people who are in school at our institutions. 

President Abdullah believes the initiative will highlight Virginia State University and other HBCUs.

“We do incredible work here at VSU,” Abdullah said. “I’m so proud of our faculty, staff, and students. Our graduates are alums that are really making a difference in the world. More people need to understand and respect and see the great work that happens at Virginia State University. So anytime we get an opportunity to stand on a national stage and let people know how great VSU is, that’s always awesome.”