The Passing of Executive Director Dr. George Cooper

The Passing of Executive Director Dr. George Cooper

I, along with the entire staff of the White House Initiative on HBCUs, am deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Dr. George Cooper.  Yesterday, I spent some time at Dr. Cooper’s home with his family.  As they mourn, they appreciate the encouragement and support from many people with whom Dr. Cooper has inspired.  Dr. Cooper provided us with guidance and mentorship.  As a supervisor, he was light on giving directives and heavy on imparting wisdom.  We grew under his leadership, as he provided the perfect mix of candor, levity and urgency with dealing with office priorities.  He was interesting to listen to and easy to talk with.  He took joy in blending new and senior perspectives on HBCUs.  His legacy lives on through all of us. – Ivory A. Toldson, Deputy Director

Below are official statements on Dr. Cooper’s passing:

Statement by the President on the Passing of Dr. George Cooper

Michelle and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. George Cooper, the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). As a native of Tallahassee, FL, George’s love of education and HBCUs began as a student at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, continuing his education at Tuskegee University and receiving his Ph. D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana. George spent the majority of his life ensuring that students at our nation’s HBCUs were receiving a quality education and had the necessary resources to succeed and make their communities and our country better. He served on the faculty at several universities including Alabama A&M University, Tuskegee University and as President of South Carolina State University. His service extended beyond working with students at institutions.  For 17 years, he worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, ensuring that HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions were receiving adequate resources to strengthen research and academic programs. George’s passing is a great loss for my Administration, the HBCU and higher education communities and for everyone that knew him.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Diane, family and friends during this difficult time. – Barack Obama, President

Statement by the Secretary of Education on the Passing of Dr. George Cooper

Dr. Cooper made a tremendous contribution that has benefited countless students in a full and extraordinary career.  Throughout his life, Dr. Cooper was committed to promoting excellence, innovation, and sustainability across our nation’s HBCUs.  Dr. Cooper provided the wisdom and direction needed to form important partnerships between HBCUs and the federal government.  He was staunchly committed to student development and success. This Administration has truly benefited from Dr. Cooper’s leadership and will continue our service and advocacy for HBCUs in a manner that follows his passion, persistence, and humility.  Like everyone here who had the opportunity to work with him, I was touched by his kindness, integrity, wisdom, and commitment.  Although he will be sorely missed, his legacy will live beyond him.  On behalf of the entire Department, I send my deepest condolences to his wife, Diane, his children, and the entire Cooper family.  – Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education

Statement by the Chair, President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs on the Passing of Dr. George Cooper

Today we lost a leader, Dr. George Cooper.  My most heartfelt condolences are with his wife, Diane, with whom I spoke earlier today. I have known George for almost forty years.  When I was the Administrative Vice President at Tuskegee University, he was a member of the faculty in the School of Veterinary Medicine.  I asked him to serve on the team preparing for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ reaffirmation of accreditation.  George was a conscientious, energetic and dependable worker.  He was thorough, focused and no-nonsense.  After that, every opportunity I had to have him serve on a committee, I had him do so.  I knew we could count on him. Later, when Dr. Cooper became president of South Carolina State University, our paths crossed often.  His wife, Dianne, my wife, Norma, he and I became good friends. In his most recent role as Executive Director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs, we met just about every Wednesday by phone and attended meetings together in Washington.  George always had the best interests of HBCUs at heart; and as he did forty years ago, he worked hard and conscientiously during his tenure at the White House Initiative for the benefit of the institutions about which he cared deeply.   He will be sorely missed by the community he served. – Chair William Harvey

Statement by CBC Chairman on the Passing of Dr. George Cooper

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. George Cooper, a lifelong supporter of higher education and our country’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  As a former president of South Carolina State University and the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Dr. George Cooper understood well the role that HBCUs continue to play in providing access to higher education for many African American and minority students.  He was a Senior Fellow with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and served 17 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, where he provided key oversight on programs and legislation impacting historically black land grant universities and other minority serving institutions.  Over the course of his life, Dr. George Cooper contributed great service to our country’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the impact of his legacy of service as a leader and champion in higher education will be remembered for generations to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. – Chair G. K. Butterfield


WHIHBCU Webinar: Federal Funding Opportunities at NASA! July 30th, 10:30AM-11:30AM EST

The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCU) will host a series of webinars to educate Historically Black Colleges and Universities on the grants and opportunities available to them throughout the federal government.

The WHIHBCU with co-host the first webinar with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on July 30, 2015 from 10:30-11:30AM.

This webinar will feature a presentation by NASA highlighting their funding opportunities for HBCUs. Representatives from the HBCU community are invited and encouraged to view the webinar live and ask questions. Webinar information is listed below.

Date: July 30, 2015

Time: 10:30AM -11:30AM (EST)

To join the online meeting (Now from mobile devices!)

1. Go to
2. If requested, enter your name and email address.
3. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: DELL$567wernji
4. Click “Join”.

To view in other time zones or languages, please click the link:

To join the audio conference only

Conference Call phone: 844 467-6272

Passcode: 451600#

For technical assistance
1. Go to
2. On the left navigation bar, click “Support”.


U.S. Department of Commerce- Job Announcements

The Office of Human Capital Strategy and Diversity at Commerce has an opportunity for a Human Resources Specialist with Training and Development experience. The links below provide direct access to the announcements. The job announcement closes on Tuesday, July 14, 2015.

OS/OHRM-2015-0025 (DEU)

OS/OHRM-2015-0026 (MAP)

Online and Panel Reviewers Still Needed

NASA Research and Education Support Services (NRESS) is seeking persons willing to serve as peer reviewers for a program element listed under Education Opportunities in NASA STEM (EONS) 2014 entitled, NASA MUREP Educator Institutes (MEI). Information about this opportunity, proposal requirements and evaluation criteria can be found on the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES) website at

Peer review is a critical component of the decision-making process for awarding projects.  Your participation will assist in identifying high-quality projects by engaging individuals with different backgrounds, perspectives and areas of expertise in the review process.

NASA MUREP Educators Institutes (MEI) were due on June 30, 2015, and reviewers will be selected based on the subject matter of the proposals received. If you are selected, you will be notified by email which will contain detailed instructions on the process.

The Online will begin on July 13th and conclude on July the 17th.  No reviewer will be asked to review more than three proposals.

The PANEL review period is scheduled for the week of July 27, 2015 at Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi. The panel will last 2-3 days. All travel arrangements for non-civil servants will be covered by NASA Research Education and Support Services (NRESS) including an honorarium of $200 for each day of the panel.

Please indicate your availability via email by COB July 10, 2015.  Please list your availability for the week of July 27, 2015 and please email a copy of your CV or resume to .

Empowering Working Families Across America with Valerie Jarrett and Mayor Kasim Reed- July 7th

With Special Thanks to the City of Atlanta and Mayor Kasim Reed,

The White House and Department of Labor invite you to participate in an

  Armchair Conversation on “Lead on Leave: Empowering Working Families Across America”

Building on the President’s State of the Union announcements supporting greater workplace flexibility for families, the White House and the Department of Labor are pleased to invite you to our next step in the “Lead on Leave: Empowering Working Families Across America” tour. We hope you can join Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, and Senior Advisor to President Obama and Chair of the White House Council on Women & Girls Valerie Jarrett for this important conversation about how to support working families across the nation.

When:            Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Please arrive by 11:00 AM. The program will begin at 11:15 AM

Where:           Atlanta City Hall

Old Council Chambers

68 Mitchell St SW

Atlanta, GA 30303

RSVP:  Please RSVP with first name, last name, organization, and e-mail address to by Monday, July 6 at 10:00 AM Eastern Time.  RSVPs will be honored on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis. Please send on to others who may be interested in the conversation.

For questions, please e-mail the White House Council on Women & Girls at or call (202) 456-4853.


Webinar: Partnership Resources to Help Prepare Houses of Worship for Emergencies

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to invite you to a webinar to help connect faith-based and community organizations with tools, resources, and partners to help prepare their houses of worship for all hazards, including active shooter incidents.

This webinar is a collaborative effort between the DHS Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships, a center of the White House Office of Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships, and FEMA.

Title: Partnership Resources to Help Prepare Houses of Worship for Emergencies

Date: Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Time:  2:00 – 3:15 p.m. (ET)

How to Join the Webinar:

This link is also contained in the invitation below, “Adobe Connect Registration Web Link.”

Job and internship Opportunities with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC )

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) has job and internship opportunities within their organization.

Brief Background:

OMWI was established in July of 2011, as required by Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.  OMWI is responsible for:

  • taking affirmative steps to seek diversity at all levels of the SEC’s workforce,
  • increasing participation of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the SEC’s programs and contracts, including standards for coordinating technical assistance to such businesses; and
  • assessing the diversity policies and practices of entities regulated by the SEC.

For more information please contact:

German Rochez
Recruitment Coordinator, Contractor
Phone: 202-551-6046| Email:

President Obama Honors the Life of Pastor and State Senator Clementa Pickney

White House Blog Post – President Obama Honors the Life of Pastor and State Senator Clementa Pinckney

Watch the full Eulogy here:

“We are here today to remember a man of God who lived by faith. A man who believed in things not seen. A man who believed there were better days ahead, off in the distance. A man of service who persevered, knowing full well he would not receive all those things he was promised, because he believed his efforts would deliver a better life for those who followed.”

— President Obama, on the late Rev. Clementa Pinckney



WASHINGTON – Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch released the following statement today after the Supreme Court ruling in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project Inc.:

“I am pleased that the Supreme Court has affirmed that the Fair Housing Act encompasses disparate impact claims, which are an essential tool for realizing the Act’s promise of fair and open access to housing opportunities for all Americans.  While our nation has made tremendous progress since the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968, disparate impact claims remain an all-too-necessary mechanism for rooting out discrimination in housing and lending.  By recognizing that laws, policies and practices with unjustified discriminatory effects are inconsistent with the Fair Housing Act, today’s decision lends support to hardworking Americans who are attempting to find good housing opportunities for themselves and their families.  Bolstered by this important ruling, the Department of Justice will continue to vigorously enforce the Fair Housing Act with every tool at its disposal – including challenges based on unfair and unacceptable discriminatory effects.”