Spring Convocation: The Gold Standard

The 2022 Spring Convocation featured the newly named vice president of Academic Affairs, Dr. Febbie Dickerson. Her 15-minute speech was powerful and impactful presenting ways to perform at the Gold Standard level.

As a parable, she based her message on First Corinthians 12:14-21. “There are many members but one body.” She compared that passage to American Baptist College with its many departments, units, segments, etc., all with different responsibilities, yet working together to reach the Gold Standard. “The body is one with many members, each part fulfilling its proper role,” said Dickerson.

In her focus directly to students, she said school is a foundational platform and has curves. It takes all of us to shape lives. Based on the 1978 hit by the Parliament Funkadelic, "One Nation Under a Groove", she said. “We must dance our way out of our constrictions.” It is clear, Dr. Dickerson is going for the Gold!

Among faculty, staff, students and alumni, Board Chair Dennie Marshall and Board Member Rev. Dr. Julius Scruggs were in attendance and recognized by the President.

The event closed with President Harris encouraging students and faculty alike to always do their best to reach the Gold Standard. In the traditional Lighting the Flame Ceremony, he shared that the American Baptist College flame lights a path forever. "It is a flame against injustice, hatred, suffering, homelessness, poor education, racism, and many more social ills, so that we can rise with a spirit of Shaping Lives, Anchoring Education In Justice and Love For Student Success."

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Healthy Lifestyles at the Northwest YMCA

It's a good day to be in the neighborhood at the Northwest YMCA in Nashville.

On Saturday, January 22, representatives of the Northwest Family YMCA and the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation, along with Nashville Mayor John Cooper and local residents, celebrated the grand opening of the BlueCross Healthy Place at the Northwest Family YMCA. Located in the city’s Bordeaux community, the $6.4 million space is the 14th BlueCross Healthy Place the foundation has completed across the state. It has recreational opportunities for visitors of all abilities, and it is open to the public regardless of YMCA membership status. To date, the BlueCross Foundation has invested $31.7 million dollars in BlueCross Healthy Places throughout Tennessee.

“When our team visited the YMCA, we saw how well-loved it is, and we realized we could enhance its features and expand access by bringing a BlueCross Healthy Place to the area,” said Chelsea Johnson, director of the BlueCross Foundation. “We’re excited to see the space being used by local residents of all ages.”

The HBCU Consortium is a part of this project, which includes American Baptist College, led by Phyllis Hildreth, Vice President for Strategy and Chief of Staff for the Office of the President. "Locating this Healthy Place in the heart of this historic neighborhood demonstrates the possibilities and power unleashed when communities and corporate neighbors think together, learn together, then work together," said Hildreth. "We look forward to bringing our curriculum, our congregations, and our joy into this beautiful outdoor space."

During the ribbon-cutting, Hildreth was praised for her work with facilitating tense discussions about the Y's services. She has also been named to the Middle Tennessee YMCA Board.

The Northwest Family YMCA is located on Ashland City Highway in North Nashville.

American Baptist College has extended its work-from-home and virtual classes through the month of February. As part of President Harris's remarks during ABC’s 2022 Spring semester Convocation ceremonies, he announced that in recognition of the continued threat posed by the COVID-19 Omicron variant to the health and wellness of the College’s employees and students; the College will remain in “work at home” and remote/virtual learning modes for the month of February, 2022.

The decision to continue the work from home was based on reports of the COVID various variants that are still at a high level. In order to keep staff, faculty, and students in a safe space, classes will still operate in a virtual modality and work on campus will be limited with COVID and CDC guidelines strictly enforced.
We are also reminding students and our greater ABC community to do their part to stop the spread. Wear a properly fitted mask when physical distancing is not possible or when in poorly ventilated settings; wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub; and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. 

For those who have not taken a vaccine/booster, one medical location to consider is Meharry Medical College, an HBCU partner in the Nashville HBCU consortium. You can make an appointment to receive your booster immunization online or call 615-327-6348.

Additional Resources

A Statement on the U.S. Senate Filibuster from President Harris

The week before the national Martin Luther King holiday, the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Bill stalled in the U.S. Senate due to the filibuster rule, a tactic employed by opponents of a proposed law to prevent a bill's final passage. 

In the 1970s, the Senate adopted a "two-track" system that was intended in part as a progressive reform to prevent filibusters from completely blocking Senate business. Under the new rules, however, legislation could be blocked simply by submitting a written notice of intent to filibuster. This rule change inadvertently introduced a supermajority requirement to the Senate, since it became possible for the minority to filibuster legislation without having to physically hold the floor of the Senate.

I am calling on U.S. Senators representing the State of Tennessee to allow their consciousness for justice to encourage them to do the right thing. First, I call upon them to vote to change the filibuster, so voting bills can be decided by a simple majority vote. Second, vote for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Bill. Our democracy stands on the hallowed ground of the right to vote, unhindered and accessible to all Americans. The liberties of our democracy guarantee the unalienable right to vote. I urge you all, of your own choosing, to sound the alarm for passage of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Bill. Our nation will be better for it.

February is Black History Month

Black History Month recognition begins in February for the entire month. This recognition originated in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson. He and Jesse F. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. It brought attention to the mission of the ASALH and to help school systems coordinate their focus on the topic of promoting studying Black history as a discipline and celebrating the accomplishments of African Americans. The week celebration was selected for the second week in February because it encompassed both the birthdays of Frederick Douglass (Feb. 14) and Abraham Lincoln, (February 12).  The recognition moved to an entire month to provide more attention to African American life.  

American Baptist College will present video messages on traditional and social media about the legacy and future of this historic institution.

Professor Demetria McCroskey Joins the Division of Institutional Advancement

Professor Demetria McCroskey, along with her teaching responsibilities, is Director of Title III programs for the College. She coordinates approximately $2 million per year to operationalize and coordinate funds for various units of the College.

McCroskey has been working with the Title III programs for more than six years and has developed a vital skill for all aspects of the programs. In an effort to maximize the federal and philanthropic funds for the College, the move to Institutional Advancement allows McCroskey to work directly with various federal agencies identifying and seeking more federal funding opportunities for the College. Title III programs are handled by the president, officially.
The energetic academic professor is earning her doctorate degree in Leadership and Professional Practice at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville.

FAFSA Deadline Approaching

Students: The State of Tennessee Priority Deadline to file your 2022-2023 FAFSA is February 1, 2022. If you need assistance, please contact the American Baptist College Office of Financial Aid at

American Baptist College Federal Code: 010460

Click here for Federal Student Aid Filing Website

Supporting ABC Allows Us to Offer Students a Unique Opportunity to Achieve Academic Success

By providing a financial contribution, you can directly impact their lives, this community, and our world.

Donate to American Baptist College

We Remember

Alumni and Friends

This section of the newsletter has been developed to show love and respect for former students, faculty, and supportive friends of the College and will be published once a month.

This section allows us to honor the legacy of our beloved family members who have transitioned. We will continue to share the stories of their lives, as we allow their spirts to infuse our lives with hope, love, and joy.
Dr. Jamye Coleman WilliamsAtlanta, GA
A stalwart educator in Nashville and professor at Tennessee State University was highly regarded throughout the nation.  She was a strong advocate for social justice and Life Member of the NAACP and a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She will be remembered with love and honor. After her retirement, she and her late husband, Dr. McDonald Williams had been married for 75 years.  Dr. Williams was 103 years at her passing.
December 15, 1918--January 19, 2022

Rev. Dr. James Henry - Nashville, TN
Former student and professor, retired pastor of Mt. Ararat M.B. Church
Oct. 10, 1939 - Dec. 26, 2021

Minister Gregory Clay - Chattanooga, TN
Former student 
May 7, 1989 - Dec. 29, 2021

Dr. Jocelyn Johnson - Maryland
Passed, December 2021
February 17, 2022
3rd Annual HBCU College Expo
Wilson High School
Florence, SC

February 24, 2022
School District 228 HBCU College Fair
Hillcrest High School
Country Club Hills, IL
February 26, 2022
AKA HBCU College Fair
Gainesville High School
Gainesville, GA

March 5, 2022
Houston HBCU Alumni College Fair
Marriott South Hobby Hotel
Houston, TX
February 25, 2022
ABC Day - Chattanooga

March 13, 2022
ABC Strong Day - Wisconsin

March 21-23, 2022
Garnett-Nabrit Lecture Series

May 12, 2022
Spring Commencement

Tennessee Lookout - Artist McBride drew inspiration from John Lewis

Aviation Pros -The Tennessee Tribune Store Debuts at Nashville International Airport

Globe News Wire - Cutting-Edge Technology Platform Encredibox Partners With American Baptist College to Safely Provide Career Coaching Essentials

News Channel 5 Nashville - Nashville honors Rep. John Lewis with downtown mural

The Tennessean - Nashville Historical Commission Secures Grant to Study City's Civil Rights Movement

Tennessee Tribune - American Baptist Enthusiastically Celebrates 97 Years

Main Street Nashville - Agewell Middle Tennessee announces 2021 Sage Award winners

Education Post - The System Failed Me

Main Street Nashville - John Lewis Way: The power of an idea, powered by community

American Baptist College has survived and thrived for 97 years. Established out of a desire to train African American preachers, it now is a full-fledged Historically Black College/University and offers both Associate's and Bachelor's degrees. Nestled on the “Holy” Hill in North Nashville, this College is a treasured institution in teaching, guiding and developing leaders of social change for the 21st century and beyond. Our work places a SEAL (Social Justice, Equity, Advocacy, and Leadership) on the world. 
Copyright © 2021, American Baptist College. All rights reserved.

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