Ep. 004 – Ayers Settlement and Mississippi HBCUs

Episode Summary – Get the inside scoop on the current state of affairs at Mississippi HBCUs as the state and it’s HBCUs battle for funding years after the famed Ayers Settlement.   Join the conversation with Dr. Cornell Thomas, a Jackson State University alumnus, a longtime educator, and special consultant to the Tom Joyner Foundation and Dr. William B. Bynum Jr., Jackson State University’s, president and former Mississippi Valley State’s president. 


  • The background and history behind landmark court ruling referred to as the Ayers Settlement
  • Legacy and impact of the 3 HBCUs in relation to the settlement
  • HBCU Construction impact
  • Why endowment funds are low at HBCUs 
  • Difference between the two types of endowment 
  • How Senate and House representation could help
  • What is “the stepdown”
  • What happens once funding expires in 4 years
  • Why alumni advocacy is important

HBCUs Mentioned in this Episode Jackson State University, Alcorn State University, Mississippi Valley State University


Dr. Cornell Thomas is a consultant for the Tom Joyner Foundation as well as a Professor for Educational Leadership at Texas Christain University. Prior to, Dr. Thomas served as the eleventh President of historically black college, Jarvis Christain College. He also a graduate of Jackson State University where he received his master’s in music education.

Dr. William Bynum is currently the 11th president of Jackson State University. Before joining the Jackson State University family, Bynum served four years as president of Mississippi Valley State University.


Jackson State University Twitter: @JacksonStateU

Jackson State University Instagram: @jacksonstateu

Mississippi Valley State University Twitter: @MVSUDEVILS

Mississippi Valley State University Instagram: @mvsu1950

Alcorn State University Twitter: @alcornstateu

Alcorn State University Instagram: @alcornstatu

Ayers v Fordice case law: https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp2/40/382/2380890/

Ayers v. Fordice

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Support HBCUs with the Tom Joyner Foundation:

The Tom Joyner Foundation was founded in 1998 as the brainchild of nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner. The mission of the Foundation is to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with scholarships, endowments and capacity-building enhancements.

The Foundation has provided necessary support to every HBCU in its 20-year history to help sustain and preserve the legacies of these valuable institutions. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, $65 million has been raised to support more than 29,000 students attending HBCUs.


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