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President Jackson Announces Provost Makola Abdullah as Next President at Virginia State University

B-CU Provost Makola Abdullah Named 14th President of Virginia State University in Petersburg, VA
President Jackson Reaches Record Number of Named Presidents Under His Leadership and Guidance


December 16, 2015 – Daytona Beach, Fla. – President Edison O. Jackson officially announced Provost Makola Abdullah as the next president of Virginia State University (VSU) at B-CU’s Fall Commencement Ceremony.   Abdullah is the 10th leader that has moved on to a presidency under Dr. Jackson’s mentorship; and the second from B-CU.   Former B-CU vice president, Dr. Dwaun Warmack, was named the 19th president at Harris-Stowe University in 2014.  Dr. Makola Abdullah is slated to begin his presidency at VSU on February 1st.   

Watch the video of VSU's announcement.  

President Jackson is extremely excited for Dr. Abdullah, praising him for all of his accomplishments at B-CU and his effective academic leadership. “It is a pleasure to announce Virginia State University’s next president as one of my dear colleagues.  Dr. Abdullah has done tremendous work here at B-CU and I am confident in his ability to lead Virginia State University,” says President Jackson.  Abdullah credits President Jackson’s mentorship as one of the main reasons he has this opportunity.  “I was able to openly share my career aspirations with President Jackson.  He was always welcoming and offered wisdom to help me achieve the ultimate goal,” says Abdullah.  “It has been a privilege to work under his tutelage.” 

Abdullah is a native of Chicago and obtained his bachelor’s degree from Howard University.  He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Upon graduation from Northwestern University, he was recognized as the youngest African American to ever receive a Ph. D. in engineering.  Prior to joining B-CU, Abdullah served as provost and vice president at Florida Memorial University.  He also spent a 15 year-tenure at Florida A & M University, where he most recently served as the Dean and Director of 1890 Land Grant Programs in the College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture.

For more information, please contact Keisha Boyd – or (386)481-2991.

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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