Thurgood Marshall College Fund Founder Dr. N. Joyce Payne Serves as Central State University’s 2011 Commencement Speaker


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WASHINGTON – (April 22, 2011) Dr. N. Joyce Payne, founder of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and former Executive Director of the National Alliance for Public Trust, a new organization committed to advancing principled leadership, inspired scholarship and trusted stewardship, will serve as the commencement speaker on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 10 a.m. at the graduation ceremonies at Central State University (CSU) at McPherson Stadium in Wilberforce, OH.

In addition to being CSU’s 2011 commencement speaker, Dr. Payne will also receive her fifth honorary doctorate. Previously, she has received honorary doctorates from Lincoln University of Missouri, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Kentucky State University and the University of the District of Columbia. She also received the distinguished Presidential Award from Delaware State University and was inducted in the HBCU Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame of the District of Columbia.

“I am honored to speak to CSU’s 2011 graduating class. CSU’s legacy and the success of their President John Garland epitomize Justice Thurgood Marshall’s belief that everyone has a greater opportunity in life when coupled with a higher level of education. Like TMCF, CSU and John Garland are “Changing the World…One Leader at a Time,” Dr. Payne said.

CSU is one of the nation’s oldest historically black universities. It has a 122-year legacy of academic and athletic achievements. CSU offers leading edge programs in urban education, manufacturing, environmental engineering and jazz studies and has graduated generations of leaders in fields ranging from education, business and communications to the natural sciences and the fine and performing arts.


CSU’s President, John W. Garland, Esq. has a 24-year legacy of supporting TMCF. He is the university’s seventh president and since being appointed in 1997, has battled heavy odds to forge a successful career in higher education and law. When he accepted the presidency of his alma mater, he returned to serve a campus that nurtured him as a young man returning from war.

Since accepting the presidency of CSU, Garland has led a successful effort to restore financial and operational stability. Enrollment has grown significantly under his leadership, the university has established strong cooperative relationships with its sister institutions in Ohio and has won pledges of support from Ohio’s political and educational leadership.

Dr. Payne accepted her former position of the National Alliance for Public Trust following her retirement as Vice President of the Office for the Advancement of Public Black Colleges and Council of Student Affairs (OAPBC) at the National Association of State University and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) in cooperation with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (ASSCU). Before joining OAPBC, Payne was the President of Global Systems, Inc. and was a senior staff member under the Carter Administration with the President’s Advisory Committee for Women; the President’s National Advisory Council on Women’s Education Programs and the White House Conference on Families. She has also taught at the former Federal City College and at George Washington University and currently serves as a Senior Social Scientist (consultant) with the Gallup Organization and as a consultant on international programs for TMCF.

An authority on women’s issues with regard to higher education and labor force participation, Dr. Payne has published and presented a number of papers. She received a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from the former District of Columbia Teachers College and earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in education from the former Atlanta University.


The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), named for the U.S. Supreme Court's first African-American Justice, was established in 1987. TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending our 47-member schools, which include public Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs). TMCF’s work is critical to guaranteeing our country a robust and diverse pipeline of talented workers and future leaders. TMCF achieves its vision of “Changing the World . . . One Leader at a Time” by focusing on three areas: Scholarships, Capacity Building & Programmatic Support and Public Policy & Advocacy.