Four Black Scholars Appointed to Endowed Chairs at Major Universities

Barbara Ransby has been named to the John D. MacArthur Endowed Chair at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a professor of history, gender and women’s studies, and Black studies. Dr. Ransby is the author of three books including her latest work Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the 21st Century (University of California Press, 2018).

A native of Detroit, Dr. Ransby earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Columbia University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan.

Kiese Laymon is the inaugural holder of the Hubert H. McAlexander Chair of English at the University of Mississippi. He joined the faculty at the university in 2015 as a John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writer in Residence. Professor Laymon created the Catherine Coleman Initiative for the Arts and Social Justice in the department of English at the university to expose high school students to fine arts and creative writing. The initiative is named after his grandmother. Professor Laymon is the author of several books including Heavy: An American Memoir (Scribner, 2018).

Professor Laymon is a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio. He earned a master of fine arts degree from Indiana University.

Annette Gordon-Reed, the Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard Law School and professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, has been named the Charles M. Loeb University Professor, Harvard’s highest faculty honor. She joined the faculty at Harvard in 2010 after teaching at New York Law School. Her book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton, 2008), won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

Professor Gordon-Reed is a graduate of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she majored in history. She earned a juris doctorate at Harvard Law School.

Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard Univerity in Wahington, D.C., was selected to serve as the Charles R. Drew Endowed Chair of Surgery. The Charles R. Drew Endowed Chair of Surgery was established in the Howard University College of Medicine in the early 1990’s as a memorial to one of the most prominent African Americans in medicine, Dr. Charles R. Drew. Dr. Drew was a faculty member and head of the department of surgery at Howard University and Chief of Surgery at Freedman’s Hospital, now Howard University Hospital, before his tragic death in a car accident on April 1, 1950 at the age of 46.

Dr. Frederick was appointed the 17th president of Howard University in 2014. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Frederick enrolled at Howard University when he was 16 years old. In six years he earned his bachelor’s and medical degrees. He completed his surgical residency at Howard and then was a surgical oncology fellow at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He also holds an MBA from the School of Business at Howard University.


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