The new leader of Virginia State University will help to position the school into one of the country’s best public universities, VSU Board of Visitors Rector and Search Committee Chair Harry Black said in a news release on Dec. 15.

Dr. Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D. transitions to VSU’s 14th President from the provost of Bethune-Cookman University in Florida. Dr. Abdullah was selected from more than 200 applicants seeking the position, reports the Daytona Times.


In remarks at his introduction to the Trojan Nation, Dr. Abdullah outlined his four core beliefs. “I believe in God. I believe in family. I believe in the transformative nature of education. I believe in Virginia State University.”

President of Bethune-Cookman, Edison O. Jackson, said, “It is a pleasure to announce Virginia State University’s next president and 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.”

In a statement to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, James said Dr. Abdullah was selected because he “stood out” from the others who sought the job:

“He stood out – his energy, his demeanor, his history. He stood out as a difference maker, as someone who could provide transformative leadership and who could unite the entire university family.”

Dr. Abdullah earned his bachelor’s degree at Howard University in the nation’s capital.

— Tommy G. Meade Jr. is the Editor-in-Chief of HBCU Buzz. Follow him on Twitter: @TommyGMeadeJr