Emily M. Dickens, J.D. Named Speaker for December 9 Fall Commencement

Posted on Nov 30, 2017

Emily Dickens Emily Dickens

FORT VALLEY, GA (November 15, 2017) "” Fort Valley State University today announced Emily M. Dickens, J.D., as the Fall 2017 Commencement Speaker. Dickens is the senior vice president, general counsel, and chief relationship officer at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF).

More information about Fall 2017 Commencement can be found here.

Commencement will take place on Saturday, December 9, 2017 in FVSU's Health and Physical Education Complex, 1005 State University Drive, Fort Valley, GA 31030. Guests are asked to be seated at 9:00 a.m. A total of 296 fall and summer graduates are eligible to participate in the ceremony.

Dickens provides leadership and strategic direction to support TMCF's 47 member schools in four major areas: board of director relations, policy and advocacy, member-school administration relations, and legal affairs.

TMCF, the nation's largest organization exclusively representing the black college community, has awarded more than $250 million in assistance to students and member-schools. TMCF member-schools include Fort Valley State University and other publicly-supported historically black colleges and universities and predominantly black institutions, which enroll nearly 80% of all students attending black colleges and universities. Through scholarships, capacity-building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource for institutions and students involved in PK-12 and higher education and for employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and careers.

A native of Queens, New York, Dickens is a first-generation college graduate who has spent most of her career advocating for access to higher education. She served as a staffer in the mayor's office in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she honed her skills in local and state government relations, economic development, and partnership development. She then joined the University of North Carolina system's second-oldest campus, Fayetteville State University (FSU), as the director of government and community affairs. Her successful tenure included securing over $7M in federal funding, realigning sponsorships to meet strategic needs , an appointment as executive director of the FSU Development Corporation, and expanding the Chancellor's Speaker Series. In 2012, she became assistant vice president for federal relations for the University of North Carolina system.

Dickens moved to Washington, DC to assume the role of vice president for public policy and executive director for the Center for Public Trusteeship and Governance at the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities. There, she worked with the nation's board leaders and executives on federal and state higher education issues critical to their success. While she was executive director, the center almost doubled its revenue from the prior year with close to half a million dollars in funding.

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