Philander Smith College was chosen “Non-Profit Organization of the Year” by the Arkansas Business Publishing Group during its 2012 Arkansas Business of the Year Awards ceremony held at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. The event was presented by Centennial Bank.
It was the 24th year for the annual event which honors businesses in three categories, business executives, nonprofit executives and nonprofit organizations in Arkansas.
The college was nominated by Board of Trustees President Bob Birch and received the title based on several criteria including our work in helping black males succeed in college. In 2007, the college was the first Arkansas college or university to give substantive energy to improve the rates of black men graduating. The college’s efforts have led to a black male graduation rate of 22 percent, up from 11 percent.
College President Walter Kimbrough said the work isn’t done. He hopes to escalate the graduation rate of black males to first or second place among colleges in Arkansas within three years.
Arkansas Business readers nominate businesses, executives and nonprofits for the awards, and an independent panel of judges determines the winners.