Congratulations is in order for Jarvis Christian College's President Dr. Lester C. Newman. He was just named Chair of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics  (NAIA) Council of Presidents (COP) effective July 1.

What exactly does all of this mean? The COP is composed of 23 institutional presidents who represent the 21 NAIA conferences, plus two at-large members. As part of the NAIA's shared governance model, the COP is designated as a governing body and has authority over membership, all fiscal matters, and conference operations.

"Lester's insight and thoughtfulness have already made a positive impact on the COP over the last five years," said NAIA President Jim Carr. "I look forward to working with him in this leadership role."

This is also exciting news because Dr. Newman is the first president of an HBCU to serve as Chair the NAIA COP. Dr. Newman has been the president of Jarvis Christian College, located in Hawkins, Texas, since April 2012 and a member of the COP for five years, as well as the Executive Committee for four years. As a COP member, he served as chairman of the audit review committee and represents the Red River Athletic Conference.

Before becoming President of Jarvis Christian College, Dr. Newman was President of Mississippi Valley State University and in several other senior-level administrative positions at Wiley College, Lane College and Johnson C. Smith University. He has also served in administrative positions at Kentucky State University and Southern University. Dr. Newman is originally from Shreveport, La., and received his bachelor's degree in political science from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees in political science from Atlanta University, now Clark Atlanta University.

 

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