Central State University has increased its focus on strengthening corporate partnerships by establishing the Center of Excellence for HBCU Corporate Engagement under the Division of Institutional Advancement.
The Center focuses on outreach, research, and development for student placement and talent pipeline development. Through partnerships with Nationwide, Procter and Gamble, Dominion Energy, and JP Morgan Chase, over $2 million has been raised for the Center in less than five months, forming the foundation for a multi-million dollar capital campaign.
The Center provides opportunities for Central State University undergraduate students to acquire the tools, develop the skills, and cultivate the mindset central to planning, launching, and managing a successful career.
We engage a broad variety of affiliates and partners from across campus, industries, and the community – from local to global – in our efforts.
The mission of the Division of Institutional Advancement at Central State University focuses on shaping the future of the University and its students by providing leadership, expertise, and support in the areas of fundraising, development and donor relations.
The Institutional Advancement team is committed to:
• securing public and private financial resources in support of the annual fund, the endowment, other institutional programs and the larger mission of the University;
• the creation and management of comprehensive solicitation and stewardship efforts;
• providing attentive and responsive alumni initiatives that foster mutually beneficial relationships and lifelong support;
• a commitment and insistence on accurate and timely donor information;
• an aggressive and responsive campaign strategy focused on growth and program enhancement;
Institutional Advancement team members remain fully committed to providing responsive, professional, and timely service to both the internal as well as external constituencies served by the University.
A growing number of companies across the country are working in conjunction with the Center to facilitate growth in rising industries and sustain a flow of education to meet growing demands for jobs.
Through education, programs, events, and career development, we inspire the next generation of enlightened business leaders, and social entrepreneurs.
The Center works to establish mutually beneficial relationships that advance the institution's overall mission. This includes sponsorships, workforce development partnerships, and education philanthropy.
Through collaboration with our partners, Central State students, faculty, and staff can reach across the globe making an impact. These innovative and leading work projects, provide valuable career-making experience.
The Center provides a forum for experiential student learning, access to industry experts, and resources and funds for academic scholarship. The Center strives to produce graduates equipped with the necessary analytical skills required for success in a global economy and workforce. Working with our partners, we identify career pathways for student development in alignment with industry needs assessments.
Data and Research
The Center identifies opportunities to capture current data and provide research-based case statements to support partnership establishment and cultivation that has critical real world impact. We produce state-level research on the relationship between education and employment, providing research assistance to our corporate partners to help them meet the needs of a diverse workforce.
Dr. Jack Thomas
President, Central State University
Dr. Thomas brings visibility and insights from experience in every aspect of academia. He has served in numerous roles throughout his career, including president, interim president, provost and academic vice president, executive vice president, executive assistant to the president, dean, department chair, and English professor.
Zillah Fluker, Ph.D.
Vice President, Division of Institutional Advancement
Director, Center of Excellence for HBCU Corporate Engagement
Dr. Fluker is a 17-year leader in Corporate America and Higher Education. In 2018, she founded and launched activate|elevate, LLC, a social media and marketing firm. Since 2016, activate|elevate manages a portfolio of institutions of higher education, small businesses, municipalities, non-profits, and private individuals' social media and marketing strategies across the United States.