The Lina H. McCord program welcomes eight students from United Methodist-related historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) to serve as its 2017 summer interns. The summer intern program, sponsored by the Black College Fund (BCF), a ministry of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), follows a model of communication and interaction that is a hallmark of the United Methodist Church’s earliest traditions. The new interns were selected in the fall and traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for an orientation program in January 2017.
The five-day orientation included guest speakers and training designed to sharpen and enhance the students’ communications skills, help them build networking and leadership skills and strive for personal and corporate excellence. As part of their training, the students toured Meharry Medical College (a BCF school), along with local United Methodist agencies and offices, including the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Africa University Development Office, Discipleship Ministries, the General Commission on United Methodist Men, the General Council on Finance and Administration, the United Methodist Publishing House and United Methodist Communications.
Throughout the year, the students travel across United Methodist jurisdictions and annual conferences representing BCF and GBHEM. After successfully completing one year as an intern, students have the opportunity to become ambassadors, a permanent designation, which allows continued travel and representation of the program. Two current ambassadors, Jessica Love, graduate of Rust College, and Markus McKinney, senior at Rust College, attended orientation to help with training and serve as mentors for the newly selected interns.
“Lina H. McCord interns and ambassadors are critical to helping annual conferences and congregations in The United Methodist Church see where their money is going,” said Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson, assistant general secretary, Black College Fund and Ethnic Concerns, Division of Higher Education at GBHEM. “Historically black colleges and universities are still relevant and important in the life of the church. This program gives these students skills and an opportunity to share their success stories with United Methodists who have generously supported the Black College Fund. The McCord ambassadors are our best and brightest scholars and they beautifully represent the other 16,000 students who attend these 11 schools each year.”
The ambassadors are named for the fund’s longtime executive director, the late Lina H. McCord, and must be recommended by their chaplain and college or university’s president to participate.
2017 Lina H. McCord Summer Interns:
- Russell R. Williams III, Philander Smith College
- Rochelle Givens, Bennett College
- Tiaara A. Anderson, Philander Smith College
- Brittani Levine, Claflin University
- Ryan Hardin, Paine College
- Raymal McCowan, Huston-Tillotson University
- Christian Menzi, Rust College
- Taylor Willis, Claflin University
The Black College Fund, established by the 1972 United Methodist General Conference, provides support for operations, programs and capital improvements at the denomination’s 11 HBCUs. The fund allows the institutions to keep their tuition and cost low. The United Methodist Church supports more HBCUs than any other religious organization.
“Because United Methodists faithfully and generously give to the Black College Fund, generations of students are able to dream, do and lead,” continues Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson. “Lina H. McCord interns and ambassadors are a shining example of the amazing work our institutions do every day.”
To learn more about the Black College Fund and all United Methodist-related colleges and universities, visit www.gbhem.org.
About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to lead and connect the educational and ministerial life of church. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call on their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.