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  • Writer's pictureThe Dayton Weekly News

New Name on Campus

The Central State University Board of Trustees approved the renaming of the College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture to the John W. Garland College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture, on June 3, 2022.

A celebration of the new name will take place during Homecoming Week, 2022. President Emeritus John W. Garland, who served as the President of Central State University from 1997 to 2012, will be on campus on Friday, October 7 to speak about the honor at noon, in the Joshua I. Smith Center for Education and Natural Sciences Rotunda.

He was instrumental in obtaining the designation of Central State University as an 1890 Land-Grant institution, which provides more federal resources to the University. The 1890 Land-Grant designation allows for innovative teaching and research capacity in areas of science, technology, engineering, agriculture, and math, and improves outreach and support to the surrounding area. “I have a passion for this university. I know what it can do in terms of producing some of the finest leaders in the country.” Garland said in the July 11, 2007, publication of Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

According to University records, 2012 enrollment increased 165% and incoming student enrollment increased 700%, since 1997 when Garland started as President of Central State University.

In 2018 the John W. Garland and Carolyn Farrow Garland Non-Endowed Fund to provide financial support for Central State University was established for students with academic financial needs. “Alumni support is critical as it creates a giving point of reference for current students, sets the example for alumni and supporters, and provides financial backing for academic and non-academic activities that are not financed by the state,” Garland said in a Feb. 26, 2018, Dayton Daily News article written by Max Filby.

A 1971 Central State University Alum, Garland also led the University through two cycles of reaffirmation of accreditation by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, oversaw the complete rebuilding of the University’s financial and administrative systems, initiated the development of a facilities master plan for four residence halls, the Center for Education and Natural Sciences, and College of Engineering and Natural Sciences.

Prior to becoming University President, Garland served for four years as the director of Legal Services of the Coastal Plains, a legal services program that served 14 rural counties, some with majority African American populations, in northeast North Carolina. He represented Black farmers who were losing their farms because of the racially motivated actions of local Farmers Home Administration officials. In this capacity, he filed numerous discrimination complaints with the USDA on behalf of Black farmers, challenging the overtly discriminatory acts and practices of the local county FHA Office; these efforts were prominently featured and cited in the "The Decline of Black Farming in America", A Report of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, 1982, on pages 92, 180, and 181.

Resolution 2022-30 read in part, “…in grateful recognition of the significant contributions that President Emeritus Garland has made to Central State University, and the advancement of the African American agricultural community at large, the Board of Trustees at Central State University seek to name the College of Engineering, Science, Technology and Agriculture for President Emeritus Garland.”

“The Mission of Central State University is to become a premier community-based outreach and educational program leader that provides a holistic Extension approach to improve the overall conditions facing families in rural and urban communities and addressing agricultural issues in rural and urban locations”, Central State University President Dr. Jack Thomas said. “This tribute to President Emeritus Garland is a testimony to the extraordinary, distinguished contributions he has made to expand the opportunities for the University to build an inclusive environment where everyone participating in our programs will reach their full potential,” he added.

Currently, Garland is a Lawyer, Higher Education Administrator, and Senior Consultant for Academic Search. Professional affiliations include: The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Advisory Board, Former Board of Directors of American Council on Education, Chairman of Commission on Minorities in Higher Education, The National Conference of Black Lawyers, former Board of Visitors of the Marine Corps University by appointment of the Secretary of the Navy, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Disabled American Veterans, and the NAACP.


About Central State University

Central State University is a public HBCU and 1890 Land-Grant Institution with a 135-year tradition of preparing students from diverse backgrounds and experiences for leadership, research, and service. Central State ranks among U.S. News & World Report’s best colleges in five categories, including Best Undergraduate Engineering Program and Top Public Schools. The University fosters academic excellence within a nurturing environment and provides a solid liberal arts foundation and STEM-Ag curriculum leading to professional careers and advanced studies globally.


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