Clark Atlanta University was formed in 1988 by the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869), two venerable historically black institutions that were established with the primary mission of educating African Americans. Atlanta University, the nation's oldest graduate institution serving a predominately African-American student body, and Clark College, distinguished as an institution that instilled in students the desire to strive for personal achievement and service to others, had been connected by a common heritage and commitment to educating African Americans for more than 100 years. Clark Atlanta University inherited the rich traditions and the legacy of both institutions and with the birth of the consolidated university launched unexpected possibilities with its unique history and structure.
As president, I am aware of the tremendous responsibility and the extraordinary privilege that we, the faculty, staff and students of Clark Atlanta University, hold as we stand on the shoulders of our forebears. I believe that Clark Atlanta University will fulfill the promise that began with the great men and women whose sacrifices and commitment to change opened the door of opportunity to the many generations of African Americans that came after them.
An important goal is to assist the institution's fulfillment of that promise and the achievement of its destined role in higher education. I envision a Clark Atlanta University that is on a par with and competitive with every other institution in its Carnegie classification. I envision a Clark Atlanta University that is a part of a community of research-oriented historically black colleges. Clark Atlanta's unique history and structure mandate that the University exercise unique leadership in higher education.
Our structure and history gives us a rightful claim to leadership as we have been on the absolute cutting edge of change in America in many disciplines such as business, social work, and mass communications. As Clark Atlanta University embarks on a new era in its 20-year history, this institution will claim its leadership position in addressing national and global issues, discovering answers to many of society's most pressing problems, creating new opportunities and preparing students to transform America and lead transformative change in communities, the nation and the world.
I believe that Clark Atlanta University is poised to exceed its previous boundaries, assert its strategic prominences, stride forward boldly and proudly to each new adventure and re-achieve its rightful place of leadership in higher education.
Carlton E. Brown, Ed.D.