Women in Business Leadership the focus of Clark Atlanta University School of Business Forward Forum


ATLANTA, GA - March 30, 2022 – In celebration of its 75th Anniversary, The Clark Atlanta University School of Business Administration (CAU-SBA) concluded National Women’s History Month with Women in Business Leadership forum, the third in the School’s year-long series of Forward Forums. The in-person event, was open to Atlanta University Center students and held on the CAU campus in the Cornelius L. Henderson Student Center and Juanita P. Baranco Multipurpose Room.

Moderated by CAU Vice President of Alumni Relations and Engagement Dr. Lorri L. Saddler, the Forum featured a panel of distinctive women executives from three leading corporations:

  • Tia Cummings-Hopkins, Vice President, Global Brand Marketing Lead, Square
  • Cheryl Lester, Vice President, Operations Strategy, Shipt
  • Melani Walker, Internal Audit Executive, USAA

Hosted by the MBA and Graduate Programs at CAU-SBA, the event also acknowledged trailblazing alumnae.  Emerging from its founding institutions, Clark College and Atlanta University there were leaders like Sammye Griffin Dennis, CC ‘31, the first woman to major in and receive a degree in business administration; and Birnell D. Rivers, AU ‘47, the first female to earn an MBA. 

“From the launch of our business college in 1883 to the 1946 establishment of our graduate school of business, the CAU School of Business Administration has cultivated generations of diverse women leaders,” said Dr. Silvanus Udoka, Dean of the CAU School of Business Administration. “This tradition continues today and is on full display during our latest Forward Forum." 

The Forward Forum series is part of a year-long celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the CAU School of Business Administration. Established in 1946, the School is the first historically black college or university (HBCU) in the nation to offer graduate work in business.

For more information, please visit: www.cau.edu/school-of-business/CAU-SBA-75-Anniversary


About Clark Atlanta University

Established in 1988 by the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869).  Clark Atlanta University continues a 150-year legacy rooted in African-American tradition and focused on the future.  Through global innovation, transformative educational experiences, and high-value engagement.  CAU cultivates lifted lives that transform the world.  Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson; American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing "The Black National Anthem"; Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit www.cau.edu