Tougaloo College’s Carmen Walters has announced her resignation as the school’s president effective June 30.
In a statement, Walters — who began her tenure in the summer of 2019 — discussed how Tougaloo navigated through a devastating COVID-19 pandemic under her watch.
She also noted how the college boosted its national standing, citing a US News & World Report study ranking Tougaloo as No. 2 among the top three National Liberal Arts Colleges.
Tougaloo jumped from No. 16 to No. 12 as one of the country’s top best Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and was named No. 3 as a social mobility performer among National Liberal Arts Colleges.
“As I reflect upon my time as President, I wish to thank the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni for their support. It has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime to represent this distinguished institution through my interactions with several national leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to represent Tougaloo College,” Walters stated.
“Our beloved Eagle Queen is magnificent to behold. Tougaloo has a rich history and a promising future. I will always reflect on my tenure at the College with pride and root for its continued success as a passionate supporter.”
During the former president’s tenure, over $4 million was invested to upgrade campus facilities.
Tougaloo also attracted national philanthropists including MacKenzie Scott, Reed Hastings, and Patty Quillens to the college, whose investments afforded the institution to grow the endowment by more than 50 percent from $14 million in 2019 to $31 million in 2023.
Walters’ resignation follows a petition filed by the Tougaloo Alumni Coalition accusing the president of failing the college’s staff and students, citing a 40-year low enrollment rate. The president attributed the drop in student population to the pandemic.