Philander Smith College student is named a 2017 HBCU All-Star

Senior English major from Chicago comprises fourth class of outstanding HBCU scholars

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The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCUs) announced that Philander Smith College student Tiaara Anderson, a senior English major from Chicago, Illinois, is among the 61 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students named as a 2017 HBCU All-Star for their individual accomplishments in academics, leadership, and civic engagement.

The All-Stars, who represent 59 historically black colleges and universities, were selected from more than 453 students who submitted applications that included a transcript, resume, essay, and recommendation. Over the course of the year, the HBCU All-Stars will serve as ambassadors of the WHIHBCUs by providing outreach and communication with their fellow students about the value of education and the role of the Initiative as a resource.  In addition, the All-Stars will also participate in the White House HBCU Week conference, as well as various national events, web chats with the Initiative staff and professionals from a range of disciplines.

“We are tremendously proud of our 2017 HBCU All-Star, Tiaara Anderson, for this prestigious selection recognizing her scholarship and student leadership,” said Dr. Roderick L. Smothers, president of Philander Smith College. “With each class of HBCU All-Stars, scholars like Tiaara demonstrate how vitally critically our institutions are in producing world-class leaders who go on to become our nation’s educators, judges, physicians, scientists, entrepreneurs, change agents and more.”

Of this fourth class of HBCU All-Stars, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos remarked, “During the course of one academic school year, these 61 All-Stars will distinguish themselves as exemplars of the talent that HBCUs cultivate, and noble ambassadors of their respective institutions.” According to the WHIBCCUs, the All-Stars will have exceptional opportunities to engage with other HBCU scholars and to showcase their individual and collective talent across the HBCU community.

For more information regarding the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including the 2017 HBCU All-Star Student program, visit




Founded in 1877, Philander Smith College is one of the oldest private, historically Black institutions of higher learning in Arkansas. A four-year liberal arts college, the institution is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is the only United Negro College Fund member school in the state.  Philander Smith College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of NCA.