Tuskegee University is the first institution in Alabama to receive the Governor’s Trade Excellence Award

Courtesy of Tuskegee University

Tuskegee University received the 2023 Governor’s Trade Excellence Award presented by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey at a ceremony held at the State Capitol. Tuskegee is the first university ever to receive the award.

The Governor’s Trade Excellence Award honors Tuskegee University as an outstanding example of an Alabama organization that has achieved extraordinary results in international initiatives. Tuskegee is committed to developing international relationships, which benefits students greatly, and the state. Ultimately every dollar that international students spend is an export that positively impacts the community and Alabama’s economy.

The award was established in 2005 to demonstrate Alabama businesses’ exporting excellence and celebrate their export success. The award program, coordinated by the Export Alabama Alliance, includes large, medium, and small businesses as well as new-to-export companies from every region of the state. Selected industries are from the manufacturing, service, and agribusiness sectors.

Dr. Rhonda Collier, professor of Modern Languages and Communications and director of the Tuskegee University Global Office, and Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, accepted the award for the university.

“This recognition is a testament to our efforts to expand the student experience beyond the borders of the United States,” said Dr. Hargrove. “Tuskegee strives to promote global consciousness and awareness and demonstrate how institutional relationships and partnerships are important to business development and learning in Alabama.”

“For Tuskegee University to be recognized as an international leader in the state of Alabama is a major accomplishment,” said Dr. Collier. “Our exporting success involves securing grants, conducting research, and cultivating international relationships with students and partners worldwide. This award recognition exemplifies President Morris’s vision of One Tuskegee. I am excited to represent the university on international matters and look forward to continuing to build Tuskegee’s global brand.”

Tuskegee graduated its first class of international students in 1914 with students from Togo, Japan, Cuba, and Liberia. During the 20th century, Tuskegee founded schools abroad using the Booker T. Washington model in Togo, Liberia, and South Africa.

Tuskegee holds international partnerships with over 40 institutions, including universities in Egypt, Nepal, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Germany, Tanzania, Haiti, Jamaica, Colombia, and Costa Rica. Tuskegee currently hosts 12 USDA research scholars, including veterinarians from Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Morocco, and Ghana. In recent years, Tuskegee has had international students from more than 20 countries, and students have traveled abroad to five continents in the past five years.