Thelma Cook named chairperson of Harris-Stowe State University Board of Regents

Press Release

ST. LOUIS, MO (January 25, 2011) – The Harris-Stowe State University Board of Regents has a new chairperson, Thelma V. Cook, known as a community volunteer and business leader. The board also has a new vice chairman, Charles H. Hoessle, retired, former director of the Saint Louis Zoological Park and a Harris-Stowe alumnus.

Cook replaces Chairman Wayman F. Smith, III, who will remain on the board and assumes the title of chairman emeritus. Regent Rev. Dr. William G. Gillespie, a former Board of Regents chairman and Harris-Stowe’s longest serving regent, was also named chairman emeritus. Cook and Hoessle were sworn into their new roles at today’s Board of Regents meeting. Regents Smith and Rev. Dr. Gillespie received awards at the meeting in recognition of their chairman emeritus statuses.

“Since her appointment to the Board of Regents in April 2009, Thelma Cook has provided exemplary leadership and guidance to the University,” said Dr. Henry Givens, Jr., president of Harris-Stowe. “Her strong leadership background, as a highly successful business executive and esteemed community volunteer, will be invaluable to both the University and the board as we continue to move forward and expand to meet the higher educational needs of the St. Louis community and the state.”

Cook is a former director of corporate affairs for Anheuser-Busch, Inc. where she also served as the executive assistant to the vice president of corporate affairs. She has served in marketing and community relations roles at The Seven-Up Company, Lincoln University, Oklahoma State University, and Barbar-Scotia College. She holds a master’s degree in education from Lincoln University and received her Bachelor of Arts from North Carolina Central University. Currently she serves as a community volunteer, helping to strengthen, enhance and promote nonprofit organizations.

“With this appointment, I look forward to partnering with my fellow regents and leading Harris-Stowe to even greater success,” Cook said. “I also look forward to working with Charles Hoessle in his role as vice chairman.”

The purpose of the Harris-Stowe State University Board of Regents is to govern, lead and further the proper function of Harris-Stowe State University in carrying out its state-mandated mission. It acts as the institution’s governance body by developing policy and providing oversight of the University’s administration and its operation. There are six total members of the Board of Regents; each serves a term of six years and must be a resident of the metropolitan St. Louis region. In addition to Cook, Hoessle, Wayman and Rev. Dr. Gillespie, other members include Luther J. Rollins, Jr.; Debra A. Hollingsworth and Derek Collins, who serves as a student representative.

About Harris-Stowe State University

Harris-Stowe State University, located in midtown St. Louis, is a four-year institution that offers 14 degree programs in the areas of Accounting, Business Administration, Biology, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Health Care Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Information Sciences and Computer Technology, Mathematics, Middle School Education, Professional Interdisciplinary Studies, Secondary Education and Urban Education. Ranked by U.S. News as one of America’s Best Colleges in the Midwest, the University, which has been in existence for more than 150 years, offers the most affordable bachelor’s degree in the metropolitan area.

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