Dr. Jerry Cummings

Class of 1963

“No act of giving, no matter how small, goes unused or unappreciated. I give so others can achieve,” says Dr. Jerry Cummings ’63. It’s with that philosophy and approach to giving that Dr. Cummings has lived since his days as a student at Central State University.

Dr. Cummings’ story is one filled with academic achievement and professional excellence, as well as a charitable spirit.

While at CSU, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree and was a member of the varsity teams that began the tradition of Marauder basketball excellence, a feat which made him the first student-athlete selected to both CSU Achievement and Athletic Halls of Fame in 1979.

After CSU, he earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Cleveland State University and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership as a Ford Fellow at The Ohio State University.

In a professional career that has been dedicated to giving back, Dr. Cummings has worked as a teacher, administrator, professor, advisor, organizational president, and lecturer. He was active with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Now, he serves as Dean, College of Education and professor of Educational Administration at Texas Southern University.

And, while he has accomplished so much, he has never forgotten his credo: give so others can achieve. To that end, Dr. Cummings has given generously to CSU, providing gifts to the Wendell W. Moss Scholarship Fund, the College of Education Challenge Fundraising campaign, the President’s Discretionary Fund, and many others.

Through the CSU Foundation, he also established two endowed scholarship funds: Dr. Jerry R. Cummings Endowed Scholarship Fund and the Louise and Maggie Cummings Scholarship Fund. In recognition of his philanthropy, the Alma Mater inducted Dr. Cummings into the James A. Elam Society in October 2016.

Indeed, Dr. Cummings has given so CSU students can achieve, just as he has.



Class of 1951

For those that knew Doris, there was always one simple way to describe her approach to life: inspire. From her family and friends to her students and fellow alumni, she inspired those around her.

As a university student, Doris was taught in the “Central State” way. Once she graduated, Doris took those ideals from CSU and applied them to her life. She became an outstanding teacher whose educational philosophy was to create a classroom environment where children can change, grow, and meet their unlimited potential.

She not only had a commitment to children but to parents as well. She understood that a child’s educational success depended in large measure on the parent and teacher working together as a team. She employed this philosophy every day during her 27-year career in the Scarsdale, New York School District and Chicago School District. She received numerous awards and accolades during her teaching career.

Throughout her life, Doris remained an inspiration for her fellow alumni. She was active in the General Alumni Association. She served as President of the Chicago Alumni Chapter, organized the National Alumni Association’s off-campus Chicago Conference, hosted numerous fundraising activities in her lovely home, and was a consistent contributor to the Alma Mater.

She was inducted into the 1887 Legacy Society, establishing her permanent legacy with the Alma Mater.

Yes, without question, Doris was a Centralian, and she remains an inspiration for us all.

Vaniti Byrd

Class of 2013

Education can transform lives. Vaniti Byrd, a native of Dayton, Ohio and 2013 graduate of Central State University, knows firsthand about the transformative power of education and the generous giving of others.

Thanks to approximately $20,000 in academic scholarships from CSUF and other sources for her senior year, Vaniti achieved her dreams of graduating and completed her studies in the College of Education in 2013, graduating Cum Laude. Without that support, Vaniti may have not been able to finish her degree.

Embolden by her success at CSU, Vaniti continued on to Antioch University Midwest. She excelled, and, in 2017, she earned her Master’s degree in Education with a focus in Educational Leadership (Coaching & Mentoring).

Building on the transformative experience of her years at CSU, Vaniti turned her focus to educating young minds, teaching 1st grade and planting the seeds of knowledge throughout Dayton. “I am committed to educating and fostering a loving and nurturing environment where students forget that learning is requirement because it is happening organically!” says Vaniti.

In February 2018, Vaniti transformed her life once again and embarked on the journey of entrepreneurship. She created and founded Baba Love Organics, a line of sustainable and plant-based skin care luxury products that is ethically sourced and handcrafted locally in small batches using raw and organic ingredients.

Along with her professional accomplishments, Vaniti finds joy from being a loving mother to her children, Tervon and Primrose. Through it all, Vaniti is forever grateful for the foundational skills she learned and the individuals who helped transform her life and shape her future during her educational journey at CSU.