UHD Interim President Tillis Named Among Mayor's History Makers
Tillis and Other Community Leaders Celebrated by Mayor Turner, Comcast
Antonio D. Tillis, Ph.D., made history by stepping into the Interim President role at the University of Houston-Downtown in July of 2020. Tillis assumed this position as the institution grappled with navigating the global COVID-19 pandemic. A servant leader described as courageous and committed, Dr. Tillis is being recognized for his resilient efforts in enriching the Houston community as one of the Mayor’s 2021 History Makers.
Tillis and seven other community members are being honored by Comcast and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner for their dedication and service to the community. The broadcast and communications company will contribute $1,000 to a charity of each honoree’s choice and celebrate their achievements with videos to be aired on Comcast social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook) throughout Black History Month. Tillis selected the East End Chamber as the organization to benefit from Comcast’s donation.
“I am honored to be among the outstanding individuals named as the 2021 Mayor’s History Makers,” Tillis said. “It is humbling and inspiring to be recognized amongst some of the cities most well-regarded humanitarians. I want to thank Mayor Sylvester Turner and Comcast for this recognition and for acknowledging my fellow honorees. I want to extend my appreciation to the UHD family for supporting my efforts to keep our University moving forward over the last six months. Additionally, I would like to share my gratitude to members of the East End Chamber of Commerce for supporting my efforts to strategize, network, and develop lasting community partnerships.”
Other 2021 Mayor’s History Makers include Dr. Judith Craven, Carol Mims Galloway, Sue Johnson, Dr. LaShondra Jones, Dr. Beverly Nolan, Grady Prestage, and Dr. Vernus Swisher.
Tillis and his fellow honorees were selected for their ongoing community engagement, their impact in the community, and overcoming obstacles to achieve personal and professional success. Judges who selected the 2021 class of History Makers included Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo; CW39 anchor Shannon LaNier Anchor; blogger Daddy Duty 365; KPRC host and meteorologist Khambrel Marshall; Houston Style Magazine publisher Francis Paige, Jr.; Houston City Council Member Edward Pollard, and Prairie View A&M President Dr. Ruth Simmons.
“This year’s honorees have dedicated their lives to serving the public, and they have contributed to making our community stronger and more resilient,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “They deserve to be celebrated every day and especially during Black History Month. I am grateful to Comcast for shining a positive light on these exceptional individuals. Time and again, Comcast demonstrates why they are a leader in corporate citizenship through commitment and action.”
This year marks the fourth year that Comcast has recognized Houston-area community leaders as Mayor’s History Makers.
“The Mayor’s History Makers Awards give us an opportunity to recognize those who have played a vital role in positive change in their communities while celebrating the diversity of this great city,” said Ralph Martinez, senior vice president for Comcast’s Houston region. “Although we are unable to meet in-person this year, we feel it is important to continue the tradition of recognizing these community volunteers.”
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.