Morehouse College Elects Dr. Jeffrey Brenzel, Valerie Grant, Ruth Simmons, and Richard Williams to its Board of Trustees

Morehouse College 2023 New Board of Trustees Members

Morehouse College has elected Dr. Jeffery Brenzel, Valerie Grant, Ruth Simmons, and Richard “Owen” Williams to its Board of Trustees for 2023-2025 terms. Each trustee has accomplished significant achievements throughout their careers, establishing themselves as leaders in higher education, business, consulting, and investing – all of which will assist in advancing the mission of the 156-year-old institution. 

Morehouse College’s President David A. Thomas says, “As Morehouse approaches the midpoint of our strategic plan timeline, we are happy to continue onboarding new, trusted advisors with diverse professional experiences and fresh perspectives who can aide in our journey to elevated excellence in operations, academics, student experiences, under- and post-graduate professional opportunities, and more.”

The newest Morehouse College Board of Trustee members are as follows: 

Dr. Jeffery Brenzel is a lecturer for Yale University’s Humanities Department, where he teaches directive studies and courses in the Catholic intellectual tradition. Dr. Brenzel actively consults with organizations engaged in education technology, innovation, and higher education. His current clients include Duolingo, where he serves as chair of the admissions advisory board for the Duolingo English Test, and Imbellus, where he serves as a higher education advisory board member.

Valerie Grant is a thought leader in responsible investing. Valerie is a portfolio manager and managing director within Nuveen’s active equity group and is also responsible for helping the firm grow its responsible investing platform. Currently, she is the lead portfolio manager for the TIAA CREF Growth & Income Strategy. Prior to joining the firm, Valerie served as a senior portfolio manager at AllianceBernstein, overseeing Responsible U.S. Equities, an ESG focused large cap U.S. equity portfolio. At AllianceBernstein, she served on the firm’s proxy voting and governance committee and held roles of increasing responsibility as a buy side analyst. She has also worked at Bristol Myers Squibb, McKinsey & Company, and Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc., a pioneer in corporate social responsibility.

Ruth Simmons is a Texas native with a passion for education and a history of “firsts” in her career. Simmons was the first Black woman to lead a major college or university upon being named president of Smith College in 1995, where she established the first engineering program at an all-women’s institution. Simmons then became the first Black woman to lead an Ivy League institution when named as the 18th president of Brown University in 2001, where she raised a record amount of funding and established a need-blind admission standard for undergraduates. Today, Simmons serves as Prairie View A&M University’s first woman president as of 2017 and is also an academic administrator. 

Richard Owen Williams is a former president of the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS), a consortium of sixteen, nationally recognized, liberal arts colleges located throughout the southern United States. Prior to becoming president at ACS, Williams served as the 25th president of Transylvania University, the 16th oldest college in America. Williams also served as vice president of the New Haven Reparations Coalition and is currently vice-chair of the Board of Governors at Gratz College, the oldest Jewish college in America.

The Board of Trustees is the governing body of Morehouse College. For more information about Morehouse College, visit

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