Dr. Dwight J. Fennell is the 23rd President of Texas College (Tyler, Texas). He is a native of Miami, Florida, where he graduated from Miami Carol City Senior High School. Following graduation he immediately enrolled in Saint Augustine’s College (now Saint Augustine’s University) in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he completed the baccalaureate degree in History and Government. He pursued and completed the Master of Arts degree in History at Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia and a second Master of Science degree in Education at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. He received the Education Specialist and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. He has completed post-doctoral work in Educational Leadership with the American Council on Education as an ACE Fellow at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
Dr. Fennell began his professional career in higher education at Florida International University where he worked in various capacities including community service initiatives, adult and continuing education and as Assistant Director of the Honors Program. He also worked at Florida Atlantic University as Director of the Student Retention Program. After leaving the State University System of Florida, Dr. Fennell taught at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia, and later at Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina (his alma mater). While at Saint Augustine’s College, he became a tenured Associate Professor of History and later Vice President for Academic Affairs, a position he held for seven of the eleven years he spent at the institution.
Dr. Fennell began his tenure at Texas College on February 25, 2008, at which time he was appointed Vice President of Academic Affairs by Dr. Willie Champion, who was Acting President. Shortly after Dr. Fennell was hired, Dr. William Harris became Interim President until July. On August 1, 2008, after an extensive search for a president, Dr. Fennell was selected and appointed as the 23rd President of Texas College, by Bishop Ronald M. Cunningham.
Under Dr. Fennell’s leadership the college has successfully completed the Fifth Year Follow-up as well as Reaffirmation of Accreditation with SACSCOC through 2026. Additionally, the college: is recognized as the Texas College District with support and contributions made by the political community and the City of Tyler; has had consecutive years of fiduciary accountability and operations in the black; has experienced enrollment growth; increased net assets; increased investments and endowment; has had major renovations which have included a new resident hall, renovations of existing resident halls, a new athletic complex, new music facility, outdoor fitness track, indoor fitness center, and an overall aesthetically appealing campus.
Presently, Martin Hall is under renovation to make it aesthetically appealing and accommodating as an administrative and learning center. It is also proposed that the administration move forward with creating academic centers of excellence that allows for strengthening and expanding the major offerings of the college. Additionally, it is proposed that the college will engage in a capital campaign that has been endorsed by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Fennell envisions a bright future for Texas College and the students who enter her doors.
Dr. Fennell is a member of numerous boards and civic organizations. He is a visionary leader and a strong advocate for education, student development and organizational growth. He is married to Angelia Fennell and has one son, Dwight J. Fennell, Jr.