Chancellor's Legacy Award Honorees 2017



Richard Lucas



Dr. Richard L. Lucas, Jr. is vice president for Institutional Advancement at Bowie State University (BSU) and executive director of the BSU Foundation.  He has over 25 years of experience in higher education and substantial experience as a chief advancement officer having participated in the launch and management of fundraising campaigns exceeding $500 million in combined goals.  He also serves as an adjunct instructor in BSU’s College of Education, teaching on leadership with technology in 21st century schools.

His professional credentials include graduation from Cornell University’s Administrative Management Institute, the Millennium Leadership Initiative sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and Leadership Maryland. Dr. Lucas is member of the National Society for Distinguished Professionals, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and Black Data Processing Associates. 

Dr. Lucas has served as vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement at Elizabeth City State University and as interim vice president and associate vice president for University Relations at Howard University. He also has over 10 years of experience as an information technology (IT) thought leader having served as a computer systems analyst and IT department head at the University at Buffalo.

Dr. Lucas provides leadership for the Maryland Center at Bowie State University, Inc. (MCBSU) a non-profit affiliated foundation of the University System of Maryland (USM) located on the campus of BSU. The MCBSU engages in and supports activities to enhance the educational, research and service mission of BSU. A major initiative of the MCBSU is the Education Innovation Initiative (EI2), BSU’s first signature academic enrichment program. This initiative, in partnership with industry giant Lockheed Martin, is designed to increase interest, enrollment, and retention in undergraduate and post-graduate science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines.

He also oversees BSU’s Public Private Partnership with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Training Centers and coordinates associated cybersecurity certification efforts.

Dr. Lucas holds an Ed.M. and Ph.D. in Education from the University at Buffalo, and a B.S. in Information Systems Management from Buffalo State College. He is married to Jennifer K. Lucas, Esq., and has four children – Lakesha, Latrese, Richard III, and Preston.

Estella Hall Simons


was born in 1917 and is a native of Bertie County (NC). She is the only one of 11 children with a college degree. Estella attended John P. Law Elementary School in Merry Hill, NC and C. G. White High School in Powellsville, NC.  She was the valedictorian of her class in 1936.

Estella’s plan was to go to college. She had scholarships for Hampton Institute and Shaw University in Raleigh, NC.  When the time came though, she decided to marry the love of her life, Willie Simons. Together, they had four children—Jean, Willie, Ervin and Anthony.

For some years, Estella substituted in the public school system in the area. When situations were not as pleasing as she wanted, she would say to her husband, “I knew I should have gone to college like my daddy wanted me to.”  Her husband would reply, “If you want to go to college, I can send you just as well as your daddy could have.”  He only had to say that a few times before it became a reality.

In 1951 Estella enrolled in Elizabeth City State Teachers College.  She was an honor student for the four years she was there and a member of Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society.  In 1953, she was one of the first members of the on-campus chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

After graduating in 1955, Estella began teaching at C. G. White High School in Powellsville, NC and remained there until 1968.  When schools integrated, she was transferred to the junior high school in Windsor, NC and remained there until retirement in 1982.  She furthered her education at Temple University (PA); A &T State University in Greensboro, NC; Virginia State University, VA; and East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, where she received her math certification.

Estella is a life member of the ECSU National Alumni Association, Incorporated.  She has served on the NAA board of directors and homecoming committee. In 2003, she was one of the chairs of the Tom Joyner Campaign for ECSU and winner of the Tom Joyner plaque. Through her fundraising, she has earned the Ms. Alumni crown on more than one occasion. She is the past president of the Bertie County Alumni Chapter and is currently the alumni chapter treasurer.

Estella finds joy in working in the community and in her church. Her past leadership positions include: President of the local ACT, president of District ACT, treasurer of NCAE, secretary of the local NCAE, secretary of Ahoskie Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Dgt. Ruler of Eureka Temple #521, Vice Dgt. Ruler of Eureka Temple #521, secretary of Sunday School at First Baptist Powellsville for 14 years, Education Director for IBPOE of W for 30 years, director of Vacation Bible School  for Piney Wood Chapel Baptist Church for 25 years, and president of the Senior Choir at Piney Wood Chapel Baptist Church for 14 years.

Currently, Estella is an adult Sunday school teacher at her church, Piney Wood Chapel Baptist Church, chairperson of the Deaconess Ministry at Piney Wood Chapel Baptist Church, chair of the Democratic Colerain II Precinct, and treasurer of the Bertie County Public School Foundation.

There are no lengths she would not go to in order to support her beloved alma mater.  The term, “Viking Pride,” illuminates through her veins whenever she speaks of Elizabeth City State University.   ECSU paved the way and helped to make Estella the person she is today.   For ECSU, duty has called many times and Estella has been right there.  Faithful and ever true, she has been and will be to ECSU.  For in her heart, Estella will forever love ECSU!


Billie Joe Reid


Billie Joe Reid was born and raised in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  He is the seventh of a family of nine children.  He graduated from P. W. Moore High School in Elizabeth City, North Carolina in 1966.  Using the values of hard work, humility, and the importance of family and community instilled in him by his family, he graduated from Elizabeth City State University in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science.  He was the first of his siblings to graduate from college.

After graduation from ECSU, he taught for one year at Plymouth High School, in Plymouth, North Carolina, after which he returned to Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Public Schools where he taught for five years (1971-1976) at Elizabeth City Junior High School while earning a master’s degree in educational administration at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.   Billie Joe soon advanced to school leadership positions, serving as an assistant principal at Northeastern High School from 1976 to 1978.  Later, he served as principal at H. L. Trigg and Sheep Harney Elementary Schools (1978-1988), with a five-year stint at each school, respectively.

Looking for new challenges, Billie Joe became an agent with State Farm Insurance in 1988. He is a member of the State Farm Crystal Excellence Legion of Honor Society, the highest honor available with a minimum 20 consecutive years of achievement in production and profit.  Billie Joe also became a member of Vice Presidents Club in 2012.  In addition, he is a Bronze Tablet/Golden Triangle Qualifier, and Millionaire Club Qualifier, among other achievements.   He was vice president of the Agency and Ambassador Club for several years.

His appointments and affiliations include the following: Precinct Captain for 4th Ward Elizabeth City, NC (1986); Elizabeth City Community Prescription Board (1992-1996); Initial Foundation Board for Albemarle Hospital; Elizabeth City, NC (2004-2007); Mayoral Appointee (Mayor John Bell), Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Airport Authority; ECSU Foundation board member (2000-2011), serving as vice chairman and chairman of the scholarship committee; and Mayoral Appointee (Mayor Roger McLean) - First African American appointed to Elizabeth City Foundation Board, the oldest Foundation Board in Elizabeth City, NC (2004-2008).  Billie Joe is also member of the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Chamber of Commerce; the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Public Schools Foundation, and the executive board for the Pharrell Williams Foundation in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Notably, in 1989, Billie Joe was one of three African Americans to integrate The Pines, formerly known as Pine Lakes Golfing & Country Club, located in Elizabeth City.

A long-time strong advocate for his alma mater, he is a life member of the ECSU National Alumni Association, Incorporated and active supporter of the Elizabeth City Area Alumni Chapter.   As a student in 1968, Billie Joe joined the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.   Currently, he is and active member of Elizabeth City Graduate Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, where he extends his full support to the philanthropic and community services activities supported by the organization.  Especially noteworthy also are the awards he received for his generous contributions to this alma mater, including the NAFEO Distinguished Alumni Award from ECSU Chancellor Jimmy R. Jenkins at the annual HBCU awards banquet in Washington, DC; the Dr. Walter Ridley and State Farm Foundation Distinguished Contributor Award; the Dr. Sidney Williams Distinguished Contributor Award; the 12th Annual Clifton Davis Golf Classic Award

He is the proud father of one daughter, Billie Jo Reid, who is a speech language pathologist in Arizona.





Glen Bowman is a professor of history at Elizabeth City State University.  Originally from suburban Philadelphia, right outside of Quakertown, Pennsylvania, he has been at ECSU since 1999.  He earned his Ph.D. in History at the University of Minnesota. 

A first-generation college student, Professor Bowman has a passion for teaching and mentoring students.  In 2005 he established the Leonard Ballou Memorial Fund, which has supported student travel scholarships and has funded activities addressing the recruitment and retention of students.  The funds have come from the royalties from The Razor’s Edge, a critical thinking text/World History reader he authored that was in print for almost a decade. 

In 2015 he published Elizabeth City State University, 1891-2016: The Continuity of a Historical Legacy of Excellence and Resilience.  All royalties from this book have gone to the ECSU Foundation.  From March 2015 until December 2016, he wrote a weekly Sunday column for The Daily Advance on ECSU history.

Formerly the chair of the History and Political Science department as well as director of International Programs, Professor Bowman speaks regularly and enthusiastically at community gatherings about the history of African-American education.  His contributions will no doubt touch and inspire future generations of ECSU faculty, staff, students, and alumni to build on the university’s rich legacy of excellence and resilience through their generous support and untiring commitment to service.

Professor Bowman is the proud father of three children—Steven, Thomas, and Pamela.




is a native of Chowan County (NC) and the son of William and Doris Leary.  He grew up around many great examples of hardworking and dedicated men. They instilled these same qualities in him, which he has held in high regard to this day.

While working full time, Dennis went to school to obtain certifications in Heating and Air Conditioning Services and Fuel Piping.  Most recently, he graduated from the Association Physical Plant Administrators (APPA) Institute for Facilities Management.

For the past six years, he has held the position of director of Facilities Management at Elizabeth City State University (NC).  In this position, he manages and directs building and grounds maintenance, events and custodial support, along with myriad responsibilities that affect student recruitment and retention.  Regardless of the task, Dennis has never been one to turn away assignments.  "We've got to go get it" is his motto.

He is well known for his work ethic, positive attitude, and diligence.  Dennis is well respected throughout the university and is the "go-to" person for getting things done.  He is a positive, motivated staff leader with an amazing teamwork mentality.

Always leading with the university’s legacy in mind, Dennis has built a solid reputation of doing whatever is needed to support faculty, motivate staff, and serve students.

He is married to Carolyn Leary, his wife of 27 years.  They have one son, Justin, who manages Leary’s HVAC Service Company.