Former JCSU President Dorothy Yancy is among three people being honored for their work to advance historically black colleges and universities.

Yancy, who led Johnson C. Smith University from March 1994 to June 2008, will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Higher Education Leadership Foundation (HELF), a nonprofit founded earlier this year, to advocates on behalf of the nation’s HBCUs.

The awards will be presented Tuesday night at the Harvey B. Gantt Center.

“In a time during which there is extremely problematic discourse surrounding our HBCUs, we find it imperative to affirm and celebrate individuals who have been dedicated to advancing the missions of our institutions,” HELF President and CEO Herman Felton Jr. said in a statement.

Yancy, who also served as president of Shaw University, will receive an award named after Eugene D. Stevenson Jr., a former U.S. Navy officer, educator and philanthropist. The award is given to an individual “who has demonstrated extraordinary skill and acumen as a president or chief executive officer at an HBCU and whose body of work represents outstanding advocacy on behalf of the HBCU community,” HELF said in a statement.

Yancy is now retired and living in Atlanta.

Other award recipients are:

• Henry Tisdale, president of Claflin University, will receive the Vanguard Award, which is presented to an individual who has demonstrated a consistent level of excellence and who serves as an exemplar for higher education administrators.

• Johnny C. Taylor Jr., president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, will receive the Trailblazer Award, which honors individuals in the early stages of their careers. Taylor was selected for his work in pushing for “favorable policies and advocating for increased funding” for HBCUs.

“Advocacy and leadership take hard work and are often thankless,” Felton said. “These individuals have particularly demonstrated a passion and commitment that commands our acknowledgement of their hard and excellent work.”

Founder and publisher of Qcitymetro, Glenn has worked at newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and The Charlotte Observer.