"Rejection prepared me
for my redirection."

Dr. Rolundus Rice
At 33, Dr. Rice was appointed Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts at Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama -- one of the youngest academic deans at an accredited four-year institution in the United States.

The “Dapper Dean,” as he was affectionately referred to by his students, was responsible for leading the reorganization of the History, English, Music, Mass Media and Fine Arts curricula, respectively. He was also instrumental in securing a $1.25 million implementation cluster grant from the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Career Pathways Initiative to fund projects to increase Talladega College students’ chances of finding meaningful employment upon graduation. Dr. Rice’s subsequent work and experiences at various institutions of higher education include Chief Diversity Officer, Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

The Dapper Dean earned the Master of Arts degree in History from Alabama State University and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in the same discipline from Auburn University.

Dana Lee Rice
Dana co-founded and serves as the Chief Operating Officer of The Dapper Dean Education Empowerment Firm. The Dapper Dean attributes much of his academic success to Dana.

“I only studied for my GED and enrolled in college to impress her. I never believed that I would graduate. I simply wanted Dana to see that I tried to do something substantive,” he said during a recent interview at a local university. Dana is uniquely suited to manage the organization’s operations. Dana earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with a major in Marketing, from Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. She brings more than eleven years of experience in marketing and project management. Dana’s professional portfolio includes meaningful on-the-job training as a mid-level executive in corporate America, specifically at AT&T, Spinner Atlanta and Bank of America, respectively. Dana ably merges her experiences in higher education. She most recently served as the Assistant Athletic Director of External Operations at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. Dana’s talent exceeds beyond marketing. She is a gifted singer who has sang professionally for more than twenty years. She was signed to a production company with The Corna Boyz where she worked with Grammy Award-winning producer, Rico Love.

When life erects a 15 foot wall in front of us, we must have the strength and endurance to climb a 16 foot ladder.

Dr. Rice has also been identified as a subject-matter expert on the Civil Rights Movement who has been interviewed by CNN, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Montgomery Advertiser.

Dr. Rice has spearheaded innovative efforts to recruit, retain and graduate students from disadvantaged communities by marrying historical institutional missions with his “Passport to Purpose” and “Escalating Expectations” retention initiatives that he skillfully infused with the first and second year student experiences.


accumulative GPA

before dropping out of high-school in the 9th grade


1st in 163 years

the first GED recipient to earn a Ph.D. throughout the entire 163 years of Auburn University's collegiate history.


million dollars

instrumental in securing a $1.25 million implementation cluster grant from the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Career Pathways Initiative to fund projects


students reached

spoken to more than 800,000 students, chronicling life from a GED to a Ph.D. recipient.