Dr. Hefner (1939-2015) earned his master’s degree in economics from Atlanta University in 1963.
He served as a university president for 21 years, at Jackson State University, 1984-1991 and at Tennessee State University, 1991-2005. Previously, Dr. Hefner served as provost of Tuskegee University (1982-1984), and as the Charles E. Merrill professor of Economics and chair of the Department of Business and Economics at Morehouse College, 1974-1981. He also taught and served as a research associate at Harvard University, Princeton University, Clark College, Florida A&M University, Benedict College and Prairie View A&M University.
Dr. Hefner also established two of the nation’s top honor societies, Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi, at Tennessee State University and Clark Atlanta University. Today, Clark Atlanta University is the only private HBCU to host a chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines.