The mission of the Lee Hagan Africana Studies Center is to promote academic excellence, cultural knowledge, and social responsibility among NJCU and the surrounding community about issues important to the empowerment of peoples throughout the African Diaspora. The Hagan Center has historically served as a home space for students, faculty, staff, alumni, teachers, community groups, and other interested individuals. Each year, the Hagan Center offers a wealth of dynamic speaker series, workshops, research groups, symposia, exhibitions, and other vibrant programs that help foster and support cultural, intellectual, and political, growth for the community.
The Center is named for Dr. Lee Frank Hagan, Director of Afro-American Studies at Jersey City State College, now New Jersey City University (NJCU). Dr. Hagan was a committed scholar activist who was devoted to the teaching and research of African and African American history and culture. Dr. Hagan's dedication inspired many to pursue a higher education that would include Afrocentric awareness and a commitment meaningful community service.
During his seventeen-year history with the university, Dr. Hagan was a professor of Black Studies, History, and Social Science in the History Department and Director of Afro-American Studies. He served as advisor to numerous student organizations; in the fall of 1975, along with Phil Littlejohn, Samuel McGhee, John Raines, Rosetta Rutledge, Sandra Stothoff, and Ann Tisdale, Dr. Hagan helped establish the Black Alumni, Administrators, Faculty, Students and Staff Organization (BAAFSSO) to improve the representation of Black people at NJCU and to eradicate inequities at the university.
On September 4, 1986, Dr. Hagan transitioned to join the ancestors. In 1988, New Jersey City University recognized his important contributions to the institution by establishing the Lee Hagan Africana Studies Center. On June 2, 2018, the City Council of Jersey City hailed Dr. Hagan as a Trailblazing Pioneer, inducting him into the “Wall of Fame” of the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.
For more information about Dr. Lee Hagan, visit: https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/hagan-lee-frank-1945-1986/
Dr. Sonya Donaldson, Director (interim)
Lee F. Hagan Africana Studies Center
New Jersey City University
Room 225, Guarini Library
2039 Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, NJ 07305