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Masthead - Dr. KimLeathers Endowment

Burroughs WellcomeFund establishes endowment in honor of Dr. Kim Leathers

Shaw University is pleased to announce the receipt of a $25,000 gift from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to establish the Dr. Kim Leathers Legacy Endowment Fund. Named in honor of the late Dr. Kim Queen Leathers, the gift kicks off the University’s effort to raise $50,000 for the endowment.

Dr. Kim Leathers was the director of the Shaw Honors College, assistant professor of Sociology, and a beloved member of the Shaw family. She passed away suddenly on August 28, 2016.  Her untimely death was devastating to her immediate and extended family, friends, church members, colleagues, and the students whose lives she indelibly touched.

“There is no one who loved our students or Shaw University more than Dr. Leathers. Her loss was felt by the entire campus community and we are honored to her memory in a way that I know she would have wanted,” said Shaw’s President Tashni Dubroy.

Leathers began her career at Shaw University in 2004 and helped countless Shaw Bears whether they were students, alumni, or faculty and staff. She also served as coach of the University’s Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team, often going above and beyond to help her students.  She dedicated much of her time and energy to ensuring that students succeeded.

“We are proud to sponsor the Legacy Endowment for Dr. Leathers,” said John Burris, Ph.D., president of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.  “Dr. Leathers’ dedication to education and the students of Shaw University and the community is evident through the many activities she led,” said Burris.

In addition to her role as a dedicated educator, Dr. Leathers served her community as First Lady of Mt. Vernon Christian Church in Clayton, North Carolina alongside her devoted husband and pastor of the church, Rev. Dr. Terence Leathers. The two had a beloved daughter, Kimille Leathers. Rev. Dr. Leathers and Kimille have generously committed $10,000 to the Dr. Kim Leathers Legacy Endowment Fund.

The Dr. KimLeathers Legacy Endowment Fund will support events and activities that are part of the University’s annual Honors’ College Week and will provide financial stipends for the enrichment of Honors College members who are pursuing STEM degrees.  Enrichment activities include conferences, workshops, and events related to STEM disciplines. The University’s annual Honors’ College Week will also be named in honor of Dr. Kim Leathers. 

“The Dr. Kim Leathers Legacy Endowment and the naming of the Honor’s College not only recognizes Kim’s body of work at Shaw University, it will provide opportunity and access to support future student success in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” said Alfred Mays, Burroughs Wellcome Fund program officer for Science and Diversity.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is an independent private foundation.  For 62 years, the fund has been dedicated to advancing the biomedical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities.​

To find out more about the Dr.Kim Leathers Legacy Endowment Fund, please visit