Welcome to the website of Dr. Lorenzo Lamar Esters. Dr. Esters serves as Vice President, Philanthropy for Strada (formerly USA Funds®), where he is responsible for grant-making in support of Strada’s mission and focuses on Completion With a Purpose®. He reviews funding requests and ensures the achievement of the goals envisioned in USA Funds’ grant projects. His primary focus is on institutional strategy and innovation in college and career preparation.
Dr. Esters previously served as Senior Program Director, National Engagement and Philanthropy, USA Funds. He has been responsible for creating and directing effective grant-making programs by designing and formatting grant application materials to meet organizational objectives, developing and managing a database of current research and opinions related to issues of importance to designated initiatives, translating research learning into usable evaluation frameworks, and creating and fostering a public image for USA Funds’ philanthropic and national engagement work. USA Funds is a $55 billion nonprofit corporation whose mission is to enhance post secondary education preparedness, access and success by providing and supporting financial and other valued services.
He is the former vice president (2012-2014) for student success and enrollment management at Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY. As vice president, he managed a staff of approximately 85 employees across twelve units with an annual budget of over $11 million. He was responsible for all student programs from recruitment to graduation, including enrollment services, retention management and advising services, student engagement and leadership development, and university police.
He successfully held the position of vice president (2009-2012) at the Office for Access and the Advancement of Public Black Universities, Association of Public and Land- grant Universities (APLU), Washington, DC. While at APLU, he developed the Minority Male STEM Initiative, a national initiative designed to address the recruitment, retention and academic success of minority males in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics disciplines.
Dr. Esters also previously served as the Senior Adviser to the president at Dillard University where he provided leadership for the achievement of the administration’s goals and assumed a key role in addressing complex and sensitive issues regarding campus administration to include service on appropriate university committees and as Management and Program Analyst in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education.
For over a decade, Dr. Esters has held university executive leadership and higher education association leadership roles. He has provided the vision and strategic direction for increased access, sustainable growth strategies, developing student analytics and quality service metrics. Dr. Esters is an experienced higher education administrator and philanthropist.
Dr. Esters has provided effective thought leadership in creating pathways for first-generation and low-income students and community college transfer students, designing career services that support students from recruitment through graduation, and developing appropriate student academic support services.
This website provides a venue to share Dr. Lorenzo Esters’ work, his speeches and thoughts on higher education administration, higher education philanthropy and future trends in higher education, serving adult, low-income and minority students in today’s challenging higher education environment. Hopefully you will find the material beneficial and engaging.