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Season 1: Reservoirs of Resilience | Episode 2

The Reservoir of Hope


As President of Huston-Tillotson University, Dr. Burnette reflects on the hope she receives from her students, many of whom are first-generation, and how maintaining hope helps her to navigate the challenging landscape of higher education today.

Meet Our Guest

Rahel Billups

Dr. Burnette is the first female President and CEO of the historic Huston-Tillotson University, Austin’s oldest institution of higher learning and only Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU). At Huston-Tillotson, she adopted a set of core values – with the acronym IDEAL (Integrity, Diversity, Excellence, Accountability, and Leadership) which guides all things and people of Huston-Tillotson, from operation to the over 1,100 students and 100 faculty and staff.

Dr. Burnette is a strong proponent of Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as civic and community engagement, currently serving as co-chair of the Mayor of Austin’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities. She has won numerous awards and honors, nationally and locally, that really are a testament to her leadership and her commitment to change. She is an advocate, an organizer, an encourager, a truth-teller, and a beacon of hope.

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Follow Colette Pierce Burnette on Twitter @HTPresCPB.

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Huston-Tillotson University (HT) nurtures a legacy of leadership and excellence in education, connecting knowledge, power, passion, and values. Find out more about HT and support their mission by visiting

Reservoirs of Resilience is inspired by the monograph written by Bishop Janice Huie. Read the full publication here.

"That's Something" music and lyrics by Billy Crockett, © 2016 Spare Room Music, BMI, from the album In Session (with Roscoe Beck), Blue Rock Artists, 2020

"Resilience" music by Billy Crockett, © 2021 Spare Room Music, BMI

This podcast is brought to you by the Leadership Ministry team at TMF and Wesleyan Investive. Leadership Ministry connects diverse, high-capacity leaders in conversations and environments that create a network of courage, learning, and innovation in order to help the church lean into its God-appointed mission.

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More From Season 1: Reservoirs of Resilience

Episode 6

Narratives of Resilience

With Bishop Robert Schnase

Episode 5

Resilience for the Church

With Bishop Cynthia Harvey

Episode 4

The Reservoir of Courage

With Dr. Gil Rendle

Episode 3

The Reservoir of Purpose

With Dr. Dori Baker & Stephen Lewis

Episode 1

Resilient Leadership

With Dr. Tod Bolsinger