Ponder received his undergraduate, masters and doctorate degree from Langston University, Oklahoma State University, Ohio State University respectively. He went on to serve as the president of Talladega College, Benedict College, and Fisk University.
Ponder was the 28th General President of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the first Greek-letter collegiate organization established for African Americans. He is the vice-chairman the fraternity's World Policy Council, a think tank whose purpose is to expand Alpha Phi Alpha's involvement in politics, and social and current policy to encompass international concerns.
- Mason, Herman (1999). "Henry Ponder". The Talented Tenth: The Founders and Presidents of Alpha (2nd ed.). Winter Park, FL: Four-G. ISBN 1-885066-63-5.
| General President of Alpha Phi Alpha
Milton C. Davis
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