Office of External Affairs

Main Office Contact

Executive Director of External Affairs
Michelle Pourciau

Media Inquiries
John Gordon, Jr., Director
Office of Communications
202.274.5998 (o) | 202.697.1310 (c)

Date of Publication: 


February 4, 2014

Michael C. Rogers
Vice President of University Advancement
University of the District of Columbia

Click here to download press release.


February 3, 2014, Washington, DC: On February 20, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, the University of the District of Columbia will celebrate its Annual Founders' Day Convocation and Awards Program, to be held in the Theatre of the Arts on the University's Van Ness Campus. This year's theme is "Honoring our Legacy, Blazing New Trails." The keynote speaker will be Dr. George Cooper, former President of South Carolina State University and currently the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The University's Interim President, James E. Lyons said, "Founders' Day is an occasion to acknowledge the rich history of the institution and to recognize members of the University community who, through academic excellence, leadership, and community involvement—on campus and off—have provided extraordinary contributions to the mission of the University." All faculty, students, staff, alumni and the general community are invited to attend.

The Honorees for 2014 are:

Dr. April Massey, for the Dr. Marjorie Holloman Parker Distinguished Educator's Award, presented to that individual whose laudable contributions as an educator have made a discernable difference in the city or nation's schools, colleges, universities or private institutions of learning. (The Dr. Marjorie Holloman Distinguished Educator's Award is named in honor the former University of District of Columbia Board of Trustees Chairwoman, University Professor and D.C. Legislator.)

Dr. Marie Racine, for the Dr. Paul Phillips Cooke Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to that faculty or staff member who has consistently demonstrated exceptional loyalty and extraordinary commitment, dedication, and service to the advancement of the University and its goals and objectives. (The Paul Phillips Cooke Lifetime Achievement Award is named in honor of the former President District of Columbia Teachers College.)

Lt. Donald Whiting, for the Dr. Cleveland L. Dennard Distinguished Service Award, presented to an individual who has demonstrated a long-term commitment and outstanding service to the University of the District of Columbia.(The Cleveland L. Dennard Service Award is named in honor of the former President of Washington Technical Institute.)

Dr. Alfred Taylor, Jr., for The Honorable Ronald H. Brown Distinguished Leadership Award, awarded to that individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in his/her profession and whose work has contributed to the betterment of our community and its citizens on a local, national or international level. (The Honorable Ronald H. Brown Distinguished Leadership Award is named in honor of former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Chairman of the University of the District of Columbia Board of Trustees.)

Carrington Smith, Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award, presented an active member of the Alumni Association for 5 years or more who has demonstrated extraordinary participation in the association through contributing to the betterment of the Alumni Society, increasing membership participation, enhancing the image of the association, showing professional ethics of the highest caliber, and active involvement in the community.

The Myrtilla Miner Award for Exceptional Service to Society is bestowed on a person/s the President of the University determines has demonstrated exceptional lifetime services to the residents of the District of Columbia and the nation. This year's award is presented posthumously to Myrtilla Miner, an abolitionist who founded Normal School for Colored Girls (aka Normal Miner School, Normal Teachers College in Washington, D.C.). The school was eventually merged with other educational institutions to form the University of the District of Columbia. Ms. Charlotte Payne Wright, Treasurer of the Thomas Minor Society, will accept the award.

The University of the District of Columbia ( supports a broad mission of education, research and community service across its colleges and schools: the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences; the School of Business and Public Administration; School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; the Community College; and the David A. Clarke School of Law. The University has been designated as an 1862 federal land-grant institution and a Historically Black College and University.

The University of the District of Columbia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For a full version of the University's EO Policy Statement, please visit

The University of the District of Columbia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 267.284.5000.