UDC News


October 12 , 2007

University of the District of Columbia Student a Story of Personal Triumph


            Washington, DC- William C. Kellibrew IV, a business administration student scheduled to graduate next spring from the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), is not your typical college student.  William, a native Washingtonian, is, at age 33, older than most college students.  His personal journey, however, is what clearly sets William apart. 


            William’s story is one of perseverance and triumph in the face of immense personal tragedy.  At the age of ten, he witnessed the murder of his mother and brother in his home at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend.  Raised by his grandmother, William has been able to overcome this heartbreak to emerge as a scholar who personifies student leadership.  William Kellibrew has been a student leader since first stepping on the campus of the University of the District of Columbia.  In addition to serving two terms as student government president, he is a Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) Scholar, a member of the UDC Firebirds men’s tennis team, a member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc, and has worked for two consecutive summers as an intern with Miller Brewing Company.  During his internship this year, William sang the National Anthem prior to the September 4 Milwaukee Brewer’s major league baseball game.  This summer William was selected as the initial recipient of a one-semester scholarship granted for a UDC student to attend the University of Sunderland in Sunderland, England, where he is currently attending classes. 


            William’s story came to the attention of Bill Cosby last summer when the entertainer staged “A Call Out with Bill Cosby” on the UDC campus May 16, 2006.  Dr. Cosby brought together residents of the District of Columbia with stories of personal transformation and  determination as part of his nationwide effort to bring a message of empowerment and hope to America's lower income communities.  Dr. Cosby is the featured guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” airing next Wednesday, October 17 at 4:00 p.m. on WJLA-TV (Channel 7) in the Washington, DC area.  William’s story will be shared with a national audience when he appears as a guest on that broadcast.


            Students, faculty and staff who have gotten to know William over the course of his academic career at the District’s state university will gather in the 4.0 Lounge on the UDC campus to view the program as it airs next Wednesday.  “William is a one-of-a-kind student and a truly special person,” according to Dr. Janice M. Borlandoe, Acting Vice President for Student Affairs at UDC.  “Not only does William lead by example, but he has an uncanny ability to relate to others.  He has epitomized community involvement.” (Photos of William follow)


            The telling of William’s story has generated considerable excitement on the UDC campus, leading Dr. Borlandoe to organize an opportunity for member of the University family to watch their fellow Firebird in his debut on national television.  “William embodies student leadership and activism,” said Dr. Borlandoe.  “We’re proud to share him with the rest of the nation and are sure they will be as inspired by him as we have been.”


What:             University of the District of Columbia students, faculty and staff view airing of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” including a feature on UDC student William C. Kellibrew IV, appearing with entertainer Bill Cosby.


Who:               UDC Students, Faculty and Staff


When:            Wednesday, October 17, 4:00 p.m.


Where:           The 4.0 Lounge

                        Building 38, B Level

                        University of the District of Columbia

                        4200 Connecticut Ave, NW

                        Washington, D.C.


Media note: Media interested in covering this event should contact Mike Andrews, Senior Director for Communications at (202) 274-5685 prior to the event.







            The University of the District of Columbia is the fully-accredited sole public source for accessible, inclusive, affordable, and comprehensive public higher education in the District of Columbia and provides additional life-long learning opportunities. The University delivers quality instruction and uses student-centered approaches to empower and benefit both individuals and its local communities.  The University, an urban land grant institution, is a very diverse community, a gateway to the world, and a significant investment engine for the District of Columbia.  The University is located at 4200 Connecticut Ave, NW Washington, and is conveniently located at the Van Ness/UDC stop on the Red Line of Metro.  For more information on other University activities, contact Mike Andrews, Senior Director for Communications and University Spokesperson at (202) 274-5685 or visit the University’s web site at www.udc.edu.