UDC News

July 18, 2011


Council Approves Seven New UDC Trustees

Washington, DC - University of the District of Columbia President Dr. Allen L. Sessoms today thanked members of the Council of the District of Columbia for affirming Mayor Vincent Gray’s nominations to the UDC Board of Trustees.  The addition of seven new Trustees brings to 14 the number of filled seats on the board and strengthens the growth and momentum of the revitalized university.

“Having a full board gives us greater traction as we continue transforming the District’s state university,” said Dr. Sessoms.  “The individuals joining us now are truly dedicated and influential people who will be able to help us continue building a great university.”  One nominee, Dr. Ricardo Brown, withdrew his candidacy after accepting a position with the University of Maryland System.  One vacancy currently exists on the UDC Board of Trustees.

The Board had operated with as few as five members in recent years.  But the additional members bring an added level of “influence and affluence” to augment the achievements of current trustees and will propel the university to the next level.

“We are grateful for the mayor’s and council’s support in getting our board back to full strength,” said Joseph L. Askew, Jr., Chairman of the UDC Board of Trustees.  “We have an aggressive agenda, and we look forward to working with our new colleagues to continue building momentum and creating a great university for our students.”

With the addition of the University of the District of Columbia Community College, the University System has experienced unprecedented support and growth.  UDC continues its mission of providing quality, affordable education in a way that expands access to citizens across the city and region.  UDC is engaged currently in a major campus revitalization.  The main campus at Van Ness is being upgraded significantly with the largest ‘green roof’ project underway in the District.  The DC Zoning Commission in June approved the university’s first-ever master plan, clearing the way for a $40 million student center and residence halls. www.udc.edu/facilities/master_plan.htm.

New trustees will be sworn in July 25th.  Their names and brief bios are as follows:

George Vradenburg has served in senior executive positions at AOL, AOL Time Warner, Time Warner, CBS, and Fox, Inc. His community leadership is also outstanding, and he has chaired the DC Education Compact, the Potomac Conference, and the Alliance for Regional Stewardship, among others. He has received the Outstanding Community Leadership Award, the Golden Links Award from the Greater Washington Board of Trade, and the Bridge Builders Award from the Partners for Livable Communities. He is a Ward 3 resident and received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School.

Stephen Porter is a senior partner of the Real Estate Practice Group at Arnold & Porter and has also served the District of Columbia as Chairman of the Board for the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, a Director of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Federal City Council. Mr. Porter received his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin and lives in Ward 2.

Maj. Gen. Errol Schwartz has served as the Commanding General of the District of Columbia National Guard from June 2008 to present. General Schwartz received his Bachelor’s Degree from UDC, his M.A. in Business Management from Central Michigan University, and an M.S. in National Security Strategy from the National Defense University. He currently resides in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Dr. Carmen Ramirez is the Director of the Latino Nursing Career Opportunity Program at the Catholic University of America. She has also served the Director of Health Programs at the Carlos Rosario Adult Education Center and Charter School and the Director of the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs in the District of Columbia. Dr. Ramirez received her Ph.D. in education from the University of Oregon and resides in Ward 3.

Christopher Bell is the Associate General Counsel for Housing and Community Development at Fannie Mae. He received a J.D. from the University of Texas and a M.P.A. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Mr. Bell lives in Ward 3.

LuAnn Bennett is the President and Owner of the Bennett Group, a construction and property management services company in the District of Columbia. She also serves on the board of the National Children’s Museum, the University of the District of Columbia Foundation Board, and the Charity Works Advisory Board. Ms. Bennett lives in Delaplane, Va.

Katherine Bradley is the President of the CityBridge Foundation, a D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to solving the educational achievement gap. In addition to her work with the CityBridge Foundation, Mrs. Bradley serves as a board member for America’s Promise Alliance, the KIPP Foundation, Fight for Children, and Princeton University, She graduated in 1986 from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She resides in Ward 3.

As the only urban land-grant institution in the country, the University System of the District of Columbia (www.udc.edu) supports a broad mission of education, research and community service across all member colleges and schools, which include the University of the District of Columbia (David A. Clarke School of Law, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, College Arts & Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences) and the Community College of the District of Columbia.

Contact: Alan Etter, Vice President of University Relations & Public Affairs, aetter@udc.edu, 202.345.6371

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:  www.udc.edu/equal_opportunity.

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). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.