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February 7 , 2007


University of the District of Columbia’s Founders Day Convocation Awards Honor Excellence in Education

            Washington, D.C. — The University of the District of Columbia’s Founders Day Convocation, scheduled for Thursday, February 22, 2007, at 10 a.m. in the University’s Auditorium, will feature the presentation of four awards to honor excellence in educational leadership and service, as well as a lifetime achievement award for sustained and exceptional commitment to the University’s mission.  The only public university in the nation’s capital will present the Ronald H. Brown Distinguished Leadership Award, the Marjorie Holloman Parker Distinguished Educational Leadership Award, the Cleveland L. Dennard Distinguished Service Award, and the Paul Phillips Cooke Lifetime Achievement Award during the Founders Day Convocation program.    
            The theme for this year’s Founders Day will be “Celebrating 30 Years – Reclaiming our Alumni,” commemorating thirty years since the establishment of the University.  Founders Day 2007 will mark the kick-off of a University campaign to attract graduates of UDC and all her predecessor institutions to return to their alma mater.  Prominent civil rights leader Thomas N. Todd will deliver the keynote address for this year’s convocation. 

            The Ronald H. Brown Distinguished Leadership Award will be presented to that individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in his or her profession and whose work has contributed to the betterment of one’s community and its citizens on a local, national, or international level.  The award commemorates the long career of public service of the honorable Ronald H. Brown, former Secretary of Commerce and one-time chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees.

            Professor William L. Robinson, Dean and Professor of Law at the District of Columbia School of Law (DCSL) and the University of the District of Columbia School of Law (UDCSL), will receive the Ronald H. Brown Distinguished Leadership Award.  Professor Robinson led the successful implementation of the school’s mission to increase opportunities for minorities and others from traditionally under-represented groups at the bar; to represent low-income residents of the District of Columbia; and to train ethical public interest lawyers.  Under his leadership, DCSL earned the award of provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association (ABA) within three years of opening the school’s doors so that the founding class could graduate from an accredited law school.  Dean Robinson steered the law school to a second grant of provisional accreditation when the ABA required the school to seek accreditation anew after the merger with the University of the District of Columbia.

            The Dr. Cleveland L. Dennard Distinguished Service Award honors that individual who has demonstrated a long-term commitment of outstanding service to the University or to the Washington, D.C. community.  The award is named for the late Dr. Cleveland L. Dennard, who was the former president of Washington Technical Institute, a UDC predecessor institution, and a chief architect of the blueprint for the unified, postsecondary public education institution that became the University of the District of Columbia.
            Dwayne A Jones, the Director of Community Outreach and Extension Services (COES), Office of Apprenticeship, Technical & Industrial Trades at the University of the District of Columbia, is the recipient of the Dr. Cleveland L. Dennard Service Award.  Mr. Jones began his tenure at the University in 1977 as the Barber-Science Instructor/Coordinator for the DC Department of Corrections UDC Lorton Vo-Tech Program.  During his tenure at Lorton he received numerous awards including the “Community Distinguished Service Award”, as well as the DC Department of Corrections Outstanding and Dedicated Service Plaque for his outstanding contributions in the transformation and reformation of the Lorton Vo-Tech programs.  In 2001, Mr. Jones became the Program Coordinator within COES.  His tasks included revamping the near dormant DC Apprenticeship School.  In 2003, Mr. Jones became the program manager within COES where he implemented a five year “Reformation Plan” which included addressing post-secondary careers and technical education needs.      

             The Dr. Marjorie Holloman Parker Distinguished Educator’s Award is awarded to that individual whose laudable contributions as an educator have made a discernible difference in the city or nation’s schools, colleges, universities, or private institutions of higher learning.  Marjorie Holloman Parker, who passed away January 16, was a former District Councilmember, and once chaired the University of the District of Columbia’s Board of Trustees.  Dr. Parker was a magna cum laude 1936 graduate of Miner Teachers College.

            For more than 35 years, Dr. Clavin Fields, this year’s recipient of the Marjorie Holloman Parker Distinguished Educational Leadership Award, served as founder and Director of the Institute of Gerontology at the University of the District of Columbia with loyalty, honor and distinction.  Even before his tenure at the University, Dr. Fields was governed by a keen sense of duty and always showed a unique grasp of human problems, especially as he began his career in working with youth, and seniors, at the DC Department of Recreation, organizing more than 100 senior citizen clubs and organizations throughout the city.  Under Dr. Fields leadership, the UDC Institute of Gerontology planned and operated extensive educational and community training programs for non-degree, undergraduate, graduate students and older adults in Gerontology studies and community service.  To support and implement these programs Dr. Fields generated over $50 million in grants, contracts and fund raising activities.     

Named for the eminent scholar, author, international statesman, and former District of Columbia Teachers College president, the Paul Phillips Cooke Lifetime Achievement Award honors that University of the District of Columbia 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.  Dr. Cooke graduated from Miner Teacher College (a predecessor institution of District of Columbia Teachers College) in 1937.

            Rachel M. Petty, Ph.D., an outstanding University of the District of Columbia teacher, clinician, researcher, and academic administrator for more than 30 years, is the recipient of the Paul Phillips Cooke Lifetime Achievement AwardDr. Petty currently serves as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of the District of Columbia.  At the University, she has risen through the academic ranks from instructor to full professor.  Through the years, she has served as chairperson of the Department of Psychology, was Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and served as the Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Throughout Dr. Petty’s illustrious career, she rendered faithful, conscientious, and valuable service to our University, and has taught a variety of advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology; served as thesis advisor to 17 Masters Degree students and sat as a member on six dissertation committees.    Dean Petty has also had continued involvement in clinical/consulting work in psychology.  She specializes in work with young children who have been victimized by parental neglect or abuse, and in conducting parental training and training of staff who work with children in “out-of-home” placement.

            The seeds for higher education that grew into the University of the District of Columbia were first planted in 1851, when Myrtilla Miner founded Miner Normal School, a “school for colored girls.”  In 1955, Miner - by then known as Miner Teachers College - united with Wilson Teachers College to become the District of Columbia Teachers College.  D.C. Teachers College merged with Washington Technical Institute and Federal City College in 1977 to form the new institution, the University of the District of Columbia.
            Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, D.C. City Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, and other members of the District Council, as well as Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, have all been invited to share in the University’s commemoration.

 

           

 

 

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            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.