February 4, 2008
Contact: Juanita Britton
University of the District of Columbia 31st Founder’s Day
Keynote Speaker Actor Lou Gossett, February 20th
Washington, D.C. — The University of the District of Columbia (University) will celebrate thirty-one years of distinctive service to the citizens of the District of Columbia at the University’s Founder’s Day Convocation. The Convocation, which will be held in the University’s Auditorium, is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, February 20, 2008. This event is open to all students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University. As part of the convocation, the University will also present 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.
Our Founder’s Day theme is, “A Unique History, A Rich Legacy”. We will celebrate the rich history, milestones and the contributions of all of the institutions --- Miner Normal School, Wilson Normal School, Miner Teachers College, District of Columbia Teachers College, Washington Technical Institute, Federal City College, Antioch School of Law --- that frame our comprehensive University. The University offers academic programs ranging from the certificate, associate, and baccalaureate levels to the graduate and professional degree levels and this year have a robust enrollment of over 4,600 students.
This year’s Founder’s Day, much like last year, continues a campaign to attract University graduates of all her predecessor institutions to return to their alma mater to reacquaint and re-commit themselves to the mission.
This year’s keynote speaker is Academy Award winning actor, Mr. Louis Gossett Jr. Gossett won his Oscar for 1982 Best-Supporting Actor playing a tough by-the-book drill sergeant alongside Richard Gere in “An Officer and a Gentleman”. Gossett is the recipient of every known acting accolade including Golden Globes, Emmys and People’s Choice Awards. Lou’s performances have connected him with fans on a global scale. Organizations such as the NAACP, CARE, and the United States Armed Forces have used his likeness to add validity and integrity to their causes.
Following his Oscar, he made numerous big screen and television appearances and was singled out for his stellar portrayal of Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat in “Sadat” (1983). Gossett’s well thought out roles and performances give him credibility to socially themed projects such as “To Dance with Olivia” (1997), and the critically acclaimed “Jasper, Texas” (2003).
Currently Mr. Gossett is dedicating a majority of his time to ‘an all-out conscientious offensive against racism’ through his Eracism Foundation. Mr. Gossett goes on to say, “Violence is a war and the energy we exert on war, I would like to pray that energy gets reverted back to a communal effort to save the world. So perhaps in my own small way I can generate some energy toward the salvation of the planet because when we win a war we win a dying planet.”
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, D.C. City Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, and all members of the District Council, as well as Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, have been invited to share in the University’s commemoration.
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.