UDC News


February 7 , 2007

University of the District of Columbia’s Founder’s Day Marks 30 Years of Distinctive Service

            Washington, D.C. — The University of the District of Columbia will begin a year-long celebration of thirty years of distinctive service to the citizens of the District of Columbia at the UDC Founder’s Day Convocation.  The Convocation, which will be held in the University’s Auditorium, is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m.  Thursday, February 22, 2007 and 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.    
            The theme for this year’s Founder’s Day Convocation will be “Celebrating 30 Years – Reclaiming our Alumni,” commemorating thirty years.  The University’s first Board of Trustees publicly announced on August 1, 1977 the consolidation of the District of Columbia Teachers College, the Federal City College, and the Washington Technical Institute into the University of the District of Columbia under a single management system.  Founder’s 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.  An activist attorney widely known as “TNT” for his oratorical skills, Thomas N. Todd, who will be 68 when he addresses the UDC Opening Convocation, served as a lawyer in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1967 and joined the staff of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago in 1967.  In this capacity, Todd made history when he developed the first criminal case against a Chicago policeman for deprivation of an individual's civil rights in 1968.  Todd organized and established the first Civil Rights Office in a local U.S. Attorney's Office in 1969. United States v. Gorman, the first federal criminal case against a Chicago police officer ended in a hung jury in 1971.  Todd was the first full-time black law professor at Northwestern University, where he taught from 1970 to 1974.  Todd has been admitted to practice law before many courts, including the Louisiana Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Military Appeals, the Illinois Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.  A powerful spokesman for civil rights, Todd was president of the Chicago Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1971 and president of Operation PUSH from 1983 to 1984
            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 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.





            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.