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April 23, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Juanita Britton

202.274.5685

University of the District of Columbia to Confer 700 Degrees to Students and Two Honorary Degrees at Commencement Convocation, May 10th

Washington, D.C. — The Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia and Acting President Stanley Jackson will confer degrees on 700 students and honorary degrees on two business leaders at the University’s 31st Commencement Convocation, scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Saturday, May 10, 2008 at the Verizon Center. Ms. Debra L. Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Networks will be the keynote speaker for Commencement.

As a part of the graduation activities for the nation capital’s only public university, honorary Doctor of Laws degrees, from the David A. Clarke, School of Law, will be conferred on Ms. Lee and Mr. Victor B. MacFarlane, Founder, Chairman and CEO of MacFarlane Partners.

As the head of one of the world’s most influential media and entertainment companies, Ms. Lee oversees diversified operations and an array of assets, including several cable television channels, digital offerings, mobile, and a music festival/events business. She is leading the company in current growth initiatives, including continued expansion into filmed entertainment, a home entertainment business, and international distribution of the brand. Ms. Lee’s achievements in a 20-plus year career at BET Networks have earned her numerous accolades from across the cable industry, as well as recognition as one of this country’s most respected business executives. She serves on the corporate board of directors of Revlon, Marriott, Eastman Kodak, and Washington Gas & Light. Her business acumen and strategic approach to management make Ms. Lee a popular speaker and lecturer on a range of business topics.

Mr. MacFarlane has 29 years of real estate experience, and has worked extensively in property development, acquisitions, asset management and portfolio management on behalf of some of the world’s largest pension plans and institutions. In 1996, he sold the investment management business of MacFarlane Partners to GE Capital and then served for three years as chief executive officer of GE Capital Investment Advisors. During that period, he also spearheaded several global initiatives for GE Capital Real Estate, an affiliate that managed $20 billion in real estate assets worldwide. He oversaw or participated in GE Capital Real Estate’s expansion plans in Asia, Mexico and Eastern Europe.

“The University is fortunate to have two such outstanding, accomplished and successful business people as our Honorary Degree recipients. Any university in the world would be thrilled to have either one of them so to have them both demonstrates that UDC is indeed a world class university that is clearly on the ascendancy. Debra and Victor are wonderful role models for students everywhere and especially for our graduates. They also reflect the University’s commitment to enhance our working relationship with the private sector. Having such top quality Honorary Degree recipients communicates to the community that the District’s only public university is providing the District’s residents with a wonderful opportunity for a quality college education”, says Chairman of UDC Board of Trustees, James W. Dyke, Jr.

Ms. Lee earned a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School, while simultaneously earning a master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and earned her bachelor’s degree in political science with an emphasis in Asian politics from Brown University.

Affiliated with a number of professional, civic, and cultural organizations, Ms. Lee is also a member of the national board of directors for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Girls Inc., National Symphony Orchestra, Center for Communication, and the Kennedy Center’s Community & Friends Board. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees for Brown University and also serves on the boards of the Museum of Television and Radio, the Ad Council and the Grammy Foundation.

Mr. MacFarlane holds a juris doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles; a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh; and a bachelor’s degree in university studies from the University of New Mexico.

Mr. MacFarlane is a past recipient of the National Inner City Leadership Award from the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and the Trailblazer Achievement Award from the Global Diversity Summit. He sits on the boards of directors of the Robert Toigo Foundation, the Real Estate Executive Council, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, Stanford Hospital & Clinics, and The Dignity Fund. He also serves on the policy advisory board of the Fisher Center for Real Estate at the University of California, Berkeley; and is an outside director of Developers Diversified Realty Corporation. He is a member and trustee of the Urban Land Institute; a member and former director of the Pension Real Estate Association; and a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, the Chief Executives Organization and the World Presidents Organization. Mr. McFarlane recently joined the Board of Advisors of UCLA School of Law.

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The University of the District of Columbia is the 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 Juanita Britton, Acting Director for Communications and University Spokesman at (202) 274-5685 or visit the University’s web site at www.udc.edu.

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NOTICE TO MEDIA: Media are welcome to observe and report on highly visual activities taking place in concurrence with the University of the District of Columbia’s Commencement Convocation. Media interested in covering this event should contact Ms. Britton, Acting Director for University Communications at 202.274.5685 prior to the event. Photos of Ms. Lee and Mr. MacFarlane follow.

The Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia will confer honorary Doctor of Laws degrees to Ms. Debra L. Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Networks and Victor B. MacFarlane, Founder, Chairman and CEO of MacFarlane Partners at the University’s 31st Commencement Convocation, scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Saturday May 10, 2008 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.

 

 

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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.