August 27 , 2007
Prominent Author and Poet Nikki Giovanni to Speak at University of the District of Columbia’s Fall Convocation
Washington, D.C. — Stanley Jackson, acting president of the University of the District of Columbia, is pleased to announce that world-renowned poet, writer and Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech Nikki Giovanni will deliver the keynote address at the University’s Thirteenth Annual Opening Academic Convocation on Tuesday, September 25, at 10:00 a.m. in the University’s auditorium. Ms. Giovanni’s appearance at UDC follows two previously postponed engagements earlier this year.
“Nikki Giovanni is a writer without peer,” said Mr. Jackson. “She has long been recognized as a leader of her field, but she was catapulted onto the nation’s consciousness with her stirring remarks to a wounded Virginia Tech community. We are honored to bring Ms. Giovanni to our campus and look forward to having her help us get our new year started on the right note.”
Ms. Giovanni’s inspirational words lifted the students of Virginia Tech in the wake of the tragic shootings on that campus on April 16, 2007. Ms. Giovanni’s initial visit to UDC was part of the University’s Literature-Live Reading Series, a series of events promoting the culture of reading and writing across the curriculum and the academic community. Her February 14, 2007 visit to UDC was postponed due to inclement weather. Her rescheduled visit to the campus of April 23 was also postponed, as Ms. Giovanni desired to remain on the Virginia Tech campus as classes resumed.
While the September 25th convocation is the University’s thirteenth, the legacy of the only public university in the District of Columbia and the nation’s only urban land grant university is far richer. The seeds for higher education that grew into the University were first planted in 1851, when Myrtilla Miner founded Miner Normal School, a “school for colored girls.” In 1955, Miner Normal - 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.
The University’s theme for this convocation - “Charting a Course of Excellence” - is reflective of the University’s mission as providing an affordable opportunity for a better education and an improved quality of life for all District residents.
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.