Alumni leaders passionate about helping others succeed at UDC

Alumni leaders passionate about helping others succeed at UDC

Alumni leaders passionate about helping others succeed at UDC


Selvon Waldron and Bernard Grayson Jr.

Selvon Waldron and Bernard Grayson Jr. at the Fireside Chat with President Mason on September 21.

Bernard Grayson Jr. and Selvon Waldron were pacesetters as students, and now as alumni, they are dedicated to continuing their support of UDC. Longtime friends, Grayson and Waldron are working on several projects together and recently presented the September Fireside Chat with President Ronald Mason Jr. as he shared his vision for the University.

The dynamic duo is also working together on several other projects, including the 20th anniversary black-tie gala for the UDC National Alumni Society, which serves as a fundraiser for the group.

The UDC Alumni Society has planned a Day of Service on November 11, where they will clear shrubs near campus. In addition, alumni supported the Men’s Basketball team in playing against Howard University.

Grayson serves as the president of the Alumni Society and is in the second of a four-year term. He is a lifelong learner and is a four-time graduate of UDC, earning an Associate degree in Hospitality Management and Tourism in 2003, an Associate degree in Business Technology in 2004, a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2005, and a bachelor’s in procurement and public contracting in 2012. He earned an MBA from Trinity University in 2006 and a master’s degree from Webster University in acquisition and procurement in 2018. He also will complete his Ph.D. in Urban Leadership and Entrepreneurship from UDC in 2024.

While at UDC, Grayson was the undergraduate student class president in 2004-2005, senior class treasurer in 2003-2004, vice president of the Business Management Association, and served on the School of Business Advisory Committee.

He owns and operates a consulting firm, Grayson Management Enterprises, Inc., and is an accomplished contract and procurement executive with more than 15 years of experience in contract management, inventory control, purchasing, supply chain management, and contract negotiation.

Grayson is committed to strengthening the Firebird Alumni network around the globe.

“UDC is my foundation,” Grayson said. “I’ve attended other schools, but this is my foundation for everything. I have had success in life. It goes back to conversations in class, my contacts and my resources. UDC was a leadership incubator. If you are ready to go to the next level, UDC will put you in the place where you will thrive.”

The Alumni Society is also partnering with the DC Metro HBCU Alumni Alliance, a nationwide network of 70 alumni associations from public HBCUs. The programs with the Alliance include a STEM workshop on November 19 for students in grades 9-11 in the greater Washington, D.C. area and will be held at UDC’s Student Center.

The Alliance partnership also includes hunger awareness and service activities three times a year. As part of the service activity, The Alumni Society and the UDC Office of Alumni Affairs encourages UDC graduates to give monetary donations or serve in preparing meals and groceries for those in need.

Other alumni activities include a 5k Run, providing volunteers at a local food bank, and hosting an annual food drive during the yearly HBCU Community Day on January 15. The alumni also partner with the community gardens by planting, harvesting, cleaning, and providing educational programs a few times during the year.

Waldron and Grayson have a long history of success and support for UDC. They met as students and have traveled in the same circles supporting the University’s alumni and highlighting its achievements on social media. Waldron currently serves as the UDC Alumni Society’s History and Legacy Committee chair.

Waldron earned a bachelor’s in business administration in 2008 and a master’s degree in business administration in 2011 from UDC. He earned a master’s from the University of Maryland, College Park, in minority and urban education in 2019. He will complete a Doctor of Education in Education Leadership from the University of Pittsburgh in 2024.

While at UDC, Waldron was the student representative on the Board of Trustees, president of the Caribbean Student Association, and represented UDC in Japan as part of a global exchange program during an International Global Peace Conference in Hiroshima. He also served on the Advisory Board for the School of Business.

He is currently the executive director of a national nonprofit in Washington, D.C., Genesys Works, which provides minority high school students with skills training, meaningful work experiences and connections to professional networks. The program consists of eight weeks of technical and professional skills training, and a year-long paid corporate internship and intensive college and career coaching/mentorship during the senior year and through college completion.

Waldron previously worked as the director of Student Transition Services at Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School, where he headed the program to support students bound for college and vocational education programs. While there, he helped students build college completion plans and provided career guidance.

He is the former executive director of the nonprofit mentoring agency Life Pieces to Masterpieces. Founded in 1996, it is an arts-based mentoring program serving African American males from some of Washington’s most underserved communities.

Waldron has bridged the gap between helping students through nonprofits and keeping the legacy alive at UDC by connecting many of them to his alma mater.

“UDC changed my life,” Waldron said. “I was lucky, even though I had many struggles early on when I moved here, including moving from apartment to apartment and being homeless for a little while.”

Waldron said that he had encountered students with more significant challenges.

“UDC will do the same for those students as it did for me. I have met students who once slept outside but are now running organizations. UDC is the best choice for anyone looking to achieve their dream.