Board of Trustees Articles
Retired administrator and teacher gives back as UDC Board of Trustee Member
From age six, Dr. Mildred Musgrove knew that teaching would be her career path. As a little girl growing up in DC with a single mother, she bought books for 10 cents at the Salvation Army and begin teaching her dolls to read. Since then, she has never stopped sharing knowledge. With 34 years in public education, she has been a senior high school teacher, curriculum writer-in-residence, instructional supervisor, elementary and high school principal, assistant superintendent, chief of staff and chief academic officer.
Musgrove has also worked as an adjunct professor at the American University and UDC. She currently serves as a UDC Board of Trustees member and is in the second year of her first term.
Born and raised in Newberry, SC and in the District, Musgrove graduated from DC Teachers College with a B.S. degree in English (‘70). She received her master’s degree in English from Trinity College and an Ed.D. in Administration and Curriculum from George Washington University in 1991. Her husband graduated from Federal City College (‘75) with a degree in business management.
Her love for educating young people and bringing communities together is evident throughout her storied career that included supporting students at every level in DC Public Schools. After teaching for several years, Musgrove wrote the curriculum for five years and then became an instructional supervisor. She later became an elementary school principal and served as an assistant superintendent for a cluster of schools within DCPS.
Musgrove moved on to work at DCPS Central Office as the superintendent’s chief of staff. She then became the chief academic officer, where she oversaw instructional programs for DC Public Schools.
“It was my job to deal with anything to do with educating students across the board,” Musgrove said, who raised two children as she worked and completed her doctoral degree.
After working at the DCPS Central Office, Musgrove served the last five years of her career as the principal of Anacostia High School.
“It was the best job I’ve ever had,” Musgrove said about her time at Anacostia. “It was phenomenal. After all the work that I had done in my career, it was great to be able to take all of that experience to that school.”
Of all the educational experiences she has had, she said she is the proudest of what she was able to accomplish at Anacostia, where she served as the second longest-tenured principal.
“People had a very negative view about the area,” Musgrove said. “When I got there, it was nothing like what people had said. It was a school neglected by the system. I worked together with the staff, parents, and students to help everyone understand that this was a place where they could come to learn and be loved. My staff, teachers and administrators, and parents worked hand-in-hand to take the school to heights it had never seen in years.”
“I see some of our students on Facebook and watch how many of them have blossomed.”
Even in retirement, Musgrove continues to find ways to give back. She is a part of a network of DC Teachers College graduates who put on an annual dinner where the proceeds go to support students in DC Public Schools.
She is hoping to see more alumni from UDC predecessor schools get involved in giving back to UDC and its students.
“The reality is, we have a university that is doing amazing things. We don’t forget DC Teachers College, but we are all one at UDC,” Musgrove said, who is encouraging more to join UDC’s National Alumni Society.
“I would like to see UDC flourish into the nation’s HBCU, where students from every state recognize it as a good place to study,” she said. “President Mason has set the University in the right direction. I would like to see us continue on the upward climb.”
Musgrove continues to be active in professional organizations including the Senior High Alliance of Parents, Principals, and Educators (founding member); 21st Century School Fund Board of Directors; the American University Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa; DC Retired Educators Association; and CHANCE Academy Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Alpha Kappa Sorority, Inc. Rho Mu Omega Chapter.
UDC’s first football captain continues to champion the University
Barrington Scott brings a unique perspective and passion as an alumni representative to UDC’s Board of Trustees and Foundation, Inc. Board. As a student, he was the University’s first football team captain and has also been inducted into the UDC Athletic Sports Hall of Fame. Since his time as a Trustee, he has been instrumental in scholarships, alumni support and advocating for student life activities.
“At its beginning, UDC’s enrollment was around 14,400 students because of the merger of the three schools,” Scott said. He started at Federal City College, which merged with UDC in 1976, before coming to UDC and remembers what he calls “the good old days.”
“We had great student support, especially when we won the NCAA Division II National Basketball Championship in 1982. Homecoming was always grand, and our 125-piece marching Striders Band took the city by storm. UDC provided the opportunity for urban city kids to get an equal quality education to that of other institutions in the area at a reasonable cost. I am still excited to tell people I’m a Firebird and one of the University’s proudest alumnus.”
Completing college came with its challenges for Scott, who became a father at the age of 20 while juggling classwork, football, a night job and having a double major.
While at UDC, he organized student protests in support of making Martin Luther King Day a national holiday by coordinating students from UDC, Howard, American, Georgetown and George Washington University.
“It was the greatest thing that ever happened to me as a student at UDC,” Scott said. “We galvanized students from all over this city, standing in the cold and singing with recording artist Steve Wonder to support the MLK holiday bill. That opportunity taught us we can make changes and a difference when we stand together.
Scott continues to put his commitment in action serving his second term as an alumni representative to the Board of Trustees and UDC Foundation Board.
He is a 1982 graduate and earned a B.S. in Recreation Therapy with a concentration in physical education. He has 41 years of experience in health care and serves as the director of therapeutic activities at a long-term care facility in Washington, DC.
Scott is known for bringing people together to get things done. He was an advocate in speaking out about the importance of restoring UDC’s nursing and mortuary science and nursing programs. He was also instrumental in reactivating the student branch of the NAACP and obtaining approval for 50 students to attend the organization’s national convention.
Scott created the Academic Excellence Award and raised money to recognize the ten brightest graduating seniors each year with the highest-grade point average on campus.
He spearheaded efforts to recognize and preserve the legacy of the grandfather of Black basketball, Dr. Edwin Bancroft Henderson. A 1904 graduate of Miner Normal School #2, a UDC legacy institution. Henderson paved the way as an educator, basketball pioneer, writer, Civil Rights advocate, coach and referee in the District of Columbia.
Scott is raising money for a 7-foot statue in the likeness of Henderson to be placed outside the Sports Complex in June 2023, at the University of the District of Columbia.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to work on these projects along with co-chair Trustee Antoinette White Richardson,” he said. “We are looking forward to the unveiling in June.
“With the campaign the endowed scholarships will provide the opportunity for students, especially in Wards 7 and 8 to attend sports camps and clinics. The vision is to have students come from around the country in the summers to learn more about E.B. Henderson. We will take students to the African American museum and have DC recognized as the birthplace of Black basketball.”
Committed to helping students go to college, Scott was instrumental in obtaining scholarships for DC high school seniors to attend UDC through his fraternal ties with the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia Jurisdiction PHA F&AM. He convinced them to move the Masonic Classic Basketball Tournament to UDC.
He also encouraged The Prince Hall Grand Lodge F & AM and Grand Lodge Masons of Washington DC to meet on campus for the 300th Anniversary of Masonry in the United States. They pledged $400,000 over the next ten years to support the UDC Foundation Inc. with scholarships to attend UDC.
His love of his alma mater is apparent, as he shares his experience with future students every opportunity he gets. He credits President Ronald Mason, Jr. for his recruitment efforts supporting the District’s valedictorians, salutatorians and honor students.
“One of the things that was done under President Mason is the DC-UP program, which recruited the best and brightest minds from this area to consider UDC. We are able to provide free tuition and housing to make UDC even more competitive.”
Scott co-founded the Calvin Coolidge Alumni Association, Inc. in 1986, raising more than $3 million since its inception to send graduating seniors to college. As a life member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., he served as the 34th Polemarch of the Washington DC Alumni Chapter during the Million Man March in Washington DC, which boasted the largest gathering of its national body at a Civil Rights gathering.
He is a Silver Life member of the NAACP and several other national organizations and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2017 UDC PathMakers Award, Calvin Coolidge Alumni Association Founders Humanitarian Award, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences’ Award for supporting education, and the Kappa Alpha Psi Eastern Province Council Meritorious Service Award.
Board of Trustees member is advocate for literacy, fair housing and education
Anntoinette “Toni” White-Richardson’s love of education and history has served her well in her career and as a UDC Board of Trustees member. She champions several causes, including adult literacy, housing, economic opportunity and educational advancement at UDC. Richardson (’95) graduated from the University with a Master of Arts in Adult Education. She earned undergraduate degrees in sociology and theatre from George Washington University in 1980.
A six-generation Washingtonian, Richardson is active in numerous community-based organizations focused on improving the lives of DC residents and cultural enrichment for the District.
For the past 25 years, Richardson has worked as an education specialist in the Adult Literacy Resource Center at the DC Public Library, working with teens and adults learning to read, working on their GED, and preparing to enter the workforce. She also teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) and provides resources for adult learners learning to read.
In her role, she has successfully created programs to increase adult literacy through creative programs such as her series “Feel for Movies,” where she encourages reading by giving away books after showing movies they are based on. Participants watch movies at the library, or she brings them on the road to two senior apartments. Following the film, the companion books are distributed each month.
“We get them interested in the book,” she said. “Now they can read it at their leisure. After watching the movie together, they have a reason to read the book.”
Richardson also runs a book club for lower-level readers called “A Feel for Books,” where she helps program participants find books with topics of interest.
“My master’s in adult education opened the door for me to be in this field,” Richardson said. “What brought me to UDC after George Washington University was I realized I wanted another experience at an HBCU. At the time, UDC was the only one that offered the adult education master’s degree. The experience was awesome.”
“My job is a perfect match for what I wanted to do. I realized later in life that I love teaching, especially the population of teenagers and young adults, because they bring something to the table, and it is reciprocated. I get to expound on their ideas and expand it.”
Richardson joined the UDC Board of Trustees during the pandemic in 2020 and is in the third year of a five-year term as an alumni representative. During her time on the Board, she said she is proud of her work with fellow Board member Barrington Scott who led the campaign to rename the sports complex on campus in honor of Dr. Edwin Bancroft Henderson and preparation for a statue in his honor in front of the building in June.
“I felt very good about the work that was being done,” she said. “I did not let him be a lone soldier.”
“The other thing that I’m very proud of is helping to keep alumni issues on the front burner. As we do things at the University, we don’t want to forget the alumni. The University leadership understands that reaching out to us is very important.”
Richardson is also excited about strengthening the UDC National Alumni Society to get things done.
“I have worked on projects and programs for the last ten years, including toy drives, meet and greets, awards dinners, and attending membership meetings. In addition, she participated and supported homecoming activities, including plaza events, homecoming coronations, and concerts.
“I want the future of UDC to be one of pride for those who have gone, who are there and who are to come,” Richardson said. “We can’t forget the shoulders that we stand on. We can’t forget our historical place in this country and Black history.”
A community activist, Richardson has held leadership roles in several organizations, including serving as president of the Delta Housing Corporation of the District of Columbia (2016-2020), which provided affordable housing for seniors. She was also president of AFSCME District Council 20 (2014-2017) and AFSCME Local 1808 (2003-2019).
In addition, she was co-chair of the DC One Fund Campaign (2012-2015), which raised more than $2 million. Richardson was a Taskforce member of the Negotiated Employee Assistance Home Purchase Program (NEAHP), which provides funding for unionized city employees to purchase homes. She was president of the Washington DC Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (2006-2008).
With her family’s long history in the District, Richardson has enjoyed genealogy and has taken a personal interest in preserving the historically African American grave sites in DC. She has served as the vice president of the Woodlawn Cemetery Perpetual Care Association (2016-present).
Her love of theatre has put her on stage, including a leading role in “A Community Carol” at the Arena Stage in 1993, which brought raving reviews for her role as Penny Crachit. She is also a current board member of The Essential Theatre in DC since 2017. The theatre is a non-profit professional theatre with productions that reflect the African American experience.
When she isn’t involved with her work, civic duties, and hobbies of sewing, painting, and historical research, she spends quality time with her husband, who works in telecommunications in the DC government and her family members.
“I’ve been very blessed in my life,” Richardson said. “I take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves, and I have evolved a sense of staying woke. For us to thrive, black people in America need to understand the power of collectiveness.”
UDC Board of Trustees member and alumnus continues to impact students
A retired principal and teacher, UDC Trustee Jerome Shelton has committed to ensuring that students can dream that anything is possible. After more than 38 years in education, one of the greatest rewards of his labor came when one of his former students assisted Shelton’s terminally ill father through his final days.
“My father was dying, and it was an honor to hear her tell him stories of how I had impacted her life,” Shelton said. “As teachers and administrators, we always hope that we are making a difference, and there are moments when we get to see the fruits of our labor.”
“We invest in tomorrow, and it is exponentially paid forward.”
Remaining connected to former students and encouraging them to believe in themselves to make their dreams a reality is a trademark of Shelton’s career.
He has served as a teacher and administrator to students at every age from pre-kindergarten to middle school, high school and on to adult learners in community school education.
Three generations of Shelton’s family have lived in Washington, DC, for almost 200 years. The core foundation of his education was earned in Washington, DC Public Schools.
He is a 1971 graduate of the District of Columbia Teachers College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education. Shelton earned a Master of Arts in Guidance and Counseling from Trinity College in Washington, DC and extensive post-masters degree credits at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. His subsequent educational training includes studies and certification from the Center for Community Education in Flint, Michigan, American University and Harvard University.
He began his teaching career at John Burroughs Elementary School, followed by administrative appointments at all District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) system levels.
His first administrative opportunity began at Bunker Hill Elementary School with varied, progressive appointments at the secondary level. In 2002, he retired after serving as principal of Eastern Senior High School.
“I hope I left behind a desire to learn and a love of education,” Shelton said. “Serving my hometown and its surrounding community has been the most rewarding experience a child of the District of Columbia could achieve. Serving the District and its students has been a gift I received, a gift that keeps on giving.”
After retirement from DCPS, Shelton served as an educational administrator in the Prince George’s County Public School (PGPS) System. His administrative acumen made him a sought-after resource for developing other leaders in the Accelerated Principal Preparation Program for PGCPS.
Shelton has also served as chairman of the Elementary Athletic League and the Community School Assistant Principals’ Association. He served through three contract negotiations in an elected position on the Executive Board of the Washington Teachers Union (WTU).
During his tenure with the WTU, he was elected to the DC Teachers’ Federal Credit Union Board of Directors. He has served as chairman for the past 11 years.
Additionally, he is chair of UDC’s Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, which works to acknowledge historical figures among all University alumni and co-chairman of the Membership Committee of UDC National Alumni Society.
Shelton is married to Violet Radford Shelton, a 1971 graduate of DC Teachers College. They are the proud parents of a son, daughter and two grandchildren with a third grandchild on the way.