Students Weigh In on One ‘Cool’ President

Students Weigh In on One ‘Cool’ President

Students Weigh In on One ‘Cool’ President


President Mason with students and alums.

President Mason poses with various UDC students.


President Mason is no stranger to UDC students. Not one to stay in his office behind a desk, he can often be seen conversing with them on Dennard Plaza or elsewhere on the various campuses. From engaging in  fireside chats  to participating in  “Cuff It” challenges, this president has made a lasting impact. Here are a few of the many testimonials received in his honor.

“President Mason is amazing. I remember when he came to our class and talked to us. He was so helpful. He asked us if we had any suggestions and told us to email him our ideas for UDC. When we emailed him, he responded to all of us. It is remarkable that a busy man like himself had time to talk to us and follow up afterward. He will truly be missed.”  – Vannesa Valentine, Freshman, Computer Science 

“The great leadership you provided to UDC and the community during my time there and beyond was absolutely incredible. I learned just as much watching how you responded to issues when they arose as I learned in the classrooms at UDC. Because of your example of transformational leadership, I am a greater leader and forever an alum of Firebird Nation! Enjoy your next chapter!” – Cordero Kimbrell, Alum

“I like that our President is so down to earth. He is humble, and even though he doesn’t have to, he always has time for the students.”  – Fendian Pollock, Freshman, Accounting 

“We are thankful for everything the President has done for us and the school. Whatever he does in his future endeavors, we wish him much success. It is a blessing to have met him. God bless him.” – Steve Tagheu, 2023 Mechanical Engineering graduate

“I am thankful he allowed me to do great things at UDC.” – Ta’Quan Ford, Senior, Digital Media

“I know this is his last year, and this was my last year, as well. I wish him much success.” – Crystal Fouch, 2023 Studio Art Graduate  

“President Mason was a selfless and intuitive leader that proudly represented our HBCU and elevated the institutional profile.” – Brian Simpkins, Senior, Digital Media

“As a former Student Representative to the Board of Trustees, I had the pleasure of working alongside President Mason identifying and solving the challenges faced by our student body and ensuring a bright future for our Firebirds. President Mason’s attention to students’ needs and his interpersonal connection with the student body is worth great commendation and admiration. It was a pleasure working with you, President Mason, and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.” – Chavar Henry, Alum

“Congratulations on your retirement, President Mason. I wish you much success and relaxation in your next chapter!” – Jamese Hawkins, Law Student

“You were gracious to ensure I had the funds needed to graduate. You made it possible! Thank you for being such a light all these years! Many blessings on all of your future endeavors.” – Trystin Kier Francis, Alum

“Dear President Mason: You have done so much for Firebird Nation. Your legacy will transcend for generations.” – Selvon Malcolm Waldron, Alum

“You lead the way for Firebirds that transcends the words assisted, helped, and guided. You opened doors at the University that enabled me to complete a degree as a nontraditional student while fighting cancer. I am humbly grateful for your service and support while President of UDC. God’s speed and may his grace continue to be with you. Thank you, President Mason!” – Tamara Cooke, 2023 Administration of Justice Graduate

“I want to thank you, President Mason, for your genuine kindness and for seeing beyond what UDC presented itself as when you arrived. I earned all three of my degrees under your tenure, including my associate, bachelor’s, and master’s. Throughout that time, I’ve seen the institution expand, and its national visibility grow. UDC has been invited to the tables and asked for insight and advice like never before under President Mason’s tenure. Our campus facilities have expanded, giving a presence of a modernized institution, and even within the community, the pride of the institution has grown as it is recognized among the HBCUs in the country. Our programs have received national attention, including our Law and CUAGE programs, which has helped engender a national consciousness on urban gardening, as well as healthy eating in our D.C. communities. I am so thankful for President Mason, and I am so happy to be a part of the Firebird Nation! All the best, President Mason, in your future endeavors!” – Saundra Armstrong, Alum, Classes of 1986, 2017 and 2021

“Won’t hide my Firebird pride! President Mason, thank you for the revolutionary service you performed in providing a place, space and vision for many students like me to excel and become tomorrow’s leaders. We applaud and issue you your flowers for a job well done. Here is to creating greater impact in your new role as well. THANK YOU!” – Stephany Singh, Alum

“Job well done! You deserve retirement. Thank you for taking your job and students at UDC seriously and for creating equity in Black communities through quality education. Love you!” – Theodore Wilhite, Law Student

“Thanks for all you have done for me and the University. You have pushed us all and motivated us all. Thanks and well wishes. Take on the world. Accomplish. Inspire. Firebird Nation.” – Ivan, Alum

“Congratulations on a great tenure. Thank you for your leadership at UDC. May God continue to bless you as you embark on your next step in life’s adventures.” – Arlene Marshall, Graduate Student, Business Administration, Class of 2025

“President Mason, I had the opportunity to work and attend school under your extraordinary leadership at the University. I graduated in May 2023, which was a bittersweet moment for me. As I ravish in the sweet achievement of reaching one of my goals to finally become a college graduate, what better place than UDC to see my dream come to fruition and become a UDC Firebird Alumni? The bitter part was knowing this would be your last commencement ceremony as the president of UDC. As I sat there and listened to your solemn and powerful speech, I couldn’t help but recount those precious times that I would see you in the halls of UDC or you were visiting one of my classes and how you would always refer to me as the “P-Card Lady” (the purchase card program was one of my responsibilities at the University when I was employed there). At that moment, those two words have come to mean more to me than you will ever know. I wish you nothing but the best in your new adventures in our big world. I know that somewhere in the world, my President Mason is making significant strides and changes that would motivate someone to continue to soar higher in their ability. Thank you for all you have done for UDC., Your alumnus, and admirer.” – Tracy Williams, 2023 Graduate

“Thank you for your great leadership and innovation UDC. Not only did your vision change our structure internally, but externally as well.” – Unique Williams, Alum

“President Mason, Thank you for wonderful leadership, advocacy and integrity. Also, for your support of and for the sustainability of the music program. All the best!” – Professor Johnny H. Butler III, UDC Chorale Director & UDC Alum, Class of 2003

“Thank you, President Mason, for your dedication and effort in offering equal opportunities for the immigrant Latino community. God bless you.” – Ana Pernia, Graduate Student, Business Administration, Class of 2024

“Thank you for making UDC a place where I felt included and that educating myself was important. Thank you for all the funding that you brought to us. God bless.” – Karla Ferrel-Castillo, Computer Science, Class of 2024