President’s Perspective: Global Impact

As the 21st century begins to take shape, the word “global” has grown increasingly popular with institutions that want to be associated with the attributes it connotes: interconnected, fast-paced, dynamic and diverse. The adjective “global,” however, is easier to assert than to deserve, so while Howard University is a thoroughly global institution, it is fair to ask, “How so?”

It begins with our myriad connections to every corner of the world. Howard’s talented students hail from nearly every U.S. state and territory and from countries as varied as Jamaica and Nepal. Our researchers work to expand the body of human knowledge by exploring social policy and shanty towns, molecules and megacities. And our alumni carry the Howard motto, Truth and Service, with them wherever they travel, from China to South Africa and from California to South Carolina.

Howard keenly understands that the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines are clearing a pathway to the future. That understanding fosters an institutional metabolism that allows Howard, our students and our faculty, to keep pace with, and contribute to, today’s incredible accumulation of new knowledge, fueled by rapid and continuous advances in technology. We also harness technology to advance learning across other disciplines, where our dedication remains undiminished. For example, Howard’s cross-disciplinary Electronic Studio Art program prepares America’s future storytellers through a curriculum that combines art and technology across various departments within the College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences and the School of Communications.

Our dual commitment to honoring Howard’s rich, deep and proud legacy while preparing our students to be nimble, creative and forward-looking thinkers who can lead and serve their communities makes Howard a dynamic institution, constantly seeking to expand opportunity rather than accepting the status quo. And Howard’s diversity provides an unparalleled font of institutional influence—from the fields of study we offer and explore, to the bounty of philosophical, academic and personal perspectives our students, faculty and alumni contribute to Howard’s identity and culture, to the broad and enriching representation that comes from educating students from 63 countries.

But Howard is not simply an institution with global presence and awareness. Our mission to serve underserved populations and underrepresented minority-dominated populations drives us to be an institution with global impact that makes a difference not only abroad, but right here at home.

As a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Howard embraces our special obligation to expand opportunity for Black youth. From the stellar education we provide talented Black students to equip them for the jobs of the future; to the valuable understanding our research adds to the store of human knowledge on subjects like racial disparities in health care, civil rights and the mechanics of institutionalized inequality; to the stereotype-demolishing impression our talented African-American students make on students from other countries and at other colleges and universities worldwide, Howard University is an educational institution, in the broadest sense of the term.

Howard’s mission has guided our alumni as they have embarked on careers of service, like Diezani Alison-Madueke, the current and first female president of OPEC; Hon. Ewart Brown, former premier of Bermuda; and Dr. LaSalle Leffall Jr., the first African-American president of the American Cancer Society.

That mission led National Jurist magazine to rank Howard among the top 20 public service schools in the country. It has led more than 200 Howard graduates to serve as Peace Corps volunteers around the globe. And it has fueled our commitment to diversifying Silicon Valley by working directly with technology corporations to prepare our students for the workforce of tomorrow.

With a tireless focus on expanding opportunity, Howard’s students, faculty and alumni will continue to ensure that our global reach and influence improve the lives of underserved populations and underrepresented minority-dominated populations everywhere.

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“Connecting You to HU” is our goal. Howard alumni truly define this university and reinforce the powerful legacy that is our alma mater.