President's Perspective: Upholding Long-standing Traditions

President Wayne Frederick

Since its inception in 1867, the University has called the District of Columbia home. Its original founders believed that, with no bias toward race, gender, class, etc., everyone deserved to have access to the same quality educational opportunities that they experienced. As such, Howard played a significant role in educating former slaves, particularly from the District of Columbia.

One of the University’s founding members, Sen. Henry Wilson (R-MA), who later became Vice President of the United States, authored legislation that abolished slavery in D.C. Howard University School of Law graduate Charlotte E. Ray was among the first women admitted to the D.C. bar. And, in response to the growing need for skilled African American teachers in the mid- to late-1800s, the University partnered with the Institution for the Education of Colored Youth in the District of Columbia.

Today, our beloved institution is a significant contributor to the Washington, D.C. economy, with more than 9,500 alumni living in the District. Howard also provides free legal services for residents; operates workforce development programs; offers health care services to D.C.’s most vulnerable populations; and our students, faculty, staff and alumni offer a helping hand via a plethora of service-learning initiatives. Howard University influences every facet of the District of Columbia. A few highlights of Howard’s major contributions include:

  • The Howard University Dual Enrollment Program aims to provide high-achieving District of Columbia Public School junior and senior students with an opportunity to take college-level courses, earn college credits and begin their college careers prior to enrolling at an institution of higher learning.
  • Howard University’s Small Business Development Center has helped secure more than $12 million in loan money for small businesses.
  • The University operates a workforce development program that trains 50 students for the technology workforce.
  • The Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center is the flagship setting for the study and practice of civil rights law at Howard University and its mission is to expand civil rights, human rights, freedom, and equal justice under the law by integrating legal advocacy, grassroots organizing, and academic study.
  • The Howard University Middle School for Mathematics and Science serves nearly 300 students who are residents of D.C.
  • Howard University students, faculty, staff and alumni exemplify the University’s motto: Truth and Service every day, often recognized for completing thousands of hours of service in Washington, D.C. each year.

Howard University touches every facet of the District of Columbia and has been a longtime partner in helping the District expand and improve services and economic opportunities for its residents. Howard will continue to embark on innovations that support social engagement and prepare publicminded leaders for the future. Thank you for your continued support as we work to move Howard Forward.

Excellence in Truth and Service,

Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA




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