Dear Howard University Community,
Many years ago, esteemed educator and civil rights leader Benjamin Elijah Mays was asked to recommend an individual to become president of Howard University. He did not put forth a name, but, understanding the kind of individual needed to assume this significant role, he provided the following perspective: “When the president of Howard University speaks, the nation would be compelled to listen.”
To fill the role of president of Howard University is to walk in a space that impacts not just a campus, not just one community, but a nation and the world.
How can one person assume leadership in such a space that attracts, embraces, and enhances so many leaders in so many ways? President Frederick has answered this call with clarity and humility.
When historians write about Howard University during the tenure of Wayne A. I. Frederick, they will conclude that many were in fact compelled to listen.
They will undoubtedly share how fortuitous it was for Howard to select a physician as president unaware at the time that the University would be facing a global pandemic.
Dr. Frederick not only led Howard University through the coronavirus pandemic but was also at the forefront nationally, confronting the healthcare disparities among people of color. He also guided the most talented minds in providing knowledge, aid, and solutions to the most vulnerable communities.
When historians write about Howard University during the tenure of Wayne A. I. Frederick, they will conclude that many were in fact compelled to listen.”
With President Frederick’s leadership, Howard University experienced tremendous growth and increased national and international prominence, amid a pandemic and global economic challenges. In addition, his contribution to the legacy of gender diversity in leadership roles in higher education stands alone as a trailblazing accomplishment.
President Frederick is unique as he stands simultaneously as the leader of a university, a leader in medicine, and a leader in health care advocacy for vulnerable communities. His journey has not been without struggle - as all leaders of significance must confront challenge. He works tirelessly, caring for this community with compassion while modeling fatherhood and civic duty.
He serves as a beacon for what it means to be a true product of the Howard University community. Bold, innovative, and committed, he is a true son of Howard.
President Frederick’s dynamic leadership, courage, creativity, and vision during these challenging times will be an integral part in Howard University’s long and rich history.
The future of his labor is still being written, but there is no doubt he has, as I have often challenge us all to do, “Made a great university even greater.”
Howard University is greater because this alumnus – an international student with health challenges – found his way to its door, allowed it to take residence in his heart, and committed his life and talents to its legacy.
As you explore these pages that seek to capture some of the essence of this surgeon, philanthropist, loving husband, and father, who is the 17th president of Howard University, you will wonder as I and so many have, how one individual could accomplish so much? President Frederick would answer this question by speaking of blessings, gratitude, and grace. We who have experienced the leadership of Dr. Frederick also lift our voices with shouts of blessings, gratitude, and grace for the presidency of Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick.
In Truth and Service,
The Rev. Bernard Richardson, PhD
Dean of the Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel
Article ID: 1276