Despite the pandemic, Howard University held its annual Charter Day Convocation ceremony to commemorate the signing of the federal charter that established Howard as a university. Held virtually on March 5, the 154th anniversary ceremony featured President Wayne A. I. Frederick as the keynote speaker, who acknowledged the challenges and the latest signs of hope related to the pandemic. He highlighted the ascension of alumna Kamala Harris to the vice presidency and talked about Howard’s dedication to being inclusive, regardless of race and gender.
“We are a Black institution that is open to any person regardless of the color of their skin,” he said in his keynote speech. “It is our everlasting duty to embrace that complexity, never to shrink away from it.”
The March 5 Convocation set the stage for this year’s Charter Day Virtual Celebration. Cedric the Entertainer served as master of ceremonies, and entertainment included Matt the Violinist and Step Afrika! (pictured), the award-winning company founded by Howard’s own C. Brian Williams.
The 2021 recipients for the Alumni Charter Day Award for Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement included:
* Virginia State University President Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D.;
* property law scholar Thomas W. Mitchell, J.D., LLM; and
* Ward 8 public servant Mary Roach, PharmD.
The LaRue V. Barkwell Capstone Distinguished Service Award was presented to Clifford L. Muse Jr., Ph.D, University archivist and historian.