Both Isabella and William Gibbons were slaves who were owned by different professors at the University of Virginia prior to the Civil War. The new Gibbons Hall will house about 200 students this fall.
Honors & Awards
Maya Angelou, the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University, who died last spring, was honored with the issue of a Forever Stamp bearing her portrait.
Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, is the inaugural winner of the $1 million Cooke Prize for Equity in Educational Excellence. Since 2008 the college has vastly increased its percentage of students from low-income families.
The team from Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia, competed against 18 teams in the finals competition held in Portland, Oregon. It was the only undefeated team in the three-day competition.
The honorees are Carol Tonge Mack of the University of Cincinnati, Quincy Martin III of Triton College in River Grove, Illinois, and Jean E. Swinney of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Marlon James, an associate professor of English at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, won the fiction prize and Jericho Brown, an assistant professor of English at Emory University in Atlanta, won the poetry award.
Alain Mabanckou is a professor of French and Francophone studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. A native of the Congo, he taught at the University of Michigan for three years before joining the UCLA faculty in 2006.
In 1985, Timothy Cole was expelled from the university after he had been accused of raping a White woman student. He was convicted a year later and sent to prison. Cole died in prison in 1999. In 2010, DNA evidence proved he did not commit the crime.
Orlando L. Taylor is vice president for strategic initiatives and research/director of the Institute for Social Innovation at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. He was the first African American president of the National Communication Association.
The honorees are Emanuel Collins of Florida State University, Souleymane Bachir Diagne of Columbia University, Bridal Pearson of the University of Baltimore, John Hudgins of Coppin State University, and Jamila Stockman of the University of California, San Diego.
Helon Habila is an associate professor of creative writing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Teju Cole is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College in New York.
Dr. Price, who died last November at the age of 69, was the Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor and the founding director of the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience on the university’s Newark campus.
Suzan-Lori Parks teaches creative writing at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She was honored for her play “Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3,” which was first staged at The Public Theater in New York last October.
The honorees are Lissa Stapleton of the University of Southern Mississippi, Retha Hill of Arizona State University, and Karla FC Holloway of Duke University.
Julian H. Lewis earned a Ph.D. in physiology and pathology at the University of Chicago in 1915 and then went on to medical school. He was hired as an instructor at the University of Chicago in 1917.
Benedicte Boisseron is an associate professor of French and Francophone language and literature at the University of Montana. She studied at the University of Paris and then earned a Ph.D. in French literature at the University of Michigan.
Nathaniel Mackey is the Reynolds Price Professor of Creative Writing at Duke University. The prize, which comes with a $150,000 cash award, is given out biennially by the Yale University Beineke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Avery August, a professor at Cornell University, was honored by the American Association for Cell Biology and Rosie Phillips Bingham, vice president of student affairs at the University of Memphis, will be honored by the American Psychological Association.
Yusef Komunyakaa is the Global Distinguished Professor of English at New York University. He is being honored by the Center for Southern Studies at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.
Dorothy Roberts, the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, has been selected to receive the 2015 Solomon Carter Fuller Award at the association’s annual meeting in Toronto this May.
The honorees are Toni Morrison, professor emerita at Princeton, Paul Meacham, former president of the College of Southern Nevada, Adriel A. Hilton of Western Carolina University, and K. Paige Carmichael of the University of Georgia.
The award is presented by the African Poetry Book Fund and Prairie Schooner, the literary magazine published by the University of Nebraska Press and the creative writing program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The honorees are Derek D. Bardell of Delgado Community College, Samuel Achilefu of Washington University in St. Louis, Claiborne D. Smith of Delaware State University, and William Franklin of California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Patricia Smith, an associate professor of English at the College of Staten Island in New York, is being honored for her collection of poetry that examines the Great Migration of African Americans from the South to northern cities.
James P. Comer is the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center. He has served on the Yale University faculty since 1968.
Thea L. James is an associate professor of emergency medicine and assistant dean of diversity and multicultural affairs at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. James has cared on site for victims of the 9-11 terrorist attack in New York, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and earthquakes in Iran and Haiti.
Ursula O. Robinson, an associate professor of visual and performing arts at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, was honored for the writing of her one-woman show.
In 1924, Era Bell Thompson enrolled at the University of North Dakota as a track and field athlete. After college, she became a journalist and eventually was one of the top editors at Ebony magazine.
Ruth M. Jackson, University Librarian Emerita at the University of California, Riverside, received the 2014 Presidential Recognition Award from Tuskegee Airmen Inc. In 2005, Jackson established the Tuskegee Airman Archive at the university.
Sonya Clark, chair of the department of craft and material studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, enlisted 12 hairstylists to craft her head into a work of art for the judges’ consideration.
Dr. Jones, who served as vice provost for educational equity at Pennsylvania State University, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Commission on Access, Diversity, and Excellence of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
The pan-African poetry prize honors books of African poetry written in English or translated into English. The inaugural winner of the prize is Nigerian amu nnadi.
I. Richmond Nettey is the associate dean of the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability, and Technology at Kent State University in Ohio. He is being honored by the University Aviaton Association.
Neal A. Lester is the Foundation Professor of English and the founding director of Project Humanities at Arizona State University. He is being honored for his exceptional service to the profession of English.