The Friesons, both successful businessmen, recently gave $1 million to the university that will be used for academic support programs, diversity workshops, peer mentoring programs, and leadership development activities at the Black Cultural Center.
Honors & Awards
Thomas H. Epps III is the Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. Dr. Epps joined the University of Delaware faculty in 2006.
The biography of Perry Wallace, who played basketball for Vanderbilt University from 1967 to 1970, is the first book dealing with sports to be honored in the 35-year history of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.
The honorees are Judith Green-McKenzie of the University of Pennsylvania, Richard Payne of Duke University, and Marie Chisholm-Burns of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.
This spring Medgar Evers College will grant an honorary degree to its namesake, Medgar Evers. Mylie Evers-Williams, who was married to Medgar Evers and continued his civil rights work after his death, will accept the award at the college’s June 2 commencement.
In 1932 Benjamin O. Davis Jr., the son of an Army officer, was admitted to West Point. He was “silenced” or shunned by his classmates for four years. No cadets, faculty or staff members befriended or spoke to him except on an official basis.
The honorees are Stephanie Luck of the University of Arkansas, the late Levi Watkins at Vanderbilt University, Clara Adams of Morgan State University, Anthony B. Pinn of Rice University, William F. Tate of Washington University in St. Louis, and Em Claire Knowles of Simmons College.
Aaron Murphy, a senior at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, was named Speaker of the Year by the American Parliamentary Debate Association.
In 1991, Dr. Donald E. Wilson was named dean of medicine at the University of Maryland, the first African American dean of a predominantly White medical school. He was also was the first Black president of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
John Lewis spoke at the March on Washington and was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on Bloody Sunday in March 1965. He has served his Atlanta district in Congress since 1987.
Melissa Givens is an adjunct professor at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and Texas Southern University in Houston. She is also a doctoral student in music at the University of Houston.
The honorees are Roland G. Fryer Jr., the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard, assistant professor Stephen M. Avery of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and Iris Outlaw, director of multicultural student programs and services at the University of Notre Dame.
The new Frederick Douglass Square will feature quotations from Douglass displayed on a steel wall.
Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, has paid tribute to its president emerita Dorothy Cowser Yancy by naming the new Information and Technology Hall in her honor.
The honorees are Wanda Heading-Grant of the University of Vermont, Juanita Johnson-Bailey of the University of Georgia, and Emile M. Towns, dean of the Vanderbilt University Divinity School.
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.
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.