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County Executive Baker Inspires New Howard University Students at Opening Convocation
Photos by Justin D. Knight
Gallery of images from the 146th Charter Day Convocation

WASHINGTON (September 27, 2013) – Howard University alumnus and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, urged students to exemplify leadership and challenged alumni to renew their commitment to alma mater at the 146th opening convocation ceremony. 

Baker (B.A. ’82, J.D. ’86) welcomed Howard’s second-largest freshman class — 1,596 students from more than 12,000 applicants — in more than 15 years. In the new class, 682 students are scholarship recipients with an average high school grade-point average and SAT score of 3.49 and 1221, respectively. The SAT score is 300 points above the national average for African-American test-takers and higher than the national average.

“Convocation has always signaled a new beginning,” said Baker. “It is our ceremonial reminder of just how special this University is. But it should also be our calling card to remind us to rededicate ourselves to alma mater. Howard will be the vanguard for change, the vanguard for leadership, the vanguard for social justice. It should remind us of our rich history and the legacy of this University.”

Baker leads Prince George’s County, Md., the highest income African-American-majority county in America. He added the county also has the greatest number of Howard graduates per capita outside the University. In his remarks, Baker said Howard is heavily woven into the fabric of his life. He recalled that he met his wife on his first day at Howard.
“Like my family and the county that I serve, this University has been a blessing in my life,” Baker said. “The people I met here, the instructors I learned from here, the experiences I gained prepared me to take on the world’s challenges.”

The opening convocation ceremony at Howard University is a time-honored tradition, the official start of the academic year. The ceremony serves as a welcoming event for new students and an opportunity to recognize recent achievements at the University.

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View Prince George’s County Executive's remarks >>

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