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Press Release  
Release Date: Friday, May 24, 2013 4:00 PM
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Media Contact:
Rachel Mann
Communications Specialist
Howard University Celebrates 145th Anniversary
California Attorney General Kamala Harris to Orate; Five Additional Alumni Honored

WASHINGTON (February 24, 2012) - Six distinguished alumni, including a pioneering federal judge, two outstanding mayors and leading practitioners in the fields of medicine and architecture, will be honored for their accomplishments during Howard University’s annual Charter Day Convocation in Cramton Auditorium at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 9.

This year’s Charter Day celebration marks the 145th anniversary of the charter that founded Howard University. The charter was enacted by Congress and subsequently approved by President Andrew Johnson on March 2, 1867.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris will deliver the keynote address at the convocation.

The five other distinguished alumni include: Atlanta Mayor M. Kasim Reed, judge George W. Draper III, Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, former Washington mayor Sharon Pratt and businessman C. David Moody, Jr. They will be honored at the Charter Day Convocation and will receive Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement Honors at the 88th Gala Dinner on Saturday, March 10.

About the keynote speaker and honorees:

Kamala D. Harris Kamala D. Harris (B.A. ’86) is being honored for her work in the fields of law and public service. In January 2011, Harris was sworn in as the first woman as well as first African-American and Indian-American, to be elected as California Attorney General. Harris led her first political campaign as a freshman liberal arts student on Howard’s campus. Harris’ accolades include designations as “America’s 20 Most Powerful Woman” by Newsweek and “100 Most Influential African Americans” by Ebony magazine. The New York Times listed her as one of the 17 women most likely to become the first female president of the United States.

M. Kasim Reed M. Kasim Reed (B.A. ’91, J.D. ’95) was inaugurated as Atlanta’s 59th mayor in 2010. Since taking office, Reed has worked to improve public safety, create opportunities for youth and restore the city’s stability. He was first elected in 1998 as a State Representative. He also served in the Georgia State Senate, where he was vice chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus. As an undergraduate member of Howard University’s Board of Trustees, he created a fundraising program that contributed more than $10 million to the school’s endowment. Reed was appointed Howard University’s youngest General Trustee in June 2002 and remains a board member.

Judge George W. Draper Judge George W. Draper III (J.D. ’81) is being honored for his work in the field of politics. Judge Draper is the first African-American Chief Judge for the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District and also the first African-American male to be appointed a judge in St. Louis. Prior to his appointment to the appellate court, Draper served as an associate circuit judge from 1994 to 1998 and as a circuit judge in St. Louis County. In addition, he was a prosecutor with the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office for a decade until 1994. He received his law degree from the Howard University School of Law and has been an adjunct professor at St. Louis University since 1996.

Freda Lewis-Hall Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall (A&S ’76, M.D.’ 80) is being honored for her accomplishments in the field of medicine and health care leadership. In her distinguished 30-year career, Dr. Lewis-Hall has held leadership roles in direct patient care, academia, media, government, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Dr. Lewis-Hall was recognized in 2010 as one of the “25 Most Influential African-Americans in Healthcare” by Black Health magazine and as one of the “75 Most Powerful Women in Business” by Black Enterprise magazine. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree in Natural Sciences from The Johns Hopkins University and Medical Doctorate from Howard University Hospital and College of Medicine.

Sharon Pratt Sharon Pratt (B.A. ’65, J.D. ’68) is being honored for her work in the field of politics. Pratt served as mayor of Washington, D.C. from 1991 to 1995. She was the first black woman to serve as mayor of a major U.S. city.  Pratt has said she entered politics to try to halt the social and economic deterioration of Washington, D.C.  In 1977, she was elected as the Democratic National Committeewoman from the District of Columbia, a post she held until 1980. She later served as the Democratic National Committee Eastern Regional Chairwoman from 1980 to 1984. In the 1980s, she was the Democratic National Committee Treasurer -- the first woman to hold that position. Pratt attended Howard University and received a B.A. degree in Political Science and then enrolled in Howard University’s School of Law.

C. David Moody, Jr C. David Moody, Jr (B.ARCH ’92) is being honored for his work in the field of architecture. Moody is the President and Chief Executive Officer of C.D. Moody Construction Company, Inc. The company provides a wide range of construction services including design/build, new construction, renovation, and construction management. In addition, the C.D. Moody Construction Foundation provides scholarships to minority students. Over 80 scholarships have been awarded since the Foundation’s inception in 1989. Howard University has named a design studio after him. Moody received his B.A. in Psychology from Morehouse College. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture and five year professional degree from Howard University.


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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