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Release Date: Friday, May 24, 2013 4:00 PM
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Alma J. Powell, Chair, America's Promise Alliance, to Deliver Keynote at Howard University's Bouchet Forum
Alma J. Powell

WASHINGTON (September 4, 2012) -- Alma J. Powell, chair of America's Promise Alliance, will provide keynote remarks at the Howard University Graduate School's Seventh Annual Edward Bouchet Forum on Thursday, September 13, 2012 from 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. in the School of Business Auditorium. Powell is the 2012 Edward Alexander Bouchet Legacy Award Recipient, named for Yale University alumnus Edward Alexander Bouchet, Ph.D. who, in 1876, became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in any discipline from an American university and the sixth person ever to earn a Ph.D. in physics in the western hemisphere. The Bouchet Forum will conclude the following day at George Washington University. The forum is free and open to the public.

The Edward Bouchet Society was established by Howard University and Yale University to recognize outstanding achievement and promote diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate. Since the founding in 2005, the initiative currently includes eight, additional institutional partners: Cornell University; George Washington University; Georgetown University; Rutgers University; University of California, San Diego; University of Michigan; University of Wisconsin, Madison; and Washington University in St. Louis.

The Bouchet Forum, held at Howard University and George Washington University, provides an important platform to comment on educational contributions in the U.S. The Edward Bouchet Legacy Award recognizes esteemed educators and advocates whose steadfast commitment and dedicated leadership to cultivating a new generation of scholars upholds Bouchet’s groundbreaking contributions to the academy. The Bouchet Society will recognize Powell’s invaluable contributions to education access and opportunity as the recipient of the 2012 Bouchet Legacy Award.

One of the nation’s most longstanding advocates for children and youth, Powell sits on the boards of several educational, cultural, charitable and civic organizations, including her role as chair of the Board of Directors for America’s Promise Alliance (America’s Promise). Founded in 1997 with her husband General Colin Powell as its founding chairman, America’s Promise has become the nation’s largest partnership organization dedicated to improving the lives of young people. With more than 400 national partners, America’s Promise has been at the forefront of the increase in national awareness of the high school dropout crisis. Through its Grad Nation campaign, it has created a large and growing movement of dedicated individuals, organizations and communities that are working together to end the dropout crisis. The goal of the Grad Nation campaign is to raise the national high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020, with no school graduating fewer than 80 percent of its students on time.

A graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, TN, Powell was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010 to be a member of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She also chairs the advisory board for Civic Change, Inc. and serves on the YouthBuild USA Advisory Board. From 1989 to 2000, she served as the chairman of the National Council of the Best Friends Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of young girls. Powell serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors’ Committee of Community & Friends for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Powell is the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Emerson College, an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Shenandoah University and the Civic Change Award from the Pew Partnership for Civic Change. She is the author of two children’s books, My Little Wagon and America’s Promise. Powell was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and has been married to Colin Powell since 1962.

For more information about Powell’s work with America’s Promise Alliance, visit:


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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