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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

The Presidential Election: A Focus During Howard's Homecoming Weekend

Reception and Program Honors Former Journalism Professor Samuel F. Yette

Samuel F. Yette

WASHINGTON (October 9, 2012) - The Howard University School of Communications (HUSC) and the Samuel F. Yette Memorial Scholarship Committee are pleased to host "The Choice: Perspectives on the Presidential Election," a program that explores money, media and voting rights. The event will take place during Howard's Homecoming Weekend on Friday, Oct. 19, at 6 p.m. in the Seeley G. Mudd Building, 520 W Street, N.W., Room 3019. A reception will precede the program at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The program, is in honor of the late Journalism Professor Samuel F. Yette. Yette, author of the seminal work, "The Choice: The Issue of Black Survival in America," was a pioneer at the School of Communications, where he taught from 1972 until 1986. He died in January 2011.

The program will explore ideas expressed in "The Choice" and its resonance to the 2012 Presidential Election in a panel discussion. Featured journalists include William Douglas, congressional correspondent for the McClatchy Newspapers, who will address "Big Money: What Is the Influence of the Super-PACS?" Wilmer Leon, a political scientist and nationally syndicated radio and talk-show host, will address "Voter Suppression." Also, Dorothy Gilliam, former Washington Post columnist and director of the Prime Movers Media Program at George Washington University, will address "Are the Media Doing Their Job?"

Moderators for the event are Denise Rolark Barnes, publisher of the Washington Informer, and Gloria Minott, public affairs director, WPFW Radio. Rolark Barnes and Minott are alumni of the Howard University School of Communications.

The School of Communications and the Yette Scholarship Committee successfully launched an endowed scholarship fund at an alumni reception last year, in October during Homecoming 2011. This year, the school and committee hope to continue to raise funds for the scholarship to serve more students.

"Alumni response when contacted to contribute to the Samuel F. Yette Memorial Scholarship fund was remarkable last year. It indicated how highly Professor Yette was held by his students and those who came to know this beloved professor and journalist.," said. Chuka Onwumechili, Ph.D., interim dean of the School of Communications.

Known for the rigorous work and punctuality he demanded from students, Yette also had a sense of humor and was a beloved and respected professor.

"Professor Yette led by example and provided his students with everyday lessons around conviction, intellectual curiosity, high moral standards and the virtue of fearlessness," said Bonita Coleman Stewart, vice president, Americas Partner Business Solutions, Google, Inc.

"Sam Yette understood the past and had the vision to see the future," said E. Ethelbert Miller, director of Howard's African American Resource Center. "He warned us about the present. The world is still a dangerous place to live. Sam Yette taught us how to make the right choice when it came to survival. If we erase or forget his words, then we must master the tightrope of life without the nets of memory."

Contributions to the Samuel F. Yette Memorial Scholarship fund should be sent to Howard University Office of Development and Alumni Relations, 2225 Georgia Avenue, Suite 901 NW Washington, DC 20059. Please enter "Samuel F. Yette Memorial Scholarship Fund" in the memo or fund description. All donations are 100% tax-deductible.

To RSVP for the program, call (202) 806-5807 or (202) 806-7980, or email Carol Dudley, director of the Office of Career Development, School of Communications, at and indicate "Homecoming/Yette Event." Free parking is available after 5 p.m. on Bryant Street, N.W.; in the Annex II Lots facing the Medical School; and at the Banneker School Lot on 4th and Bryant Streets, N.W.


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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