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Press Release  
Release Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 1:17 PM
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Media Contact:
Sholnn Freeman
Communications Specialist
Major Symposium to Spotlight Legacy of Dr. Hanes Walton, Jr.
Walton was first to graduate from Howard with doctorate in political science
Dr. Hanes Walton, Jr.

WASHINGTON (February 12, 2013) – Howard University will host a major academic symposium on the intellectual legacy of Dr. Hanes Walton, Jr., the imminent political science scholar who was the first person to earn a doctorate in the subject at Howard University.

The symposium will be held in the Blackburn University Center Auditorium on Tuesday, Feb. 19 from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The symposium is sponsored by the Offices of the President, Provost, Deans of the College of Arts and Sciences and Graduate School, the Political Science Department and the Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center.  The event is open to the general public, faculty, staff and students.

Participants in the symposium include Patricia Walters, widow of renowned Howard University scholar Dr. Ronald Walters, Michael Britnall, president of the American Political Science Association; Dr. Robert C. Smith, professor of political science at San Francisco State University; and Dr. Lenneal J. Henderson, a distinguished professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore. Leaders from the Black Caucus Foundation and the National Conference of Black Political Scientists will attend as well.

“Recognizing Walton’s legacy through the symposium signals Howard University’s commitment to graduate doctoral-level education in the social and behavioral sciences, the humanities, and Diaspora studies,” said Sidney A. Ribeau, Ph.D., president of Howard University. “It highlights the unique role Howard University has and must play in the preparation of the critical mass of Black scholars who populate our nation’s institutions of higher education.”

Walton, during a long and distinguished career, helped consolidate Black Politics as a respected area of study and mentored generations of students and faculty who now populate our nation’s universities and colleges. The symposium will consist of two panels. The first panel will discuss the roles of Hanes Walton and Howard University in the development of the field of Black Politics; the second will address the impact of Walton’s scholarship on African-American politics.

Walton (Ph.D. ‘67) published his foundational work, Black Politics: A Theoretical and Structural Analysis, five years after completing his doctorate at Howard. Walton’s methodological, substantive, and theoretical training in political science was significantly influenced by the training and education he received in the department founded by Nobel Laureate Ralph Bunche.

In many ways, Walton’s greatest academic influence has been felt in the place where he started his research. At Howard, each year approximately 200 students pursue courses in Black Politics with Walton’s books and articles serving as primary readings. Following graduation, these students, fill public service roles in congressional, state and local, and mayoral positions around the country. Many others carried his scholarship into professorships across the country. Ultimately, Professor Walton’s role in defining the study of Black Politics is large and indelible.

For more information, call 202-806-9349 or 202-238-2495.


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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