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Release Date: Friday, May 10, 2013 6:51 PM
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Sholnn Freeman
Communications Specialist
Howard University Announces 2013 Commencement Honorees

WASHINGTON (May 3, 2013) – Howard University will host the 145th Commencement Convocation, with former President Bill Clinton as the speaker, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 11.

During the ceremony, which will take place on the upper quadrangle of the main campus, the University will award honorary degrees to Patricia McGuire, the president of Trinity Washington University since 1989; Marie C. Johns, deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration and former president of Verizon Washington; entrepreneur and philanthropist Sheila C. Johnson, who also owns three professional sports franchises; and the late Jack F. Kemp, who was a Republican congressman and cabinet secretary.

In selecting the individuals who will be awarded honorary degrees, the University continues the tradition of identifying leaders whose work has clearly contributed to the betterment of communities and the world.

For more information on Commencement 2013, visit here.

Patricia McGuire has been president of Trinity Washington University since 1989. Previously she served as assistant dean for development and external affairs for Georgetown University Law Center. Earlier, she was project director for Georgetown’s D.C. Street Law Project. In June 1998, she was appointed by the U.S. Treasury Department to serve as a member of the first-ever citizen’s advisory panel on coinage, which recommended the image of Sacagawea for a new dollar coin. In 2000, she was appointed to a special term on the Education Advisory Committee overseeing the D.C. Public Schools. McGuire earned her Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Trinity College and her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Marie C. Johns is deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), where she is responsible for management of the agency and development of SBA programs and policies. Prior to joining the SBA, Johns held senior positions in the telecommunications industry, including serving as president of Verizon Washington. Johns is an entrepreneur herself. After retiring from Verizon, Johns started L&L Consulting, LLC, an organizational effectiveness and public policy consulting practice. Johns earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Administration degrees from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Sheila C. Johnson is CEO of Salamander Hospitality and was a founding partner of Black Entertainment Television. Johnson is the only African-American woman to have ownership in three professional sports teams, including the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics where she serves as president and managing partner. Since 2011, she has served as a member of Accordia Global Health Foundation’s International Council, rallying support for efforts to overcome the burden of infectious diseases in Africa. An accomplished violinist, Johnson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the University of Illinois.
Jack F. Kemp served as U.S. Congressman, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party in 1996, and as a Trustee of Howard University from 1993 until his passing in 2009. Kemp played football while attending Occidental College. He was a professional quarterback for 13 years and cofounded the American Football League Players Association. A politically active conservative, Kemp attained prominence as a champion of growth, opportunity, inclusion, dignity, freedom and hope. Through the years, Kemp sought to attract more African Americans to the Republican Party.


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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