WASHINGTON – Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed delivered a rousing address at the Charter Day convocation marking the University’s 144th anniversary on March 11. He charged students to be inspired by the legacy of leaders who came before them.
“You don’t have to look very far to see a successful product of Howard University,” Reed told students about the molding he received during his years as a student at the Capstone.
The double alumnus (B.A. ’91, J.D. ’95) reminded the audience that Howard was created as a solution for a national problem. “If you did not have a Howard, you would have to invent it.”
The orator did a roll call of Howard's legendary leaders. See an excerpt:
When the city of New York needed its first African-American mayor, call the roll, it was David Dinkins. When the state of Virginia needed its first African-American governor to pave the way for Barack Obama, call the roll, it was Howard University and Doug Wilder. When we needed a brilliant surgeon it was LaSalle Leffall who broke the barriers and helped to build Howard University School of [Medicine]. When D.C. needed to break the gender barrier and elect the first female mayor it was Sharon Pratt Kelly, call the roll, it was Howard University. When the United States Senate needed to be integrated, call the roll, it was Senator Edward Brooke, he was a Howard man…, you cant get around Howard University…
Reed was inaugurated as Atlanta’s 59th mayor last year. Since taking office, Reed has worked to improve public safety, create new opportunities for youth and restore financial stability. Prior to his election, he served for 11 years as member of the Georgia General Assembly. He was first elected in 1998 as a State Representative and served two terms. 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 has 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 member of the Board of Trustees. Reed grew up in the Cascade community of Atlanta.
The convocation celebrates the charter enacted by Congress and subsequently approved by President Andrew Johnson on March 2, 1867, which established Howard University.
WHUT-TV will broadcast the edited Charter Day Convocation on March 28 at 3 p.m.