A Message from the President

Dear 1998 Graduate:

        As you approach this milestone in your life, I ask you to pause for just a moment to reflect not only on your achievements, but on your place in the legacy of Howard University.

        Most of you came to this institution only four years ago, leaving your homes for the very first time. Others ventured here in pursuit of broader fields of  knowledge, building on an already solid platform of learning. Some of you took leave from careers and family obligations to pursue an unselfish dream, paving not only your way but a way for the future of your family as well as the global family. However you arrived here, you depart stronger--intellectually, socially and spiritually.

        This, my fellow alumni, is the Howard legacy. For 131 years, our great university has produced leaders in whom alma mater instilled, through unparalleled academic rigor, the intellectual confidence and strength of spirit that allowed them to effect positive change in American society and the world community. Now you have proved yourselves leaders. You have earned a place among those who call Howard "home:" from Edward Brooke, Patricia Roberts Harris, Thurgood Marshall and Toni Morrison, to Ossie Davis, Debbie Allen, Andrew Young and Frank Savage.

        Do not forget, sons and daughters of Howard, that legacy is more than tradition. Certainly, Howard's traditions--access to world leaders, the noontime alma mater ringing from the clocktower, provocative debate, homecoming, grand convocations--continue to define our culture of excellence. Howard's legacy, however, dictates that we draw upon that excellence to share with others the truths we have learned: we are a great, ineradicable people capable of great achievement against the most disparaging odds.

        Now is your time to share these truths. This is your entitlement and your obligation, not because you are graduating, but because you are a Howard graduate.

        Continue the legacy in peace, strength and prosperity.


        H. Patrick Swygert

"You'll travel an impatient world, perpetually changing, complex, ambiguous, fiercely competitive,
yet rich in opportunity! Travel light, seize every opportunity as best you can understand it, and show the way."

H. Patrick Swygert





Photo: Jim Wells