2000 and beyond


40-year veteran with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the legendary principal harpist Ann Hobson Pilot becomes a faculty member at Boston University. A new half-hour documentary that will tell the story of her life in music, A Harpist’s Legacy, Ann Hobson Pilot and the Sound of Change, will air on PBS stations beginning in July 2011.


The Golden Decade Foundation is created by four Boston University students; Duane “Smokey” Jackson (MET ’76), Yvette Grant (SED ’77), Steven “Lumbo” Leonard (COM ’77), and Colin Rock (SMG ’77). The name “Golden Decade” comes from an era in the 1970’s that witnessed some of the largest influxes of Black and minority students into predominantly white colleges and universities in the greater Boston area. The Golden Decade Foundation offers scholarship and mentoring programs in order to encourage its members’ success, while developing their personal networking and business skills.


Valerie Clayton (CFA ’75) becomes the director for the New Jersey branch of the famed Settlement Music School. She began working at the School in 1997.


Attorney Gina Walcott became the first African-American in the nation to direct a Lawyer Assistance Program.


Common Ground, an exercise based on the belief of Howard Thurman (Hon.’67), former dean of Marsh Chapel, that we have more in common with each other than we have differences, is established to take place from 1 to 4 p.m. each Wednesday of orientation.


Peter Fernandez (CFA’75) performs in theaters across the country and The Philadelphia Tribune, the African American newspaper in Philadelphia, publishes a two-page article about his work in theater. He credits his home state (Rhode Island) and BU for his great training.

President Obama offers effusive thanks Duane Jackson (MET’76) for his role in foiling a potentially lethal bomb attack. Jackson, a seasoned Manhattan street vendor, had a bad feeling on the evening of May 1 when he noticed a driverless Nissan Pathfinder idling at a busy bus stop in front of the Times Square Marriott Marquis hotel. Jackson left his handbag stand on 45th and Broadway to see if what walked like a duck and quacked like a duck was really a duck. It was.


Celebration of Black Alumni held in October.

Dee Scott-Huggins (SON’74) becomes a board member of the United Nations Association of New York (UNA-NY). UNA-NY helped to celebrate Black History Month by screening Selma to Soweta, a film that depicts the critical period in which America’s involvement helped bring an end to South African apartheid, at the UNA-NY ongoing film-talk series.


Judy A. Smith (COM ’80), an American author, television producer and crisis manager known as the founder, president and CEO of the crisis management firm, Smith & Company becomes the inspiration for the hit ABC television series “Scandal”.


Young Alumni of Color Reunion hosted in April.  Leadership committee included Farrah Belizaire (SAR ’11), Tamika Jeune (SAR ’12), Lauren Allen (CAS ’12), Ahmed Ahmed (CAS ’10), Dionte Henderson (ENG ’09), Adrian Hoquee (SAR ’07), R. Joshua Reynolds (CFA ’11), Kimberly Morton (CAS ’11), Jessica Thomas (COM ’11), and Jonathan Priester (COM ’10).

Cornell William Brooks (STH’87) is named President and CEO of the NAACP. His appointment was announced in May and he was introduced to members at the national convention in Las Vegas in July. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Brooks, 53, of Annandale, New Jersey, will be the organization’s 18th national president.

Actress Uzoamaka Nwanneka “Uzo” Aduba wins Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in “Orange is the New Black”at the 66th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards in 2014.

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