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New Name, New Chapter: Cathy Hughes School of Communications

By Jacinth Jones, Campus Staff Writer

Howard University hosted an official ceremony to rename Howard’s School of Communications (SOC) in honor of Cathy Hughes’ multimillion dollar donation. The event was held on October 23 at Armour J. Blackburn University Center’s Ballroom after the closing events of Howard’s Homecoming entitled BLUEPRINT.

Howard attendee and moderator Anthony Anderson, other notable alumni such as Debbie Allen and Elijah Cummings and Hughes’ family, friends and associates spoke and gave gratitude upon Hughes’ contribution towards SOC.

Howard President Wayne A.I. Frederick was also in attendance appearing grateful and appreciative as he began the ceremony with an introductory speech.

“This is my first time unveiling the name of a school to an African-American woman,” said Frederick. “I want to thank Cathy for her contribution which shows the countless hours dedicated by faculty/staff who have matriculated through Howard all the while upholding our motto ‘truth and service.’”  

“Thank you Cathy for reevaluating and reinventing the legacy of Howard University and being an inspiration to all of us as a mother, woman and visionary,” said Allen. “This is the beginning of another chapter in the name of Cathy Hughes and helps present a global image of who we are as a people.”

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“Thank you for making our dreams your dreams. Thank you for giving so much. Thank you for touching so many lives and thank you for being you,” added Cummings.

The celebratory brunch developed into a mini concert with live performances from R&B singer Joe as he sang “All the Things” and “I Wanna Know” and the Howard University Gospel Choir featuring gospel artists Donald Lawrence, Richard Smallwood and Vashawn Mitchell.

Following the performances, Hughes concluded the event with her acceptance speech thanking Howard University and others for their support.

“This day would have not been possible without President Wayne Frederick. I want to thank [Dean] Gracie Lawson-Borders and all my family and friends for their support. I also want to thank my son, Alfred, for being the best partner and son I could ask for. Thank you for being the wind beneath my wings. This will be the most joyous memory until I can remember no more,” said Hughes.

With Hughes’ endowment, her contribution demonstrated her dedication towards the media industry in order to produce the best professionals at Howard University.

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