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Howard Alumnae Set to be Honored at 2023 WABJ Gala 

Two Howard alumnae to be honored at this year’s WABJ gala.


Pat Lawson Muse. (Photo courtesy of WABJ)

Howard University alumnae Pat Lawson Muse and Denise Rolark Barnes are set to be honored at this year’s Washington Association of Black Journalists (WABJ) gala, which will be hosted tonight at Howard.

Lawson Muse, a former anchor at NBC4 Washington, will be presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, while Barnes, the publisher and second-generation owner of The Washington Informer, will receive the esteemed President’s Award at the Dec. 2 gala, according to WABJ.

Lawson Muse recently retired after a 40-year career as reported by NBC4 Washington. Muse, a native of Las Vegas, started her broadcasting career in radio working at stations such as WTOP-AM, WOL-AM, National Public Radio (NPR), the former Mutual Black Network and WHUR-FM at Howard University.  She came to Washington, D.C., in 1973 as a Howard student who majored in broadcast management and minored in radio production. 

“Pat Lawson Muse is a legend whose on-air presence and talent will be missed. Her groundbreaking career is an inspiration to the next generation of Black journalists,” WABJ President Khorri Atkinson said in a statement on the organization’s website. “She’s made an incredible mark on the industry, and WABJ wishes her good health, delight and continued success as she embarks on a new journey.”

Denise Rolark Barnes. (Photo courtesy of Denise Rolark Barnes)

Denise Rolark Barnes, a Washington, D.C., native, is the publisher and second-generation owner of The Washington Informer. Before graduating from Howard University in 1976 with a B.A. degree in communications, Rolark Barnes began her journey at Howard as a writer for The Hilltop

Her father, Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, founded The Washington Informer in 1964, and his Rolark Barnes officially joined the staff in 1980 as previously reported by The Hilltop. She furthered her education at the Howard University School of Law, where she served as editor of The Barrister, the law school’s student newspaper before earning a J.D. degree in 1979 according to The History Makers

 “The WABJ Executive Board appreciates Ms. Rolark Barnes’ contributions and her unwavering dedication to journalistic excellence and advocacy for the D.C. Black community,” Atkinson said.

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Rolark-Barnes has served as the publisher and owner of The Washington Informer since 1994. 

Copy edited by Jalyn Lovelady


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