The Transition: Howard’s Challenge
These decisions were a part of our own recovery initiative to make certain that Howard University continues to be among the best universities in the world. However, there is still a long way to go. Howard University is not new to trials. We have survived reconstruction, the Great Depression, both world wars, and Jim Crow. This is another challenge; and as we have always done, with resiliency and grace we will meet this challenge as well.
The challenge for the university is that we all need to do it together; faculty, staff, students, administrators, trustees, and alumni. We need to come together, roll up our sleeves, ask the hard questions, and most importantly, come up with workable solutions that will not only revive our university, but bring us into the top 50 research institutions in the nation. Our greatest challenge is not asking what our university can do for us (even though that’s an important question), but asking what we can do for our university. We need to assist in development proposals, fundraise for Howard, recruit for Howard, help answer telephones in offices that do not have the manpower, assist new students in becoming acclimated to the institution and talking to the correct people, filing our documents on time, paying our bills on time, help tell the story of the rich legacy of Howard, achieve great things and further the Howard legacy, study hard and make Howard proud to count you as an alumnus of this great institution. I decided to come back to Howard, not to have fun, but to continue to make a change for this institution. Howard will survive, but in order for Howard to thrive she will need your help.
It was during the Great Depression that Howard, under the leadership of President Mordecai Wyatt Johnson transformed Howard into the institution that we know today. The Law school became accredited, we expanded, we received larger appropriations, and our students and alumni began to change the world as they knew it. What are we going to do during this crisis? It is not up to just President Ribeau and the members of the Board of Trustees, it is up to each and every one of us to meet the challenge of this economic recession. With the internet and new technologies, we have all of the resources that we need to make the changes that we wish to see. We are the most valuable resource that Howard University has, change WILL NOT come unless we bring it ourselves.