May 2022 Volume 11, Issue 5
Commencement was held inside Burr gymnasium due to rain, but it did not stop students from celebrating this momentous occasion. Photo by Justin D. Knight. 

Dear Howard University,  

Commencement and the end of an academic year are always ideal opportunities to reflect on the progress of our personal journeys and the purpose that fuels our forward momentum. It is also an occasion to consider where we are headed as an institution and the people who have helped us arrive at our current moment while also laying the groundwork for our future prosperity.  

In this issue of Bison Beat, we review our splendid Commencement season and the individuals we honored for their service to the University. Howard is always brimming with energy as we bring exciting new talent to join the ranks of our faculty and staff and offer our well-wishes to our colleagues who are leaving the Mecca for exciting new adventures beyond our walls. I hope we can all use these Summer months to find some peace and quiet, respite and rejuvenation, so that we may be reenergized to pursue our critical personal and collective missions.  

Excellence in Truth and Service, 

Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA 
Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery 

Special Feature

Philanthropists Kenneth and Kathryn Chenault Donate $2 Million to Howard Law for Vernon Jordan Endowed Chair 

Philanthropists Kenneth and Kathryn Chenault have donated $2 million to Howard University in memory of their longtime friend and mentor, the late Vernon Jordan, to support an endowed chair at the School of Law. The gift for the Vernon E. Jordan Jr., Esq., Endowed Chair will be made to support the recruitment, teaching, research, service and other activities of the professor. 

Faculty Profile

Toyin Tofade Reflects on Her Tenure as Dean of the College of Pharmacy 

During her six-year tenure as dean, which will come to an end in June as she leaves Howard to become the president of Albany College of Pharmacy, Toyin Tofade has prioritized expanding opportunities for her students.  

Student Profile

2022 Howard Law Graduate Adisa Omido Finds her Place in the Legal Profession 

Kansas native and first-generation Kenyan-American Adisa Omido is graduating Howard University School of Law having founded Howard’s Space Law Society, the first organization of its kind at an HBCU.  

Alumni Profile
Embodying “excellence in truth and service” is one of the core tenets of a Howard education. Virgil Parker (BA ’21) took it several notches higher — before he even left campus.  

Alumna Taraji P. Henson Shines at Howard University Commencement 

Taraji P. Henson, award-winning actress and Howard University College of Fine Arts alumna who graduated in 1995 with her baby boy in her hands, returned on May 7 as the commencement speaker. Henson was conferred an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, just before delivering remarks.  

You graduated Howard? Now what? 

Getting involved in the Howard alumni network can lead to unexpected and greater things 

Campus Happenings

Howard University Acquires Extensive Collection of Gordon Parks Photographs Spanning Five Decades 


Howard University Announces $2 Million Grant from The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation to Support GRACE Grant Program 






Howard University Joins NFL Initiative to Increase Diversity in Sports Medicine 



The Amistad Releases Spring Issue 


Awards and Recognition

Donovan Thomas Among The New York Times 2022 Pulitzer Prize-Winning Team 




Colin Joseph, Recipient of the 2022 Reginald F. Lewis Prize 




Kenya Henley, Ronald Walters Scholarship 




Rising Junior Tyler Smith Awarded the 2022 Boren Scholarship 


Reflection by Dr. Frederick

For the past two years, even as the coronavirus pandemic has continued to create uncertainty in our society, Howard has made concerted efforts to host an in-person Commencement Convocation. To be sure, our priority has always been and will forever remain the safety and security of our community; we would not have held in-person Commencement ceremonies if we did not think we could gather safely to do so. But the emphasis we placed on having a traditional Commencement says something about the significance of this ceremony.  

Read more.

The Dig
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