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President Yancy Receives Dr. Dorothy I. Height Leadership Award

Yancy receiving Dorothy Height Award January 26, 2013 - Dr. Dorothy Cowser Yancy, president of Shaw University, received the Dr. Dorothy I. Height Leadership Award at the 22nd International Salute to the Life and Legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast Celebration in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2013. This annual event recognizes leaders around the world who embody the spirit and teachings of Dr. King and the legacy of civil rights activist Dorothy I. Height.

Yancy, a native of Alabama, is the fourteenth and sixteenth president of Shaw University. At Shaw from 2009-2010, she was able to stabilize the financial state of the University by securing a $31 million federal loan. She restructured and refinanced the University’s debt, balanced the budget, raised the CFI score to a positive number and recruited one of the largest freshmen classes in the history of the University. She arrived back at Shaw September 1, 2011, after the campus had been torn apart by the April 16, 2011 tornado.  By April 16, 2012, the devastation had been abated and all buildings were back in use. In addition, she is now leading the University through five program accreditation reviews and the regular SACSCOC reaffirmation.

Previous recipients of the Height Award include Sharon Pratt, former mayor of Washington, D.C.; Dr. Thelma T. Dailey, former President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Vice Chair of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc.; and Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee among others. Height, who had been chair and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women, was at the forefront of the civil rights movement and worked closely with the movement’s major leaders including Dr. King, Roy Wilkins and A. Philip Randolph. She shared the platform when King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington. Height was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994 by President Clinton and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.

Additional honorees during the event included:

  • H.E. Ritva Koukku-Ronde, Ambassador of Finland to the U.S. and Honorary Chair of the International Salute Committee
  • H.E. Michael Moussa-Adamo, Ambassador of Gabon to the U.S.
  • Marc Morial, President, National Urban League
  • Guy Vickers, President, Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation
  • Honorable Emanuel Cleaver, II, U.S. Representative (D-MO)
  • Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, PhD, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County