AUSTIN — On Friday, October 26, at 10:00 a.m., in the King-Seabrook Chapel, Huston-Tillotson University celebrated its 143rd year since its founding in 1875 as Tillotson College. Charter Day Convocation, the official name for the celebration, brought together faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The keynote speaker was Bishop Robert E. Hayes, Jr., a Huston-Tillotson board member, an alumnus, and Bishop in Residence of the 14,000-member Woodlands United Methodist Church of The Woodlands, Texas.
The Convocation opened with a processional of President, speakers, and faculty, an invocation, and presentation of the colors by Naval ROTC Color Guard. There were then Greetings by representatives of the Board of Trustees, Faculty, Students, and Alumni, followed by a Tribute to the United Church of Christ Heritage by Huston-Tillotson board member and Pastor Vanessa Monroe of the Bethel United Church of Christ and a Tribute to the United Methodist Church Heritage by Pastor Sylvester Chase of Wesley United Methodist Church.
New to the Convocation was an I.D.E.A.L. Alumnus Award for a distinguished alumnus or alumna. This year’s honoree was Matthew Morris, a 2008 graduate. Morris provides leadership and serves as an educator, trainer, and spokesperson across his network and the larger community. He strives to maximize positive behavior support systems, culturally relevant instruction, and leadership in order to transform educational opportunities. After Huston-Tillotson, Morris went on to earn his master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Each year, Huston-Tillotson University will recognize and celebrate the achievements of a graduate for outstanding contributions to their profession, community and the advancement of society, both professionally and personally. Nominees must be alumni who embody the I.D.E.A.L Core Values of Huston-Tillotson University, integrity, diversity, excellence, accountability, and leadership. The nominee must be of stature and ability that Huston-Tillotson University faculty, staff, students, and fellow alumni can be inspired by their recognition. Nominees must acknowledge, take pride in and reflect the importance of their Huston-Tillotson University education.
Another aspect of the Convocation was recognition of 4.0 students and Top Ranking students by majors. 40 students hold a 4.0 GPA across all classifications, a significant increase from 13 at this time last year. Many of these students held the additional honor of Top Rank in his or her major.