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29 African-Americans honored for MIT service

Twenty-nine African-American faculty members, administrators and support staff were honored by the African-American student organizations on May 4 for their "strength and support for the black community" during their 20 years or more at MIT.

Professor Clarence G. Williams, a special assistant to the president, received a Platinum award. Professor Williams, who joined MIT in 1972 as assistant dean of the graduate school, is working on his second book, Search for Identity: A History of the Black Experience at MIT.

Gold awards were presented to:

Professor Phillip Clay, associate provost and interim vice president for human resources, who has been at MIT for 24 years; Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education Isaac M. Colbert, 22 years; Yvonne L. Gittens, associate director of Student Financial Aid, 34 years; Professor Wesley Harris of aeronautics and astronautics, 26 years; Dr. Kenneth Manning, the Thomas Meloy Professor of Rhetoric and the History of Science, 25 years; Paulette Mosley, administrative officer of the Operations Research Center, 23 years; Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Leo Osgood Jr., director of the Office of Minority Affairs, 21 years; and Dr. James H. Williams Jr., the School of Engineering Professor of Teaching Excellence, 28 years.

Recognition awards went to:

Philip Alexander, Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies; Anthony Davis, Housing; Timothy Downes, Sea Grant; Rodney Edwards, Medical Department; Kenneth Hewitt, Personnel; Loretta Hewitt, Off-Campus Housing; Marty Hughes, electrical engineering and computer science (EECS); Joanne Jones, Central Procurement; Gertrude Morris, Housing; Errol Morrison, Information Systems; Carson Odle, Division of Comparative Medicine; David Palmer, EECS; Ronald Parker Sr., Information Systems; Claire Paulding, Public Relations Services; Jeffrey Joseph-Tyrone Sealy, Lab for Computer Science; Marie Seamon, Conference Services; Frank Silva, Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC); Professor Marcus Thompson, music and theater arts; Professor Cardinal Warde, EECS; and Roberta Welch, Office of Academic Services. The committee learned too late for the ceremony that Frank Shefton of the PSFC has also been at MIT for more than 20 years.

The awards were presented by the Black Graduate Student Association, the Black Student Union, the Black Women's Alliance, Chocolate City, Color Creations and the National Society of Black Engineers.

Speakers at the event included President Charles M. Vest, Vice President Kathryn A. Willmore and Professor Stephen Lerman, chair-elect of the faculty. Geno White, a sophomore in EECS, and Luwam Semere, a sophomore in chemical engineering, also delivered remarks.

A version of this article appeared in the May 12, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 30).

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