“May God Bless!!,” wrote Wayne A.I. Frederick, president of the university.
Harris has been outspoken about Howard and the ways the school has shaped her life and career. She arrived on the Washington campus in the 1980s, eager to build a community of students like herself.
Now, Howard is honoring Harris. Frederick called her selection as Democrat Joe Biden’s vice-presidential candidate in August “a milestone opportunity for our democracy.” Her sorority sisters in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., founded at Howard in 1908, have campaigned for Harris in salmon pink and apple green T-shirts.
The university on Tuesday said prayers and shared stories as students, graduates and campus leaders paid homage to the first Black woman and first Asian American — and the first HBCU alum — to be tapped for a major-party presidential ticket.
“This is not a surprise at all,” said Monique Poydras, a Howard alum who was initiated into AKA the same year as Harris. “Kamala always seemed to be that person who was an excellent listener, but at the same time, an excellent implementer of, ‘This is what we need to do. Here’s the course of action.’ And so that started early, while she was in college.”
Harris’s influence can be felt throughout the entire community, Frederick said.
“This election, in particular, is important for the Howard community, for the Black community and for the country in its entirety,” Frederick said. “Whether [Harris] wins or loses is immaterial when considering the impact of what she has already accomplished and the hope she’s already inspired.”