The event was held in the Julius S. Scott, Sr., Chapel. We entered the auditorium in a formal processional, accompanied by organ music played by Dr. T. Bernard Clayton, Professor of Music. Following an invocation, we were entertained by a magnificent organ selection from Dr. JuYeon J. Lee of the music faculty.
I was introduced by Dr. Raquel Henry, Assistant Professor of History. My remarks related highlights of Wiley College, which was established in 1873 and is the oldest African-American college in Texas. The students were unaware, for example, that the Wiley Wildcats won three national football championships, one each in the decade of the 1920s, the 1930s, and the 1940s. More familiar was the triumph of the Wiley debate teams under English professor and poet Melvin B. Tolson, portrayed by Denzel Washington in the 2007 motion picture, The Great Debaters. Along with anecdotes and facts about their institution, I told the honorees about my admiration for higher education students who are academic achievers.
Dr. Bruster presented a plaque to me commemorating the State Historian's participation in the 2017 Honors Convocation.
Following the devastating campus fire of 1906, a new President's Home was built, utilizing student labor.