150 Years at Shaw University

Kudos to Shaw University, the US’s first historically black college, on its upcoming 150th anniversary. Shaw has obviously put time and thought into a far-reaching campaign.Business anniversary tip: These key elements, highlighted on a dedicated section of Shaw’s  website, are worth emulating:

  • Timeline with good photos and visuals
  • Invitation to alums and friends to Share Your Story
  • Events such as a 150 Voices concert, Bear Witness gathering, Founders’ Convocation, and gala dinner dance
  • Blount Street Mural Project in the surrounding community
  • Invitation to donate–straightforward, well-written–a must for nonprofits

The only thing that may be missing is a print component. Is there a book or publication to mark this momentous landmark? I’m especially curious because Shaw has been open to all races, creeds, and genders from Day One, a most unusual attribute for a college founded in 1865. (The photo below shows the class of 1907. My own alma mater, Rutgers College, was founded in 1766 but did not admit women until 1972.) Shaw alums include New York State’s first black legislator, Edward A. Johnson (class of 1891), pioneering pilot and flight instructor Ida Van Smith (class of 1939), and Angie Brooks, president of the UN General Assembly (class of 1950).

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