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TMCF CEO Keynote Speaker for UVI’s 54th Charter Day Program

Johnny Taylor_Thurgood Marshall CEO and President

The University of the Virgin Islands will commemorate the 54th anniversary of its charter on March 18. It will also be the first of 12 days in which UVI Pride is celebrated. 

Charter Day will commence bright and early at 6 a.m. with the 15th Annual Queen Mary 5K Walk/Run – “Celebrating Each Step, At a Steady Pace” – on the Sunshine Mall of the Albert A. Sheen Campus. An official Charter Day program featuring keynote speaker Johnny C. Taylor, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), will take place at 10 a.m. in the Administration and Conference Center on the St. Thomas Campus.  The program will be teleconferenced to the Great Hall of the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix.  At noon, students and faculty will be encouraged to participate in a sports competition.

“Each year we pause to remember and celebrate Charter Day,” said UVI President David Hall. “We remember the vision, sacrifice and courage of the founders of this special University which changed the nature and course of the Virgin Islands.  We celebrate all that has been achieved since its founding 54 years ago.  This year, as always, there are so many new programs, achievements and memorable moments that are worthy of our sincere recognition and reverence.”  Dr. Hall continued, “We are especially honored to celebrate our keynote speaker for this Charter Day program, Attorney Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., the CEO for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.  He is the voice and most eloquent advocate for the purpose and triumph of public HBCUs.  We will all be inspired by his words and the legacy of the organization he now leads.”

Named one of the “Power 100” by Ebony Magazine in its list of the 100 most influential African Americans, Taylor is a powerful and engaging speaker who will discuss the importance and impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  He will also speak about the challenges that these organizations face, the role of HBCUs in the upcoming national elections and the significance of a HBCU medical school. Taylor leads the TMCF, the only national organization representing nearly 300,000 students attending publicly supported HBCUs.  This organization helps students to obtain a high quality education at an affordable cost; develops leaders of tomorrow; and connects high performing students with top tier employment opportunities.  UVI has maintained a fruitful partnership with TMCF for many years, which continues to benefit UVI students and more than 7,500 traditional alumni. President Hall was awarded the TMCF Educational Leadership Award in November 2015. The TMCF Education Leadership Award is the highest individual award presented annually to a president of an HBCU who has demonstrated outstanding business, academic and visionary leadership through effective management of his or her institution.

The University of the Virgin Islands was chartered on March 16, 1962, as the College of the Virgin Islands – a publically funded, coeducational, liberal arts institution – by Act No. 852 of the Fourth Legislature of the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to that law, UVI’s cornerstone objective is to provide for “… the stimulation and utilization of the intellectual resources of the people of the Virgin Islands and the development of a center of higher learning whereby and wherefrom the benefits of culture and education may be extended throughout the Virgin Islands.”

UVI students, faculty, staff, alumni and the general public are invited to attend the Charter Day Ceremony.  For more information call (340) 693-1057.