Cheyney University Celebrates 174th Founders Day

March 11, 2011

Cheyney University Celebrated its 174th Anniversary last month with a ceremony in Dudley Theatre on campus. Faculty marshall Michael Adighibe, Ph.D., led the processional holding high the University mace. The Cheyney University Concert Choir accompanied by the Cheyney University Concert Band rendered the national anthem followed by "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

Cheyney University President Michelle R. Howard-Vital, Ph. D., offered the occasion highlighting this day in University history. Senator Pat Toomey's Southeast Regional Office Manager James Fitzpatrick presented a proclamation commemorating Cheyney University Founders Day. Antonia Sharp, a direct descendant of Cheyney University Founder Richard Humphreys, brought greetings from the Richard Humphreys Distribution Committee. "This year we are pleased to have 19 Humphreys Scholars, " she said as she recognized current Cheyney University students who received scholarships.

Professor Jann Ellis-Scruggs and the Cheyney University Players performed an original theatrical piece titled "The Graduates" depicting Cheyney professors and students throughout the University's history. Miss Cheyney University, Brittani Christian, served as mistress of ceremonies introducing keynote speaker Mellanie K. Lassiter, PECO Corporate Contributions Manager.

Ms. Lassiter detailed her personal story and connection to historically black colleges and universities. She ended with a presentation of $86,000 from PECO to President Howard-Vital.

President Howard-Vital presented awards of distinction to Ms. Lassiter, the Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Foundation, Ms. Elizabeth Berry-Holmes, Chuck Pennoni, Walmart executive John Mims, Dr. Juan and Mrs. Joyce Baughn, and Cheyney University Trustee Chairman Robert Bogle.

As is the custom at Cheyney University, the program ended with the entire audience locking arms and singing the alma mater. ###