By Brittany Bailer
During the 2022 Opening Convocation, Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick and U.S. Congressman James E. Clyburn encouraged students to be resilient through life’s challenges. At the first full in-person Opening Convocation since 2019, the Howard community gathered to celebrate the beginning of the academic year.
The address welcomed the Class of 2026 and acknowledged recent achievements of the University despite the challenge of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, a cyberattack and bomb threats.
“To the entire extended Howard community and to any bad actors who have made or may consider issuing bomb threats against our campus or any other historically Black college or university, allow me say this: We will never stop pursuing our mission. We will never stop educating our students. We will never stop conducting research and generating important scholarship. We will never stop revealing truths. And we will never stop providing invaluable and irreplaceable service to our communities,” said Dr. Frederick.
Chairman of the Howard University Board of Trustees, Larry C. Morse, shared his belief that despite the recent unsettling difficulties experienced by the campus community, the University is in a better position than ever before. New partnerships and increasing innovation encourage progress on campus and continue to move the community forward.
“Right now on our campus, we’re constructing new buildings and our faculty are continuously engaged in the production of new knowledge through the extraordinary breadth of its vital and critical research,” said Morse. “We’re educating more students of the highest caliber and continue to attract world-class faculty and staff. We’re partnering and collaborating with some of the most reputable and highly regarded organizations in our nation’s public and private sectors as we continue to create tremendous new opportunities for those in our community to hold and refine their innate talents and abilities.”
Congressman Clyburn reflected on his successes and failures as a student and as a career politician. Although he endured many struggles and lost three elections, he stayed determined. He encouraged Howard students never to give up, no matter how many times they may falter.
“A friend of mine said to me, ‘What are you going to do now? You just ran for the third time, and you have lost the third time. You know what they say, three strikes and you’re out.’ I said to my friend, ‘That’s the baseball rule, and nobody should live their lives by baseball rules,’” said Clyburn. “I don’t care how many times you try; you keep trying until you get it right. If I had quit after losing the third time, I would not be standing before you today as the number three guy in the United States House of Representatives.”
Featured Image: James Clyburn proves keynote speech at 2022 Opening Convocation. Photo Credit: Chris Campbell