posted January 14, 2014

ASU President-Elect to Present 2014 MLK Civil Rights Lecture

The Rev. Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, president-elect of Alabama State University, will present the address “The Heart of an Activist: Grow Local, Think Global” on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel as the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Lecture at Hope College.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

The presentation will address key issues regarding the use of scholar-activism in addressing major social and cultural issues.

Boyd will begin her tenure as Alabama State University’s 14th president, the first woman to hold the position, on February 1.  The first African-American to earn a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Yale University, she has most recently served as an engineer and executive assistant to the Applied Physics Laboratory chief of staff at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C., where she worked for the past 33 years.

Her history of leadership is extensive.  She is a past national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., chaired the Johns Hopkins Diversity Leadership Council and was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Boyd has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of her service and dedication as a community leader and volunteer.  Among other honors, she received the 2010 Public Service Award from The Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C.; the 2007 Public Service Award from the Baltimore, Md., chapter of the Wilberforce Alumni Association; the 2006 Chancellor’s Award from North Carolina Central University; induction into the National Black AIDS Institute Hall of Fame in 2004 in honor of advocacy to promote education and awareness about HIV/AIDS in the Black Community; selection for Who’s Who Among African Americans; the JHU Women’s Leadership Award from The Johns Hopkins University Women’s Network; the Anheuser Busch Leadership Award; the Leadership Washington Outstanding Alumnus Award; and the Outstanding Service Award from the Howard County Branch of the NAACP.  Other recognition includes selection in 2006 and 2007 by the Black Engineer Association as one of the 100 Most Important Blacks in Technology in the nation, and honorary degrees from both Lincoln University and Bennett College for Women.

Boyd is a native of Montgomery, Ala.  She was educated in the public schools and received a four-year scholarship to attend Alabama State University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics with a double minor in physics and music.  She is a former Miss Alabama State University and an initiate of ASU’s Beta Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

In addition to her other degrees, she holds a Master of Divinity and a doctoral degree in ministry from Howard University.

Boyd’s presentation is sponsored by Herman Miller Inc. and the college’s Office of Multicultural Education and multicultural student organizations.  It is scheduled as part of the college’s 2014 Civil Rights Week, which has been organized in conjunction with the national commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 20, and includes additional activities for the campus community.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.