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Hilbert D. Stanley

Hilbert Dennis Stanley, an educator, was born on February 24, 1931, in Cambridge, Maryland. He attended the all black Robert Moton School. Although he was not sure if he could afford college, with a gift from his mother and grandfather, he was able to go on to Morgan State University. He excelled in school, earning a B.S. degree in biology in 1952 and an M.S. degree in science in 1972. Stanley went on to Wayne State University in Detroit, and in 1978 earned an Ed.D. in administration and supervision.

Stanley taught science, but soon became a high school principal at Edmondson High School. He also served as principal at Lake Clifton Senior High School and Southwestern High School. As an urban area administrator, Stanley's assignments included system reorganization and decentralization, desegregation, drug abuse leadership training, and career development programs. He also served from 1981 to 1984 as the director of human services and education liaison officer to the Mayor of Baltimore, William Donald Schaefer. In 1993, Stanley retired from the Baltimore City Public Schools and became an instructor part time at Morgan State University. He has remained loyal to his alma mater, serving as the president of the National Alumni Association and also as its treasurer. He has guided the improvements in procedures and practices in the Alumni Office management, created new positions, and has been helpful in renovating and making available a building to house alumni operations. Under his leadership, he expanded the newspaper, developed an investment portfolio, and took fiscal responsibility of the budgetary issues. Stanley now serves as chair of the Board of Trustees of the MSU Foundation.

Stanley has served as director of development for the NAACP Baltimore Branch ACT-SO Program. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Baltimore City Historical Society. As an extension of his interest in educational activity and civil rights, Stanley became involved in the concerns of African American Catholics. From 1991 to 2002, Stanley was executive director of the National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC). With some three million Catholics of African descent in the U.S., the NBCC provides leadership and programs aimed at raising the consciousness of the Church to the history and cultural values of African Americans. Pope John Paul II appointed Stanley as a Knight of St. Gregory the Great. Stanley played a key role in the construction of "Our Mother of Africa Chapel" at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The canonization by Pope John Paul II of St. Josephine BAKHITA, the first African woman, took place at the Vatican in 2000, and was attended by a pilgrimage organized by Stanley. A relic of St. BAKHITA was placed in the altar at the "Our Mother of Africa Chapel."

Stanley was an R.O.T.C. graduate and served as an officer in the U.S. Army. He now resides in Baltimore.

He is a widower and has a son, a daughter, and several grandchildren.

Hilbert D. Stanley was interviewed by The Historymakers on March 6, 2004.

Mr. Stanley passed away on February 12, 2010.

Accession Number

A2004.018

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/6/2004

Last Name

Stanley

Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Dennis

Organizations
Schools

Robert Moton High School

Robert Moton Elementary School

Morgan State University

Wayne State University

First Name

Hilbert

Birth City, State, Country

Cambridge

HM ID

STA03

Favorite Season

None

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Italy

Favorite Quote

God is Omnipotent.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

2/24/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Death Date

2/12/2010

Short Description

Education administrator, church leader, and high school principal Hilbert D. Stanley (1931 - 2010 ) worked in urban schools and helped in reorganization and decentralization, desegregation, drug abuse leadership training, and career development programs. He served as the president of the National Alumni Association of Morgan State University and as chair of the Morgan State University Foundation's Board of Trustees. He was also the executive director of the National Black Catholic Congress. For his work, Pope John Paul II appointed Stanley as a Knight of St. Gregory the Great.

Employment

Edmondson-Westside High School

Lake Clifton Senior High School

Southwestern High School

City of Baltimore

Morgan State University

National Black Catholic Congress

Favorite Color

Gold, Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Hilbert D. Stanley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Hilbert D. Stanley lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about his immediate family members

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about his relationships with his parents and paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about his paternal grandmother's religious background and his grandparents' house in Easton, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Hilbert D. Stanley describes Maryland's Eastern Shore at the mid-20th century

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about the history of Robert Russa Moton High School in Easton, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Hilbert D. Stanley describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Hilbert D. Stanley describes his childhood neighborhood in Easton, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about his grandmother's emphasis on education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Hilbert D. Stanley describes Easton, Maryland at the mid-20th century

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Hilbert D. Stanley explains why he majored in biology at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about fellow students and teachers from Easton, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about his extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about his college preparedness

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about his extracurricular activities at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Hilbert D. Stanley considers the history between Morgan State University and the City of Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about student activism at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Hilbert D. Stanley outlines his career in Baltimore City Public Schools

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Hilbert D. Stanley shares advice he gave students as a teacher in the Baltimore City Public Schools

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Hilbert D. Stanley describes the NAACP ACT-SO Program

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Hilbert D. Stanley describes his emphasis on career preparation as an administrator in Baltimore City Public Schools

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Hilbert D. Stanley explains how he became executive director of the National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC)

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about the Mother of Africa Chapel at the National Shrine in Washington, D.C. and his papal appointment

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about the history of the National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC)

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Hilbert D. Stanley explains the mission of National Black Catholic Congress

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Hilbert D. Stanley describes Our Mother of Africa Chapel at the National Shrine in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about Saint Josephine Bakhita

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about working on his Ed.D. degree at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about his pilgrimage to Vatican City for the canonization of Josephine Bakhita in 2000, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about his pilgrimage to Vatican City for the canonization of Josephine Bakhita in 2000, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Hilbert D. Stanley talks about projects which he has been involved with since his retirement

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Hilbert D. Stanley reflects upon his role as an educator

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Hilbert D. Stanley describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Hilbert D. Stanley considers his greatest achievements

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Hilbert D. Stanley expresses gratitude for his good health

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Hilbert D. Stanley describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Hilbert D. Stanley shares his advice for future generations

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Hilbert D. Stanley explains the importance of history

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Hilbert D. Stanley reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Hilbert D. Stanley narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Hilbert D. Stanley narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Hilbert D. Stanley narrates his photographs, pt. 3

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

2$2

DATitle
Hilbert D. Stanley explains how he became executive director of the National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC)
Hilbert D. Stanley talks about his pilgrimage to Vatican City for the canonization of Josephine Bakhita in 2000, pt. 1
Transcript
Can you tell us a little bit about your medals and your--particularly the one that you're wearing, and how does that fit into the whole scheme of things?$$Well I guess I need to say to you that when I retired from the school system [Baltimore City Public Schools], my mother [Emma Magee Stanley Lewis] had had a stroke and I had enough time to retire and I said I would retire and I'd spend time with her. And I was beginning to work with my church and the National Black Catholic Congress [NBCC], which had been organized over a hundred years ago, they had five national meetings in the 1800s, and then they stopped. And in 1987 they revived the congress movement and had a congress meeting in Washington [D.C.] and attracted people from the--in the Catholic church who were African American to that meeting, and had a re-awakening of that program. Well when they planned that one, the bishop here [Baltimore, Maryland], Bishop John Ricard who's now the bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee [Florida], asked me if I would work with them in planning, so I did. And as it happened, I didn't go to the congress because I ended up in the hospital the day before it started. And I couldn't go. But it was such a success, I wanted to continue doing that. So when I retired in 1991, my last day at work was on Friday. On Sunday, I got a call from the bishop asking me if I would be willing to work a couple hours a week with the congress. And I said yeah, I think I can do that. So I was looking forward to working a couple hours a week. In a couple of weeks, he wanted to know if I would be executive director because the executive director was from out of the city and she was gonna go home. So I said here I go. So I did. But I worked with that because the point is growing up in the Holiness church, which was all black, and you know you have all the other predominantly African American congregations and, and religious groups. A lot of the people I was working with were asking me, "Why do you belong to that white church?" And I said you know what you need to look into this because we've had black Catholics in this country when the first people stepped on the soil. Anyway I worked with the congress and as a part of my work, I, I had a project that was assigned to help build our Mother of Africa Chapel at the [Basilica of the] National Shrine [of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.] in Washington, which is the mother church for Catholics. And in that shrine, there are ethnic chapels all around the walls of that church, but none dealing with blacks. So when I started working on that, the leadership in the Catholic church here in Baltimore [Maryland] recognized that I had some skills to bring to that job. So I was recommended to the Pope, Pope John Paul II, to be awarded an award, Knights of St. Gregory the Great, and that's what this medal is. It's a--I was named a knight and this is one of the Pope's organizations. And now whenever I go to Rome [Italy] and I have this on, then this introduces me to the guards and that kind of thing. But also it lets people know that some African Americans are recognized by the Pope, and he said that many times that you know we need to serve all of our people. And when we had the [Second] Vatican Council over when Pope John XXIII, they had the, the conference and they began to say we could have Mass in English and this kind of thing, it made a difference--$And one of the highlights that you've talked about during this interview was your pilgrimage to the canonization of the black saint. So could you tell us a little bit about that? I mean not too many people have done--had an experience like that so we'd like to hear (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay. Well the main thing I want to say over and over again and loud, Saint Josephine Bakhita, B-A-K-H-I-T-A. She is the person who was kidnapped when she was seven years old into slavery and I said that before. But the point is when we put her relic in the altar at our Mother of Africa Chapel [Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.], and I found out she was gonna be canonized, I said we need to have people there to witness this canonization so they make it more real that it's important that she's in the altar. And what I did, I contacted the order that she belonged to, which was the Daughters of Charity of Canossa. They were in Rome [Italy]. And when I went to Rome to check on the--some of the artwork that was being done for our Mother of Africa Chapel, I met with the Daughters of Charity of Canossa and found out that they had sisters in Albuquerque, New Mexico. So I contacted them and told them that we wanted to do a pilgrimage to Rome for the canonization and of course you know they were all excited about it because she was one of their sisters. So I had a person there in Albuquerque who worked with sisters they had here in the United States and in Mexico. And I worked with the offices of the dioceses that we worked with, and that was 130 and had them register. I got a travel agent here in Baltimore [Maryland] to work with us and they had people in Rome who knew the sights and they were gonna be our guides and all. So we sent out the notices and we had over ninety people who signed up. We got some people like the ones from the West Coast, met us at the airport in New York [New York]. And the ones from Baltimore, we went by bus to New York and we met there. And what was so interesting, Cardinal [William Henry] Keeler, who is the archbishop here in Baltimore, was on his way to Rome for the canonization and he saw us there. So you know that was a great, great moment for him. So we went there, we got there and they had the identification tags for us to wear. They had scarves with her picture on it to wear. And I tell you, there were a lot of people there for the canonization.

Jamye Coleman Williams

Born on December 15, 1918, in Louisville, Kentucky, to an A.M.E. minister and a religious writer, Williams grew up in Kentucky and earned her B.A. with honors in English from Wilberforce University in 1938. The following year, she received an M.A. in English from Fisk University. Over the next twenty years, Williams taught at four A.M.E. colleges-Edward Waters College, Shorter College, Morris Brown College and Wilberforce University. In 1959, she completed her Ph.D. in speech communication at the Ohio State University and that fall joined the faculty of Tennessee State University. She became a full professor of communications and in 1973 took over as head of the department, serving in that capacity until her retirement in 1987.

At the same time that her academic career took off, Williams began to ascend the leadership ranks of the A.M.E. Church. She served as a delegate to the A.M.E. General Conference in 1964 and became a board member of the National Council of Churches in 1968. From 1976 to 1984, she was an alternate member of the A.M.E. Church's Judicial Council, serving as president of the 13th District Lay Organization from 1977 until 1985. At the 1984 General Conference, Williams was named editor of The AME Church Review, the oldest African American literary journal. She held that post for eight years. Williams also has paved the way for others in the A.M.E., helping Vashti McKenzie win election as the first female A.M.E. bishop.

During her forty-five years in Nashville, Williams was active in her community, serving on several interdenominational organizations, community groups and civic committees. She worked as a member of the NAACP's Executive Committee and in 1999 received the organization's Presidential Award. Williams married her husband, McDonald Williams, in 1943. They have one daughter, one grandson, and two great-granddaughters. Williams resides with her husband in Atlanta.

Accession Number

A2003.187

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/13/2003

Last Name

Williams

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Coleman

Organizations
Schools

Dunbar High School

Wilberforce University

Fisk University

The Ohio State University

First Name

Jamye

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

WIL10

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart And Lean Not On Your Own Understanding; In All Your Ways Submit To Him, And He Will Make Your Paths Straight.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

12/15/1918

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Communications professor and church leader Jamye Coleman Williams (1918 - ) was the first woman to serve as a general officer in the A.M.E. church and later helped Vashti McKenzie win election as the A.M.E. church's first female bishop. She is also a former professor at Tennessee State University, and served as department head.

Employment

Tennessee State University

A.M.E. Church Review

Edward Waters College

Shorter College

Wilberforce University

Morris Brown College

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jamye Coleman Williams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jamye Coleman Williams lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about her mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jamye Coleman Williams recounts stories about her father's family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes her love of reading as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jamye Coleman Williams remembers grade school in Midway, and Covington, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes being in her mother, Jamye Harris Coleman's, dramatics club as a child and a play her mother wrote

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about her influential teachers, Blanche Irene Glenn and Maime Summers

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes her experience at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about her desire to attend college at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about her relationship with Bishop Reverdy Cassius Ransom

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about Bishop Reverdy Cassius Ransom's influence

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about the history of Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio and the African Methodist Episcopal Church

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes her experience at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jamye Coleman Williams explains how her mother cultivated her public speaking skills

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes her experience at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about the teaching positions she held between 1939 and 1942

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about Dr. Charles Wesley, former president of Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes being hired as an English teacher at Wilberforce University and the environment there in the 1940s

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jamye Coleman Williams shares the story of how former president of Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, Charles Wesley, was fired

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes the creation of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about the faculty who stayed at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, after the split

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about Leontyne Price

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes her dedication to Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio and having to leave

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about an incident with Donald Hollowell and Judge Durwood T. Pye in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jamye Coleman Williams remembers people from Fisk University who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes the influence of the NAACP Youth Council on the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about Charles S. Johnson and Pat Gilpin, who wrote Johnson's biography

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about the Civil Rights Movement in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jamye Coleman Williams lists outstanding students she's taught at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jamye Coleman Williams shares a story about Oprah Winfrey's commencement address at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about the life span of her and her husband's family members

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jamye Coleman Williams talks about being elected the first woman major general officer of the A.M.E. Church in 1984

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jamye Coleman Williams recalls introducing a resolution which was the catalyst for electing the first A.M.E. woman bishop, HistoryMaker Vashti McKenzie, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jamye Coleman Williams recalls introducing a resolution which was the catalyst for electing the first A.M.E. woman bishop, HistoryMaker Vashti McKenzie, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jamye Coleman Williams remembers that HistoryMaker Floyd Flake volunteered to read her resolution at the A.M.E. General Conference in 2000

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jamye Coleman Williams recalls introducing a resolution which was the catalyst for electing the first A.M.E. woman bishop, HistoryMaker Vashti McKenzie, pt. 3

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jamye Coleman Williams considers her future plans

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jamye Coleman Williams shares her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jamye Coleman Williams reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jamye Coleman Williams describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jamye Coleman Williams narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Jamye Coleman Williams describes the creation of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio
Jamye Coleman Williams shares a story about Oprah Winfrey's commencement address at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee
Transcript
So on commencement day, Lester Granger, who was then head of the [National] Urban League, was the commencement speaker. It was, it was an awful commencement. Half the students wouldn't put their caps and gowns on. And finally we got everybody--they, they burned Bishop [Reverdy Cassius] Ransom, an effigy, the night before on his lawn too. So when we got to commencement it was just a very unhappy event. The choir sang 'My God and I,' and Dr. [Charles] Wesley got up and asked them to sing it again. And then he recounted what had happened, and he said however--and all of this is documented in the history of the A.M.E. church by Howard Gregg, the whole commencement essay, his, his speech to the group, to the people that day indicating that the A.M.E. church has made a mistake, and he hoped that they would see--soon understand that, and that they would--that he would be back in Shorter Hall on that stage. In the meanwhile, he was moving to Bundy Hall where the state would support him in starting a school, that summer school would start, and all the faculty members who wanted to come with them that they were welcome to come. He took with him all of the files of the faculty out of the president's office except one, and that was mine. I'm dyed in the wool of A.M.E., and anybody who knows me knows that I'm not going anywhere that, where the A.M.E. is involved. They took Mack's [McDonald Williams] file over there, everybody's file left, except mine. It was amusing though. When the new president came in, that was the only, it was the only faculty file he had, was mine. So then Wesley went across the campus and started summer school. Mind you, all of the applications that had come into the school during that spring had come into Wilberforce University [Wilberforce, Ohio]. They took all of those records. They intercepted the students when they came to school in the fall. They did everything. Now I, you know, I can understand Dr. Wesley's bitterness, but I do not understand his desire to kill Wilberforce. I mean that went, went too far, and then to intercept students who were going to Wilberforce. They, they met them at the bus station and took them over to what was then--see, they didn't have a name. He tried to call it Wilberforce State. They had just built a natatorium, a--$$A pool.$$--pool, and had put up on there, 'Wilberforce State Natatorium.' If they had been able to keep that name, Wilberforce University would have gone out of existence. We could not have fought the state, if they had had the name. So we had to go to court. And I think Mack told you that one of our friends did the research and dis--because Wesley's contention was that the, Wilberforce took its name from the community; and therefore, his school had as much right to use Wilberforce State as we had to use Wilberforce University. And when the, when the proof came in, it was that the community, the village, had taken its name from Wilberforce University. So we went to federal court in Columbus [Ohio]. I have a picture of Dr. Charles Leander Hill, who was the president, Dr. James Robinson, the dean, Mack and me, standing on the steps of the capitol right after the decision was rendered saying that they could not use our name. So eventually they came up with the name Central State [University, Wilberforce, Ohio]. So that's a, that's that story.$Now, Oprah [Winfrey] left--was in my department at Tennessee State [University, Nashville, Tennessee] and left without getting her degree. She debated about whether or not she should--this was when she took her job in Baltimore [Maryland], and she debated about whether to take the job. And finally we said you know, this is an opportunity. You can come back and finish college. Her father really wasn't in favor of that, but she went on to Baltimore and then subsequently went to Chicago [Illinois]. Well, all this time, she never got--came back to finish. And every time I would run into her father, his remark to me was, "When are you gonna make our girl come back and get her degree?" So finally, one day I said, "Mr. Winfrey, you know people go to college to get jobs so they can make a living." I said, "Oprah's doing fine." "She's never gonna amount to anything till she gets that degree," he kept saying that. So periodically I would give her a phone call and you know, say, "Oprah, you really ought to do this." So the last time I called her, I told her, I said, "You ought to do this. If you don't wanna do it for yourself, you do it for your father; and you also do it because magazines are printing that you are a graduate of Tennessee State, and you are not, and you don't want that." I said, "And all you have is a three-hour course, and you need to finish it." So I said, "You need to send me a check to register you for this course, and you need to send me a video of a documentary you have done for your senior project." And that's when she did it, and she was invited back to be the commencement speaker in 1987, which was the year that I--'cause I kept saying, you know, "I'm getting ready to retire. You'd better come on and do this." She considered to be the commencement speaker, but in the meanwhile, she was interviewed by some magazine. I think it was 'Redbook.' And she made comment that she hated college. Well, the TSU [Tennessee State University] students were up in arms 'cause that meant she hated TSU, so they didn't want her to deliver the commencement address. And we had to--I--the president of the student council, and the president of Mack [McDonald Williams]'s honor's program, and a member of my department--what was Greg's last name?$$(OFF-CAMERA VOICE): Carr.$$Greg Carr.$$Greg Kimathi Carr; I know him.$$You know Greg Carr?$$Yeah, he's at, he teaches at Howard [University, Washington, D.C.] now, yeah.$$He's, he's at Howard now.$$Dr. Greg Carr.$$I called Greg and I said, "Greg,"--he was one of the main ones, carrying on about we need to uninvited her. I said, "You don't have the authority to uninvited her 'cause you didn't invite her, Commencement Committee invited her." So I said, "Greg, let me tell you, you, you better keep the students in line because I'm gonna tell you, none of you people in the speech department, communication department, will get a recommendation from anybody in this department if anything happens on commencement day." Now you know good and well I could not have carried that out, but I told him that, you know. And so when commencement day came, Oprah shows up on the campus. Mind, mind you, I'm in a tizzy because she has not shown up the day before. Her advance people came, and one of the young women whose name was Beverly Coleman, and she said, "Don't worry, she'll be here." She was in California shooting some movie, and so she had chartered a private plane to fly to Nashville and got there at 7:00 in the morning of commencement day. Everybody said, "Don't worry, she'll be here." So she came on the stage. She knew that the students had had this feeling about what she'd said about not liking college. So she got up and she said you know, "I know a lot of you all came here today, you know, and some of you probably said you didn't wanna come, and some of you decided to come and you said I'm just"--and she mimicked, "I'm going out there and find out there and find out what she really looks like and what she's got to say." But before she got through with her introduction, you know, she had the audience just really mellowed out and really delivered a speech which was more like a sermon, very inspirational. And when the president gave her her degree, she held up her diploma and said, "See, daddy, I amount to something." Because he had been saying, "You're not gonna amount to anything till you get that degree." So that's my Oprah story.$$Was Greg Carr impressed?$$Yeah, yeah.$$All right.$$Everybody was impressed. She was really good. She was really good. And I, and I really don't think what--she called at--shortly after the article came out in the paper. Her favorite teacher at TSU was a man in the drama department, Mr. Dury Cox, and he was almost like a surrogate father to her. And Mr. Cox, you know, would just talk to the kids, and they all hung out with him in, over in the, in the auditorium. So she called one day, and I picked up the phone in my office. "May I speak to Mr. Cox?" I didn't recognize her voice, and I simply said, "Well, he's in class. If you'll leave your number, I'll have him call you." And she said, "Dr. Williams is that you? This is Oprah." And she said, "I know you all upset with me." And she said, "Mr. Cox is gonna kill me," you know. And so she went on to say that she knew people were upset about that article. So I said I'll have Mr. Cox call you. But she, she, she mellowed her audience out.