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A Gala Occasion

A Gala OccasionTufts' Africana Center celebrated its 40th anniversary with a celebration that brought together students, alumni, and university and community leaders.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [02.25.10] To commemorate its 40-year history at Tufts, the Africana Center hosted a celebratory gala at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Mass., on Feb. 20. The sold-out event drew more than 300 guests for an evening of dining, dancing and student performances.

The center, based in Capen House, was founded in 1969 to "help the students whom it served to understand their responsibility as students-to themselves, to their families, and to their nation."

Guests viewed African art and textiles, as well as a historical exhibit created by the late Professor Gerald Gill about the contributions of students of African descent throughout the 40-year history of the Africana Center. Student groups including Envy, Essence and the Third Day Gospel Choir performed.

In addition to remarks given by Tufts President S. Lawrence Bacow, the event also featured the Africana Center Leadership Awards. Recipients included educational consultant Dr. Charlene Desir (A'95); Mitchell Robinson (A'07), legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. Edward Markey; David Rone (A'84), chairman of the Board of Overseers at the School of Arts and Sciences and co-head of CAA Sports; and Boston City Councilman Charles C. Yancey (A'70). Denise Phillips also received the Africana Center Champion Award for her 18 years of service.

Several events commemorating Black History Month, such as film screenings and alumni receptions, were held on campus leading up to the 40th anniversary celebration.

Video: The Power of the Africana Center: 1969-2009 

Photos: 40th anniversary gala, Charles Hotel, Cambridge, Mass. 

Video: Third Day Gospel Choir


Text by Charlotte Steinway (A'10)
Photos by Alonso Nichols, University Photography
Video produced by Steve Eliopoulos A'89, Gravity Film Video & Digital Media

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