Saturday, Oct 21, 2017

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President McDavis speaks to students before they travel to New Orleans last year

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President speaks to students in Alaska on Saturday

Appearance secured $10,000 gift to Urban Scholars Program

Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis delivered his speech, "The Value of Education and Community," at the Brotherhood Inc.'s ninth annual scholarship dinner in Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday.

Brotherhood Inc. is a non-profit organization with approximately 50 members that awards more than $25,000 in college scholarships each year to multicultural high school seniors who are needy and disadvantaged in Anchorage.

This year, 15 high school seniors will receive either $2,000 or $1,500 college scholarships. In the past eight years, the group has awarded almost $460,000 to high school seniors in Anchorage to attend college.

In place of his honorarium, McDavis arranged for the Brotherhood to contribute $10,000 to the University's Urban Scholars Program, which McDavis helped launch during his first year as president. The need-based scholarship program helps inner-city students from underrepresented groups realize their dream of a college degree at Ohio University.

The Brotherhood also co-sponsors the Home Base After School Program, which tutors fourth, fifth and sixth grade students in Anchorage. During the dinner, the students presented McDavis with a copy of a new music CD they recorded to raise money for Haiti earthquake victims. They also gave him a copy of their two published books – one with poems and the other about Alaska.

Ohio University alumnus Louis Overstreet, a former member of the Brotherhood, recommended McDavis to the organization. 

"Education has always been the Brotherhood's mission, so I told them about President McDavis," Overstreet said. "He has a national reputation as an outstanding leader in higher education and that's what they were looking for."

Past keynote speakers at the annual Brotherhood scholarship events have included Clifton Davis, movie and television actor; Campbell Moore, author; Susan L. Taylor, Essence magazine editorial director; Michael Colyar, comedian; Charles Beady, past president of the Piney Woods School in Mississippi; Steven Horsford, state senator in Nevada; Reginald Nicholas, current president of the Piney Woods School in Mississippi; and Mark Begich, U.S. senator from Alaska.