Portrait of President Wayne A.I. FrederickHoward University President Wayne A. I. Frederick will serve as keynote speaker for the 2021 Charter Day Convocation on Friday, March 5 at 11 a.m. Dr. Frederick holds three academic degrees from Howard University and exemplifies the institutional motto of truth and service.

Each year, the Charter Day Convocation ceremony commemorates the signing of the federal charter on March 2, 1867 establishing Howard as a university. At this year’s ceremony, Dr. Frederick is expected to speak about the challenges, and latest signs of hope, related to the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Frederick will also aim to recommit members of the University community to Howard’s widely recognized leadership role in ameliorating social injustices and inequality, as well as other values such as student opportunity and campus diversity. In January, Howard University celebrated the inauguration of Howard alumna Kamala Harris as vice president of the United States, the first time an African-American or a woman has ever held that office.

Over the past year, Dr. Frederick has galvanized Howard University’s historic response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has disproportionately affected communities of color. Through his leadership, Howard University has played an important role through its various medical-related entities and scientific infrastructure, research expertise and successful outreach initiatives in diverse communities.

As an undergraduate, Dr. Frederick was a student in Howard University’s B.S./M.D. dual degree program. He completed the requirements for both degrees in six years, allowing him to earn his Bachelor of Science degree and his medical degree by the age of 22. He also earned a Master of Business Administration from Howard University’s School of Business in 2011, and he performed post-doctoral research and surgical oncology fellowships at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Upon his return to Howard University, his academic positions included associate dean in the College of Medicine, division chief in the Department of Surgery, director of the Cancer Center and deputy provost for Health Sciences. Dr. Frederick also served as provost and chief academic officer. In 2014, he was appointed the 17th president of Howard University. Most recently, the Howard University Board of Trustees selected Dr. Frederick to serve as the distinguished Charles R. Drew professor of surgery.  

During his tenure as president, Dr. Frederick pursued initiatives to streamline and strengthen University operations. Dr. Frederick also devotes his time to writing and speaking on salient topics in higher education, including the impact of historically Black colleges and universities, campus intellectual diversity, the underrepresentation of African-American men in medical school and gender equity on college campuses.

The March 5 Convocation sets the stage for this year’s Charter Day Virtual Celebration. Traditionally a black-tie gala, the virtual celebration will be a fundraising event with the proceeds supporting financial aid for Howard students.