The Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area hosted its first Consortium Celebration honoring heroes for higher education on April 28, 2022.
The Consortium honored three individuals for their outstanding contributions to diversity, access, and inclusion in education in our region.
- Argelia Rodriguez, President of DC College Access Program – Under Ms. Rodriguez’s leadership for more than two decades, DC-CAP helped enroll over 35,000 students in postsecondary education, awarded nearly fifty-five million dollars in scholarships to D.C. students, and celebrates over 14,000 college graduates.
- Rajiv Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation -Under his leadership, the foundation raised and deployed more than $1 billion to respond to the COVID pandemic at home and abroad, launched a Pandemic Prevention Institute to prevent future health crises. Dr. Shah led the Foundation to contribute $1.5 million to the Consortium to support expanded COVID testing in D.C. and Baltimore, a program that became the backbone for the reopening of public schools in the nation’s capital.
- Anthony Williams, Former District of Columbia Mayor, CEO & Executive Director of the Federal City Council (FC2) -Under Mayor Williams leadership, FC2 views the improvement of educational outcomes for D.C. students as one of its foremost priorities. Mayor Williams has been a tireless advocate for equitable access to education and employment in our community, including helping to secure scholarship funding, during his tenure as Mayor, in order to open educational opportunities for District residents, through the FC2 Employers for Equity Program, and never failing to note the strength of diversity of our local higher education institutions in his efforts to promote our community.
In her introduction, Roberta Cordano, Consortium Chair and President of Gallaudet University shared, “The Consortium is an incredible example of the power of collaboration- we are a diverse group of institutions, small and large, public and private, that work together to advance opportunities and education for learners in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Higher education plays a critical role in our region and our nation. These leaders are having a significant positive impact on access to higher education. “
With attendees who are leaders from every sector of business, philanthropy, higher education and the government, the event featured a welcome from D.C. City Administrator Kevin Donahue, and a keynote speech from U.S. Under Secretary for Education James Kvaal. Under Secretary Kvaal pointed out the tremendous power of collaboration possible with the global reputation and scope of service of the Washington higher education community, especially when combined with partners in government, business, philanthropy, and the corporate sectors.
One of the largest and most diverse educational alliances in the country, the Consortium was founded to foster collaboration throughout the region in support of education access and equitable economic development. Consortium members serve over 400,000 students every year and are one of the largest drivers of the regional economy.
Thanking the attendees, President and CEO of the Consortium Andrew Flagel said, “I came to this region for college because I believe there is no greater city in the world. With the strength of our education community, I believe together we can be a model for the rest of the nation in providing unparalleled access, a workforce that is resilient and adaptable, and a citizenry that is informed and engaged.”