Nicole White, Miss District of Columbia USA 2009, and Willa Hall Smith, associate vice president for federal relations, Tuskegee University
Willa Hall Smith, Marianne Ricci and David Burnett
THE PRESIDENT of Tuskegee University in Alabama, Dr. Benjamin F. Payton, delivered the principal address at the rededication of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall Saturday, citing the critical importance of President Lincoln in making America a nation that seeks its higher values of freedom, justice and respect for all people.
DR. PAYTON also noted that despite the courage and eloquence of Abraham Lincoln and despite the progress that has been achieved in the decades since his presidency and since the dedication of his memorial in 1922, race continues to be “a major fault line of this nation.”
WHEN THE Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in 1922, the then president of Tuskegee Robert R. Moton delivered the address to an audience that was segregated black and white, and he received death threats because he dared to speak out about the problem of race in America.
TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY is a historically black university that is famous not only for the Tuskegee Airmen who flew in the European theater during World War II, but also for its graduates, in particular, in the areas of science, technology, research and veterinary science.
DR. PAYTON said that the rededication of the Memorial was an occasion that “provides the opportunity to highlight the continuing vitality and significant role Tuskegee University plays today.”
Tuskegee University Celebration at the National Press Club