Medgar Evers’ Living Legends Celebration

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Medgar Evers College, of the City University of New York system, which is named after the famed civil rights hero, recently hosted its ninth annual Legacy Awards Gala and Dinner in Brooklyn.

It was a Who’s Who gathering of heavyweights in politics, business, education, and media, at the Marriott Hotel at the Brooklyn Bridge, on October 8.

The College honored five individuals - a community leader, labor advocate, entrepreneur, legal eagle, and church founder – who have made enormous contributions to society in their fields of endeavor. 

Embodying the “Living Legends” theme, honorees this year were Basil A. Paterson, Esq., Partner at Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C.; Jim Clifton, Chairman & CEO of Gallup, Inc.; Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Founder & Leader of the Love Fellowship Tabernacle; Valerie Oliver Durrah, President & CEO of The Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic; and William J. Snipes, Esq., Partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP.

The College also paid tribute to veteran College Biology professor Dr. Edward Catapane, and recognized some of the College’s outstanding student scholars through special video presentations throughout the evening.

“We realize that Medgar Evers College is both a gift from and to the community,” said Medgar Evers College’s president Dr. William L. Pollard, in his call for continued support. “We are an instrument of change - a tool that has been utilized by tens of thousands to transform their circumstances.”

Dr. Pollard added: “As with any tool, Medgar Evers College must be honed and sharpened.  We rely on the support of our community, our corporate partners, our friends in social organizations, and friends in government.”

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz delivered a proclamation in honor of the event; other speakers included New York City Councilmember Charles Barron and City University of New York Chancellor Matthew Goldstein.

Maurice DuBois of “CBS 2 News This Morning” and Angela McGlowan, Fox News Channel and Black Entertainment Television political analyst and best-selling author of the book “Bamboozled,” were the master and mistress of ceremonies for the night’s festivities, which featured a memorable performance by chanteuse Alyson Williams. 
Medgar Evers College was founded in 1969 through the efforts from educators and community leaders in central Brooklyn. The College is named after Medgar Wiley Evers, a Mississippi-born Black civil rights activist who was assassinated on June 12, 1963.

The event was co-sponsored by Moet Hennessy USA, Con Edison, Macy’s, and National Grid. The honorary co- chairs were Myrlie Evers-Williams, the Honorable Marty Markowitz, inspirational speaker Iyanla Vanzant, and Reena Evers-Everett. The dinner co-chairs included Mr. Noel Hankin, senior Vice President of Multicultural Initiatives, Moet Hennessy USA; Joe Chan, President, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership; and Bob Catell, Chairman of Advanced Energy Research & Technology Center (AERTC) at Stony Brook.

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