I am grateful for Saturday’s celebratory event in Washington, D.C. in observance of my 93rd birthday and the creation of new scholarships for Virginia Union University and Howard University students who matriculate to the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.
That this event was successful is an understatement; to see the financial contributions of close to $900,000 is beyond expectations.
You can view a photo recap of this magnificent evening from Black Virginia News.
An outstanding young man and student of Norfolk State University, Keighton Bell, reincarnated my inaugural address without notes or a teleprompter. He later told me he did this needing only a week’s preparation. As I told the audience, his delivery was better than mine – though I had a prepared text and several weeks to write it.
I was pleased to share the table with Wes Moore, the newly elected first African-American Governor of Maryland, who favored the audience with his high regard for my political journey and how it inspired him.
I recited several things that I sought to change in my political career, including the establishment of a state holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Governor who finally signed the bill into law, despite vetoes by two of his immediate predecessors, was my friend Chuck Robb. I mistakenly, and knowing better, said something different. I could not be getting that old. ?
All in all, it was a beautiful celebration with so many dear friends, colleagues, and supporters. I am grateful and remain indebted to countless Virginians who have been the wind beneath my wings.