D.C.’s own Howard University offered its congratulations to Sen. Kamala Harris after Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that she will be his vice presidential running mate. Harris graduated from the school in 1986.
University President Wayne A. I. Frederick called the announcement “extraordinary.”
“Senator Kamala Harris’ selection as the Democratic vice presidential candidate represents a milestone opportunity for our democracy to acknowledge the leadership Black women have always exhibited, but [that] has too often been ignored,” he said in a statement.
“As Senator Harris embarks upon this new chapter in her life, and in our country’s history, she is poised to break two glass ceilings in our society with one fell swoop of her Howard hammer! The HBCU community and I will be watching,” he continued.
Many students and graduates of Howard and other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are overjoyed by Biden’s pick, said Lita Rosario. She was a classmate of Harris and recruited her for the school’s debate team.
“We consider ourselves the mecca for Black education in America and I think we’re going to be able to take that title and expand it from Black America to all of America,” Rosario said.
Harris also is expected to find significant support through her membership in the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority. The national group has more than 300,000 members and was founded at Howard.
Harris told The Washington Post last year that attending Howard was transformative.
“I became an adult at Howard University,” she said. “Howard very directly influenced and reinforced — equally important — my sense of being and meaning and reasons for being.”