The Division of University Advancement and Office of Alumni Engagement hosted the 50th Anniversary Reunion Celebration for the Partnership Program at Catholic University on May 13 in Caldwell Hall. The celebration honored the first Partnership Program class, which graduated in 1973, along with all Black alumni. 

The Partnership Program was led by Leon LeBuffe, B.A. 1966, Ph.D. 1974, and Thaddeus Aubry, B.A. 1966, both of whom were honored at the 2023 Commencement ceremony with honorary degrees. The short film titled, “No Longer Out of Reach” chronicles the impact of the Partnership Program and Black alumni who have participated in the initiative. President Kilpatrick introduced the film as it was debuted to all attendees. 

University leadership poses with Partnership Program celebration attendees

Former track coach, Joe Fisher, B.A. 1975, shared about his career as a coach and his participation in the of start the First-Generation College Bound program, which raised scholarships for first generation college students. He shared that the Thaddeus Aubry and Leon LeBuffe Scholarship has been a resource for many students of color on campus. Past recipient William Burgess, B.A. 2014, spoke about how the scholarship helped him during his time at CatholicU. Burgess gave a very heartfelt speech about the importance of representation and support for Black students at Catholic University.

Partnership Program 50th Anniversary celebration attendees

Andi Cullins, B.A. 1973, went on to encourage attendees to support the Thaddeus Aubry and Leon LeBuffe Scholarship. As an endowment, the principal of approximately $125,000 is never spent, allowing the scholarship to provide financial assistance to deserving students. Each academic year, up to five students are awarded this scholarship to make a significant difference in their educational journey at Catholic University. During Cardinal Weekend, a reception will be held to honor scholarship recipients. 

Ronny Lancaster, B.A. 1973, ended the event by giving a call to action in getting everyone to continue the legacy of the Partnership Program and to continue to support students, especially, Black students and alumni.

Published on: Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Campaign Theme: Student Success

Tags: Scholarships