February 19, 2024

The Society of WCU Establishes Two New Awards

Pictured (L-R): Journey Washington, student co-host of the MLK Brunch, with ECAY members Mya Hill, Perez Abhuilmen, and Kyanna Randolph (president).The Society of West Chester University has established two new awards that are now presented annually at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Brunch each January: the Larry Dowdy Community Service Award and the Student Service Leadership Award. The Society, which organizes and hosts the brunch, is an organization of University faculty, staff, and administrators who embrace the spirit of Frederick Douglass’ commitment to social consciousness and inclusiveness.

In recognition of his extensive service to the University, Lawrence A. Dowdy ’73 (who was out of town and unable to attend the brunch) was named the inaugural recipient of the Larry Dowdy Community Service Award.

Dowdy completed his undergraduate degree at what was then at West Chester State College in 1973, becoming a residence hall director and assistant director of the Act 101 Program following his graduation.

In 1976 he began working for Cheyney University, serving in several roles that included dean of men, dean for student services, and Affirmative Action officer. He completed his master’s degree in counselor education during this time.

Dowdy returned to his alma mater in 1983 as the Affirmative Action officer, later becoming special assistant to the president, the executive assistant to the president, and government relations officer. He was named executive deputy to the president and governmental relations officer in 1999, the position he held until his retirement in 2014.

Dowdy was lauded for mentoring both students and staff members. He was chair of the Campus Climate Intervention Team, the Board of Governors Scholarship Committee, and the Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration Committee.

Dowdy has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Humanitarian Award, the Mary Baltimore Award from the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education, the President’s Award for Philanthropy, and the WCU Presidential Medallion for Service. The Dowdy Multicultural Center is named in his honor.

The first annual Society Student Service Leadership Award was presented to Empower Communities Around You (ECAY).

ECAY is a multicultural community service organization whose mission is to uplift, impact, and empower those within our community through meaningful service opportunities in the tri-state area, special programs, and collaborative events on campus. They pride themselves on being able to create a safe space for students to give them a voice and allow them to create a great college experience for themselves.

The Society annually raises money for scholarship funds in an effort to increase the economic options available to the student body. It seeks, by the example of Douglass, to promote an intellectual standard that is not only grounded in excellence, but also profoundly rooted in the public mission of higher education. Current academic year officers are Andria Young, president; Stephanie Reid, vice president; Tiffany Jones, treasurer; and Ronda Taylor, secretary.


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