Penn GSE Prof Earns 2010 Ozell Sutton Medallion of Justice for Impact on Historically Black Colleges

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Media Contact: Jill DiSanto-Haines | | 215-898-4820July 22, 2010


PHILADELPHIA — Marybeth Gasman, an associate professor in the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, has been awarded the 2010 Ozell Sutton Medallion of Justice for her research into and advocacy for historically black colleges and universities.  The Medallion honors someone committed to enhancing civil rights and promoting justice for all.

Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark., will present the award at the school’s convocation in late August.

“Marybeth Gasman has been aggressive in helping the broader public understand both the relevance and need for HBCUs, especially in an era where those who want to say we are ‘post-racial’ push to close these institutions,” Kimbrough said.  “Her advocacy on behalf of HBCUs, using data from research, provides great assistance for the institutions.  Just as importantly, she pushes HBCUs to really look at ways to strengthen their overall operations, challenging them to become much more progressive and innovative.”

Gasman is a nationally recognized researcher on historically black colleges and universities and an expert in African-American philanthropy and educational leadership.  She’s the author of “Envisioning Black Colleges: A History of the United Negro College Fund.”

The Medallion of Justice is named for Ozell Sutton, a pioneer in African-American history.  Sutton, an alumnus of Philander Smith, was one of the first African-Americans to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps and the first black reporter at the Arkansas Democrat.  He served as an escort for the Little Rock Nine and continues to work as a civil rights activist.