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Howard University announces School of Communications to be named for Cathy Hughes 

(October 12, 2016) Howard University president, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, recently announced a multi-million dollar gift to its School of Communications from Alfred C. Liggins III, President and CEO of Radio One, Inc. The contribution was made through the Catherine L. Hughes and Alfred C. Liggins III Foundation and establishes that the School will be named in honor of Cathy Hughes, Radio One founder and Chairperson, and former Howard University staff member.  An official ceremony to announce the naming of the "Cathy Hughes School of Communications" will be held on Sunday, October 23, 2016, at Howard University.

"The Howard community is thrilled that Mr. Liggins has chosen to honor his mother, Ms. Cathy Hughes, in this manner for her pioneering work in the field of communications," said Dr. Frederick. "The gift will have a transformational impact on the School's commitment to serve the communications industry and as a high-level producer of diverse media specialists." He went on to acknowledge that Ms. Hughes is well known for her accomplishments at the School and University, particularly at WHUR-FM where she created the popular, urban music format known as the "Quiet Storm." She is also the School's third Time Warner Endowed Chair.

The donation recognizes the extraordinary vigor of Howard's School of Communications and its faculty, students, staff, and alumni.  It demonstrates Ms. Hughes' and Mr. Liggins' firm beliefs in the role that the School plays in providing and sustaining a range of educational and leadership alternatives for African Americans within the communications sector. 

In 2013, the School reorganized its undergraduate programs and departments, graduate studies, and interdisciplinary options. Now in its 45th year of existence, the School proudly boasts four progressive departments: Communication Culture and Media Studies; Communication Sciences and Disorders; Media, Journalism and Film; and Strategic, Legal and Management Communication. 

The Catherine L. Hughes and Alfred C. Liggins III Fund at Howard University will assist the School in acquiring cutting-edge technology and equipment, which will support its academically rich programs.   Radio One invites its supporters and business partners to join its effort to promote and support Howard-educated communication leaders who will continue the cycle of influence and upliftment personified by Ms. Hughes.  Donations should be made to Howard University and designated for the Cathy Hughes School of Communications.

The decision to rename the School of Communications after Hughes comes six years after Howard quietly dropped the name of John H. Johnson, the founder of Ebony and Jet magazines, from its building.

According to an article on the Website for Diverse Issues in Higher Education, John Johnson gave Howard a check for $4 million in 2003 with the hope that his donation would someday be used as a down payment toward the construction of a new building that would house the communications school that had been renamed that year in his honor.

But after his death in 2005, Johnsonís daughter and heir, Linda Johnson Rice, opted to support her alma mater, the University of Southern California (USC), instead.

A former USC trustee, Rice gave $2.5 million to USCís Annenberg School for Communication in 2007 to establish the Johnson Communication Leadership Center, which provides undergraduate scholarships and hosts seminars focused specifically on issues relating to African-Americans in the media.

In honor of her lifetime commitment to excellence in the media industry, Howard University's School of Communications will officially be renamed the Cathy Hughes School of Communications during its unveiling ceremony Sunday, October 23.

Leading up to the celebration, Radio One, Inc. is saluting Ms. Hughes with an integrated, cross-platform congratulatory promotion consisting of on-air and online announcements and special programming across its 56 Radio One stations, national television network, TV One, 10 nationally syndicated Reach Media radio programs and its six Interactive One branded websites.

On Monday, October 17, in honor of this significant occasion, Ms. Hughes will be a guest on many of her urban media company's nationally syndicated shows including, Russ Parr Morning Show, Rickey Smiley Morning Show, DL Hughley Show, Tom Joyner Morning Show, The Ed Lover Show, and Get Up Mornings with Erica Campbell. Also throughout the week of October 17-22, Washington, D.C.'s WOL-AM will broadcast Ms. Hughes' classic radio shows in a marathon, "The Best of The Cathy Hughes Morning Show," from 12-2 p.m. ET and 12-2 a.m. ET.

Additionally, Ms. Hughes will sit down for an exclusive interview with Roland S. Martin, host and managing editor of TV One's NewsOne Now, the only daily television news program dedicated to Black viewers, for a one-hour primetime special premiering on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 10 p.m. ET. In "Cathy Hughes One on One: A NewsOne Special," she will discuss the joys and challenges of building a media empire.  As the first African American woman to chair a publicly traded company, Ms. Hughes will walk Martin through her journey from teen mom to urban media maven in a live-to-tape interview from where it all began -- Howard University.


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