Xavier University’s Black Student Association (BSA) and Office of Multicultural Affairs will host the 32nd annual Antonio Johnson Scholarship Gala, Friday, April 18 from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m in Schiff Banquet and Conference Center located at the University’s Cintas Center. The attire is black tie optional. Tickets are $30 general admission, $20 for non-Xavier college students and $10 for Xavier students, and children 15 and under $20 each. They can be purchased from the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Please call 513-745-3181 to RSVP.
This year's theme is “The Essence of Excellence.” The gala is a premiere event at Xavier which recognizes outstanding students, faculty and staff for their accomplishments and contributions to the African American community at the University through academics and leadership.
The keynote speaker is Dr. O’dell Owens, Hamilton County Coroner.
Dr. O’dell Moreno Owens is a native Cincinnatian. Following graduation from Woodward High School, he earned a Bachelor of Arts from Antioch College, spending his third year as an exchange student at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. He earned his M.D. from Yale University Medical School, where he was president of his medical school class and captain of the medical school basketball team. He also earned a masters degree in public health from Yale. Owens accepted a combined position at Harvard Medical School, as a clinical instructor in the department of OB/GYN and a Fellow in reproductive Endocrinology and infertility for two years. He returned to Cincinnati in 1982 to establish the first division of reproductive endocrinology in the department of OB/GYN at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Owens is actively involved in the Cincinnati community working with the disadvantaged youth. Owens would like his epitaph to read, “He made a difference.”
Many honors will be presented during the evening, including the Antonio Johnson Scholarship. The scholarship is given to an African American junior who has demonstrated academic excellence, strong leadership, involvement and service. The scholarship will be in the amount of one year’s tuition, including book stipends as well as room and board.
The scholarship is given each year in honor of Antonio Johnson, who pioneered social change and justice at Xavier. Johnson, who died at age 22 while a student at Xavier, organized and implemented activities for Black Awareness Month in February 1976. He died later that year. He was majoring in urban studies and had served as president of the BSA. The gala and scholarship keep Johnson’s memory and vision alive.