The keynote speaker is Dr. O’dell Owens, the Hamilton County Coroner and Cincinnati native. Owens graduated from Woodward High School before earning a Bachelor of Arts from Antioch College. He earned both his M.D. and a master's degree in public health from Yale University. Owens later 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. 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.
Many honors are being 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 covers 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.
The attire is black tie optional. Tickets are $30 general admission, $20 for non-Xavier college students and children under 15, and $10 for Xavier students. Tickets can be purchased from the Office of Multicultural Affairs by calling 513-745-3181.