Antonio Johnson Scholarship Gala ups the ante

University to recognize outstanding African-American students, graduates | February 24, 2004

The 28th annual Antonio Johnson Scholarship Gala is dually increasing in significance this year, with its signature scholarship increasing in value and a new award designed to honor an outstanding graduate.

Hosted by the University's black student association, this year's gala is Friday, March 19, in the Cintas Center Banquet Room. A cocktail reception begins at 6:30 p.m., and the program commences at 7:00 p.m. The attire is black tie optional. Tickets are $30 for non-students and $10 for students, and can be purchased from the office of multicultural affairs.

The gala is a pinnacle event at Xavier that recognizes outstanding students, faculty and staff for their considerable accomplishments and contributions to the African-American community at the University. This year's event carries the theme "Our Past, Our Future: Commitment, Excellence, Pride."

For the first time in its history, this year's Antonio Johnson Scholarship-which is awarded to an African-American junior who has demonstrated academic excellence, leadership, community involvement and service-is in the amount of one year's tuition, including book stipends as well as room and board. In years past, the scholarship was $3,000.

Another addition to this year's gala is the Benjamin J. Allen Alumnus Award. It is the first award of its kind, and is designed to recognize an outstanding African-American graduate who has given back to Xavier and/or the local community since graduation. This year's recipient is the award's namesake, Benjamin J. Allen, one of the first African-American graduates of the University.

The keynote speaker for the gala is Cincinnati City Councilwoman Y. Laketa Cole. She is delivering a message directly related to this year's theme.

"This year's gala will be the most stellar of them all," says Paul James, director of the office of multicultural affairs. "Xavier University has taken great steps to make this year's event prestigious, and the students have planned accordingly."

For more information, contact the office of multicultural affairs at 513 745-3181.