33rd Annual Antonio Johnson Scholarship Gala honors Xavier students, faculty and staff

Municipal Court Judge Nadine Allen is the keynote speaker at the event today, Friday, April 17 | April 17, 2009

A rising senior at Xavier University is being announced the winner of a full-ride scholarship at the 33rd Annual Antonio Johnson Scholarship Gala being held tonight, Friday, April 17, in the Cintas Center. Hosted each year by the Black Student Association (BSA) and the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the black tie event features Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Nadine Allen as the keynote speaker.

The theme this year is “The Passion to Transcend…The Power to Persevere.” The gala is a premier event at Xavier recognizing outstanding students, faculty and staff for their accomplishments and contributions to the African-American community at the University through academics and leadership.

The highlight of the evening is the presentation of the Antonio Johnson Scholarship, which is given to an African American junior who has demonstrated academic excellence, strong leadership, involvement and service. The scholarship is equal to one year’s tuition, including a book stipend and room and board.

The Black Student Association has chosen nine students as finalists from among this year’s nominees. They are: Katriece Carter, Nina Collins, Lauren Corley, Leon Hampton, Elise Harris, Aaron Marble, Morgan Miller, Adrienne Perry and Brenda Ratemo.
The Antonio Johnson Scholarship is given each year in honor of Antonio Johnson, who pioneered social change and justice at Xavier. Johnson, who died in 1976 at age 22 while a student at Xavier, organized and implemented activities for Black Awareness Month in February 1976. He majored in urban studies and had served as president of the Black Student Association. The gala and scholarship keep Johnson’s memory and vision alive.

This year’s keynote speaker, Judge Nadine Allen, currently serves on the Hamilton County Municipal Court. She has been a defense attorney and Assistant City Solicitor. Her experience as a judge has given her a reputation of being fair but firm on the bench. She broke many barriers in her 1987 and 1989 elections. Allen became the first African American to hold county-wide judicial office in Hamilton County, and the first Black woman elected to a county-wide office.

She was the first woman commissioner on the Ohio Supreme Court Grievance Board and has been honored as Phi Delta Kappa's "Outstanding Woman of the Year," Who' s Who in American Law, YWCA "Career Woman of Achievement," and Cincinnati Women's Political Caucus "Woman of the Year," among others.

The gala runs from 6:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m. For more information, please call the Office of Multicultural Affairs at  513-745-3181.