Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick and Assistant to the President for Community Relations Cecelia Tucker will be among the honorees at The Urban League of Hampton Roads' 36th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders' Breakfast on Jan. 20.
Janice Underwood, director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Commonwealth of Virginia and former director of diversity initiatives at ODU, will be the keynote speaker. Sponsored by GEICO, Enterprise Rentals, the City of Portsmouth, Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University and Eastern Virginia Medical School, the event will take place at the Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Hotel beginning at 8 a.m.
Established in 1984, the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders' awards are presented to individuals or groups who promote positive images, exemplify community service, demonstrate the values that model those of King and show evidence of the impact their contributions make in the lives of others.
In 2019, Broderick received the President's Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators in recognition of his commitment to social mobility and student success, particularly with first-generation undergraduates. Old Dominion's dining facility, which opened in 2016, is named the Kate and John R. Broderick Dining Commons at the request of student leaders to honor the President and First Lady for their commitment to inclusion and student success. The Board of Visitors also renamed the University's Diversity Champion Award for the President in 2013 to recognize his commitment to diversity and inclusion, which has helped create a vibrant, multicultural campus.
Tucker joined ODU in 1991 and has undertaken a variety of community relations activities for the University, especially outreach to African Americans and other minority communities in Hampton Roads. She has worked in such areas as alumni relations, government relations, and student, faculty and staff recruitment. She has received numerous awards, including a Lead Like King Award in 2019 from the Urban Renewal Center of Norfolk.
Civic leader and philanthropist Joan Brock also will receive the award. Brock and her late husband, Macon, have supported Old Dominion initiatives such as Brock Commons. This year, she donated $3 million to the University for its new Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience.
Others who will receive awards are Cassandra Newby-Alexander, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Norfolk State University; Howard Kern, president and chief executive officer, and Mary Blunt, senior vice president and corporate vice president, Sentara Healthcare; Bob Aston, chairman of the board, and Tom Hasty III, senior executive vice president and regulatory risk officer, Towne Bank; Gaylene Kanoyton, award-winning community servant and activist; and Marquise Hunt, chairman emeritus of the National NAACP Youth and College Division Task Force.