Hobnobbing Trumps All At UDC Schmoozarama

Photo by Natalila Janetti ©
Hands of Power--Mayor Vincent Gray
Hands of Power--Mayor Vincent Gray

Neither the speeches, nor the food nor anything else seemed to matter as much at the University of the District of Columbia’s gala as rekindling relationships whose roots of friendship ran deep into years past.

UDC  President Dr. Allen L. Sessoms (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) UDC President Dr. Allen L. Sessoms

The event Friday night at the Mayflower Hotel also sparked new bonds and affiliations among some 300 celebrants closing out the 160th year of the university and its own roots.

Most of the crowd barely stayed seated during and between the courses. They jumped up to button-hole Mayor Vincent C. Gray, DC Councilmembers Marion Barry and Muriel Bowser, university president Dr. Allen L. Sessoms, DC Chamber of Commerce CEO Barbara B. Lang, gala chair Judith F. Terra, and city activist Virginia E. Hayes Williams about something or another. 

Barbara and Gerald Lang (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Barbara and Gerald Lang

No one seemed to mind, for after all, that’s what DC schmoozaramas are about: the buzz.

Doreen Gentzler of NBC4 Washington, the mistress of ceremonies, introduced honorees Gray, Lang, Botswana Ambassador Tebelelo Seretse, Greater Washington Board of Trade President-CEO Jim Dinegar, and Fort Lincoln Realty Co. President Michele Hagans.

Linda Mercado Greene (left) & Judith Terra, both on the gala committee (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Linda Mercado Greene (left) & Judith Terra, both on the gala committee

DC Councilmember at-large Michael A. Brown accepted, posthumously, the President’s Award on behalf of his father, Commerce Secretary Ronald A. Brown, who was first chairman of the university’s board of trustees.

Ashley McCampbell and Carlos Gray, the mayor's son (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Ashley McCampbell and Carlos Gray, the mayor's son

Logistics ruler of the evening was Lee Brian Reba, UDC's director of special projects and events.

Councilmember Marion Barry (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Councilmember Marion Barry

After the night of networking, it all continued the next morning as Gray and a city contingent left for Las Vegas to drum up business at the International Council of Shopping Centers.

0 Comments For This Article

Mahdi Leroy J. Thorpe, Jr.

Great article. It is nice to read something that is positive about Black people instead of the negative articles on Black people in the Washington Post and City Paper. The Georgetown Dish has maintained fairness, dignity and responsible journalism when reporting on Black people and events.