Landon Celebrates Black History Month
Posted 02/28/2012 03:15PM

Chris Howard Encourages Five “Be”s

On Tuesday, February 28, Landon celebrated Black History Month with an all-school assembly featuring Dr. Chris Howard, president of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. Students from the Multicultural Student Alliance (MSA) also spoke during the assembly.

Howard brought the message of his five “be”s: Be yourself, be humble, be accountable, be courageous, “be the change you want to see in the world” – the last one being a quote from Mahatma Gandhi. Howard used his personal experiences – from wearing a tie in seventh grade when the dress code didn’t require it, to a college coach who inspired him, to nearly dying in a plane crash learning to be a pilot in the Air Force – to encourage the boys to follow the five tenets. He charged the seniors to set the standard for the rest of the school saying, “It will only be a great school if you want it to be.”

Student Council President Cyrus House ’12 kicked off the assembly by introducing Bernard Akinboyewa ’14 to speak about the benefits of the clothing drive the MSA sponsors every year. In the Middle and Upper School, gently used coats are collected and donated to the Community for Creative Non-Violence Shelter in D.C. In the Lower School, new hats and gloves are collected for the Black Student Fund. Jeanie Carr of the Black Student Fund spoke of the great good that the hats and gloves will do, and thanked the Landon community for their contribution.

Taylor Greene ’12 introduced a Discovery Channel clip about the Tuskegee Airmen, the first group of African-American pilots who fought in World War II. Adam Holland ’13 concluded the assembly talking about how looking into the past better prepares everyone for the future.

Lower School Head Len Armstrong, a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, introduced Howard. Howard is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy (BS), Oxford University (doctorate) and Harvard Business School (MBA). He was a 2012 honoree of Dominion Power's Strong Men and Women: Excellence in Leadership Series, and was named a 2010 African-American Trailblazer in Virginia History by the Library of Virginia. Read his full bio here.

Fifth grade teacher Doug Nettles and fourth grade teacher Bobby Horsey are advisers to the MSA.

Click here to see photos from the event.