50th anniversary of UConn School of Social Work, Sept. 25 (Released: 9/21/98)
by Sherry Fisher, Office of University Communications
STORRS, Conn. -- Hundreds of UConn School of Social Work alumni, faculty and students will come together on the West Hartford campus on Sept. 25 for the biggest event in the school's 50- year history.
Former U.S. Rep. Ronald V. Dellums of California, a social worker and leader in the Congressional Black Caucus, will headline an anniversary celebration program that will include faculty seminars, an open house, a colloquium of former deans, a luncheon marking 30 years of the school's Black Student Organization, and honors and awards to outstanding alumni. Special recognition will also be paid to Rollin Williams, the school's first black professor.
UConn President Philip Austin will give welcoming remarks at 4:30 p.m., prior to Dellums' keynote address, "Social Work Centennial: Advocacy and Change -- What's Ahead?"
Dellums, who now is president of Healthcare International Management Company, served 12 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Lauded as one of the most compelling and articulate speakers to serve in the House chamber, Dellums held many positions, including chair of the House Armed Services Committee, the House District of Columbia Committee and the Congressional Black Caucus.
Dellums was active in the campaign to end apartheid in South Africa, is a leader in seeking increased funding for AIDS research treatment and counseling, and an activist for the homeless. He has also had a distinguished career as a psychiatric social worker, a job training and development program manager and a consultant on community job development programs. He has an M.S.W. from the University of California-Berkeley.
UConn's social work program, which began in a classroom in a Hartford high school, graduated its first student in 1948. Today, it is the state's largest professional school of social work and has more than 4,000 alumni, many of whom are CEOs of private agencies, leaders in state government and leaders in the black and Hispanic communities.
During the 1960s, the school moved into a newly constructed building in West Hartford, as the centerpiece of what was then the University's new regional campus.
The first three inductees to the school's Academy of Distinguished Alumni will be honored at an awards ceremony during the anniversary program. Honored for their outstanding contributions to the field of social work will be: