Thanks for Project 500

By Terry Townsend

On April 10, 2007, at my request a meeting was convened with University of Illinois at Urbana Chancellor Richard Herman and several stakeholders to review and seek the chancellor’s approval for a special event to celebrate and commemorate the 40th anniversary of Project 500. We were gratified to receive Chancellor Herman’s approval for the proposed event.

Professor James D. Anderson, head of the Department of Educational Policy Studies, brought the 40th anniversary of “Project 500” to my attention. David Addison, former president of the first Black Student Association, attended our meeting. I personally influenced the first Black Alumni Reunion on the Urbana campus, which was organized by an undergraduate student, Linda Edmonds. Over the years, these events were isolated black events.

I framed this event as a Black Alumni Reunion with the theme of the 40th anniversary of “Project 500.” My objectives were twofold.

1. Spotlight the University of Illinois institution-wide effort.

2. Broaden our reach through yearlong activity with alumni.

I have been informed by the University of Chicago that it will celebrate and commemorate “Project 500,” this entire school year. Assistant Chancellor Patricia Justice had suggested the same for the Urbana campus.

I have achieved my objectives and would like to thank all of the people for their hard work. I’m sure it will be a successful event and more.

Terry Townsend

Urbana