The Atlanta University Center Consortium family of staff and faculty came together in the first-ever assembly. The idea to create an AUC-wide assembly was borne during the Council of Presidents’ annual retreat in June. The theme of that gathering was: “Our Shared Value Proposition: The Empowered Campus through Intentional Strategic Collaboration.” Our keynote speaker for the assembly was Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, president of UMBC.
The event started with a wonderful lunch with the presidents of the AUC and the AUCC’s executive director. The lunch was hosted by president Mary Schmidt Campbell at Reynolds Cottage on the campus of Spelman College. The party then proceeded to the venue for the assembly. The assembly was held at the Ray Charles performing arts center on the campus of Morehouse College. The venue was set up to meet COVID 19 protocols and seating was limited to 120. The event was live-streamed via Facebook and is available for on-demand viewing. Everyone was treated to a great performance by the AUCC Symphony Orchestra and an outstanding solo by AUCC administrative assistant Kyria Simpson.
Dr. Hrabowski spoke to the importance of the work we do and the role of collaboration in accomplishing our shared priorities. He reflected powerfully on how administrators, faculty, and staff can facilitate academic success through inclusive excellence, institutional change, and campus collaboration. This power of consortium is the mission of the Atlanta University Center Consortium and the paramount vision of the presidents. Importantly, the COVID-19 pandemic caused us to deepen our center-wide efforts—from student programming to cross-registration to opening a NEW AUC Health and Wellness Center. And, seemingly, now that we are coming out of this pandemic, we must continue to move forward collaboratively; and, we must do it with even greater perseverance, determination, and eagerness than we demonstrated over this last year and a half.
As the world’s oldest and largest contiguous consortium of private HBCUs, the world looks to the AUC consortium as the exemplar of how independent institutions foster collaboration, manage center-wide initiatives, share services, and leverage our shared resources to foster outstanding student success.
Helen Keller said that “alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” And, Dr. Hrabowski sharped that spear tip when he admonishes us to be proud of the we have done and continue to do; but know we “can be better.”