They newly inducted university president enthusiastically said he would be ignoring his 15-page repertoire, prepared for his first public address, taking a huge stance on developing interpersonal relationships with students. Because of this, for the first time in the last four-years, Clark Atlanta University’s convocation was refreshingly minimized from its usual 3+ hour duration to a straight-forward, 1 hour long program under his discretion.
Nearly 1,500 people flooded to Epps Gymnasium this Tuesday, with eager ears, awaiting the speech of Clark Atlanta University’s newest President, Dr. George T. French Jr.
Dr.French’s introductory address brought in a roaring crowd, including students, faculty, and colleagues from fellow HBCU Miles College. The
packed-out audience in its entirety buzzed anxiously, as the president took his first public address at the university’s 31st annual convocation.
The audience sat in awe as the president introduced his speech with “Together, together, together, we are embarking on a new horizon for CAU” in support of a clear theme of unity.
The 12-minute speech went on to acknowledge the power Clark Atlanta holds within its notable alumni, along the likes of the historic activist/sociologist W.E.B DuBois to the modern Kenya Barris, “Black-ish” television show producer.
The strategic use of name dropping was done to support French’s statement highlighting, the institution’s collective power and destiny for greatness. “CAU is a premier institution, CAU is all that and a bag of chips,” Dr.French said.
Seemingly excited to cut the event short, Dr.French focused on the 3-hour reception to be held after convocation emphasizing his excitement to build relationships with the campus, rather than building a public presence.
Prior to holding the presidency position at CAU, Dr.French served as the president of Miles College from 2006-2019. He is most acknowledged for besting fundraising records for the institution, increasing the students access to educational funding, as well as expanding the square footage of the campus.
Audience members were surprisingly delighted with the opportunity to attend the reception that allowed one-on-one interaction with Dr.French. Although pleased at the 1 hour duration of the event, senior Marquis Shelby noted that “this is the shortest convocation [he] has ever been to in [his] four years at CAU and expected more.”