Junior Austin Ashford, winner of the team’s 2015 Most Valuable Performer award, gave one of his award-winning presentations for Washington at the gathering. Ashford said what most stood out to him about Washington’s visit was his charge to students to make a difference in the world and to pay it forward.
“His message perfectly aligns with everything we strive to do as a team and as Wiley students,” said Ashford. “His life of service gives us an outstanding example of how to be servant leaders.”
While the face-to-face meeting with Washington was a first for the team, it proudly sends regular updates to Washington and Washington regularly checks in with the team and encourages its continued success.
In recognition of his unyielding support, the Wiley College awarded Washington an honorary doctorate degree.
“This degree is being conferred because Mr. Washington has preserved the legacy of Professor Melvin B. Tolson and the Great Debaters,” saidJoseph L. Morale, vice president for student affairs at Wiley. “He has been a staunch supporter of historically black colleges, and for that we are deeply grateful.”