Writer: LeKeisha Edwards
Armani NaJaé Washington, Miss Howard University 2023-2024, was crowned the 38th Miss National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Queen, following an annual competition held by the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. (NBCA).
According to the NBCA’s official website, the focus of the Competition of Black College Queens is one that is centered around providing significant opportunities for young women that attend the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) and help them better prepare for the future, including gaining self-awareness, self-confidence, individual pride, pride for their institution and a greater social awareness overall. The series of competitions feature queens from various HBCU’s, demonstrating their unique talents and skill sets, with one finalist and ultimate college queen, earning the respective position and title. Joy Watson, Miss Virginia State University, previously served as Miss NBCA Hall of Fame for 2022-2023.
Dedicated to the growth and development of HBCU’s through scholarships, internships, training, and technical assistance, alumni recognition, and programs that promote humanitarian involvement, the NBCA is a 501(C)3 organization founded in 1986 by members of the National Council of Alumni Associations. The official site for the NBCA also highlights a significant stand and aim the organization holds dear to its mission and efforts–which is to advance the reality that HBCU’s are valuable treasures and critical resources that help transform the seeds of potential into the fruits of possibility.
The competition of Black College Queens is a part of the Hall of Fame Weekend, an annual 3-4 day signature event that serves as the Foundation’s annual fundraiser. The event is garnered towards promoting the visibility of HBCU’s, while providing a forum for students, alumni, faculty, and staff to further develop their skills and increase their capabilities through workshops, seminars, and programs. The annual Thomas W. Dortch Jr. HBCU Golf Classic, an invitational sanctioned by the NCAA, attracts Division I and Division II HBCU golf teams to come out and play, awarding scholarships to participating schools in support of their golf programs. In addition, the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony highlights contributions of merit made to society by graduates of HBCU’s that are excelling in their chosen field of endeavor.
Some of the honorees for this year’s induction include Erin Tolefree, Spelman College graduate and President of Baldwin Richardson Foods (BRF); Dr. William “Bill” Pickard, Ph.D., Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College graduate, and founder and executive chairman of GAA Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management (GAA); and Dr. Dora S. Washington, Alabama A&M University graduate and speech pathologist and educator. 60 Minutes correspondent and broadcast journalist, Ed Bradley, graduate of Cheyney University, received a posthumous award and induction for his achievements and distinctive work in journalism.