Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Contributions as a Leader

BOND: What do you see as your greatest contribution as an African American leader?

HRABOWSKI: On two levels. This campus is doing so well. Everybody’s looking at the fact that all of these students are learning how to work with each other and excel, and -- whether they’re in, again, in the humanities or in science and when they go out, they can speak with pride about coming from this middle-class place where we produce leaders who can excel, against people from anywhere. And that’s a great thing for this region and for the country because we don’t have enough places that have thought carefully about excellence among all groups and getting people to connect and mix it up and be able to be leaders of that type, so that’s a broad -- that's a broad part of what I hope will be my contribution with my colleagues for the University.

For me personally, my own research and the work we’ve done on producing black scientists -- we’ve now become the leading predominantly white university in the country and when the new study comes out, going through 2008, we produced more blacks who get Ph.D.s in science and M.D./Ph.D.s than any university, black or white, in the country. So we now have students who are up at Harvard and Stanford and Duke, and people who are doing cutting-edge research who will be the leading black scientists in the country. Now, add to that whites in that program who not only will be leaders but who can talk about race, can talk about race with comfort, who will be professors. How many professors have had a chance to think about "how do you talk about race and poverty and gender in science?" And that’s been the work that we’ve been doing in my own research and it is far more inspiring to me now than ever before.