ATLANTA (Oct. 28, 2014) – Clark Atlanta University (CAU) trustee Delores P. Aldridge, Ph.D., will serve as the grand marshal of CAU’s 2014 homecoming parade Saturday, Nov. 1, which will begin at 10 a.m. at the corner of Beckwith and Walnut Streets. A ceremony to “crown” Aldridge as the grand marshal will take place at 8 a.m. at the president’s reviewing stand at the corner of James P. Brawley Drive and Atlanta Student Movement Boulevard (formerly Fair Street).
In June, Aldridge, a double alumna, made a landmark donation, a leadership gift of $150,000 to the University and also donated her academic papers to CAU. Earlier this month, the former auditorium in the Thomas W. Cole Jr. Research Center for Science and Technology was named The Delores P. Aldridge, Ph.D., Auditorium in honor of her late husband, Kwame Essuon, who was an electrical engineer and lead supervisor in the development of train control for Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority’s rapid rail system. Aldridge’s papers will be housed in the University’s archives at the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library.
Widely revered in academic circles, Aldridge earned the bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology from Clark College in 1963 and the master’s degree in social work from Atlanta University in 1966. In 1971, she became the first African-American woman to receive the Ph.D. degree in sociology from Purdue University. That same year, she became the founding director of the first degree-granting African and African-American Studies Program at a major private university in the South, Emory University, as well as the first African-American woman to receive a tenure-track faculty position there. Aldridge served as a member of the former Clark College Board of Trustees and has served as a member of the Clark Atlanta University Board of Trustees since the University’s consolidation in 1988. She currently serves as Board Secretary and Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee.
Under the theme, “Eye of the Panther,” homecoming week is Oct. 27-Nov. 2, when more than 10,000 alumni, parents, community leaders and friends of the University will gather on campus to celebrate 26 years since the consolidation of Atlanta University (founded in 1869) and Clark College (founded in 1865) to form Clark Atlanta University. Traditional activities will include chapel service, an open house, the homecoming concert, the coronation of Miss CAU, the parade and football game against Paine College. Visit www.cau.edu for the complete homecoming schedule and the parade route, or call 404-880-8022 for more details.