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Know thy enemy, Rutgers: Why they love Howard

Yes, this week they’re the “enemy”. But they are also fans - nay, people - who love their school. And as we’re doing all season, we’re telling you why. Today: Go Bison!

NCAA Football: Howard at Boston College Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

We love Rutgers. Why? Lots of reasons, personal, professional, emotional. But the people we play, their fans, love their schools, too. Why? Each week we’ll tell their story. Today with go with this week’s opponent, Howard University. Doing the honors is Howard’s NYC Alumni President, Charlie Lewis.

OTB: Why did you decide to go to Howard ?

Charlie: I decided to attend Howard because of its rich history in the African American culture as a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). The Mecca, as its called, or HU is home of many notables: Charles Drew, Andrew Young, Toni Morrison, Debbie Allen, Stokely Carmichael, NFL’s Antoine Bethea, Ta-Nehisi Coates, David Dinkins…the list goes on and on..

OTB: Do you love HU now and why?

Charlie: Love is an understatement….I’m in love with Howard more now than when I was a student. The community you form while at the university becomes your extended family.

OTB: What makes it great in your mind?

Charlie: The people become your family, wherever you travel; when you land in a particular city or town, there is someone from Howard that lets you know what’s happening in that particular city. In addition, the ability to network and find employment or employ alum who are great in their field. The talent is endless.

OTB: Were you a sports fan while at Howard ?

Charlie: Yes, Football and Basketball!

OTB: What was the best thing about being on campus? (e.g. location, the people, the food, whatever)

Charlie: Being in DC, the city had many opportunities as a student, to gain real hands on experience in whatever industry you might major. Being able to intern while in school was invaluable at the time. Also, DC is such a college town, if something wasn’t happening on your campus there was something possibly happening at another university in the area.

OTB: What was the best thing to happen to you (or in general) while you were at HU ?

Charlie: Developing a sense of my purpose as an individual and how to go into the world with such confidence to make a difference. As an African-American male, the university serves as a great role model to uplift and create entrepreneurs in the community.

OTB: Tell me one or two really cool or important things about the DC ?

Charlie: (I can do this - love the city - but as a student....) DC had many great restaurants and shows we could attend. Back in the mid-80’s we could get into any bar or club at 18. We would go up to Tacoma Station, Blues Alley or clubbing in Adam’s Morgan, that was the scene then. Now the city has tripled the amount of venues, restaurants and nightlife scenes, from 14th St. to the U Street corridor. Even Georgia Avenue has restaurants and bars.

OTB: How does/did Howard make you feel a part of the school as an undergraduate?

Charlie: As soon as you walk on the yard at Howard, you know you are becoming a part of a great legacy and will have a mark in the world.

OTB: How about now as an alum?

Charlie: To see the University continue to support its motto “Truth and Service” – and to see the University adapt for the changing times and present students with new curriculum lets me know that Howard is still a leader in the 21st century and will continue to make it mark in the world. Also, as the President of the Howard Alumni Club of Greater NYC, we make sure that we continue to support this mission in the communities we serve.

OTB: How important is it to you personally being a graduate of HU ?

Charlie: I never mention where I attended grad school, because Howard had such an impact on my life professionally and personally. I am who I am today because of Howard University.

One final note from Charlie on his Alma Mater: Howard is the only HBCU in the country that produces more PHD’s than any other University in the country. It continues to serve as the leader among HBCU’s and other Universities and Colleges in research, business, and media.

Charlie was traveling - that seems to be a theme with out respondents - when he replied to us. For that, we thank him. And, personally, I want to say how inspiring it is to hear how a school can impact an individual’s life. Thank you, Charlie Lewis.

Howard at a glance

Founding: March 2, 1867 by Civil War hero General Oliver O. Howard

Location: Washington, DC In addition to the main campus in northwest Washington, DC, the University has a 22-acre west campus where the School of Law is located, a 22-acre School of Divinity campus in northeast Washington, and a 108-acre research facility in Beltsville, Maryland.

Enrollment: approximately 10,300 undergraduate, graduate and professional students representing all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia as well as nearly 70 countries.

Academics: studies in more than 120 areas within the University’s 13 schools and colleges

Athletics: 19 Division 1 sports programs represented in five conferences: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), Southwestern Athletic Conference (Women’s Soccer), Sun Belt Conference (Men’s Soccer), Atlantic Sun Conference (Women’s Lacrosse), Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (Men’s & Women’s Swim/Dive).