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Robert BlandThe First Black Undergraduate to Earn a Degree From the University of Virginia to Speak Jan. 23

January 18, 2000 -- Robert A. Bland, the first black undergraduate to earn a degree from the University of Virginia, will speak at Harambee, an African-American honors program, Sunday, Jan. 23, at 2 p.m. His public talk, in Newcomb Hall Ballroom, is titled "Success is a Journey, Life is a Choice." The program honors first-year and entering transfer students with grade point averages of 3.0 and above.

A native of Petersburg, Bland attended Peabody High School and Virginia State University before enrolling at U.Va. He graduated in 1959 with a degree in electrical engineering.

As a professional engineer at the Naval Weapons Center in Corona, Calif., Bland spent many years working to improve the numbers of minorities and women in the engineering discipline as well as other arenas. He was a leader in the U. S. Navy's equal employment opportunity program. Additionally, he played a major role in the integration of Riverside, Calif. city schools.

Harambee, Swahili for "working together," celebrates student academic success.

For an electronic version of Bland's photo, call (804) 924-3629. For more information contact Sylvia Terry in the Office of African-American Affairs at (804) 924-7923.

Contact: Katherine Jackson, (804) 924-3629

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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