Hard times at Howard U.

Tim Goral's picture

It could be said that Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, acting president of Howard University, was to the manner born. On his birth 42 years ago in Port of Spain, Trinidad, his mother had already determined he would follow in the footsteps of the man she admired most: Eric Williams, who before leading Trinidad and Tobago to independence from Britain had taught at Howard.

“For her,” Dr. Frederick explained, “Howard was an almost mystical place, which had done so much for our country.”

Wayne Frederick was afflicted with sickle cell anemia, which is often accompanied by long-term pain and fatigue and can lead to early death. That, too, shaped his path. He was in a race against time. Graduating one year ahead of his high school class, he enrolled at Howard and received both his undergraduate and medical degrees in six years. He remembers mentors like the legendary Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall, who embraced and encouraged him during his surgical residency.

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