The Stories Behind the Numbers: Black Issues Salutes Outstanding Members Fo the Class 2000

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1 Christine Lincoln, left, is congratulated by a fellow graduate after accepting the Sophie Kerr award during commencement exercises at Washington College in Chestertown, Md. Lincoln received the $53,266 award for being the graduating senior with the best ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor. Lincoln, who graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average, also won the college's premier academic prize, the George Washington Medal.

1 Jarrett Alexander, recipient of American University's prestigious President's Award for 2000, came to American on a full, four-year academic scholarship. A member of the Black Student Alliance, he promoted cultural diversity on campus by working with other student groups to form the Ethnic and Cultural Clubs Coalition. Alexander graduated with a 3.92 grade-point average with a bachelor of science degree in political science. He also held several highprofile internships, including positions with the Drug Enforcement Agency and in the office of Senator Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., while still finding time to tutor learning-disabled persons at the Greater Beulah Baptist Church and to teach Vacation Bible School at Gethsemane United Methodist Church.

3 Lorielle Edwards graduated summa cum laude from Temple University's School of Communications and Theater. Her junior year was spent in Los Angeles interning with CNN.The producers were so impressed with her ability they offered her a full-time position, which she turned down to finish her undergraduate college career. After returning for her senior year, she applied to Harvard Law and was accepted. Edwards plans to be a public interest attorney."As an African American woman, I'm especially interested in helping people who come from traditionally disadvantaged backgrounds,"she says. She is pictured here being congratulated by actor and philanthropist Bill Cosby, a Temple alumnus.

4 Guido Saro Grasso-Knight graduated from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pa., with a major in biology and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.Grasso-Knight devoted much of his time to community and service outreach, including working as a public health investigator for a hepatitis prevention program on an American Indian reservation in California, as an emergency medicine volunteer at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and as a childlife volunteer at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.ln nearby Chester, Pa., he led an education and mentoring program for underprivileged children where he helped link children and their parents with tutors from the college. Grasso-Knight received Swarthmore's Ivy Award, given to the man of the graduating class who is outstanding in leadership, scholarship and contributions to the college community.

5 The undergraduate student representative to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors last year, Darin Oduyoye served as the voice of 21,000 undergraduate students in a nonvoting position.Oduyoye, a publicrelations major, received the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Roundtable Scholarship, the German Club Rising Senior Outstanding Leadership Award, the Paul N. Dewing Award and the Department of Communication Studies'Outstanding Senior Award. He has held several service positions with the university, including president of the Student Advisory Council to the Office of Multicultural Affairs, special-events chair of The Black Student Alliance and public-relations coordinator for Phi Sigma Pi national honor fraternity.Oduyoye, who served as a resident adviser, an altar server at Newman Community Catholic Church and a member of the Public Relations Society of America, will begin work July 14 as an analyst in investment management at J.P. Morgan and Co. in New York.

6 Eight years after returning to school and earning a General Equivalency Diploma at age 62, Delore Johnson earned a bachelor's of general studies degree at Indiana University, Purdue University Indianapolis last month on Mother's day. …