General Dennis L. Via To Receive Thurgood Marshall College Fund Alumni Leadership Award

Washington, DC, Oct. 31, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) will present its 2013 Alumni Leadership Award to U.S. Army General Dennis L. Via at the TMCF Leadership Institute Closing Luncheon on November 11, 2013 at the Washington Hilton, announced TMCF President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.

For the last 12 years, TMCF has hosted its annual Leadership Institute, where 500 of the best and brightest students attending publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) participate in a professional development conference and recruitment fair. This year marks the first time the Institute will be held in Washington, DC.

"The TMCF Leadership Institute gives talented future leaders a one-of-a-kind intensive professional and career development experience," says Taylor. "This is also a great opportunity for these hand-picked students to network and interview with some of the nation's top executives and elite graduate school recruiters."

A highlight of the Institute will be the presentation of the 2013 TMCF Alumni Leadership Award, at the Institute's closing luncheon to an accomplished HBCU alumnus, General Dennis L. Via, for his exemplary military record and lifetime achievements. A distinguished military graduate from Virginia State University (class of 1980), he also holds a Master's Degree from Boston University, is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College (class of 1991), and the U.S. Army War College (class of 1999).

General Via had numerous assignments during his career and received many awards for his distinguished service to this Country. He is the first-ever signal officer in the history of the Army to be promoted to a four-star general, a rank held by only 13 other Army officials, and is the 7th African-American to be promoted to this rank. He assumed duties as the 18th Commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) Aug. 7, 2012. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness to ensure dominant land force capability for the U.S. Warfighter and our allies. The magnitude of this assignment is reflected in the facts that the AMC is responsible for one out of every six contracting dollars in the Department of Defense and has approximately 68,000 employees and a presence in all 50 states and 144 countries.

"General Via is a perfect example of an HBCU graduate who has demonstrated supreme leadership throughout his career and we are proud to honor him with this award in the presence of all the students," said Taylor.

As TMCF wraps up its Leadership Institute, General Via will join other distinguished guests, on the evening of November 11th, as TMCF hosts 1,800 of its closest friends, an impressive group of Congressional Members, Fortune 500 executives, and HBCU Presidents/Chancellors, at its annual black-tie Gala. This year, Emmy and Grammy Award winner comedian and actor Bill Cosby will host the event with special appearances from Broadway's original Dreamgirl Jennifer Holliday and the reigning Miss America, Nina Davuluri.

Media Contact: Tangie Newborn, 301-526-9107,



TMCF is named for the U.S. Supreme Court's first African-American Justice. Established in 1987, TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member-schools that include public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), medical schools and law schools. Through its scholarships and programs, TMCF plays a key role in preparing the leaders of tomorrow. For more information about TMCF and its initiatives, visit

Source:Thurgood Marshall College Fund