When Joe Biden selected California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his running mate for the Democratic presidential bid, she became the nation’s first Black and South Asian American woman on a major party’s ticket.
The historic nomination was not lost on Harris’ undergraduate alma mater, D.C.’s Howard University, which she attended in the mid 1980s and graduated from in 1986.
“From the Hilltop to Capitol Hill, congratulations to our alumna, Sen. Kamala Harris, the democratic candidate for Vice President of the United States,” read a viral tweet from the historically Black college, reacting to Biden’s pick.
Harris’ classmate Lita Rosario told WTOP’s news partners at NBC Washington that Howard considers itself “the mecca of black education in America,” and said she recruited Harris for the university’s debate team while they were students.
Lorri Saddler Rice, one of Harris’ line sisters in Alpha Kappa Alpha, a sorority founded on the campus of Howard University in 1908, said its 300,000 members represent a base of support for their sister leading up to the election.
If the Biden/Harris ticket wins in November, Harris would become the first woman in U.S. history to serve as vice president.
The university president, Wayne A.I. Frederick, congratulated Harris in a statement on Monday night, calling the nomination “an extraordinary moment in the history of America and Howard University.”
He went on to say Harris’ selection “represents a milestone opportunity for our democracy to acknowledge the leadership Black women have always exhibited, but has too often been ignored.”
Frederick noted Harris is now positioned to break two glass ceilings — not just as a woman, but as a woman of color running for the vice presidency.
“We are proud to call Howard University alumna Kamala Harris a member of our HU family,” he said.