Since 2008, Norfolk State University has honored graduates who demonstrate exemplary leadership in their professions and in the community with the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Graduate of the Last Decade (G.O.L.D.) Award. These alumni personify the mission and goals of the University.


2017 Award Recipients

Dr. Tahira DuPree Chase B.S. '94

Dr. Tahira DuPree Chase uses the bachelor of science degree she earned in communications from Norfolk State University to advocate for the needs of public school students. Dr. Chase serves as superintendent of the Greenburgh Central School District in Hartsdale, New York. She assumed the position in the 2,500 student district, which has a 93 percent graduation rate, in 2015.



Rev. Dr. Jonathan A. Mason

B.S. '95, H '15


Rev. Dr. Jonathan A. Mason Sr. graduated from Norfolk State with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications. Later, the University invited Rev. Mason to serve as the commencement speaker at the December 2015 ceremonies and awarded him with an honorary doctorate of humane letters. He began his career in radio in Norfolk, but moved to New York City in 1997 where he began building a highly successful radio marketing career in one of the most competitive markets in the world.


COL (Ret.) William Russell, Jr. '67

Col. (Ret.) William Russell Jr. has demonstrated a true commitment to his country, community and to Norfolk State University. A member of the first commissioning class of Norfolk State University (then the Norfolk Division of Virginia State College), he has had a long and distinguished military career. Among his many achievements during his 26-year Army career, Col. Russell became the first Norfolk State Army ROTC graduate to achieve the rank of Colonel.






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