Cathy Hughes, the first African-American woman to head a publicly traded corporation, demonstrated her commitment to higher education through a $4 million donation to Howard University, the school at which she created her famous “Quiet Storm” radio format.
With the donation, Howard will rename its School of Communications the “the Cathy Hughes School of Communications” and create the Catherine L. Hughes and Alfred C. Liggins III Fund, which will assist the school with acquiring “cutting-edge” technology and equipment to support “academically rich” programs.
Hughes, who owns the media company Radio One, with the donation, hopes to invite other supporters and business partners to join its effort to promote and support Howard-educated communication leaders.
Hughes, who was appointed general sales manager in 1973 at Howard’s WHUR 96.3 FM station in D.C., has a long history with university. As general manager of the station, Hughes helped increase the station’s annual revenues from $300,000 to more than $3.5 million with the introduction of “The Quiet Storm” format.
To mark the renaming of the school, Howard’s School of Communications, which recently celebrated its 45th anniversary, will hold a ceremony on Oct. 23.