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President Slabach to Receive Multicultural Alliance Annual Award

02.23.2023 | By: Texas Wesleyan University

On Wednesday, March 8, the Multicultural Alliance will honor Texas Wesleyan University President Frederick G. Slabach and Nobel Peace Prize honoree Opal Lee at the Multicultural Alliance Annual Awards Dinner.  

The Multicultural Alliance Annual Award will be presented to Texas Wesleyan University’s 20th President, Frederick G. Slabach. While serving as president, Slabach has developed and executed a bold agenda that cultivates student critical thinking, increases enrollment and revitalizes Texas Wesleyan’s home in East Fort Worth as a vibrant academic and economic center.  

Under President Slabach’s leadership, the University has been designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and Minority Serving Institution by the Department of Education. A leader among leaders, Slabach chairs the Independent Colleges & Universities of Texas Board of Directors and serves on the board of directors of the North American Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges and Universities. Additionally, he serves as the treasurer of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. Locally, he is the immediate past chair of the Development Corporation of Tarrant County, Renaissance Heights United, the Mary I. Gourley Scholarship Foundation and Southeast Fort Worth, Inc. 

President Slabach will be honored alongside the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” Opal Lee who will be receiving The Lifetime Achievement Award. At age 12, on June 19, 1939, hundreds of white rioters vandalized and burned down her home. This life-altering experience spurred her to make people understand that Juneteenth is not just a festival. She campaigned for decades to make Juneteenth a federal holiday and promoted the idea by leading a 2.5-mile walk each year — representing the 2.5 years it took for news of the Emancipation Proclamation to reach Texas. 

At the age of 89, she conducted a symbolic four-month walk from Fort Worth to Washington, D.C. She said, "It's going to be a national holiday. I have no doubt about it. My point is to make it a holiday in my lifetime." 

“I am honored to receive the Multicultural Alliance Annual Award,” said Slabach. “I am humbled and delighted to be recognized alongside Opal Lee. The work we have done together at Texas Wesleyan has been the pinnacle of my professional life, but I didn’t do it alone.   

“Through the hard work of the Texas Wesleyan faculty, staff, students and community, the University is stronger, more diverse and more accessible than it was 12 years ago when I arrived at the university. I know as I move on as the dean of the law school at the University of Mississippi, Texas Wesleyan and its community will continue move forward with this momentum.” 

Both President Slabach and Opal Lee join a stellar group of past honorees of the Multicultural Alliance. The Multicultural Alliance President, Dr. Cheryl Kimberling stated, “We are so delighted to honor both individuals who did not wait to see change occur but rather became the change they wanted to see.” 

Every year the Multicultural Alliance recognizes community leaders who live in accordance with the mission of promoting an inclusive community with the hope of eliminating bias, bigotry and oppression. The Multicultural Alliance brings people together for educational opportunities and shared experiences. The work of the Multicultural Alliance is to address inequity and the negative consequences of prejudice and discrimination by providing educational programming and bringing people together for shared experiences. 

To purchase tickets, contact the Multicultural Alliance at 817-733-6562. 

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At Texas Wesleyan, we have a rich history and a Texas-sized reputation. As stewards of the University, it is our responsibility to build a future as bright as our past.