In recognition of Black History Month, Clarion University Black Caucus and Minority Student Services will honor the late John Shropshire (’61) during the Pittsburgh Artists’ Showcase at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 in Hart Chapel.
Dr. Brian Roberts, assistant professor of English and master of ceremonies for the evening, will present the Pioneer Award to Mr. Shropshire's family.
Mr. Shropshire broke ground in 1972 when he became the dean of enrollment management, the first African American to attain dean status at Clarion University. In 1994, Mr. Shropshire was elected president of the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education and was named chairman of the enrollment management committee of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers. In 1999, he was elected to Clarion County's Board of Commissioners, the first African American to hold any elected position in the county. He was a member of the Clarion County Ethnic Tolerance Coalition. He fought to get more black teachers and administrators at Pennsylvania's colleges and universities, and more black students earning diplomas from those schools.
Clarion University previously honored Mr. Shropshire as a Distinguished Service Award recipient in 1999 and as a Sports Hall of Fame inductee in 2004. Minority Student Services annually gives the John Shropshire Minority Athletic Academic Award. His family established the John S. Shropshire Scholarship for Minorities in his memory.
Showcase artists Calvin Stemley, Gemma Stemley, Karla Payne and Von Allen will perform music, poetry and drama. The event is free and open to the public.