Heritage Award presentation honoring Emma Andrews and Evelyn Sermons

Heritage Award speech 1949.jpg


Heritage Award presentation honoring Emma Andrews and Evelyn Sermons


Remarks delivered by Mrs. O. Wesley Davidson, President the Associate Alumnae of the New Jersey College for Women (later Douglass College), on June 4, 1949, honoring African American seniors Emma Andrews and Evelyn Sermons as joint recipients of the first Heritage Award.

A copy of the remarks has been preserved by the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College.





Text (Transcript)

EMMA ANDREWS and EVELYN SERMONS, the Associate Alumnae honors you today as the joint recipients of the first N.J.C. Heritage Award. Only once in the history of this College will it be our privilege, with this special tribute, to honor the unique contribution you have made to group living at N.J.C. With quiet understanding, rare good judgment, and fine spirit you entered into the dormitory life of this campus, intelligently aware of the importance of your success in the undertaking to those who would follow you.

From your freshman year you have both taken your place as valuable and active citizens of the College community, serving as members and elected officers of student groups. Each of you has discharged well the responsibilities of senior housechairman in your respective dormitory. Each of you has won honor in your academic field—you, Emma, by election to Curie Science Club; you, Evelyn, by winning a Chi Omega prize for an original study in the field of sociology. You are both recognized on campus for your soundness of judgment, your spirit of self-giving, and your qualities of leadership.

Yet you have not been content to serve N.J.C. alone. The volunteer work which each of you has done for the Young Adult Chapter of the Urban League has furthered the N.J.C. tradition of service to the community. Through all these channels and activities you have not only taken unto yourselves the heritage of our College, but also you have, each in turn, interpreted that heritage to others.

You have served N.J.C. well. By making the pioneer years of interracial living on her campus highly successful ones, you assuredly have made a contribution to her tradition of democratic spirit. You have added to our heritage and have raised our eyes to a future of greater understanding and good will.

As a symbol of our admiration and appreciation, I present to each of you this pin—the N.J.C. Heritage Award.


Associate Alumnae of Douglass College

Archival collection

AADC Biographical Files

Archival location

Folder: Emma Andrews (1949)


Davidson, Mrs. O. Wesley, “Heritage Award presentation honoring Emma Andrews and Evelyn Sermons,” Scarlet and Black Digital Archive, Rutgers University, accessed June 13, 2024, https://scarletandblack.rutgers.edu/archive/items/show/464.