Monday, August 8th, 2011
“You’re going to laugh, but there is a funny story about how I picked Howard University. First, I wanted to get away from New Jersey where I grew up. Second, I know this is going to sound kind of immature, but my last name is Howard.
“I heard my family and other people talk about this place that had my last name, and when I was old enough to start looking at schools, I looked at Howard. We don’t have any connection to the school or anything like that, just have the same name. I learned that it was a historically black college full of history. When I went to visit, I fell in love with the place. Don’t worry, I didn’t put that story in my college essay because I am pretty sure that going to a place because it has your same name would not have helped my chances!
“When I first came here, I loved the school, but didn’t really like the city. I guess I was sheltered and mostly stayed around the campus. I didn’t see that much of DC and didn’t really get the people here. See, I am used to the tri-state area and didn’t understand why people walk slowly and why the Metro closes. Maybe it will sound stuck up, but at first, I was like, come on, isn’t this place supposed to be a city?
“Once I branched out and started going to different places, I fell in love with the city and realized how sheltered I was before. Now, I am the type of person who wants to go all over this city and Maryland and have all kinds of experiences. I love the diversity of this city. Really, I can tell you all of the reasons that I love it here, and they all focus on how diverse we are. I mean, just walk ten blocks and you are in a new place. Where else do you have that?”
“Now, I am going into my third year at Howard. You know that I love the city, but one of the things that now kind of annoys me is my last name. At Howard, I realize how much I don’t like telling people my last name. When my professors ask me to introduce myself, and I say Brianna Howard, I always get a chuckle because of the Howard-Howard thing. I might just have to make up a new last name.”
Howard University was named for General Oliver Otis Howard, a Civil War hero, who was both the founder of the University and, at the time, Commissioner of the Freedmen’s Bureau. Howard later served as President of the university from 1869-74.