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Press Release

MSU Denver Recognizes 2014 Hope for the Future Noel Award Recipients

Contact: Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: March 4, 2014

DENVER – Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Rachel B. Noel committee recognized community champions Hon. Wilma Webb and Gloria Neal Thursday, Feb. 27 with Hope for the Future awards, presented at a community lecture delivered annually by the Rachel B. Noel Distinguished Professor.

Melissa V. Harris-Perry, this year’s Distinguished Visiting Professor, spoke before an audience at Shorter Community AME Church, where guests gathered to celebrate the awardees and their significant contributions to the community./media/marketingandcommunications/newsroom/pressrelease/t4_497610_Media.Rachel-B-Noel-Event_award-winnersLowResjpg-resized.jpg

Hope for the Future Awards embody the legacy of Rachel B. Noel and are given to members of the community who are making a positive difference in the community through service and education.

Wilma Webb has helped the city by working tirelessly on antidrug-abuse programs and also helped create the Denver Art, Culture and Film Foundation as Denver’s first lady. Her husband Wellington Webb was elected mayor of Denver in 1991.

Webb, the first minority woman on the Colorado Joint Budget Committee, became a member of the Colorado General Assembly in 1980.  She sponsored numerous bills including the Comprehensive Anti-Drug Abuse Program, Elderly Frail People to Receive Care at Home as Opposed to Nursing Home Placement and Improvement of Living Conditions for Troubled Youth while in office. In one of her hardest battles, Webb fought for four years before Colorado adopted the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday.

Gloria Neal award winningmultimedia broadcast journalistmost recognized for her work with CBS4 and AM760. Neal, an active member of the Colorado Association of Black Journalists, has covered historical events, including both inaugurations of President Obama; traveled to Belize to interview Prime Minister Barrows; and accompanied the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce to China on an economic trade mission.  

Neal is well known for her philanthropic and community-driven causes and is actively involved with the Rose Andom Center for Domestic Violence and the Mile High chapter of the American Red Cross. 

The Hope for the Future Awards are a component of MSU Denver’s Rachel B. NoelVisiting Professorship. The Professorship was initiated in 1981 to foster multiculturalism, diversity and academic excellence at MSU Denver and brings renowned scholars and artists of distinction to the University to conduct classes, seminars, performances and lectures for students, faculty and the larger Denver community. For more information visit


About Metropolitan State University of Denver

MSU Denver is a leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans and enrolls the highest number of ethnically diverse students among the state’s four-year colleges. The University currently has more than 22,000 students and offers 55 majors, plus master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. It boasts more than 75,000 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.

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