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Press Release

The Honorables Wellington E. and Wilma J. Webb Named 2016 Rachel B. Noel Distinguished Visiting Professors

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

Posted: February 23, 2016

DENVER – To help mark the 35th anniversary of the Rachel B. Noel Distinguished Visiting Professorship, as well as Metropolitan State University of Denver’s 50th anniversary, former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and The Honorable Wilma Webb have been selected as 2016 Noel Distinguished Visiting Professors.

On Wednesday, March 2, and Thursday, March 3, the Webbs will speak on campus and in the community reflecting upon milestones, which honor Rachel B. Noel’s legacy in the civil rights movement, as well as her effort to integrate Denver’s public schools.

Wellington Webb was Denver’s first African-American mayor, serving three terms from 1991 to 2003 focusing on four major areas: parks and open space, public safety, economic development and children. Prior to being elected mayor, he served in the Colorado State Legislature; was appointed as Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President Jimmy Carter; was appointed Executive Director of Colorado's Department of Regulatory Agencies under Governor Richard Lamm; and was elected Denver's city Auditor.

Wilma Webb was a member of the Colorado House of Representatives from 1980 to 1993, sponsoring dozens of bills including school reform and equity initiatives. Since leaving office the Webbs collaborated on a shared vision resulting in a research library and museum in Denver to preserve and showcase the many contributions of African-Americans to Colorado and the West.

On March 2, a welcome reception and book signing will be held at 10 a.m., followed by a campus student address by the Webbs at 11 a.m. at St. Cajetan’s event center on the Auraria Campus, moderated by the son of Rachel B. Noel, Buddy Noel. On March 3, there will be a community event and program from 6-8 p.m. at the Shorter Community AME Church, 3100 Richard Allen Court, in Denver.

The professorship develops multiculturalism, diversity and academic excellence at MSU Denver and continues to reflect historic achievements and inspire future generations of leaders. It 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.

Noel events on campus and in the community are free and open to the public, and no RSVP is required. For more information visit



About Metropolitan State University of Denver

For 50 years, Metropolitan State University of Denver has transformed the lives of students, served as a courageous leader in higher education and boldly advanced the well-being of metro Denver communities. Throughout its history, the University has been known as a gateway to opportunity through broad access, quality academics and education relevant to the Colorado economy. The yearlong MSU Denver anniversary celebration commemorates the creation in 1965 by the Colorado General Assembly of the state’s first urban higher education institution.

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